Shelby Baptist names Peacock new director of pastoral care

By WILLIAM MARLOW | Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER — Shelby Baptist Medical Center has appointed a new director of pastoral care to serve the hospital.

Peacock, who most recently served as a chaplain at St. Vincent’s Birmingham, will soon be offering pastoral services to patients, families and staff at Shelby Baptist.

Peacock has served churches all over the country for 20 years, but is now returning to Shelby County—a place with which he has strong ties as the pastor of Hickory Hills Church in Alabaster.

“I am returning to Shelby Baptist five years later, after I served at another local hospital as a chaplain,” Peacock said. “I love how friendly people are and how they value chaplaincy and I love building relationships with people and being there for them in the good and bad times.”

Although in a new position, Peacock said he is quite familiar with Shelby Baptist having completed his chaplain internship and residency at the hospital.

A Vermont-native, Peacock’s love for running brought him to the South to run track at Auburn University. From there, He went on to receive his master’s degree at the Beeson Divinity School at Samford University.

When Peacock isn’t serving as a chaplain, he can be found enjoying life with his wife of 29 years and their two daughters. He also said he enjoys running, playing guitar and can’t wait to get back to traveling.

In his role at Shelby Baptist, Peacock and other chaplains in the Pastoral Care ministry at will provide a variety of services to patients and hospital guests such as ministry of presence, music, prayer, assistance with advanced directives, grief counseling and family care conferences.

Peacock said he will continue to prioritize those forms of care as well as provide a larger focus on mental and spiritual health due to the stresses related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I plan to use the ministry of presence, music and a new reflection phone line minister to people at the hospital,” he said. “I believe that spiritual and mental health are serious issues during this pandemic. Chaplains can provide help for our employees to meet them right where they are by offering a non-judgmental presence and active listening. We as chaplains can encourage employees to embrace self-care in their own unique ways.”

Much of these services have been made available for hospital staff who have served throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and Peacock said he has created a new reflection phone line as well in order to offer pastoral care 24-7 to patients, their families and hospital employees.

“The new phone line is a resource for people to call in and hear an encouraging message at his or her convenience. In a time where people are so busy, we found it necessary to provide a resource for people to have access to at any time,” he said.

Shelby Baptist’s reflection phone line can be reached at 205-620-7969.