LBWCC again offers free labor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 16, 2017

It may be more than a month away, but Crossover Ministry is looking for walkers, runners and supporters for their annual Brother Hartley Faith 5K.

The event is slated for April 1 at Frank Jackson State Park in Opp.

“We need runners and walkers,” said organizer Matt Hickman. “If you don’t feel like running and walking, just come buy a shirt or hold a sign of encouragement. Come encourage others as they push themselves to the finish line.”

The cost to enter is $20 for preregistration and includes a T-shirt, or $25 the day of the race.

“We will also be selling hamburger plates hot off the grill,” Hickman said.

The race will begin at 9 a.m., with an 8:15 a.m. registration.

“Pre-ordering T-shirts and pre-registration would help us out a lot,” he said.

There will also be a bouncy house, live music and more.

The door prize for the day will be a 65-quart Yeti cooler donated by Marvin’s.

The race is in honor of Gerald Hartley, who was a minister, veteran and friend.

“We do this to honor his service to the Lord not only at Crossover, but throughout the community,” Crossover Director Todd Sasser said. “He was the ROTC instructor at Enterprise High School and it’s well-known that he brought the bluebirds back to the area by building bluebird boxes. We want him to be remembered most for his love for the Lord and service to the Lord.”

Hartley served as ROTC instructor for 11 years, and served in the Army for 20 years, making his way up to a CW3. He served in Vietnam and Korea.

Hickman said he knew Hartley as a kid.

“My dad was the band director at Enterprise High School,” he said. “I used to sit there and talk to him. I got to know him and see him. He would always tell me, ‘Matt, you always have to keep your faith.’”

Hickman said that Hartley worked until his last days.

“It was sad, but good to see him come to work,” he said. “He used a cane.”

Hickman said that he and Sasser were able to spend some of Hartley’s last hours with him.

“Todd told me, ‘We’ve got to go see Bro. Hartley.’ Me and Todd laid in the bed with him and prayed with him,” he said. “That was our biggest blessing. We have that memory with him and one day we’ll see him again.”

He died on Nov. 1, 2014. He was survived by his wife, Iris, and three daughters, Leslie Ricaud, Dianna Vallely and Ruthanne Tate. To sign up for the race, call (334) 493-1030.