Posted: June 29, 2007 in Laughter

I traveled to the northwest corner of Alabama yesterday to speak in the summer series at the Florence Boulevard Church of Christ. This congregation has made multiple trips to Ocean Springs to help in the hurricane recovery process, and it was an honor to visit and say “thank you.”

One of the neat older fellers who has been here before led the opening prayer, and as he prayed for Ocean Springs he thanked God for “Al Sharpton” being there to speak. I nearly laughed out loud right there in the middle of his prayer!!! I, of course, had to make a joke about it when I stood up to speak (you know, deny that I was running for president, etc.). After everything was over, my friend tried to apologize, but I wouldn’t accept it. I absolutely loved it!!!

I did an okay job, I guess. I’ll tell you the truth that I don’t feel very skilled at these one-time jobs where you go and speak to people you don’t know very well and then come home. Now that I’ve been, I think I know how I would (should) have approached it, but it’s too late now. Oh well, I did my best, and that will have to suffice.

The best part came afterward: we stayed for three baptisms from the youth group! Very, very cool…

This morning, I met Ross Hargett and Josh Webster for breakfast at Cracker Barrell, which was especially neat because, though they live in the same community, they had never met. There are a zillion Churches of Christ in the Florence, Alabama, area, so it makes perfect sense that they hadn’t met until today. Ross is an elder at the Killen Church of Christ who has led eight trips to Ocean Springs. Josh is the youth minister at the Florence Boulevard Church of Christ, and he has led three trips to Ocean Springs. It was neat to eat breakfast with these two special people.

Both Ross and Josh really served as pastoral counselors to me this morning for my job, and they may not realize that they served as inspirations, too. Ross talked about the new stepfamily ministry that he is working on, while Josh talked about their new single-parent ministry. Ross talked about a class he’s planning to offer about woodworking, etc., and Josh shared his Monday night mechanic ministry. I started thinking how cool it was that these two men are doing such good work reaching out to real people in their community, especially when you consider that they were the same people who respectively led their churches hundreds of miles away to Ocean Springs when we were in need, too!

In the first days after Hurricane Katrina, I correctly informed my youngest daughter that we were about to meet the coolest people in the universe.

Ross Hargett and Josh Webster are two of them.

I don’t really know Al Sharpton, so I can’t say about him… 🙂

  1. JD says:

    Alls I can say is that it is only our friendship that would make me read your post with that pic on the top! Whew! What a prayer blooper LOL. Glad you had such a neat trip. In the days after Katrina I did not know we were about to meet the neatest people on earth …but we truly did. Glad you’re home.

  2. Al Sturgeon says:

    Thanks, JD.

    And even though we’re friends, you still need to call me Reverend Al.


  3. JD says:

    I will if you start speaking in rhymes.

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