Massengill honored at VIP Awards

Published 6:00 am Monday, December 10, 2007

The O Foundation’s VIP banquet was an event that transcendedrace, age or gender, with Brookhaven residents of all walks turningout to pay homage to guest of honor Mayor Bob Massengill.

>”Tonight we’re going to celebrate a local hero,” said EmceeShannon Aker, of Bank of Brookhaven, before introducing openingremarks from several of Massengill’s colleagues.

The black-tie event is held each year at the Lincoln CountyMulti-Purpose Building and honors a citizen who has served andcontributed to the city and county in a positive way.

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Ward One Alderman Dorsey Cameron told the crowd of the friendthat Massengill had been to him in his darkest hours.

“It was the lowest part of my life, and he was there for me as afriend,” he said. “I am proud to know Mayor Bob Massengill, andeven more proud to call him my friend.”

Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop told stories ofexperiences he and Massengill had shared, saying he could alwayscount on the mayor to have integrity and character in everysituation.

“Everyone wants to have character, and there are two ways to dothat. You can have character, and you can be a character, and Bobis both,” he said.

Bishop also took time to mention Massengill’s wife of 43 years,Carol.

“Bob has integrity, and incredible leadership skills, but healso has a tender heart,” he said. “But if it were not for Carol,we’d be celebrating the life of someone else, because she is awoman of love, support, and Biblical integrity. We have to honorCarol too, because without her, this wouldn’t have come topass.”

Bank of Brookhaven President Bill Sones spoke of the friendshiphe and Massengill have had through the years. He also brought upMassengill’s family and the commitment they all seem to have toeach other.

“God has really blessed you and your family, and He’s blessed usbecause of you,” he told Massengill. “You are that man of integritythat we speak about.”

Sones pointed out that Massengill’s accountability starts in thehome, where he takes care of his family first. He said the mayor’sintegrity as a father, husband and a man also makes him a goodleader.

“I know he’s a good husband, because I see the respect withwhich he treats Carol,” he said. “And I know he’s a good father,because I know his children.”

The Rev. Eugene Edwards also spoke of the blessings the city hasreceived through Massengill’s leadership. He said the town has beenblessed by a leader who is not afraid to share his faith.

“Some people say leaders are born, not made, but I like to saythey can be both, and our honoree possesses that,” he said.

He also praised Massengill’s ability to treat everyone he meetsas a contemporary.

“I believe our honoree is blessed,” he said. “One reason he candeal with people so well is because he follows well. He follows theLord.”

Sones said another reason so many people feel loyalty to themayor is because of his honesty and positive attitude. He saidMassengill’s positive leadership has influenced the community aswell.

“One thing I can count on Bob to do is always tell the truth,and take responsibility for his own actions,” he said. “Bob hasalways had a positive attitude that has reflected on Brookhaven andLincoln County.”

And that positivity was pointed out by Bishop as well, who saidhe believes many lives have been changed and blessed throughMassengill’s earnest and positive personality.

“He enjoys making a positive difference in the lives of people,”he said. “In every area of his life, he works toward making apositive difference, and the heck of it is, he’s really good atit.”

The event went on to a “changing of the guard,” in which lastyear’s honoree, Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson, turned overthe honor to Massengill.

“I wouldn’t have missed it last year with Pap, and I certainlywouldn’t have missed it this year with the mayor, either,” saidWard Four Alderwoman Shirley Estes.