BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Leaders at the Jimmie Hale Mission wanted to honor When Tony Cooper retired as the executive director of Jimmie Hale Mission in late 2019, his staff wanted to honor his contributions. However, those plans were set back when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Now, they finally have their opportunity.
The mission held a ceremony Tuesday morning to recognize Cooper for his contributions over the span of his 29-year career.
“He had an incredible impact on where the mission was when he first came in but also led it through several transitions,” director Michael Coleman said. “And so he’s very much worthy of what we’re going to do with him on Tuesday morning.”
Since first starting in 1990, Cooper has expanded the mission dramatically. He said it took about four-and-a-half years to lay the groundwork before adding programs in 1995. The mission was able to add many over the years. He takes pride in what he and his team accomplished.
“It’s an honor for me, and I’m the one probably being recognized, but yet it’s unexpected,” Cooper said about the upcoming ceremony. “And I certainly don’t let it go to my head, because I know that it’s God and that team of workers that he’s put together to accomplish what he wanted to do.”