Charles Shaddix said he’s not sure when or how it happens. But at some point along the way when a minister stays at a church for 25 years they truly become family, “interwoven in each other’s lives,” said Shaddix, who retired at the beginning of August as the minister of music and senior adults for First Baptist Church, Hartselle. “It was fun to get to watch children grow up and become adults and see the seasons change.”
But his history in music ministry stretches back even further than that. Before First, Hartselle, he served four other churches in the state — First Baptist, Guntersville; Pine Hill Baptist; Langdale Baptist (now First Baptist, Valley); and Grace Baptist, Fairfax.
“Grace was my very first church,” Shaddix said. “My father was the bivocational pastor there and I started leading music as a high school student. After he left to serve another church I stayed there.”
He also served a church in Mississippi while he was earning his master of church music at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
All across his ministry Shaddix built strong, lasting relationships. He said now that he and his wife, Jenny, are retired, one of their plans is to visit each of the six churches he served over his 48 years of ministry.
“Each congregation has been very special to us,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful ministry. We got to touch a whole lot of lives and a lot of lives have touched ours.” (Grace Thornton)