Never would the Rev. Ken Maddox or anyone else have even imagine that the young boy who attended Riverside Baptist Church Vacation Bible School would return more than three decades later to lead the church as its minister.
“This is home to me,” Maddox said. “This church played a role in me coming to Christ.”
The 57-year-old minister officially became the Riverside Baptist Church minister in January.
“We’re excited,” Maddox said.
He said because of health reasons former Riverside Baptist Church minister Brother Bobby Parker retired after serving as the church’s minister for more than 20 years.
“Brother Bobby is a wonderful minister,” Maddox said. “I really thank him for laying a great foundation.”
He said Parker remains with the church.
“That’s very unusual,” Maddox said. “It’s hard to convince a former pastor to stay.”
Maddox said Parker is an asset to the church and to the community.
Maddox comes from a family of ministers.
His father, Archie Maddox, 83, is the oldest serving pastor in St. Clair County, and is the pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church in Ragland.
Maddox brother, Donald, is an associate pastor at Harvest Church of God in Anniston.
Maddox, who resides in Moody, just completed a 21-year stay at Argo Baptist Church.
He said he and his wife, Tenesa, felt like they needed to take a break.
The break was short-lived.
Maddox said God had other plans for him.
Churches began calling, asking him to fill the pulpit on Sundays.
He said other ministers offered assistant when he took a vacation or was unable to attend Sunday services while serving as the Argo Baptist Church minister.
“I was helping churches without ministers,” Maddox said. “It gave me a chance to go back and help, and say, ‘thank you,’ to those who helped me.”
From September until January, Maddox provided Sunday sermons at many area churches.
“I don’t think I missed only one or two Sundays,” he said.
He said at the time, there were 12 churches in St. Clair County without pastors.
“We did a lot of pulpit filling,” Maddox said.
Maddox was called into the ministry early in life, and has served more than 40 years in the ministry.
As a 17-year-old senior at Pell City High School, Maddox would travel to Irondale every Friday morning to deliver a 15-minute sermon on WLPH radio station.
“I never stopped for 40 years,” he said. “I know where God wants me.”
After graduating from Pell City High School in 1974, Maddox served as a youth director for Lawler Baptist Church in Walker County.
He returned to serve as the pastor for Dunnavant Faith Baptist Church in Shelby County for the next five years before moving to Argo Baptist Church.
Maddox is a bi-vocational minister, and works full-time for Drummond Company as a purchasing manager.
“God has blessed us two-folds,” Maddox said.
He said Drummond Company has worked well with him on his ministry duties.
Maddox said it is good to be back to a place where he grew up, and he is getting reacquainted with old friends or friends of friends, or family of friends he hasn’t seen in many, many years.
He said he is looking forward to serving with Riverside Baptist Church, which has about 50 active members.
“We’ve got some great things ahead of us,” Maddox said.
He said Riverside Baptist Church has a special Saturday night service March 22. Squire Parsons, a well-known gospel singer, will perform that night at the church.
Maddox said Sunday School classes starts at 9 a.m., every Sunday morning. Worship services start at 10 a.m., and the church as a Sunday night worship service at 6 p.m. On Wednesday, the church holds a Bible Study at 7 p.m.
Maddox and his wife have three adult daughters, Brandi, Kelly and Julie and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls.
If you would like more information about Riverside Baptist Church call 205-338-7832.