Posts filed under ‘Church’

Every Man Needs to be Courageous

            No matter the failures or hurts of your past, you can decide today to be a man of honor, a father of faith, and a husband of integrity.  That’s the core message of “Courageous,” last weekend’s biggest new movie and the fourth and latest production from Provident Films and Sherwood Pictures, affiliated with Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia (previous films include Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof).

An unlikely band of four sheriff’s deputies and an unemployed Hispanic form an odd alliance of friends who battle similar challenges from very different backgrounds and circumstances: three of the guys are married with kids, one is divorced, and one fathered a daughter to a cheerleader during recently completed college days.

Alex Kendrick starred in, directed, and produced the movie, as he has the other three of Sherwood’s productions.  He plays Adam, a deputy whose family faces a tragic loss (I didn’t know this before the movie, so I don’t want to ruin it for you), one which God uses in his life to challenge his priorities, values, and lifestyle.  In the wake of his own personal deep Bible study on families, particularly fathering, Adam not only makes a fresh commitment to God in the form of a resolution to his family, but asks other men in his life to hold him accountable for upholding his commitments as well.

With more than enough action, thrills, and real-life drama to suit the most over-active testosterone-drenched viewer, yet sufficient sweetness and tenderness to dampen the eyes of the most hardened guy in the theater, this movie is not for wimps – Paula cried all the way through it and I had my share of misty-eyed, lumpy throat moments, some of which extended way beyond my comfort level.

These Dougherty County cops bust up gangs, arrest hardened thieves, save the innocent, witness police abuse, and see the seedier side of life.  Armed with statistics that undeniably connect fatherlessness in the home with a heightened propensity toward crime, the men in the story begin a campaign that is sweeping the nation – a campaign returning fathers to their Biblical role of being responsible for self and family in a Christ-honoring way.

The production quality of this movie is far beyond the quality of the previous ever-improving films Sherwood has made.  The viewer quickly loses sight of the fact that the entire cast, crew, wardrobe, make-up, and production personnel are all amateur, church-going believers out on a mission to change the world through the power of Jesus Christ.  There are a lot of good, wholesome, and clean movies you could watch with your family this year, but only one is likely to actually bring your family closer to each other and to God.

Christ-followers often complain of the void of morality and character in the entertainment world.  The only way to change that is to support worthy products like this one. Don’t let Courageous slip through your fingers!  It is currently showing at all area theaters.  For more info, click

Calvin Kelly







October 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

Labor of Love Weekend Work

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Just wanted to let you know about the work schedule for this weekend at the Henderson Home in Ensley.  In addition to the LONG AWAITED AND GREAT day of college football beginning (of course there is a BIG game on Thursday night!!!), we will be working at the Henderson home.  It’s a holiday weekend and it is VERY ok to have something else to do that doesn’t involve coming to Ensley. But you will be missed. Many have been so faithful. Much has been accomplished because of your commitment to God’s calling you to His project.

I was sitting in Bible study tonight about Jonah and how his life was interrupted by God’s calling and timing. The leader said “God’s interruptions are privileges”.  I thought about Cornelius and Lettecia, we can pray they will come to see the events of April 27th as a privilege.  And then I thought about you, about this team, lives interrupted by God’s calling to rebuild this home and this family. It is a privilege, I needed God’s reminder tonight. Anyway, sorry for the sermonette. Your help is needed.

Cornelius and Leticia Henderson
4401 Avenue K Ensley
Birmingham, Alabama 35208

Henderson Project Work Schedule:

Wednesday (8-31)  Huffman Baptist team will be working, if anyone would like to join them.

Friday (9-2)  Joe will be working, same schedule, leave the church at 6:30am

Saturday – leave church at 6:30 or meet at the house – we’ll at least have a radio to listen to the games. Remember AL plays at home around 11:30 so traffic might be heavier.

Sunday – after church, meet at house about 1:30pm

Monday –  leave church at 6:30 or meet at the house

Work to be done:

  • Sheetrock,
  • LOTS of prep work for painting,
  • paint,
  • install a/c,
  • insulate attic,
  • replace basement door

FYI – Lowes has been very generous allowing supplies to be purchased at cost.  Thanks to manager Larry White.
Rainbow Paint on 280, also very generously, is donating some paint and giving a large discount on additional paint. Thanks to manager,  Ricky Germany.

Please let me know what days/times you have interest in serving.

In Him,
delana long

August 31, 2011 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

Henderson Disaster Rebuild Project

Location: 4401 Ave K Ensley, 35208

Friday, August 19 – Working on cleaning and improving the yard (cutting grass, weed-eating, etc.)  For schedule & details on how you can help contact Andy Easley |

Saturday, August 20 –  Leave from the church at 6:30am or meet at the house.  Flexible schedule, just work as long as you can. Please let us know if you will be coming.  (Joe & Delana Long | 205-995-8714 |


  • work gloves and any personal items you want to have, like box cutter, tape measure, hammer, sunscreen, hat, etc.  We will have the construction trailer on site so most tools will be provided.
  •  lunch or plan to get a sandwich at Subway, McDonalds, etc. Water and Gatorade provided.

On the work agenda for Saturday:

  • Insulation (wear a long sleeve shirt)
  • Begin hanging drywall
  • Continue painting… side, back and foundation block (almost done).
  • General clean up, interior & exterior

We are making such great progress.  You guys are so very faithful. We all have many hats and activities to juggle.  What an privilege to work along side you all!!! Remember the Henderson family in your prayers.  May they see God glorified in our work and may this house truly be a “home”.

The full story for newcomers to the project:

The Henderson home is located in Ensley Highlands, a nice neighborhood with sidewalks and well kept yards. The home was severely damaged in the morning storm on April 27th. A HUGE tree fell in the center of the house, crushing roof, rafters, and through the floor.  Thankfully, the family slept in rooms on each end of the house. No one was injured, but of course water damage resulted to sheetrock, electrical wiring, and then a/c unit has been vandalized. The family of 5 are currently living in an apartment.

Joe and other men on a chain saw crew met Cornelius when they were called to cut the tree.  They felt God was calling them to make an effort to help this family.  So several weeks ago a group from Valleydale and friends began the rebuilding process.  The middle section of the roof had to be rebuild and the entire roof shingled. This has been our major focus to get the house dried in.  The exterior is now almost fully painted and progress is being made on re-wiring the entire house. Several new windows have been installed.

Here’s a list work to be done to complete the project, obviously funding will be a factor.  The family qualified for some FEMA money and as a BBA-Metro Changers project which will cover the roof, exterior painting and wiring.

  • (DONE) Reconstruct the roof rafters and decking
  • (DONE) Replace old shingles with new
  • (85% DONE) Exterior painting – lots of prep work, scraping, repair, caulking
  • (85% DONE) Electrical wiring
  • Insulation
  • Sheetrock repair – wall and ceiling
  • (DONE) floor repair – large limb through floor, subfloor and hardwood
  • interior painting
  • hardwood refinishing
  • landscaping

If you feel God leading to be involved in any of these projects, your assistance would be welcomed and appreciated. It’s been a great experience to work with fellow believers.  Just let us know and we’ll work out the details.

Project Leaders: Joe & Delana Long | 205-995-8714 |


August 17, 2011 at 5:13 pm Leave a comment

Henderson Disaster Rebuild Project

We plan to work this coming Saturday, July 30th, but will NOT work on Sat. Aug, 6th. Leave from the church at 6:30am or meet at the house (4401 Ave K Ensley, 35208).  Flexible schedule, just work as long as you can.


  • work gloves and any personal items you want to have, like box cutter, tape measure, hammer, sunscreen, hat, etc.  We will have the construction trailer on site.
  •  lunch or plan to get a sandwich at Subway, McDonalds, etc. Water and Gatorade provided.

On the work agenda:
Continue with wiring
Phone wiring
Scrape back & right side of house – using plastic to catch paint chips
Continue painting, sides and back.
General clean up, especially in the back yard.

We are making such great progress.  You guys are so very faithful. We all have many hats and activities to juggle.  What an privilege to work along side you all!!! Remember the Henderson family in your prayers.  May they see God glorified in our work and may this house truly be a “home”.

July 26, 2011 at 9:46 pm Leave a comment



Delana Long, an active Valleydale member has begun serving as our Volunteer Disaster Recovery Champion. She will be helping facilitate opportunities for our faith family to “Serve the World” right here in Birmingham among so many needy families. If you have thoughts or ideas about ways you would like to contribute to this effort in time or resources, contact Delana:


FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS: Make checks payable to Valleydale Church with Tornado Response in the memo line and we will utilize these funds in response to helping families recover from this disaster. Many families were completely uninsured or severely underinsured and will need assistance to repair or rebuild their homes.

GO: Current Places to Serve…

THE CHRISTIAN SERVICE MISSION (CSM): Receiving, sorting and distributing donated supplies (especially need weekday volunteers) | Weekdays & Saturdays: 8am – 5pm at the CSM | 3600 3rd Ave. South, Birmingham, Al 35222 | 205-252-9906 | Just show up and you’ll be directed how to help. Park across the street. Great place for families to serve together!


The Christian Community is gathering for the purpose of seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ through disaster recovery… inspiring! Certainly the need is great among so many families who have experienced loss, our Heavenly Father has unlimited resources to bring healing and hope, and the people of God have demonstrated a deep desire to serve this community in the name of Jesus… resulting in miracle after miracle (as we heard so powerfully at our initial meeting). The church can truly celebrate how Jehovah God is working through her diverse faces with varied gifts, working together in unity meeting the physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual needs of those seeking to rebuild their lives. Praise the Lord! I have heard from so many of you about your interest in and commitment to this process. God only knows where this will lead all of us and how this process will take shape enabling us to, in a much greater way than we could do alone, show forth the love and compassion of our Lord. The collective witness to Metro Birmingham and Jefferson County will be powerful if we continue linking ourselves together under the common banner of loving God and loving our neighbor.

Christian volunteers are needed now to establish work groups for the purposes of:

Volunteer Management

Donations Management

Construction Management

Disaster Case Management

Financial Management

Spiritual/Emotional Care Management

Communications Management



Shades Mountain Baptist Church | (205) 822-1670

2017 Columbiana Road, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216

As God gifted and equipped the craftsmen to build the magnificent temple in Solomon’s day in a remarkable way, many believe He has been preparing His church in Birmingham for a similar “magnificent” task in this day. At this meeting we will begin the process of clarifying our purpose and organizing work groups, which will be the vehicle of moving this effort forward. Extend the call to your Christian friends and neighbors… for God’s people to use what He has gifted them with and bring them with you to the meeting. Filling these work groups with committed and qualified people is critical to the success of this effort.



Birmingham’s Faith-Based Community, Corporations & Area Businesses have joined to provide Christmas in July!

Event: Christmas in July

Date: Saturday, July 16, 2011

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location: Wylam Park

(across the street from Wylam Elementary School, Birmingham, AL)


PRAY… please don’t forget to pray!

1. Pray for God’s favor and guidance in the coordination of the church’s collective response to this disaster.

2. Pray for leaders to emerge for this effort, dependent on the Lord and guided by His hand.

3. Pray for a connection to be made between the families needing help and the churches wanting to serve.

4. Pray for God to grant divine wisdom for Saint Green and others who are working to coordinate believers across our city.

For more information contact:

Saint Green

Servant Mobilization Pastor at Valleydale Church

On assignment with the Birmingham Baptist Association for Disaster Recovery

VC Office: 205-991-5282 |

BBA Office: 205-599-3245 ||

June 29, 2011 at 5:33 pm Leave a comment

A Test of Faith, A Sigh of Relief

After Jesus uttered those famous words, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,” Scripture says “he placed his hands on them,” as a show of affection and affirmation (Mt. 19:14-15; Mk. 10:13-16; Lk. 18:15-17).

Many of us grew up singing, “red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Indeed He does.

He also has harsh words for those who mislead a child spiritually (Mt. 18:4; Mk. 9:33-37; Lk. 9:46-48). Jesus said we are to come to him with the innocence and naiveté of  little children.

I do not entirely understand faith, or prayer, or God’s will – why God does this or that, why he honors great faith and then seemingly doesn’t require any faith at all.  It’s a mystery of the Christian life, as we discussed last Sunday.   But today, God answered a five-year prayer for our family.

For the past five years, our daughter Alissa and her husband (then fiancé), Joey, have been embroiled in the stressful woes of a previous marriage and children split between two parents.  These two home environments have had, and continue to exhibit significant differences in the spiritual guidance, moral instruction, and overall welfare provided to these two children.

As you might expect, these differences have led to difficulties, some of which have affected some of you.  While many of you might have been unaware of these anxiety-producing tensions, others of you have prayed faithfully and consistently for God to intervene and change the surroundings of two boys, bringing them into a more stable and consistent home environment.

Today, a significant decision was announced by a Jefferson County judge.  Joey and Alissa Thornell have been awarded sole custody of nine-year-old Brycen and six-year-old Aaron.  You may have seen these munchkins around Valleydale. Since late February, they have been staying with Joey and Alissa and have been actively participating at Valleydale.

Alissa and Joey join Paula and me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to you for your patience and support during the last five years of this ordeal.  Your words of encouragement and acts of kindness can never be repaid any more than you faithful prayers can be.  Truly we are grateful from the core of our beings.  While tensions will continue, the daily stress of uncertainty has been settled for a while.

The irony of God’s leadership in the timing of my preaching continues to amaze and amuse me.  As I finalize preparations for this Sunday’s message on the myth that Christian homes always produce God-fearing and Christ-honoring children, I’m filled with the hope that the Thornell home will be God’s provision for two young and shapeable hearts.  While He does not guarantee the spiritual maturity of any of our kids, may He honor Alissa and Joey’s efforts to be the best Christian parents they can be.


From a grateful pastor and wife,


Calvin and Paula Kelly

June 15, 2011 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

Saint Green: True Servant Assumes Exciting New Role

Valleydale is investing heavily in the metro Birmingham tornado recovery.  In addition to the dozens of teams and individuals who have already done clean up work, our church is sending out one of our own pastors on “temporary assignment” with the Birmingham Baptist Association, an alliance of 140 area Baptist churches, to specifically aid in disaster recovery.

Rev. Saint Green began service on June 6, as the “Disaster Recovery Coordinator” for the BBA, a position he will hold for approximately one year in addition to continued limited duties as Servant Mobilization Pastor at Valleydale.  Saint’s servant heart has become even more evident that normal in the wake of the April 27 tornados that ravaged our area, our state, and through out the Southeast.  Since the night of the storms, Saint has served as Valleydale’s point person for disaster relief without anyone’s request or prodding. He has spent countless hours calling church members, discovering needs, and updating our membership via Twitter and this blog, often at great personal sacrifice.

In a creative plan, Valleydale now has the opportunity to share Saint and his expertise with our entire area and give even more to this massive, multi-year recovery effort. This essentially formalizes what Saint has been doing as a volunteer coordinator for the BBA ever since the tornados struck. Saint will retain his full time employment as Servant Mobilization Pastor at Valleydale, but will re-direct up to eighty per cent of his efforts toward the metro area’s recovery efforts. In essence, he will be “on loan” to the BBA almost full time for tornado recovery over the next twelve months at Valleydale’s full expense.  What a great way for our church to invest in those in need in other areas of town!

In this new role with the BBA, Saint will direct all continued recovery efforts. He will coordinate work with churches, neighborhoods, communities, government entities, outside volunteer groups, and non-profits, working closely with BBA Director of Missions, Dr. Mike McLemore.

In cooperation with the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and the Southern Baptist Convention, over 11,000 volunteers have contributed time and energies to the disaster relief efforts in Birmingham and other tornado-affected areas in the state.  Through this cooperative effort, BBA volunteers and others have prepared and distributed over 250,000 hot meals using nine massive mass feeding units housed in tractor-trailer rigs.

Baptist disaster relief work has been around for over thirty years. We partner with organizations like the Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse and have provided 5300 showers through 30 portable shower units, washed 1,800 loads of laundry, completed 1,500 chain saw jobs, cared for almost 500 children in need and deployed 150 chaplains.  Almost 6000 individual clients have been assisted through their efforts through May 30.

Valleydale members are asked to be understanding as we adjust to Saint’s reduced office hours  (about one day per week) and reduction in church responsibilities.  He will still be present and visible at most gathering times of the church body.  His primary duties at Valleydale will be missions and outreach, including overseeing our two-dozen partnerships in Metro Birmingham, North America, and five international locations. Under his leadership, Valleydale will continue to send out hundreds of volunteers each year to local, national, and international mission projects.  Saint’s other roles will be divided between existing pastors.

I praise the Lord for the unique gift we are able to share with our city through Saint’s willing and flexible spirit. It’s exciting to be part of such a creative, dynamic, and generous congregation.  I love you and am honored to be your pastor!

Calvin Kelly

June 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm 2 comments

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