Pelham celebrates holiday with prayer

Mike Vest, acting executive director of the Governor's Commission on Physical Fitness and Sports, sings "Long Lost Friend" during the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce's Prayer Breakfast Nov. 22. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

More than 100 officials and businesspeople kicked off the holiday season with prayer and worship Nov. 22 during the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce’s annual Prayer Breakfast at the Pelham Civic Complex.

During the breakfast, which was sponsored by the Jimmie Hale Mission and Legacy Community Federal Credit Union, several religious and community leaders shared faith-centered messages, music and prayer.

Tony Cooper, executive director of the Jimmie Hale Mission, said the state and the nation “desperately need a touch of God.”

“We can pray about that today,” Cooper said. “We are not waiting on God. He is waiting on us.”

Jennifer Whisenant, president of the GSCC, praised Shelby County and said she is thankful to live and work there.

“We are blessed we live in Shelby County,” Whisenant said. “We are blessed that we have so much available to us.”

The breakfast featured prayers by Rabbi Eric Walker, the senior Rabbi of the Congregation Beth Hallel Birmingham, and Rev. Green Calhoun, Jimmy Hale Mission community communications coordinator.

Cooper and AT&T Regional Director Terri Gualano read scriptures, and Mike Vest, acting executive director of the Governor’s Commission of Physical Fitness and Sports, and Joyce Preston, an independent consultant with Lindt Chocolates, performed musical pieces.

The Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Justin Fisher, author of the book “I can’t even walk (Without you holding my hand),” provided the keynote address. The address focused on the Bible verse Romans 8:28, which reads “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“If all things are working for the good of those who love God, are all things working against those who don’t love God?” Fisher said. “If the ultimate bad is eternal separation from God, I think the answer is yes.”