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Mitchell and Lisa Sims – Elberta, AL

Firefighting. Homeschooling. Catering. These are just a few of the ventures Mitchell and Lisa Sims have taken on in their 29 years of marriage. That’s in addition to raising a family of four daughters, which has recently expanded to include three sons-in-law and four grandchildren.

The Sims family has been a part of the Elberta community for 23 years and this August will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. The couple first met at church in Gulf Shores, where Mitchell got Lisa’s attention while playing the piano. Both had attended the University of Montevallo around the same time, but never previously crossed paths.

Mitchell spent the majority of their marriage working as a firefighter and paramedic. In March of 2012, he was chosen to serve as the director of Baldwin County’s Emergency Management Agency, a position he held until he retired in 2015. Retirement hasn’t meant he’s stopped working, however. Today, Mitchell, an ordained minister, serves as associate pastor for Salt Church in Gulf Shores and is also an adjunct professor for Texas A&M University.

Lisa received a degree in speech therapy from Montevallo. After teaching for a year, she chose to become a stay at home mom and homeschool the couples’ daughters Rebecca, Chelsea, Haley and Jordan. During that same time period, Lisa and her family ran a plant nursery in Elberta, which stayed in business for ten years.

With the help of family and friends, the couple currently operates a catering business called Sweet Southern Scratch. “I love to cook and have always dreamed of having my own catering business,” Lisa says. Her main focus is in the food, while Mitchell handles the business side of the company.

Catering events, pastoring a church and teaching college courses among many other activities don’t leave the Sims much time to travel. When they do get an opportunity, they like to visit cities like New Orleans and Atlanta.

Mostly, though, the couple enjoys spending time with their family and unapologetically spoiling their grandkids. As Mitchell puts it, “our family is our hobby.”

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