One of my heroes is a man named Jim Wideman. He’s a children’s ministry extraordinaire, a great dad, published author, musician and all around fun guy. I met him back in the day when I was on a puppet ministry team. We went to a puppetry festival to perform and Bro. Jim (as he is affectionately called) was the children’s pastor at the hosting church. My mom became friends with him because she was a children’s pastor and I mean, really, how many children’s pastors were there 20 years ago?
I don’t remember keeping in touch, but we must have because my brother & Bro. Jim’s daughter, Yancy (now one of my great great friends) started communicating (or you know, phone dating). Then when Les and I were married & in college I had to find a place to intern, and for some unknown reason I said, “Let’s call Bro. Jim!” He was the children’s pastor at one of the most amazing churches in the country, Church on the Move in Tulsa, OK. He said, “come on!” and we came! It literally changed our life to see ministry to the masses. We saw 2500 kids a weekend, worked every single day and absolutely loved it.
Wow, that was a long intro! The point is, he’s been our mentor since then and we try to keep in touch as often as possible. He’s from Bham, so when we lived there, we saw him occasionally. And this last week he was in Atlanta doing some consulting at a local church. So, we hooked up and went to the World of Coke. This is the new World of Coke, at their new location next to the Aquarium–they just had their grand opening was in May.
It was really a lot of fun. First of all, there is just something about being downtown. I love looking up and seeing the skyscrapers. I love being in an open area like Centennial Park or out on the sidewalk and just feeling the city bustling around you! I could so live downtown!
The World of Coke is a self-guided tour but they only let you come in at designated times. So, we bought our tickets but couldn’t enter until 45 minutes later! Oh, but they thought of everything and had the largest Coke gift shop you’ve ever seen. And there was really a lot of cool stuff-clothes, dishes, even purses made out of can pop-tops!
After the shopping and standing in line in the Georgia heat (see Bro Jim’s blog for the leadership lesson he found in our line!) we filed into look at memorabilia which was just a holding area to watch a movie that was based on this commercial. Totally weird but totally funny. (I love Coke’s commercials! Remember this one?)
At the end of the movie, the screen lifted into the ceiling and we walked into the rest of the museum. There were several different areas–the art of Coke, the “factory”, the memorabilia and even a 4d movie. But the best part is the TASTE ROOM! Oh yeah. There are about 5 stations set up with drinks from all the regions of the world–South American, Asia, etc. And you can drink as much as you want. If you actually can! Some of the drinks are straight up revolting. If you ever go, please please please drink the Beverly from Italy. I physically shudder after drinking it. Ugh.
As we left the building they gave us our own commemorative glass bottle of Coca-Cola! But Lydia was too interested in drinking the Coke. She’s never had it before (unless one you mean grandparents slipped it to her)! She thought she was in sugar heaven!
There it is. All you wanted to know about The World of Coke! So, who is your hero and where would you spend a day with him?