By Michelle Love
Pictures by Keith McCoy
Strolling by Harpersville, you would possibly suppose Theo Perkins man has clones of himself all through the city. Each morning, he drives a faculty bus, after which, primarily based on how his day is scheduled, he’ll be working errands as mayor of Harpersville, displaying property to dwelling proprietor hopefuls as a realtor, or working with members of his church—and we do imply HIS church. Perkins began the Liberty Christian Church in 2003 and has served because the lead pastor for the previous 18 years of the now 230-member congregation.
Sporting that many hits would possibly make anybody else’s head spin, however not Theo. He takes delight in his work, and believes staying busy retains the spirit and the thoughts younger.
Let’s begin together with his first hat he wears the morning. Theo has formally been driving a bus for 29 years, however that doesn’t rely the years he drove the bus whereas he was in highschool. “I get pleasure from it,” he says. “Lots of people say, ‘Oh, children are horrible, they’re not like how they was once,’ and to that I say, ‘Youngsters are nonetheless children, and so long as you respect them and require respect from them then you don’t have any hassle.’ That’s how I drive the bus.”
Over time, he has seen college students come and go, and he at all times makes positive to remind them that their time in school is valuable. His influence on the scholars well-known across the city, and even has impressed some native lecturers.
Not too long ago he was approached by a instructor from one other college a few sure speech he offers the scholars each morning. “It goes, ‘You’re not right here to eat, sleep, socialize or court docket. You might be right here to get an schooling. Have an incredible day,’” he says. “However this instructor got here as much as me, and he or she mentioned that ever since she heard about my speech, she offers it to her personal college students.”
Theo’s lifetime of service and imparting knowledge on others started with the assistance of town council president on the time, Wiltha Kelly, who additionally occurred to be a former instructor, after he attended school in on the College of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. “Perkins, you’re again dwelling. You’ve been away to school. It’s time you give again to your city,” he instructed Theo.
Wiltha went on to inform him about an open place on the native water board and that he deliberate on nominating him for the position. Perkins Theo hesitant at first however ended up taking up the place. Just a few months later, Wiltha pushed Theo onto the Planning Board. Over time, he moved up as a metropolis councilmember, and in 2004 he made the choice to run for mayor. He was elected and served for 12 years. After lacking out on one 12 months, he jumped again into the election circuit and was as soon as once more because the city’s prime position with its individuals in thoughts.
“Individuals need any person that can take heed to them and take their considerations significantly,” Theo says. “Individuals’s issues are reliable. Whether or not we expect they’re minor or no matter, individuals have positioned us right here to be drawback solvers. I hear individuals speaking about, ‘Oh, so-and-so known as me about their cat up a tree.’ Nicely, that’s a part of it. That’s why we’re right here, to assist resolve their issues, and folks recognize that.”
Serving to individuals as mayor led to a different love in his life too: actual property. When he reached out to his good friend Valon Lowe of Lowe Realty in Columbiana and instructed him he was debating going into actual property, Valon instructed him it was a wonderful thought.
Theo labored with Valon for some time studying the ropes of actual property and “reducing his enamel,” after which he went to work for Abast Realty for a few years earlier than incomes his dealer’s license. With time as an affiliate dealer beneath his belt, he most just lately began his personal firm, Realty Perkins, in February 2021. “I actually like not simply displaying properties, however I like evaluating properties for individuals, serving to individuals by the entire course of,” he says. “Some individuals have to be walked by it and have somebody maintain their hand, and we’re more than pleased to carry their hand by the whole lot.”
His favourite a part of the house shopping for course of is the “indescribable pleasure” he feels when he helps individuals discover their first dwelling—one thing he wouldn’t change for the world and that makes the irritating course of of shopping for a house price it.
That theme carries over to his church life as effectively. Perkins grew up in church, and his mother and father instilled a powerful sense of religion and worship into his life. For years he sang in his church choir, and he ultimately grew to become the choir director and felt the calling to guide within the ministry through the late ‘90s. He was ordained shortly after. For his first 5 years in ministry, he crammed in for pastors, after which in 2000 he began pastoring the primary church of his personal in Alpine in Talladega County for 3 years.
Theo’s present church is nondenominational since he needs to for the church to be open to everybody who desires to precise their love for God and who’s searching for their objective in life.
“We need to attain individuals and inform them their lives will be modified by the phrase of God,” he says. “We need to elevate individuals and assist them attain their God-given potential as a result of everybody has potential.
For Theo, it’s vital to get to know everybody who walks by the Liberty Christian Church’s doorways, focusing his care and a focus on the entire particular person. Jeremy Bradford, the church’s reward and worship chief and, additionally, one in every of Perkins’s actual property purchasers, can attest to that as he describes Theo as “a jewel to the group.” “He’s a life coach, a counselor and a good friend,” Jeremy says. “He’s certainly the kind of particular person you’d need in your nook.”
For instance, when Jeremy’s grandmother died, Theo prayed for him, “once I didn’t know to wish for myself,” and the encouragement helped Jeremy pull by a really darkish time and acquire his confidence again, one thing he’s endlessly grateful for.
It’s relational interactions like this one, whether or not by actual property, bus driving, serving as mayor, or pastoring a church, that convey Theo essentially the most pleasure. “I need our group to be nice. I need it to be higher, and I believe that’s the factor that offers me pleasure,” he says. “Once I can see issues are getting higher, once I see their mild enhance, as a result of it reveals all these roles that I play make a distinction.”
When requested about the place he finds the energy to guide so many individuals in the direction of discovering their fact, Theo has one credit score: God. Although he admits it may be difficult at instances, he is aware of it’s all for a objective higher than him.
“I do know what my present is,” he says. “I do know what my objective is, and it’s encouragement, uplifting individuals. This stuff enable me to do what God has known as me to do.”