Alabaster church celebrates longtime pastor’s birthday

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – The Emmanuel Temple Holiness Church held a very special drive-thru celebration Aug. 30 to honor the 86th birthday of their longtime pastor Bishop William Fitts Sr.

Though the church is not meeting in a traditional capacity, members of ETHC wanted to do something special for Bishop Fitts who has been preaching at the church for the better part of 41 years.

“We wanted to do something to celebrate him. With COVID-19 going on, we are not fully back in the building yet, but we still wanted to do something special for him,” explained Rosie Dowdell, church secretary. “We came together and talked about doing a drive-thru celebration where people would still get to celebrate him and he would still get to see the members as well.”

The celebration was held Aug. 30, which was two days before Fitts’ actual birthday on Sept. 1. Approximately 50 guests attended the celebration to wish him a happy birthday from a safe distance.

“He was just excited and all smiles when he saw everybody,” Dowdell said. “He is a very humble and caring person anyway, but he was very excited that day.”

Fitts has dedicated his life to serving his community through the word of God, which has not only made him a staple of the city but also a beloved citizen who truly lives the messages that he preaches.

“He is loved by the church because of the love that he shows others and his light,” Dowdell said. “He has concern for the people not just in the church, but in the neighborhood and communities. He is concerned for them and their families and he wants to know how they are doing and what he can do to help.”

Dowdell recalled a time when Fitts went out of his way to help a family in need in the community.

“He went and bought groceries and took it to them,” she explained. “They were not even members of the church, but just someone in the community. He just cared about them, he is that kind of person.”

So many people have been touched by the words and actions of Bishop Fitts, that it was only fitting that those people came together in a safe way despite the troubles everyone has faced this year to celebrate this generous man on his birthday.

“He is just a fantastic person and roll model. He lives the life that he talks about,” Dowdell said. “His echo and his video are in sync. He doesn’t say one thing and you see him doing another. His lifestyle and what he talks about are in sync with each other, plus living holy for God.”