City honors longtime Liberty Missionary Baptist Church pastor
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – A power outage and subsequent loss of air conditioning during a hot summer day at Alabaster City Hall didn’t stifle the celebration on the night of June 25, as Mayor Marty Handlon honored a longtime city pastor for his service to the community in front of a packed house.
Dozens of members of Liberty Missionary Baptist Church packed the City Hall’s council chambers – Which was operating off of generator power after storms caused power outages in the city earlier in the day – to see Handlon recognize pastor Dr. Akeem Simmons.
Simmons has been serving in the ministry for the past 38 years, and currently leads the large church on Fifth Avenue Southeast.
“Almost four decades ago, Dr. Simmons answered the call into full-time ministry. Through the years, he served in various pastoral roles at different churches from Birmingham to Anniston, Alabama,” Handlon said while reading a proclamation honoring Simmons. “Dr. Simmons works tirelessly to minister to the Alabaster community in relevant ways. Under his leadership, Liberty Baptist Church opened a Family Life Center to serve the local community and members of the congregation. Dr. Simmons is steadfast in his commitment to fulfill the Great Commission, pastor the community and nurture his parishioners.”
Of particular note was the church’s willingness to open its doors recently to those affected by severe weather, Handlon said.
“It was the only church in our city when we had our last weather event that said ‘Absolutely yes, we will open our doors and we will be here as needed.’ Thank you for that. Thank you for being that place for the community to come for shelter,” she said.
Simmons has demonstrated a passion for knowledge over the years, as he holds a doctorate in theology, a PhD in Christian psychology and an associate degree in medical assistance. He also has published several works over the years, and enjoys art, chess and reading.
“I am simply speechless. I really, really appreciate you acknowledging our church and what we have done,” Simmons said. “Thank you, mayor, thank you (Ward 1) city Councilwoman (Sophie Martin) for working so faithfully in our ward. I’m just elated. My people and I are here to serve you all in any way we can assist the city.”