Phillip Bridges teared up as he thought about his friend and mentor who passed away.
Bridges, who is the owner of Glenfield Automotive in New Albany, said the former owner of the business, J.A. Byers, “was like a dad to me.”
Located at 806 W. Bankhead St., Glenfield Automotive offers a wide range of vehicle repair services.
When Byers passed away several years ago, Bridges could not let the business close after everything his friend had put into it. The business opened in 1987, and Bridges has been working there more than 20 years.
Bridges did not know if he could make the business a success with Byers gone, but he put his faith in the Lord.
“The Lord’s blessed me a lot since I’ve been here,” said Bridges, who has had the business on his own for the last four years.
He just tries to run the business as Byers did, and that includes treating everyone equally and fairly. Bridges is honest with customers and does not overcharge them, he added.
“I try to base this shop on being a Christian,” said Byers, who wears a red bracelet that says John 3:16.
With the Lord’s help and “a lot of prayer” impossible things get done at the shop, he said.
Bridges said his business has a good reputation because he is truthful with customers and treats them with respect. He has been working on vehicles for some families for three or four generations, he noted.
Bridges said he did not even know how to work on cars when Byers took him in.
“I don’t know why he took me in,” said Bridges. “Over the 22 years of working for him he was my mentor.”
Byers “got me in church, “got me saved,” and “got me out of the rut I was in,” Bridges added.
Bridges said that Byers taught him to look at people’s hearts and was a “really great man.”
Now Bridges has one employee at the shop, Steve Brooks, who has been there for 16 years.
Bridges raised two children working at the shop and recently adopted and 3-year-old and 4-year-old. It is important for Bridges to help people, which is why he adopted the two boys. He also said his wife has stuck by his side and is a good Christian lady who loves her family.
“I’m here to help everybody,” Bridges said.
The shop provides free estimates for repairs. It is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and can be reached at 662-534-5902.