Griggs answers the call from above

Published 4:53 pm Friday, October 12, 2012

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

A country boy can do whatever God calls him to do. Roy Griggs and wife, Dell, grew up a few miles from each other in their rural community of Tallapoosa County and attended the same church.

Roy Griggs and his wife, Dell, have been involved with Alabaster's Southside Baptist Church for 11 years. (Contributed)

Married at a “very young age,” Roy knew he had to be a man and take care of Dell and their future family.

For several years he worked at Pepperell Mills in Opelika, but in June of 1956 he “felt the call” to preach.

Griggs attended Howard College in Birmingham (now Samford University). In 1962 he graduated from Baptist College of Florida with his theology degree. Griggs constantly said he could not have done this without the 100 percent commitment of his wife.

“When Roy was in college and I worked at the college I never drew a paycheck because they just applied my pay to Roy’s school bill,” Dell said. All the time, their children, Ron and Judy, just went along with the flow – school to school and church to church.

After serving in five or six pastorates, Griggs came to Siluria Baptist in 1971 where he led his parishioners for the next 14 years. After serving the Siluria pastorate, South Highland Baptist in Bessemer was home for the next six years.

At that time in his career, Griggs began thinking of “downsizing.”

“By then I wanted a smaller church that needed me. I wanted to be a blessing,” he said.

Southside Baptist on Alabama 119 in Alabaster asked Griggs for a promise of five years. At the time he wouldn’t make a promise of five years, but told them he would stay for two to three years at least. Eleven years later with incredible memories and friendships, the Griggs retired but are still active members. The highlight of his ministry was a trip to the Holy Land.

In April 2011, Roy Griggs was named Pastor Emeritus at a beautiful ceremony at the Southside Church.

“In my 54 years of pastoring, there were only three Sundays when I had no place to preach,” he said.

The Griggs have made a truly beautiful life together with God at the forefront.


Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by e–mail at