AUSTINTOWN -- The Rev. Jay Alford, pastor of Highway Tabernacle for 28 years, will step down this Sunday.
The church announced the Rev. Mr. Alford's resignation Thursday, but said he will remain active in the many ministries that have made him well known in the Valley. The transition for his retirement has been under way for several months.
Mr. Alford is an Assemblies of God pastor who, with other pastors, started 17 churches in this area. But he's also worked with other denominations to improve education, health care, inner-city housing and race relations. Mr. Alford was also among the pastors who successfully fought against efforts to start riverboat gambling and off-track betting locally.
Mr. Alford and his wife, Shirley, who began their ministry in 1952, will be honored at a banquet at 6 p.m. today at Mr. Anthony's. They will also be honored at services at the church at 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.