That’s what he’s currently doing at West Point Baptist Church on Alabama 204. Tanner has been minister of students there for a little over a year.
“I enjoy working with students everywhere,” he said, “and I feel that I have a special relationship with each one of them at West Point. The good thing about West Point is that a lot of the folks don’t realize how good they’ve got it as far as the way people work together. You very rarely have to ask people more than once to help out. They’re always eager to do whatever they can for their young people. It’s a family environment and one of the friendliest congregations we’ve ever been a part of.”
Tanner and his wife, the former Kim Jones, have two young people of their own at their home in Hokes Bluff. Their son, Chase, is 14, and daughter Allie is 10.
Tanner’s parents are Donnie and Sherry Tanner of Hokes Bluff. He graduated from Hokes Bluff High and has a bachelor’s degree in theology and a master’s degree in divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Va.
With the exception of “a couple of missionary stops”, Tanner has lived in Hokes Bluff his entire life.
He said his goal at West Point is to have stronger students who seek to become growing disciples of Christ and apply that to their daily lives.
He rarely gets to fish or golf, two of his favorite hobbies, because he feels his priorities should be with the young people at West Point as well as Southern Care Hospice in Gadsden, with which he is affiliated.
Tanner said when it came time to seriously consider a career, he let God lead the way.
“It wasn’t me making this decision as much as it was God telling me this is what He wanted me to do,” Tanner said. “It’s been very rewarding. If we had more people working with youth, we wouldn’t have near the problems we do have. If you can catch them at an early age, their lives will turn out to be so much better.”
Rev. Ronny Moore, West Point’s pastor, said that Tanner has been “very beneficial for our church, not only working with our youth -- and doing a great job there -- but he’s also designed and set up a website lifestreaming our services.”
The church’s website is www.wpbcjville.com. Tanner and Rev. Moore invite everyone to view the site and visit the church.