Brakefield willing to go extra mile
By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist
Raised in Alabaster on the Kent Dairy Farm, Michelle Kent Brakefield recalls the happiest of childhoods nestled with her parents, Mike and Peggy, grandparents Doug and Nina and even great-grandparents, an uncle and cousins.
She and younger sister Marsha rode golf carts, roamed the vast acreage, showed cows in the FFA program and at the Shelby County Fair. The Kent girls were always into helping with church, school and cheerleading projects. They were raised to be volunteers.
After graduation from Thompson High School, Michelle attended the University of Montevallo and has been a teacher since 1996.
Having married her sweetheart (Scott Brakefield, now our City Council President), she has been a first-grade teacher at Meadow View Elementary since 2000.
A member of Westwood Baptist Church since 1998, Brakefield takes being an example of Christ seriously. Even though being busy everyday with three sons (Noah, age 12 and twins Shep and Wynn, age 7), Brakefield knew the planned mission trip to Belize was something she wanted to do. Twenty-four members from Westwood made the trip.
For eight days, the group held VBS and school, gave out tons of rice and many soccer balls and shared Jesus in one of the poorest villages in that area.
“It was awesome to play with the children, feed them and watch them run and laugh and to share the unconditional love of Jesus with them,” Brakefield said. It was Brakefields’ first mission trip, and she hopes to take her whole family someday.
“You have to see it and feel it” she said.
Brakefield gives credit to the Light of the Valley Church, Kids Konnect 4 Jesus, Stop Hunger Now and missionaries David and Karen Rhodes for their part in the successful mission trip.
Brakefield and sister, Marsha Kent Roach, live a hop and a jump from one another through the fields belonging to the Kent family for more then four generations. Marsha is married to Joey and has Tyler, age 10, and Marlee Grace, age 8. As always, the Kent clan is close-knit and willing to go the extra mile whether it is for family, friends, church or community.