Talladega FUMC holds Holy Week services
by CHRIS NORWOOD
The long-time Talladega tradition of noon Holy Week services continues this year at First United Methodist Church. This year’s special musical guests include Jim Roberts (organist, Anniston First), Gail Perkins (Trinity UMC), Bryan Wood (Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center, Bemiston Baptist), Rev. Minnie Bailey and Deborah Wordlaw (Anniston). Talladega First UMC will offer complimentary meals daily for those attending worship. Everyone is welcome.

Monday’s guest speaker will be Rev. Barbara Dickerson Embry. She is a native of Talladega and founding pastor of Christ Deliverance Christian Center as well as Chaplain for Citizens Baptist Medical Center. Embry is married to Bobby Embry, the mother of twins, grandmother of three and a proud great-grandmother. Embry spends time in many civic and religious venues.

On Tuesday, Rev. Ted Peterson will speak. Peterson is a retired UMC pastor (42 years), who most recently served the North Alabama Conference as pastor of Talladega First, Killen (Florence area) and Fairfield (Birmingham). Peterson retired last June and currently lives in Helena with his wife of 18 years, Joyce. He finds great joy working with the church in Helena, singing in the choir, and “bugging the preacher.” Over the last 15 years Peterson worked extensively with the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

Wednesday’s speaker, Rev. Dr. Thomas R. Smith, is a retired UMC pastor, but continues to serve the Cheaha District part-time. Smith served 29 years in the U.S. Army as chaplain, rising to the rank of colonel. His final assignments were all in Washington, DC, including chaplain to the Pentagon community, member of the senior staff in the Office of the Chief of Chaplains, and Chief of Pastoral Care at Walter Reed Medical Center. Post-military, Smith became executive director and CEO of the International Center for the Integration of Health and Spirituality in Rockville, Md., and Senior Scholar in the Interfaith Health Program at Emory University. Smith and his wife of 50 years, Carolyn, live in Oxford. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.

Thursday’s guest is Angel Rait, who is a Board Representative for the Cheaha Cluster of the Emmaus Community and serves as Bridge coordinator at Anniston First UMC, where she and Stirling, her husband of 35 years, are long-time members. Rait previously served Anniston First as director of Children’s Ministries and director of Senior Ministries. She is a lay speaker and an event speaker on Knitting for Peace (creator and coordinator) and Caregiving for Family Members with Alzheimers. The Raits live in Oxford, have two daughters, and a grandchild on the way.

The Good Friday speaker will be Rev. Minnie Bailey, who currently serves the North Alabama Conference as pastor of Talladega First, where she also served as Student Associate Pastor from 2004-07. Prior to pastoral ministry, Bailey (soprano) ministered extensively in church and performed in venues such as opera and community theatre. Minnie is a two-time winner of her division at the National Association of Teachers of Singing and, as a senior at the University of Alabama, was one of three students chosen to represent the U.S. in Costa Rica. On Wednesday Bailey will perform Pie Jesu from Faure’s Requiem with Jim Roberts. She has one daughter, three grandchildren, and lives in Talladega with her husband, Howell.

First United Methodist Church is located at 400 East Street South in Talladega.

© 2013