In May of 2004, at the age of 76, Pete Heine coordinated the construction of a church for the Leland community in Baker, Louisiana. A former mayor of Baker, Pete is well-known in the area. His positive, can-do attitude is truly motivational and prompted an invitation to speak to a local congregation. Pete Heine spoke to the appreciative group at their place of worship – a storage building behind Rev. John L. Thomas’ home. Inspired by the joy of the congregants, Pete resolved to build them a church with room to grow.
Pete didn’t have blueprints or construction experience, but he had contacts. He didn’t have money or materials, but he had a certain charisma and a strong reputation. He made phone calls and personal visits to people who could help. He orchestrated fundraisers. He got donations of concrete, sheetrock, flooring, air conditioning and craftsmanship. He even got pews, a piano and an organ donated. He got the church built.
When he was a politician, Pete had to focus on his image and his next election. He’s good at it. He was Baker’s mayor for 23 years. But this church wasn’t about popularity at the polls. Pete wasn’t looking for votes now. He was looking to help because he knew he could. People trusted him. They put their faith in him. And he understood that this trust and faith could be transformed into something tangible – something special – for a congregation whose large and compelling spirit belied its small size.
The professional success Pete enjoyed throughout his life could have been fulfilling enough. But for Pete Heine, those years have just given him the tools to do more for his community. For Pete Heine, aging is not about what was; it’s about what he can do next.
Pete Heine… Peoples Health Champion.
If you think about it, you probably know a Champion.
A Champion may even be you. Nominate yourself or someone you know—like a relative, co-worker or neighbor—as a Peoples Health Champion.