Joey Spivey didn’t plan on being a church youth director. The job beckoned to him through the youth who attended First United Methodist Church.

Spivey started out helping other youth directors when his own daughter became a member of the group. He became more and more involved and, 10 years ago, when one of the youth directors left, Spivey was hired for the job.

“It just came about that we had an opening after one of our youth pastors left, and I decided to take it on,” he said. “When I first became youth director, I was a believer in Christ and was a Christian, but I didn’t have that much of a relationship with Him. But working with those kids and watching God work in their lives has helped me to become more of a follower of Jesus than just a believer.”

Spivey said that working with young people and seeing how God changes their lives and works in their lives in a positive way challenges him to be the best role model he can be for them.

“At our church, we tend to have a lot of kids from broken homes, so I just like to let them know they can make it,” he said. “I tell them things that will help them be confident about themselves and work toward a better life.”

Spivey said about 15 children attend church, but at youth church on Wednesday nights, there are often around 60 in attendance.

“I’m a father figure to some of the kids and I’m just glad to be there for them,” he said. “We have a great youth program at our church. Not because of me, but because of people at the church. I get so much help from parents and the people at church and our college youth also me help a lot.”

Spivey was born in Weaver to the late Joe and Frances (Payne) Spivey. The family moved to Piedmont when he was about 2, where both sets of his grandparents lived.

Spivey has two sister Cherry Bass lives in Centre, and Gayle Wood and her husband, Johnny, live in Pell City. His brother, David Blalock, is deceased.

After graduating from Piedmont High School, he attended Auburn University and Jacksonville State University. He was an investment associate for Regions for several years.

Spivey actually wears several hats. In addition to being youth director, he’s one of four filtration plant operators for the city and is working on a degree in finance at JSU.

He’s worked for the city for the past six years, but has been on his current job for a year.

“You have to train for a year,” he said. “In October I’ll be a certified plant operator.”

Spivey explained that his job calls for him to treat the water supply that residents use.

Spivey and his wife, the former Lora Bennett, have three children. He enjoys fishing, but said his one hobby, more than anything else, is his church and the children in his youth group.

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