Thank you so much for your prayers and support of the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries. The following is a brief report of some of the larger events in which I have been engaged during the months of March and April.
March 5 – Spoke at Lenten service at the Millbrook United Methodist Church. Nathan Atwood is the pastor. They are in the process of building a new sanctuary.
March 9 – Spoke at Young Meadows Presbyterian Church in Montgomery.
March 12 – Drove to Andalusia to Blue Lake to participate in a Wesley Heirs gathering.
March 13 – Drove over to Graceville, Florida to speak at a Lenten Worship Service. Jason Thrower is the pastor there.
March 14 – Participated on the Sports Radio Program from an Opelika station. Joe Wilson was a teammate of mine in football and basketball at Opelika and was formerly head football coach at Opelika. He appears on Thursday mornings on the Sports Talk station and invited me to reminisce with him. We remembered all the games we had won, and had forgotten all of the losses!
March 14 – Attended a great celebration where Mike Turk was named Athletic Director and would continue as head football coach at Huntingdon College. I used to meet each week with the football team at Jeff Davis High School when Mike was quarterback and led them to some state titles. He then became an All-American at Troy. He now has done a tremendous job in establishing a great football program at Huntingdon.
March 17-19 – Went to Gautier, Mississippi, to preach at the First United Methodist Church. Rev. James Watson is the pastor. I had a seminar for pastors on Monday.
March 20 – I am a member of the River Region Sports Commission. This is a great group of people who are bringing sports events to the city of Montgomery. If you haven’t seen the new additions at Cramton Bowl and the Multiplex and the Soccer Complex at AUM, you need to visit those.
March 21 – Gave a dedication prayer for the new building at AUM named for Mr. Robbins Taylor. I met Robbins Taylor several years ago through tennis. He then played a major part in helping us get financing through Union Bank for a new sanctuary.
March 21 – Officiated at the funeral for Brent Camp.
March 23 – Participated as a partner to Kim Hendrix in a cooking contest called “Iron Chef” to raise money for a very worthy charity. I told Kim I would be her partner if she would carry 90% of the load. Actually she carried 95%. The judges included the Mayor and some outstanding chefs of the region. My best contribution was when we presented our “dish” to the judges. I slipped on my clerical robe to try to give us a little extra influence. I also told the judges that I was on the way to interview for the chef’s job with Pope Francis.
March 24 – Officiated at the funeral of John Jackson.
March 27 – Preached at the Lenten worship service at Trinity Presbyterian Church here in Montgomery. Claude McRoberts has been a good friend and fellow colleague for several years.
April 3 – Attended a function honoring the General Counsel to Haiti. Several non-profit organizations that do ministry in Haiti were a part of that event. I learned a lot.
April 5 – Officiated at the funeral of Henry North.
April 6 – Drove to Birmingham and officiated at the wedding of Holly Howell. Her parents Judy and Ken Howell were tremendous members at Frazer for several years before moving to Birmingham. My family and their family have interconnected in a lot of ways.
April 11 – Had the opportunity to do an interview for a magazine article that will appear during the summer.
April 13 – Served on the alumni advisory board at Huntingdon College and then drove to Memphis.
April 14 – Preached at three worship services at Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis. Shane Stafford is the senior minister there now. He and Maxie Dunnam and I recorded some programs for T.V.
April 16 – Again this year I waited tables at Mr. Gus’ Italian Restaurant on the Atlanta Highway to raise money for Family Promise, a wonderful charity. All of the tips we received went to Family Promise. If people didn’t tip well, I just stayed there and waited for a bigger tip.
April 18 – I did a seminar for 40 ministers who are in a year long program called ACE – Academy for Congregational Development. My topic was How to Create and Communicate a Vision. These pastors meet together one day a month for four hours of continuing education credit.
April 20 – Officiated at the wedding of Dr. Wright Mathews and Rebecca Simon. I had the opportunity to baptize Wright when he was a baby. I have been good friends with that family for a long time.
April 24 – Spoke at the Community Unity Breakfast which was sponsored by the Leadership Montgomery and Chamber of Commerce. This is a tremendous organization that is dedicated to bringing Unity in our community. There were four visionary laypeople in Montgomery who 30 years ago formed Leadership Montgomery. Today there are over a thousand people who have been through the program. It is one of the reasons that we have made the progress that we have in Montgomery. Dr. Cheryl Carter is the Executive Director of this program.
April 25 – I serve on the Board of Directors for the United Methodist Homes for the Aging in the State of Alabama and Northwest Florida. This group meets quarterly.
April 25 – Had an opportunity to hear Dr. Kevin Elko, a tremendous motivational speaker who works with sports teams and businesses. One of our Board members, Dr. Stephen Davidson was instrumental in bringing him to Montgomery.
April 27 – I was invited to serve as an honorary coach in the Alabama State Black and Gold game indicating the end of spring training. It was a great experience. I will post a blog tomorrow about that.
April 27 – I participated with the Sunrise Rotary Club in raising money for three very worthwhile charities. It was a roast and recognition of me. Anthony Leigh served as the Master of Ceremonies. The roasters selected were Coach Charles Lee, former Attorney General Troy King, and Dr. Tim Thompson, senior pastor at Frazer. It was a fun night and raised over $20,000.
April 28 – I drove over to Leary, Georgia, which is just south of Albany. Several churches throughout that area went together for a one night revival rally. While the weather was bad, the church was packed. It is great to be in a Methodist church where folks have to stand up on Sunday evening.
April 29 – Had an opportunity to serve as a guest host on Sports Talk Radio program, The Round Table. I enjoyed that kind of thing. I could only stay one hour as I had an appointment to have my eyes checked with Dr. Roy Hager. I told the radio audience that I had been doing a little umpiring and several of the parents and spectators had taken up an offering to get me an eye exam. While that was a joke, I have seen some umpires who need to get an eye exam!
I have continued to meet on a one-on-one basis with a lot of pastors.
I remind you that on Facebook I offer a 2-minute audio devotional each day. I encourage you to access that. I also continue to post a blog each week.
The new IPad, Nook, Kindle version of When God Redefines the Possible should be ready soon. I will send out an email with instructions of how to get it. I am told it is one of the first religious books that will be interactive. I have seen the largest portion of the book and it has a lot of videos, pictures, puzzles, questions, etc. I am excited about that.
Thank you so much for your prayers, your interest, and your support of this ministry.
For the Cause of causes,
John Ed Mathison