People of Blount County -- Brenda Painter

March 08, 2024

by Cheryl Helton

On the heels of celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary, Brenda Painter, today’s People of Blount County, is blessed. Life hasn’t always been perfect, but it has been a perfect life thus far.

Brenda and Mike married in 1974 and, as a couple, have resided in Blount County 48 years. Brenda, who Mike jokingly refers to as a “Tennessee Hillbilly,” was raised in Tennessee before her heart was captured by lifelong Blount Countian Mike.

Over the years, Brenda and Mike have resided in Blountsville and Snead, but are currently building a home in Oneonta. When that homebuilding project is completed, Brenda wants to start playing pickleball. She has already purchased some needed equipment and is just waiting for the days when she can enjoy some time on the court.

The couple have two children, Brian and Michelle, and six grandchildren, who are their pride and joy. Brenda jokingly said that with the birth of each child and each grandchild, Mike has moved down the totem pole, but honestly, her family means so much to Brenda. She and Mike have spent countless hours supporting and encouraging their children and grandchildren over the years.

Brenda, who coached softball for 13-plus years, has had the honor of coaching some of her grandchildren. Today, she sits on the sidelines and cheers them on. She may not be on the field coaching, but they know their grandmother is there offering her love and encouragement in each and every way. It is a joyous time for Brenda and fills her heart immensely.

About three years ago, Brenda had the pleasure of learning about Tim Tebow’s Night to Shine in great detail. Mike had come home from church one evening and mentioned that there was a need for someone to take the reins locally for a Night to Shine event. He encouraged her to watch the video. After watching the video, it tugged at her heart strings so strongly that she lay in bed that night planning the next local event.

It has been three years since Brenda took over, and each year it gets “bigger and bigger.” This past year there were 62 participants, including those who attend Blount County Schools, and 20 attendees from Blount County ARC. Although it is held in Blount County, it is not just for Blount County residents.

Brenda says her heart fills even more when she is able to witness first-hand how attendees dress up and enjoy themselves to the fullest. Most attendees were “whooping and hollering and ready to party down” when they entered the venue this year. To see everyone crowned as “king or queen” is a true highlight for Brenda.

For those who are unfamiliar with Night to Shine, it is a worldwide movement of the Tim Tebow Foundation. The purpose of the event is to share the love of Jesus and celebrate the worth and value of people with special needs. Each event offers an unforgettable prom night experience for people with special needs ages 14 and older. Dressing up, dancing, being crowned, and having a great time are all part of each prom experience.

Because the Blount County Night to Shine has grown so much, Brenda is currently looking for a larger venue to host the event. It is a wonderful problem to have, but nonetheless, it presents a challenge for Brenda to secure a venue that can meet the needs for Night to Shine participants. Brenda knows God is in control, He is faithful, and will supply their needs and any needs in her life.