Faith & Family - Cullman, Alabama Spring 2020 - Page 32

Pastor Joe Teal preaches from the pulpit at West Highland Baptist Church. Pastor Joe Teal: A man after God’s own heart By Carol Malone W hen visiting at Huntsville Hospital, Joe Teal often knocks on the door of patient room number 675 on the cardiac surgery floor and introduces himself to perfect strangers. His message is the same. All that changes is the number of years. On his last visit before the coronavirus pandemic, he said, “I am Joe Teal, and 17 years ago, I was a 32 Faith & Family | April 2020 patient in this very room following quadruple bypass surgery.” He hopes it provides encouragement, much as a pastor friend did for him back in 2003. Visiting him a few days after his surgery, his friend told him that he had been in the same room three years earlier following his heart surgery. The emergency surgery had left an ordinarily healthy Teal feeling weak and vulnerable. Seeing his friend there, looking healthy, served to encourage Teal. He decided he was going to do the same thing when he got well to give hope to others. Such an act of compassion is not surprising to those who know Joe Teal. He has spent his life ministering in one way or another. Christian upbringing Teal believes he was blessed to be born into a Christian home in Marshall County, in a small