Thank you Hal!
By Dr. Grant Scarborough
I like to tell stories, but some things are best said directly – up front. Some things I do not want you to miss.
“MercyMed would not be here without Hal Brady.” Let me repeat this, in case I was not direct enough.
“MercyMed would not be here without Hal Brady.” Now for the story.
I graduated residency program in 2007 and moved to Augusta, Georgia. I partnered with a friend of mine, Robert Campbell, to start a clinic for the poor. We named it Christ Community of Augusta. It went well – really well and is still thriving today. Around this time, Hal Brady dreamed of a clinic for the poor in Columbus. Hal’s dreaming should not surprise anyone; he dreamed of a school, he dreamed of a ministry center. It seemed like God had given him an ability to dream and an ability to make dreams come to life. I think it was Champ Baker who first recommended starting a clinic, but soon a group of men came to Augusta to talk with me about the steps needed to have on in Columbus. I remember giving these men a tour of the clinic and then a presentation of the exact steps needed to take to start an indigent clinic. The number one step: find a physician willing to be the lead missionary.
The men left and soon I received a call. “Grant” in that distinct Hal Brady voice, “I think you need to be that missionary to Columbus.” I thanked him kindly and pointed him towards a few other people who he could speak with. Time went by and I was back at work in Augusta. Then another call from Hal – and another. I truly had no plan nor desire to start a clinic in Columbus, but Hal had other plans. I started to pray and soon I found myself at St Luke, in Hal’s office.
“Hal, I will consider doing this, but I do not want a St Luke clinic, I want a clinic for every person and every church.” Hal did not even blink. He was in complete agreement. He even arranged the first meeting with ministers to share the goal of the clinic: to be for all the people from every church and every corner of Columbus. I agreed to come, but only if Hal would lead with me. Hal became the initial chairman of the board 11 months before the clinic even started to see patients. We met over and over again to determine where the clinic needs to be, who needs to be involved, how it needs to be set up. Hal was involved with every decision as we pushed forward to open the clinic.
We opened and he continued to lead. Looking back over these last 5 years at the clinic and 6 years of working with Hal, there are a few things about Hal that you already know but need to be reminded of. Hal is an amazing leader. He has a keen vision to see the future and know the next few steps he needs to take. Hal is an excellent communicator. I remember many board meetings where people had different opinions and he would summarize them all in one sentence and everyone would be in agreement. Hal could always see the big picture. So often I would get lost in the forest and Hal would remind me of the bigger picture going on behind the scenes. Hal is more concerned about God getting glory than himself. He always wanted everything to be pointed back to Christ. Hal is a good friend. I could call and he would answer. He would care. He listened and gave much needed advice.
There is no doubt in my mind. Without Hal, MercyMed would not be here. Without him as our head, we would not be as successful as we are. Hal I love you and am grateful for all you have done.
As many of you know Hal has been doing all of this from Atlanta these last few years. He has been the heart and soul of MercyMed from a different city. MercyMed is in his debt.
In January of this year, we finished our new building and completely moved in. Soon afterwards, we received a phone call from Hal stating it was the right time from his perspective to step down from being on the board. “Grant, I really wanted to see the completion of the building through. I think now is the time.” Isn’t that just like Hal, Get a ministry to a stable place, complete the building, expand the ministries reach all before moving on, even though he has not lived in the city for years.
Thank you Hal for your kindness and dedication. There is no way we can truly repay you. I think of the verse in Thessalonians when Paul was speaking to the people in Thessalonica. Paul was speaking to all the people he had impacted saying, “For what is our hope and joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” Hal you have impacted Columbus in many ways and you have impacted MercyMed in innumerable ways. I pray we will be part of your joy. That we will be part of your crown. That the work and time you invested here – that we will be something you will boast of before the Lord at his coming. I pray we will live up to being your glory and joy. For Hal, MercyMed would not be here without you.
May “The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you, the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Number 6: 24-26