Shades Mountain launches monthly Power Breakfast in downtown Birmingham

Shades Mountain launches monthly Power Breakfast in downtown Birmingham

For years, it’s been one of Danny Wood’s favorite times of the month.

For more than 20 years, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham — the church where he serves as pastor — has hosted a Power Lunch for businesspeople on the first Tuesday of the month. 

They’ve offered a bargain-priced lunch and a time to network followed by a short leadership talk delivered by Wood, who worked in the business sector before becoming a pastor.

“It’s given us a great chance to get a gospel word to them,” said Wood, who noted that he weaves the gospel into his leadership talks. “I’ve become their pastor in a way, and some of them call me that, even if they don’t go to our church or have a church of their own.”

The lunch has been so successful they recently expanded into a monthly Power Breakfast held in downtown Birmingham on the second Wednesday of the month. Held at the Harbert Center at 6:45 a.m., it’s an opportunity to engage downtown businesspeople who may not have time to drive to the church for Power Lunch.

Tommy DeRamus, Shades’ minister of community engagement, said both events offer great opportunities to build connections with other businesspeople and receive professional development.

“It’s not a fluff message, ‘let me throw something at you and we’ll be done.’ It’s very practical professional development,” DeRamus said. “That’s Danny’s gifting and passion, and I think people recognize that. They feel comfortable in that environment and know they’re going to leave with something they can implement right away at their jobs.”

Wood said he’s had a heart for the business community ever since he worked in marketing for South Central Bell (now AT&T) in Birmingham.

“I understood what it was like to be there, and it gave me a real burden for those in the marketplace,” he said. 

He first tried out the Power Lunch idea at the church where he served in Ruston, Louisiana, then brought the idea with him to Shades.

But the breakfast idea also has been on his radar for years, and this year with DeRamus’ help, they’ve hit the ground running. They’ve distributed flyers at downtown businesses but mostly used word of mouth, encouraging church members to attend and invite their friends. They also encourage businesspeople to buy a table and bring their entire team. (Grace Thornton)

Hear more about the Power Breakfast on the TAB News podcast at, at or by calling 205-822-1670.