Person of the Week: Harvey Hull

By BRITTNEY MANGUM,

“We all need to get a closer relationship with God so that we can build better relationships with each other,” advised Harvey Hull. “Especially with what the country is going through now with the virus, it’s important to listen to what God has to say and read His word and instructions. If we’ll just follow His instructions, we’ll be alright.”

When the people of Clarke County meet Harvey Hull, they can’t help but recognize his intense love of God and others just from watching him. He does everything in his power to show others love and care for them, even in unprecedented times like the nation is facing now.

In fact, he assists in a food program that is done through New Vision Baptist Church. On Mondays and Fridays, he helps to distribute food that has been donated so that others in the community will have something to eat.

His love and generosity started out when he was growing up, and his optimistic attitude helps him find a more positive side to the current issues with COVID-19.

“I had wonderful parents when I was coming up. I was in a family of seven,” stated Hull. “We didn’t have everything, but we had each other, and that made all the difference in the world. The stuff we’re dealing with now with COVID-19 is closer to the way things were when I was growing up. This stuff has now made it where we have more family time like we did back then.”

Harvey is the public works director and water operator for the Town of Shubuta, and he does everything in his power to take care of the citizens he works for.

“I help make sure to have the proper amount of chlorine and other things suggested by the Mississippi State Department of Health, cut the grass for the town, deal with the sewage system, and do everything to provide for our customers and make sure everything is okay,” explained Hull. “We got a report that the West Nile Virus is supposed to be strong this year, so we are preparing to do everything we can to spray and control the mosquitoes in the area and encourage everyone to get rid of anything in the yard that can hold water so that there won’t be as many breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”

Although it is hard work, Harvey loves his job and everyone he comes in contact with and works with.

“I love what I do. I have some great guys who are easy to work with and work hard every day. We have a great mayor that tries to keep us where we need to be, and I’m proud of the board of alderman that we have,” stated Hull. “I give all the credit to God to be able to do this job. Doing a job like this, you’ve got to have God. Without Him, you couldn’t do it because it could be a lot of pressure if you allow it to be. We’re the place everyone comes to with issues, and they expect us to be able to solve them.”

Although he loves the job he has now, he has not always worked dealing with construction and the public. In fact, he first achieved a childhood dream.

“I used to dream about playing ball, and that dream did come true for me,” reminisced Hull. “I played ball at Mississippi State University for four years. I was one of the first two freshmen to be a starter. In 1977 I started playing professional ball with the Houston Oilers for a couple of years.”

Unfortunately, his football career let him down with a serious injury.

“I suffered a knee injury in my last pre-season game against the New Orleans Saints. That was the hardest time I’ve had to go through,” stated Hull. “Things were different back then. I spent over a month in the hospital and developed problems because my body was used to moving all the time, and I was suddenly bedridden for a month. I had to stay in a full leg cast for six months and then wear a brace for another six months while doing physical therapy to get my muscle back.”

He decided to end his pro-football career, but he did not let that depress him. Instead, he just pressed on.

“After my football career ended, I went back to Mississippi State University and got my degree in physical education because I thought I wanted to coach,” said Hull. “I found out that life wasn’t all it’s cut out to be. I was an assistant coach at Mississippi State for a little over a year and helped with the defensive line.”

Since his time playing football, Harvey has had the honor and privilege to be inducted into both the Hall of Fame and the All-Decade Team.

He moved to Shubuta with his wife, Sytrecia Hull, who is a native of Clarke County and started his career that his currently holds. He loves the life he has now, and he especially loves his wife.

“We’ve been married for 24 years now. They always say God has someone for you, and I truly believe that because life has just been the best with her in it,” stated Hull. “She’s God-sent. We have seven children combined, but they’re all grown and gone now.”

Unlike some men, Harvey believes that he has the best mother-in-law around.

“My mother-in-law, Girtha Chambers, is one of the best mother-in –laws anyone could ever have,” said Hull. “She made me this beautiful MSU mask to wear, and she’s making some for those who work up here. She even made masks to send to the workers at Wal-Mart.”

When he isn’t working, Harvey does what he considers to be the most relaxing thing: yard work.

“I love working in the yard. Doing yard work is one of the most relaxing things to me,” explained Hull. “It’s just so satisfying planting flowers, cutting the grass, and then being able to go out and see all the work that was done and what I was able to accomplish.”

No matter what Harvey puts his mind to, he does everything to the best of his ability and loves what he does. His relationship with God provides him the perfect optimistic attitude and wisdom to share joy and love with everyone he comes in contact with.