The Alabama Citizens Action Program board of directors honored its outgoing president and CEO and welcomed a new leader March 1 during its annual board meeting.
Board chair Chris Crain, executive director of Birmingham Metro Baptist Association, commended Joe Godfrey on his retirement after 15 years of service.
“Joe is in the great tradition of the biblical prophets,” Crain said. “He has an undying spirit as he speaks to our political leaders. We’re thankful for his great gifts to us for these years.”
Godfrey responded that he’d felt the leadership of God when he took the position and also when he decided to retire.
“I worked for Dan Ireland for two legislative sessions to learn from him,” Godfrey recalled. “We still labor in the legacy of Dr. Ireland. But I felt this was an opportune time for ‘new blood’ and I think the board has made a good decision.”
Incoming ALCAP president Greg Davis acknowledged the hand of God in his decision as well.
“These months [of training] with Joe have been exciting,” he said. “I think this was the right decision for me and the right fit. I have a lot to learn, and I’m glad Joe will remain as a consultant to help me and to represent ALCAP when I can’t. We want to be ‘nice people,’ to be sure, but our primary goal is to influence those in power.
“I plan to work through this legislative session and then I want to be in your churches and talk about ways we can work together even more effectively.”
Administrative Assistant Cheryl Corley also was honored on her retirement after 22 years.
“It’s been my honor and pleasure to work with ALCAP,” she said. “I’ve always known I could call on all of you for help. This ministry has meant so much to me.”
In other business board members learned receipts for 2021 were $378,954, with a 2022 budget set at $442,539. The board acknowledged appreciation to the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions for increased funding from budget redirection after the closing of Judson College last summer.
John Killian, nominating chair, presented a motion to add three new board members, which was approved.
In his final report, Godfrey noted the state legislature approved a bill allowing alcohol sales on food trucks in Birmingham — but ALCAP encouraged an amendment that was adopted to restrict sales to entertainment districts rather than neighborhoods.
ALCAP has opposed lowering the age from 19 to 18 for restaurant workers to serve alcohol, Godfrey said, though restaurant associations support the move due to a lack of employees.
He noted passage of the “Vulnerable Child Compassion & Protection Act,” disallowing sex reassignment surgery or drug therapy for those under 19, looks promising.
“We see it as a child abuse issue,” Godfrey explained. “A child of age can make these decisions, but we don’t think parents should make this decision for minors.”
Godfrey said a gambling bill may come to the legislature in the final weeks of this session, but he believes “greedlock” might doom any gambling legislation this spring.
Davis announced Crain would serve as chair of a subcommittee to consider sexual abuse guidelines, and the board approved his enlistment of other members to work on this special committee.
Kyle Brassell, student pastor at Indian Springs First Baptist Church, is ALCAP’s new administrative assistant.
At the conclusion of the meeting board member Jennifer Davis Rash, president and editor-in-chief of TAB Media Group, presented gifts to Joe and Joy Godfrey and Corley on behalf of the ALCAP board members. Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, presented a framed commendation to Godfrey.