Sen. Mitchell speaks at Pastor Appreciation Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 9, 2006

Trading laughter and good humor back and forth among one another, pastors and officials alike enjoyed the Luverne Health and Rehab's Pastor Appreciation Day held last Thursday, Oct. 26.

Sen. Wendell Mitchell was the keynote speaker.

&#8220This is the first opportunity I've had to visit here in awhile,” Mitchell told the group. &#8220As most of you may remember, this facility used to be a hospital.”

Mitchell recalled the time when he was in junior high school and had passed out while playing basketball.

&#8220I had glandular fever,” he continued. &#8220I arrived here in an ambulance, which was the first time I had ever ridden in oneŠ.I remember overhearing one of the doctors saying, ‘Wendell's in a bad stateŠI'm not sure he's going to make it.'”

&#8220But, they sure took care of me, and I did get well,” he said.

Mitchell went on to compare many Americans to the three churches in the book of Revelations. He said that when a survey was made of the churches, God told the cold churches to depart from Him, while He praised the churches that were &#8220on fire” for Him.

&#8220But when He found the lukewarm churches, we know what He told them, don't we?” Mitchell said. &#8220He said that He would ‘spew them' out of His mouth because they were neither hot nor cold.”

&#8220Sometimes, we don't put enough emphasis and strength behind our beliefs,” he said. &#8220Every time I return to the United States, the first thing I want to do when I get off the plane is kiss the groundŠ.I am so thankful for our country and for our freedoms.”

Mitchell said that too many people, just like the members of the lukewarm churches, take these same freedoms for granted.

&#8220Bill O'Reilly from FOX News predicted that there would be only about a 37 percent voter turnout Nov. 7 all throughout the country. There is just too much apathy among the American people.”

&#8220If we believe and support our government, then we should exercise our right to vote and not be lukewarm,” Mitchell said. &#8220Alabama, I believe, is one of the best states in the nation, and we have a lot to be proud of.”

&#8220We're still known as the ‘Bible Belt,'” he said.

Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport addressed the luncheon and thanked the pastors for all of the work they did.

&#8220What would our communities be like if we didn't have our spiritual leaders to preach to us the word of God?” Sport asked. &#8220We need you and we appreciate you.”

Sport said that ministers work 365 days a year, and are on call 24 hours a day.

&#8220And you answer that call,” he said.

Jacky Richburg, Luverne Health and Rehab Regional Marketing Director, thanked the room filled with its employees, pastors and their spouses, in addition to Sen. Mitchell and Mayor Sport, for all of the hard work they do and for making the luncheon such a success.