The Talton family
Photo courtesy of Laurie Mullinax

‘A special place in our hearts’: Shocco baptism service showcases family’s connection to camp

Baptisms in Shocco Lake are always special, but there is something especially heartwarming about the recent baptism service held by CrossPoint Baptist Church, where one family’s Shocco Springs story came full circle.

James Talton and Julie Burleson were both in 4th grade when they met at a choir camp held at Shocco Springs in 1987. Julie’s pastor, First Baptist Church Glencoe’s Bill Morgan, had formerly been James’ pastor at another church, so when Glencoe sent kids to camp, Morgan invited James to join them.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Mullinax

James and Julie ran into each other every year at Shocco’s choir camps through middle school, and again later at state 4-H competitions during high school summers. Through these years of limited contact, they became friends, with no thoughts of dating or romance.

Unbeknownst to one another, both ended up at The University of Alabama in Birmingham after high school. In one of those divine appointments that God designs, out of the 120 people in Julie’s organic chemistry lab group, she happened to find herself seated right next to James’ roommate.

Reconnecting through this roommate, James and Julie started hanging out together playing tennis, basketball, and midnight bowling.

‘Blossoming friendship’

Five or six months into this blossoming friendship, the couple made a wager over a game of bowling. Whoever lost the game would have to take the other one out for dinner and a movie. According to Julie, “James lost the game on purpose! I have never beat him at bowling since that day.” From there, they started dating, got engaged, and were married on June 10, 2000.

Photo courtesy of Laurie Mullinax

Currently, both are school principals, Julie at Oneonta Elementary and James at Springville Middle School. Their two children, Abbie and Audrey, were born in 2003 and 2007. Active members of CrossPoint Church in Trussville for over 10 years, the Taltons were excited when Abbie decided to be baptized at Shocco with around 500 of their church family in attendance.

James said, “The Lord has blessed our family full circle. It all started at Shocco when Julie and I first met as kids, and now our daughter was baptized there. It was neat to see how much Shocco has changed through the years, and now we have a new family connection there. Shocco will always have a special place in our hearts.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — This article was written by Laurie Mullinax and originally appeared in the Shocco Springs enewsletter and is reprinted with permission.