Community Baptist holds third ‘Night to Shine’

Published 11:34 am Monday, February 11, 2019

By MICHAEL BROOKS / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Community Baptist Church in Maylene conducted its third annual “Night to Shine” on Feb. 8. According to volunteer coordinator, Mandy Mealer, the event is one way the congregation recognizes some of the overlooked residents of the area.

“We honor special needs residents from age 14 and older,” she said. “The oldest person we’ve had is 64. We reached out to local schools and organizations who work with special needs and we advertised through Facebook. We had 50 two years ago and about 60 this time, so the event is meeting a need.”

Mealer said Community pastor Bo Brown learned about the program birthed by the Tim Tebow Foundation and applied for a grant.

“Pastor Bo came to the church and said we had an awesome opportunity,” Mealer recalled. “He was confident enough to apply for the grant before the church approved it! I spoke up immediately and said I would love to help. My mother, grandmother and great-grandmother worked with special needs, so I’ve always had an interest in this ministry.”

Shelby Baptist Association Ministry Catalyst Rebekah Parr, a member at Community, said she participated as a volunteer as well.

“The ministry team works with this project year-round,” she said. “The first year the Tebow Foundation covered our costs, but now we cover a substantial amount through our church budget.”

Parr said the evening is like a school prom with valet parking, red carpet, buffet food and a professional DJ.

“We want attendees to feel special,” she said. “And we provide for their caregivers, too. They eat with us and watch everything on a live stream.”

Pastor Brown said his goal from the beginning has been to share love with a unique community of people.

“It’s a night to serve others, and in serving we find a purpose bigger than ourselves,” he said. “We want this night to be one our guests will never forget—a moment when they realize how valuable they are to God.”

Additional information is available on the church’s website, and from the Tebow Foundation,