Church News

Friday, December 27, 2013

Prayer concerns for 12/27

Update on the Jinrights:

Claudia took therapy two days in the hospital, was free for Christmas, and was moved to a nursing home yesterday. She has already started therapy and is doing well.

A.W. is up and down. The infection in his lungs seems to have cleared up some but he is once again retaining a lot of fluid. Any physical activities cause his heart rate to drop dangerously low and h2 is subject to passing out. That's not good at all be he needs to be able to at least sit up from time to time. We're waiting on the doctor to stop by to discuss the situation.

One of the nurses said every morning before she reports to duty, she sits and meditates and then prays for her patients and their families. She also asks for guidance and discernment for herself and those involved in treating the patients. Lots of great folks around here.

We thank you for your continued support.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Prayer concerns for 12/12

Goooooooood Afternoon Prayer Troopers!   Please see Keith's update below.  Thank you so much for your prayers! 

Pop had a fairly good night, slept for almost 3hrs, but woke up coughing almost constantly for a couple of hours. They wanted to put him on the BiPAP during the night as a precaution but they didn't want to wake him.

His heart rate is up and staying between 130 and 150 so the doc has ordered something for that. They thought he had developed A-Fib over the past couple of days but no, they left off one of his meds. His heart rate is under control now and he is resting a lot better.

He doesn't have much of an appetite but then again he had been on a liquid diet for three days so nothing sounded too good. He's starting to eat a little solid food again so he should be getting some strength back.

The Lord is good and He knows what is best. We just have to be patient and stay the course and things will work out according to His plan.

All in all, he is better than yesterday and better than the day before.

Many thanks for your prayers and support!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Prayer concerns for 12/10

We need your prayer today for Keith's dad, A.W. Jinright (Pop).  He was admitted to the UAB West last night with double pneumonia.  He is currently waiting on the doctor but he is in good spirits.  Please keep him in your prayers this week. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings

On behalf of the staff of First Presbyterian, Brenda Atkins, John Holt, Perry Phillips, Russell Hallman, Barri Pratt, myself and on behalf of the Session, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to you for your faithfulness in serving Christ in this congregation.

Crickett and I give thanks for the simple things of life - for good health, for family, for the call of God in our lives, for purpose in serving Him and for eternal life in Christ. Let us give thanks for our form of government, for those serving in our military promoting peace and fostering justice in this sinful world.

Most of all on this Thanksgiving Day, we remember that the mercy of the Lord is wide, the grace of the Lord Jesus is deep and the love of the Lord extends to all generations. He has taught us to be grateful in any and all circumstances - a tall order. Yet He has also promised that whatever valleys we tread, He goes before us each step of the way. He holds our hands and guides our feet. Thanks be to God.

We begin Advent this Sunday morning in our beautiful sanctuary adorned and prepared for the celebration of the coming of the Lord into our lives. Next year we shall be celebrating Advent in new space and with the same rich grace of our Heavenly Father. Let's make this Advent season the best we've ever known at FPC. We thank the Christmas angels who met Monday morning to prepare the sanctuary for this Advent season.

Grace and Peace,
Randy Kesler
First Presbyterian Church
Bessemer, Alabama

Prayer concerns for 11/27

Please pray for the family of Richard Shane Black (39).  He was a cousin of Vicki Latta. He passed away on Sunday and the funeral is today.  He is one of the men mentioned on the news as being found in a car in the parking lot of UAB West. 

Also, be in prayer for the family of Charles Thomas. He has been on our prayer list for some time and was a great uncle to Gracie Ann Poole and the brother of Sue Parsons (Keith's friend and co-worker). Charlie passed away on Sunday and the funeral is today.

Frank Watson received some good news - his pathology report showed everything benign. Praise the Lord! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Prayer concerns for 11/21

Frank Watson had surgery this morning to remove a small tumor in his chest.  He came through surgery and may be able to go home by 1:30 this afternoon.  His surgeon did not think it looked like cancer, but of course they will have to wait on pathology reports.


Also, A.W. Jinright is continuing to show some improvement with his breathing issues.


Please continue to keep them in your prayers.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prayer concerns for 11/19

Keith and I are asking for prayers today for Pop, A.W. Jinright.  He has been having some difficulty breathing over the last couple of days with little excertion and is on his way now for a chest xray to determine if there is fluid in his lungs.  Pop has lived with COPD for a long time and when the weather changes, this sometimes happens.  Please join me in asking our Lord for a clear xray so as to determine what course of care Pop needs to breathe better.  Also, we are trying to get an appointment with his regular doctor today so please lift up that request as well.  And finally, Keith's uncle is with Pop today while Keith is at work which is hard for Keith because he feels like he should be there with him.  Let us lift Keith up today with encouraging prayers that God is with Pop and can relieve him today for a little while.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prayer concerns for 11/14, more

Beth is Dr. Percy's niece who is in Princeton. Lung cancer has spread into brain cancer now. Please remember her as well as her family and particularly Percy.

Grace and Peace

Prayer concerns for 11/14

Charlotte Bruce, Becky Jinright's mom, has taken her radiation treatment as of Wed am and will now be sitting around glowing for the next few days.  The worse part of this whole ordeal for her is the diet she is on.  While it could be a lot more restrictive she is happy to eat some different tasting things playing with spices in place of iodized salt.  No dairy makes food prep a little dicey, but she is a trooper and now counting down until next Wednesday when she will have a scan and afterwards a BIG breakfast at the first place she comes to that WILL include a bacon biscuit I am sure!  Please continue to pray for the radiation to do its thing and for a clear scan next week.
Becky's uncle, Frank Bruce, finally heard from his prostate biopsy.  2 of the 10 samples did indicate cancer.  It is not the fastest or the slowest growing kind.  He has an appointment on Friday and they will know more then.  Please keep him in your prayers asking for minimal but effective treatment.
Also, Keith Jinright has a friend at work, Laura Silas, who is in surgery as I write.  She is having her neck operated on, removing C1, C2 and C3 and replacing them with cadaver bones.  Please lift her up to our Father in heaven who is overseeing her surgery and pray for a successful surgery and recovery.  Also bless those who donate their bodies and organs for such surgeries as then to be possible.  

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Congratulations to the Hallmans

Congratulations to Madhura and Russell Hallman on the birth of their precious daughter, Elizabeth Anjali, She was born at 5:20 am, November 9, weighting 7 lbs and 19 inches.  All three are well and we give thanks to Almighty God for his grace and blessing.  May she find her purpose in life through Jesus Christ and bring joy and peace to those around her all her life through.  May the God of new beginnings bless this family and use their lives to bring honor to the name of Christ and advance his purpose in our world.


Rev. Randolph Kesler

Friday, November 8, 2013

Prayer concerns for 11/08

Charlotte Bruce is feeling better today.  The tingling that she was experiencing due to her calcium deficiency has subsided so she's resting at home.  Thanks for your prayers and please continue them into next week as she tackles the radiation treatment.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Prayer concerns for 11/07, more

Charlotte Bruce is in need of special prayers today.   She has her radiation treatment scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week.  In prep for the shots and pills, she has had to deplete her body of iodine by her diet, eliminating iodized salt, dairy products and fish.  The idea is that once you deplete your body of iodine, the shots and pills have iodine in them and any rogue thyroid cells left in the body (that might be cancerous) will be attracted to the iodine and the radiation will kill them thus eliminating the threat.  However, her calcium is terribly low now since she has been on the diet for about 2 weeks.   She had some blood work done yesterday because she has been feeling so badly and the doc told her to eat her calcium supplements throughout the day today and take her calcium prescription.  If her calcium has not risen by tomorrow they want to put her in the hospital to give to her in an IV.   Please join me is praying that her calcium will rise today, that she will feel better and her reaction to the radiation next week will be positive.
I also understand that Justin Latta is still suffering from issues as a result of his gall bladder surgery.  They are trying to regulate with meds but he still is getting sick throughout the day and having cramps.  As you can imagine he has lost a lot of weight.  Please keep him in your prayers that the right meds will be found or if there is another issue that needs to be handled that the doctors will find it. 
I'd like to give you an update on Gracie Ann Poole.  She had mutliple surgeries last week including a trach revision, tubes in her ears replaced, GI and hernia fixes and a bronchoscopy taking cultures to see what all is growing in there to alleviate some of her issues hopefully.  As you can imagine, little sista is having a rough time after all that.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers continually, there are more surgeries upcoming.  If you are on Facebook, I recommend you go to Gracie's page, Walking By Faith with Gracie.  There are pictures and updates from her mom and you can see her sweet smile.  And a little ways down the page you can see her Happy Birthday pictures where she turned 6!  Even at 6 years old, she knows, and has known for a long time, that God holds her in His arms and gives her strength.  Be blessed by her story!

Prayer concerns for 11/07

This is a good friend of Al's and she is 4 1/2 months pregnant and is in the hospital because she is throwing up non-stop and they don't know why.  They are thinking gallbladder.  We need prayer for Stephanie and her baby.



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sympathy for the Mitchells and Cowherds

Our Christian Sympathy is extended to Mark and Rhonda Mitchell, on the death of Rhonda's brother, Jimmy Cowherd.  Arrangements are at Brown's Bessemer, Friday, November 8.  Visitation from 1-2 PM with the service at 2 PM.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Update on Bruce Cornell

Bruce went in for his first radiation treatment yesterday and we met with Dr Holladay.  Dr Holladay was very pleased and said everything is outstanding.  He is going to check his PSA every couple of weeks and that will tell us our progress.  We had our second treatment today and will continue every day for the next 7 weeks.  Doing great on the meds for the blood clots.  Praise God!  Thank you for your support and prayers.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sympathy to the Rogers and Wood families

We extend Christian Sympathy to Beverly Wood and family on the death of Woody Wood's uncle, William Rogers. The funeral will be today at 11:00 AM at Brown's in Bessemer.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Prayer requests for 10/30

Please remember Bruce Cornell in prayer. He begins his radiation treatments this week - five days a week for seven weeks.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Prayer concerns for 10/25

We are happy to announce that Leslie Romano has gotten a great report from her oncologist and Beth Barker is due to come home from The Oaks today!  Praise the Lord!


Charlotte Hamilton does NOT have a broken foot although it is still giving her some trouble.  Let us pray for healing and the easing of her discomfort.


Stacey Bennett is doing well after her shoulder surgery and has successfully made it through her first day of rehab.  Keep it up Stacey!   Work it!  Work it!  Pray for healing, strength and pain relief.


Justin Latta has not been sick the last 2 mornings so that is a great improvement!  The biopsies that were taken the first of the week have not shown anything unusual.  He has a followup with his primary doctor on Monday and they may pursue other tests.


Donna Cauldwell (Maxine's daughter) is having some difficulty with her MS.  Let us lift her up and pray for a calming of her symptoms and strengthening of her legs.


Please also remember William Rogers (Woody Wood's uncle) has been in the hospital this week.  He seems to be improving.


And also, Gracie Ann Poole has had some surgeries this week.  She will likely be in the hospital a few more days.  She is doing well (there is more detail on her blog at caring bridge).



Have a great weekend!

Love, Becky

Reminders for 10/27

There will be a Congregational Meeting on Sunday, October 27, for election of officers and approval of Terms of Call.
Please remember to bring your items for Heritage Sunday to display on our Remembrance Table, which has been set up in the Sanctuary by Beverly Wood, our Worship Chair.  You don't have to talk about these items to display them.  Perhaps you may think of a Bible, a poem, a bookmark, jewelry, or whatever calls to mind a person or event who impacted your life in Christ.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Update on Stacey

We just got word that Stacey is out of surgery.  We are grateful that everything went well.  She will go home today and start therapy on that shoulder tomorrow! 


Please pray for her strength and healing!


Barri Pratt

Director of Youth and Outreach

Prayer concerns for 10/23

Please keep Carol Lynn Marsh (Suzanne and Ernestine's Sister) in your prayers.  She went for an MRI yesterday and found she has a ruptured bicep (from physical therapy), torn ligament, possible bone spur and scar tissue in the left shoulder.  She will have surgery again on this shoulder on Wed. Oct. 30.


Ernestine Wardlow is waiting on biopsy and sample results.  Hopefully those will be available the first of next week.  She will take the last Hercpin IV on Oct. 28 and will need to take the hormone blocker for 7 to 10 years.  Please remember her this week as she awaits her results and give thanks to God for his constant care of her.


Kristi Wardlow McNeal has regained her vision back in her left eye and is able to see all colors except yellow.   She goes back to the neurologist at the eye foundation on December 7th.  Her MS doctor appointment is not until January 22, 2014.  She is numb on the left side of her face and the backside of her left ear and has a heaviness in her left arm.  Let us praise God for the restoration of Kristi's eyesight and keep her close in thought and prayer as she awaits her doctors appointments.


Justin Latta was not having a great day yesterday and he has had restless sleep and was still quite sick being unable to really function until mid-afternoon.  HOWEVER, this morning he was able to go to work and has not been sick this morning!  YEA!  Keep him on the list until they either find out what the problem is or get it controlled with medication.





Friday, October 18, 2013

updates for 10/18

I apologize in advance if I should miss anyone in this.  We are deluged with situations this week which need our prayers.  So if you find someone you know who needs our prayers not listed, please add them in and send to the rest of us.



            Bruce Cornell was admitted to Princeton yesterday with a blood clot in his lung.  He seems to feel well and they will treat him, hopefully returning home soon.



            Justin Latta we hope is improving considering his many tests from yesterday

            Beth and Wally are both making strides

            Crickett is having less pain though it seems to become worse when she over extends herself

            Charlotte Hamilton is doing okay with her shoulder but as developed a problem in her foot – pain is extreme


Upcoming surgeries or procedures

            Stacy Bennett – rotator cuff – Oct 23

            Kristi McNeal – more testing for MS

Ernestine Wardlow – continuing testing Monday, Oct 21 (endoscopy and colonoscopy); she is healing well from cancer surgery and ending her treatments the last of October

            Steve Bradley – still looking at prostate surgery probably in November



Phillip Contorno has received a clean bill of health regarding cancer.  This is an amazing story of God's love and grace through doctors and medicine under the watchful eye of the Holy Spirit.

And I must give thanks for Crickett's diagnosis which tells us she does not need any chemo or radiation or ongoing medicine related to cancer.


This is a long list – so forgive me if I've missed anyone.

ALSO - REMEMBER TO JOIN US SUNDAY FOR YOUTH SUNDAY. This promises to be an enjoyable and edifying service.  Barri has spent tireless hours in preparation with the kids.



Rev. Randolph Kesler

Prayer concerns for 10/18

Please remember Suzanne Webb's sister, Carol Webb Marsh, who is having an MRI next week. She is still having problems with one of her shoulders. She has already had two surgeries in both shoulders in the past year. She will have another surgery in this shoulder after the results of the MRI.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

updates for 10/17

Justin is home and sleeping off the sedation from this morning.  Doctor said she didn't see obvious major problems (like blockages, ruptures, etc.) but she took numerous biopsies of the esophagus, stomach, small intestines and rest of colon and will send those to lab for further testing.  She mentioned a couple of other issues, changed some of his meds and added a new one, and gave new instructions for a diet to follow for a few days.  She seems to think if we can get all these issues calmed down then his system will begin to adjust and take over. 


Thank you all for your prayers and please continue to pray for him.


Vicki Latta

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Update on Beth Barker

Beth is doing very well. She is not having to use oxygen today and her swelling is down. She's getting stronger!

Prayer concerns for 10/15

Beverly Dodson underwent a hip replacement on Monday and is going home today.  Please keep her in your prayers as she recovers and goes through therapy.  If you would like to send her a card her address:  1120 Camelot Circle, Hoover, AL 35226. 


Also, we ask that you keep Charlie Parsons in your prayers as he faces several challenges with his health.  He has to be on medication without any changes for 30 days before he can continue seeking treatments.


Finally, let us continue to hold Kristi close in prayer this week in regards to her eye.  She has begun to be able to see out of it a little, but it is still weak.  She is having an MRI tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 16th) and she is awaiting the results of her blood test which is testing for MS or Lupus.  Our Lord is close and is overseeing whatever has blocked her vision.  Let us pray for a return to normal sight and good health for Kristi.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Prayer concerns for 10/11

Vicki Latta asks us to resume our prayers for Justin.  Since his surgery he has not been able to work a full week or to be free of pain.  He has severe pain, vomiting and is unable to eat regularly.  Something else is apparently going on and he will see another gastro – doctor soon.


Rev. Randolph Kesler


Update on Charlotte Bruce

Becky's mom, Charlotte, received good news after her thyroid surgery.  She is cancer-free and doing great!  Thanks to all who have kept this sweet lady in your prayers.

We are grateful to our Sovereign God for His constant care and everlasting love!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Church Picnic and OCC

If you have not already signed up for the Church Picnic and OCC Packing Party this Sunday, October 13, after the worship service, PLEASE DO SO BY THE END OF TODAY!  
For the shoeboxes we still need small flashlights with batteries and small, soft dolls.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Update on Crickett

Crickett saw the oncologist yesterday who told her that she needs NO treatments, either chemo or radiation.  He will see her again in a year.  This is a marvelous blessing and we are grateful for your prayers and support during this ordeal and we are thankful for such a loving church family.



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Prayer concerns for 10/03

Gooooood Morning Prayer Troopers!


Wally is cancer free!  Praise be to God!  He is thinking he will go back to his house today.  He is feeling better and his pain is better too.


Please continue to keep Jean King in your prayers as she is having a difficult time with recovery from her gall bladder surgery.


Have a great day!



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Prayer concerns for 10/02

Bruce Cornell is out of surgery (seeding) and is doing fine. He ought to go home in 3-4 hours. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. 

Charlie Parsons is on our prayer list at church and is the brother of Sue Parsons who works with Keith.  Sue is the grandmother of Gracie Ann Poole.
Charlie is at Brookwood Hospital now due to fluid retention but he had previosly been at UAB where they suggested that he try to get to Emory where they could give him a "heart clip".  The procedure could help him if they can do it.  His appointment at Emory is scheduled for Oct. 14th.  However, he is very weak right now.  His kidneys are beginning to fail.  His doctor has taken him off all his diuretics because his kidneys are getting worse.
Charlie's wife is requesting prayer that Charlie doesn't retain any more fluid and that he is able to go to his appointment at Emory on the 14th.  Our Lord and Father is our Sustainer in times of trouble.  Let us lift up this family in one accord.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Prayer concerns for 10/01

Please remember Bruce Cornell in your prayers.  He will begin treatments tomorrow.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Updates for 09/30

Beth Barker has settled in at The Oaks.  Wally Barker will be going home with his daughter, Susanne, this afternoon.  Jean King is recovering from her surgery at home.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Updates for 09/27

Wally and Beth are both doing fine this afternoon.

Charlotte Bruce, Becky's mom, has gone home.


Rev. Randolph Kesler

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Update on Charlotte Bruce

Surgery went well but took a little longer than expected (no problems though). She is out of recovery and is resting and hopes to go home tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers!

Update on Beth and Wally

Current plans for Beth include remaining in the hospital until Saturday which will permit her to be at the hospital for Wallace's surgery which will take place Friday morning, the exact time still unknown till later today. Then she will be transferred to the Oaks for rehab for up to twenty-one days. So she will be well provided for while Wallace is recuperating from his surgery. Thanks for all your prayers and I want to say a great big thank you to Becky Jinright and Theresa Sanford who organized a finely tuned care system to tend to Beth and Wally's needs during this time. If I should include any other than those two in the leadership of this effort, I apologize; I just simply did not know about you. I am always gratified and amazed by the loving kindness of this congregation in being the hands of Christ in caring for family and friends in need. You are a blessed and "blessing" congregation.

Grace and Peace


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Prayer concerns for 09/26

Please remember Becky Jinright's mother, Charlotte Bruce, who will be having thyroid surgery on Thursday.

Update on Jean King

Jean has come out of surgery and is now in recovery. She's doing well and will probably go home this afternoon.


Prayer concerns for 09/25

Please remember the following in your prayers today:


Jean King, who is having gallbladder surgery this morning at St. Vincent's
Beth Barker, who is responding to treatment for pneumonia and is still at Brookwood


Wally Barker, who is scheduled for surgery this Friday at Brookwood

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Prayer concerns for 09/24

Please remember Jean King in prayer who will be having surgery tomorrow morning at St. Vincent's, Mr. Smitherman (Vicki’s dad) as he goes to the Chiropractor tomorrow, Beth Barker as she wrestles with pneumonia, and Wally Barker as he prepares for his surgery this week.


Here’s an update from Vicki on Justin:  Surgeon said this morning that he does not have a "bleed" (internal bleeding & that was a concern). He said the fact that Justin had gotten very sick on Friday after the surgery and has been sick several times since last week it has set his recovery time back some and caused more severe bruising and pain than normal.  He wants to give it a least 3 more weeks for his body to adjust and compensate for the loss of his gall bladder and if he doesn't improve they will start him on some medication that will assist with that transition.  He is to rest and maintain a bland diet and will be off work another week.  Thanks for your continued prayers for him.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Prayer request for the Latta family

Vicki Latta asked me to pass along to you all that Justin is still having some issues following his surgery.  His right side is still very sore and bruised.  He is scheduled to see the surgeon in the morning.  Also Vicki's dad, Paul Smitherman, is having severe pain in his right leg and 3 doctors have told him its severe muscle strain, but the anti-inflamatories are not helping nor are the muscle relaxers.  He is currently using crutches to get around to try and keep pressure off his leg.  He is scheduled to see a Chiropractor on Thursday. 
Please keep the Lattas and the Smithermans in your prayers and pray that both of the problems will be discovered so that they can receive some comfort.  

Prayer concerns for 09/23

Please pray for Beth Barker. She has been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Update on Building

Jim Byram tells me that the grading contractor began work on the new property on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013. We give thanks to the Lord for his goodness, for the skill, effort and exceptional persistence of the Building Committee (Jim Byram, Jack Cornelius, Ira Latham, Lesley Romano, Heinz Skolud) and to this marvelous congregation who has stood with this effort over a long period of time and in overcoming many obstacles.  We also are grateful to several different Sessions of this congregation who have been patient and faithful in the execution of their duties and ministries.  Thanks be to God for those who have provided financial support that this hymn of praise to the Lord may be sung in the lives of our people.

Rev. Randolph Kesler
First Presbyterian Church
Bessemer, AL

Friday, September 20, 2013

Prayer concerns for 09/20

Wally Barker's surgery will be next Friday, Sept 27th.  He will likely be in the hospital 3-5 days and recovering for about 3 weeks. 
Charlotte Bruce is scheduled for thyroid surgery next Thursday, Sept 26th.  She should only have to stay 1 night in the hospital. 
Please be in prayer for them as they prepare for that and for speedy recoveries!

Memorial Service for Ethel Norton George

The memorial service for Mrs. Ethel Norton George's (Barry Norton's sister) will be Saturday, September 21st at Riverchase United Methodist Church in Hoover.  There will be a visitation at 1:00 and the service will be at 3:00.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Prayer concerns for 09/18

Please remember Charlotte Hamilton who is having shoulder surgery tomorrow at St. Vincent's downtown. 

Also remember Wallace Barker who will see a surgeon this week about upcoming colon surgery.


Rev. Randolph Kesler

First Presbyterian Church

Bessemer, Alabama


update on Crickett

Crickett saw the doctor this afternoon and all good news.  Best is that the pathology report came back clear.  Doctor called it good.  Thanks for your prayers – please continue them.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Prayer concerns for 09/13

Please continue to prayer for healing, peaceful rest, and deliverance from pain for Crickett and Ernestine following their surgeries this week. They are both at home.

Praise be to our Lord and King for the encouraging report from Bruce Cornell's CT scan!

David Finn's sister is doing okay, but let us continue to lift her up in prayer.

As Perry's step-mother awaits the results of her pathology report, let us pray for peace and patience and rest in Our Father's Arms.

Justin Latta had surgery to remove his gallbladder at noon and Wally Barker has a follow up appointment from his colonoscopy later today. Please keep them close in prayer throughout the day and let us pray for best possible results and quick healing as God's Glory will be revealed in all these situations!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Prayer request for 09/13

Justin Latta will be having gallbladder surgery tomorrow around noon.  Please keep him and Vicki and Buster in your prayers! 




Arrangements for Gene Tucker

People's - Hueytown
Saturday, Sept. 14
12:30  Visitation

02:00  Funeral

Update on Crickett and Ernestine Wardlow

Both are doing well and should go home later today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sympathy for the family of Gene Tucker

We express our love and Christian sympathy to the family and friends of Gene Tucker who passed away this afternoon.

Once we know of any arrangements, we will send that information to you.


Prayer Requests for 09/11

Please remember Crickett today.  Her surgery will be early this morning.
Please also remember Ernestine Wardlow's surgery is Thursday 9/12. She has to be at St Vincent's at 5:00am and her surgery is suppose to be at 7:00am. They are saying it will be a 2 hour surgery. If everything goes well she is suppose to come home sometime that day.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Prayer Concerns for the week of 09/08

Please remember the following in your prayers this week.


Beverly Wood’s sister (Debbie Hatcher), procedure on 09/09

Crickett Kesler, surgery on 09/11

Ernestine Wardlow, surgery on 09/12

David Finn’s sister (Susan)

Perry Phillips’ step-mom (Linda)

Vicki Latta’s dad (Mr. Smitherman)

Gene Tucker (currently at Ginger’s home)

Ken Ware (currently at home)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Prayer Request for Gene Tucker

Please remember Gene Tucker and his family, who has just recently been in the hospital. He is at home now - the doctors can't do anything more for him. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Update on Crickett

Crickett saw the doctor Tuesday.  The antibiotics have reduced the infection somewhat.  He gave her a second round of them and will see her next week to monitor the progress.  The surgery will be scheduled when he feels that the infection is gone. Thanks for your prayers for her in this situation.  We look forward to being back at work on Sept 16 when Sabbatical ends.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sympathy for the Norton family

Our Christian love and sympathy go out to Barry and Lavada Norton and Barri and Ted Pratt in the loss of Barry's older sister, Ethel who died yesterday.  She suffered from a short illness and now is at peace

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Prayer requests for August 22

Please keep Crickett in your prayers as she is being treated for an ongoing infection.  No other surgeries or treatments can begin until this infection is resolved. She will be going to see her doctor again next Tuesday. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sympathy for the family of JoAnn Kierce

Our Christian Sympathy is extended to the family and friends of JoAnn Kierce, who passed away this morning. 

There will be a graveside service at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Greenville, AL this Sunday, August 25, at 4:00 PM.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Arrangements for Grace Higginbotham

Peoples Chapel Hueytown on Thursday
Visitation at 10 AM
Service at 11 AM
Burial at Highland's


Monday, August 19, 2013

Prayer Concerns for August 19

Goooooood Morning Prayer Troopers!

I have an update on our Crickett.  Her oncologist believes that a mastectomy is the best option.  At the present time, it will not need to be a radical mastectomy, but that will be confirmed later.  Crickett goes back to her surgeon next Tuesday the 27th.  Expected date for mastectomy right now is first week in September.  Let us pray that no further cancer is found so that she will not need a radical mastectomy and that she will continue to heal from the last surgery she had.  Also let us continue to hold her and Randy close in our hearts and prayers and pray for both of their strength and victory over their illnesses.

Also, Julie Bradley has another court appearance tomorrow. Let us continue to pray for her strength and victory over her situation as well.

Keep the family of Grace Higginbotham in your prayers as she has recongnized her final and eternal victory.  I understand the funeral will be Thursday, but more information will be forthcoming.

Remember, as friends and family and children of God, no one fights alone!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Prayer Concerns for August 12

Grace made it through the night but remains unresponsive.

Barri Norton's sister Ethel (in South Carolina) is also near death this morning.

Thank you for your faithful prayers.

Randy Kesler
First Presbyterian Church
Bessemer, Al, 35020

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Update on Grace Higginbotham

I'm told you received word this morning of Grace's worsening condition.  Having talked to Michael (her son) this evening, she is not expected to live through the night. You may not know it, but Grace transferred her membership to First Pres in Tuscaloosa and Charlie Durham, her pastor now, will be handling the service.

I can tell you that Peoples' Funeral Home in Hueytown will handle the arrangements.  I'll keep you informed as word comes.

Grace is so sweet, kind and loving.  Heaven will be enriched with her presence.  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Randy Kesler
First Presbyterian Church
Bessemer, Al, 35020

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Prayer Concerns for August 1

Let us remember Dr. Holt this morning as he is recovering from some skin cancer surgery done yesterday.

Also, Crickett's pathology report shows they did not find cancer but they did find some DCIS cells which are precancerous.  More surgery will be required once she heals from last week's surgery.  With the second surgery, the doctors will remove the DCIS cells and test them.  If they still indicate pre-cancerous, she will need to have a mastectomy.   An uneasy wait both for the second surgery and the results forthcoming so please lift her up and ask for strength and peace to encompass her.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

prayer request for Austin Marino

Pray warriors Just found out that old church members, Eddie and Vickie Snider's grandson, Austin Marino was in a bad motorcycle wreck, prayers for him and his family.

Love and prayers,

prayers for July 30

Please remember Julie Bradley throughout the day today but especially at 1:15 which is her scheduled time for her and her attorney to meet with the Shelby County mental health judge.   The Lord will be there too!  :)

Update on Beth Black:  She is still unconscious but is responding to some external stimuli.  The doctors still don't know the extent of her head trauma and are waiting for her to wake up.   Please include her in your prayers and ask for God's healing to continue and strength for the family to continue to care for her in the ways needed while she is sleeping.

Let me give you also a brief update on Gracie Poole.  She and her parents went to Houston to meet with the doctors there regarding her lung transplant.  She made a big impact on the doctors and nurses there, stole their hearts I understand!  The relocation to Houston does not have to happen just yet.  The doctors there and here in B'ham are in communication and working together for the best care for Gracie. 

This is from Gracie's mom's blog:

She is definitely a lung transplant candidate-however they feel it's too soon for her to be put on the waiting list. I honestly was shocked by that conclusion! They say she needs to be in the best possible physical shape and also weaned down off of her ventilator and oxygen as much as possible, if possible. They also want us to discontinue her ivig infusions-which are to boost her immune system-to see how her bodies levels are on its own now-she hasn't been without these infusions for 3 years now. She is on the bare minimum settings on her ventilator anyway and has been for some time now. She has been on 1 1/2 liters of extra O2 for a long time now, so we started watching her sats and turned down her O2 and she has been without any extra O2 for two shop days now-that is also a first! So this week she will start boot camp, for lack of a better term. HA she will have Extra PT and try to beef up her muscles and endurance as much as she can tolerate.

So you see they have a lot to do and just so you understand the situation, the tests in Houston concluded that Gracie's lungs are performing at an unsatisfying rate.  She has part of one of her lungs removed some time ago and now much of the lung she has left is black and nonfunctioning.  Her doctor said that if you were to put both her lungs together, they would be functioning at just under 50%.  Yet Gracie still enjoys her play time and her siblings and all that she is able.  Their family gives all the credit to God.  And the other thing is Gracie is well aware that God is right there with her and will tell you so!


Friday, July 26, 2013

Arrangements for Lee Grider

Our Christian sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Lee Grider, on his death. Visitation & service are today at Peoples Chapel in Hueytown. Visitation is at 1:00 PM and the service at 2:00 PM.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Congratulations to Jeff Obert

Congratulations to Jeff Obert on the birth of a new grandson, Lane Powell, born this afternoon. Congratulations also to proud parents, Eva Jean Powell and her husband. Lane was 7 lbs 8 oz and 20 inches long.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Update on Crickett

Crickett had surgery this morning for cysts in the breasts. The doctors think everything is fine and she'll be going home this afternoon.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Prayer Request for Tom Barnes

Please pray for Tom Barnes, who is a former member. He will be having a stent removed this Friday and has been told that the chances of a good outcome are very low.

Friday, June 14, 2013

youth yard sale and SVPC

Dear Church Family,

Please remember our youth sponsored yard sale Saturday at 7:00 AM and lasting until..........we are guessing until noon-ish. Join us at Shepherd of the Valley for some great buys for a great project! We would love to shop and visit with YOU!

The proceeds from this yard sale will go to the Property Pay-off Project from our youth. Thank you for helping them to make this sale a success!

Don't forget that The Way will NOT meet Sunday evening so we can share in Father's Day with our family and friends. See you back there on June 23rd as we laugh with The Beverly Hillbillies and study a great scripture lesson and life applications.

Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach
First Presbyterian Church
Bessemer, Alabama

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Youth Car Wash CANCELLED

The weather has caused us to cancel our car wash today. It looks like rain and thunderstorms will be passing through all day, so we've decided the safest thing is to cancel.

Thank you for your support!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Arrangements for Mary Sue Caldwell

Arrnage for Mary Sue Caldwell are as follows:
Thursday, May 16
Visitation 12:30 at McCalla Funeral Home
Graveside 02:00 at Highland Memorial Gardens

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sympathy to Dominga Toner

We extend our Christian Sympathy to Dominga Toner and family on the death of her brother-in-law, Mickey (Hubert Floyd Moss, III), yesterday morning. The service is Tuesday in Montgomery. Please remember Dominga and Heinz as they travel to Montgomery for the funeral.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Helen Holmes

Helen went home this early morning. We are glad for her journey and
pilgrimage. Arrangements are listed below. Thank you for your
continued prayers.

In Christ,

Sunday Afternoon February 3, 2013
Visitation is 2pm at Berney Points Baptist Church off the Alford Ave
exit on I-65 in Hoover.
Funeral will follow at 3pm in the church.
Burial will be at Elmwood Monday morning at 10:00am.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, February 3rd

We will not have youth this Sunday evening, February 3rd.

Since we will not be having SVPC evening worship and hand bell
practice and the Presbyterian Women quarterly meeting will be right
after worship, this should help simplify for some of you. I know some
of you will be ALL about watching the Super Bowl AND trying to get
homework done!!

I hate not meeting 2 weeks in a row so I sure hope I will see you at
Sunday school this week.

We will be collecting for Souper Bowl of Caring again immediately
following worship. Thanks for helping with this. We collected over
$300.00 last week from this very giving congregation. That should be
a nice gift to our local Meals on Wheels and the wonderful ministry
they lead. Did you look us up on their website?

(Also, do you have March 2nd marked off for us hosting the Greatest
Generation Celebration? I need to hear from you on that, please.)

Thanks and love,
Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach

Update on Eugene Latta

I wanted to just update everyone about my father-in-law's (Eugene
Latta) condition. The hospice nurse was out today and she said he is
declining rapidly. The cancer is now in his bones, liver, brain, and
possibly other organs. He is now on morphine for the pain and he is
experiencing some personality changes(nurse did say this was normal).
She said that he would be wheel chair bound soon and that probably
within a week or two he will start having trouble remembering his
family. (if at all). Please continue to pray for him and our family.


Vicki Latta

Saturday, January 26, 2013

update on Helen Holmes

Please say a special prayer for the Holmes family this morning.  Helen is not very responsive.  No extraordinary measures will be taken for her except for the prayers of the faithful of the Lord.  Please remember Mike and Donna and their family.


Friday, January 25, 2013

update on Phillip Contorno

To Special Friends & Church Family,

Everyone has been waiting to know about Phillip's test.  It wasn't totally what we were praying for, but God is still Blessing us!!!  Small marble size recurrence in right lung, but the rest of the body was CLEAR!!! (We saw Pet Scan) PRAISE GOD!!!

Dr. Y recommends Cyber Knife treatment for this one spot.  This is a noninvasive non surgery treatment.
It is a robotic arm that precisely identifies tumor location and delivers high beams of radiation with      extreme accuracy.  Dr. Y says 99.9 % he feels this will take care of this spot!!!  Will see radiologist next Tuesday and find out more about treatment and when to start.




Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dear Church Family,

This Sunday morning in worship we will take just a moment to honor our own Sarah Southerland.  Sarah graduated from Auburn University in December and we want to give her our congratulations and well-wishes!

Also, immediately following worship our youth will be collecting for Souper Bowl of Caring.  Our First Presbyterian youth have taken part for years in this time of collective sharing all across America.  This year we will give our monetary donations to our local Meals on Wheels, a very special ministry of this church. No food items will be gathered for this offering.  We will also have another chance for you to give next Sunday, February 3rd. Thank you for always being so giving in the name of Christ.

Then, also on this Sunday, January 27th, we will have a lunch bunch.  If you have not turned in your reservations, please call the church office if you plan on joining us.  We will enjoy a wonderful meal together, a time of fellowship, and hear from our elders about their ministry teams and their goals for the coming year.

We will NOT be having The Way worship services out at Shepherd of the Valley this Sunday evening since the lunch bunch keeps us later in the afternoon.  Also, we will NOT have those SVPC services on February 3rd due to the Super Bowl game.  We hope this will help you in your planning and scheduling for your family.

Let's all be together, sisters and brothers, this Lord's Day in worship of His Holiness and Grace!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Greatest Generation Celebration request

Dear Friends,

Our January newsletter included an article about an upcoming event that the youth of our church are planning.  I hope you read it and are ready to do some jitter-bugging!  We will be celebrating our church members, family, and friends who are part of The Greatest Generation and we would appreciate your help in these efforts.

In case you did not remember the details from the newsletter, here is an excerpt: 
Do you remember The Great Depression, World War II, Citizen Kane, Glenn Miller, gas rationing, scrap drives and Fireside Chats?

If so, then you are invited to a party in YOUR honor!  Our youth at First Presbyterian would like to honor and salute you if you were born before 1946 or if you are part of what our nation considers its "Greatest Generation."

We will have good music – (REAL music, like you remember!) great food, a little dancing, and fellowship to celebrate all that you have given to us through your sacrifice and patriotism.

The entire congregation is invited to this time of celebration on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 11:30.

The Fellowship Team is on board for helping with the lunch and other food items.  Russell is learning about the Andrew Sisters and other amazing music. Randy is sharpening up his interview techniques so we can find out some wonderful details of those exciting and trying days in our nation's history.  

Could you play a part in this very special celebration?  We would love to have you help in honoring these great folk!  If you are interested, please, just give me a call (church 424-3950, cell 914-7034, home 425-7325) or an email and then we can talk more details as our team comes together.

Your efforts will greatly bless those who have blessed us so very much!

Thank you,
Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach

Presbytery retreats and camps

Hello, one and all!!!

I am attaching two flyers from the presbytery about youth camps and retreats for your information. If anyone is interested, please let me

The senior high retreat coming up very quickly in February, is for 9-12th graders, and is at Camp McDowell. I will not be able to attend but anyone who would like to could just let me know and we can chat.

Have a great week!

Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach


SLPYC Senior High Winter Retreat at Camp McDowell

What: Sr. High Winter Retreat

When: February 1-3, 2013

Time: Sunday, 11 am (after 10 am Worship)

Cost: $85.00 - A $10.00 late fee will be charged after January 28.

2013 Living River Summer Camp Schedule

Elementary Camp @ Rolling Hills, completed 2 - 5 grade, June 2 - 7

Middle School Camp @ Rolling Hills, completed 6 - 8 grade, June 9 – 14

Discovery Camp @ Rolling Hills, completed 4 - 8 grade, June 16 - 21

Senior High Camp @ 4-H Center, completed 9 - 12 grade, June 23 - 28

You & Me @ 4 -H Center, completed 5K - 2 grade, June 24 - 29


~All camps begin Sunday afternoon and run through Friday afternoon except You & Me.~

Camp Committee is looking for Camp Co-Directors. If you are interested or have a suggestion, please contact Robert Hay at 205-978-0320 or

Sunday, January 20, 2013

update on Bradleys and Sumner

Foster and Ann Bradley along with Jimmie Lou Sumner on their way to Atlanta Sunday morning had an automobile accident.  They have been to the hospital and are now on their way home to Birmingham.  They will hurt from seat belt burns and air bag deployment for a while and Jimmie Lou has a broken hand.  Other than this they are well. Kathy is with them and helping them on the return trip.  They ask us to thank the Lord for the blessing of not being injured more than they were.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

final details on Snow Mountain

We will leave from Shepherd of the Valley in McCalla in the church van at 7:00 am on Saturday, January 19th.  That is THIS SATURDAY!  We are guessing that we will be back by 8:00 pm.  Your student will call you when we get on the road and know a more specific time.

Please have plenty of extra dry clothes and socks with you.  Extra shoes would even be a good idea!  They suggest water resistant clothes including your boots and gloves. 

You may want to bring sunglasses for the glare of the snow but you will need to have them on a string of some sort, I would think.

I will need your signed permission slipIf you are bringing a guest please make sure you have theirs with you that morning!!!! The only one I have so far is Caroline's.  The form is attached to this email again.

We will stop at some point for a little breakfast but I do not know what time or where so if you need food early, please eat something before you leave home.

I will have some little snacks and waters on the van.

You will need money for that breakfast and for lunch and supper.  You will also need money for snacks, hot chocolate, etc. at the park and that is never cheap.  The S'mores packets you can buy for the fire are $5.00.  There are also gift shops so you know what that means!  A trip to a theme park can be expensive so be sure your student knows how much you want her/him to spend.

Here is the Snow Mountain website link if you would like to check it out some more.

Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions. 

I am so excited that we have been given this day together to share in the wonder of faith family enjoying God's creation.  I am thankful that our church is funding this trip and that we have the health in our bodies to do this!  Thanks to all you adults who are giving up your Saturday to go with us!  You are a treasure!

Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach