Cleveland Pope is representing Alabama on the White House chimney sweep team. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
Pope owns a chimney sweep business in the Wiregrass, The Chimney Sweeps. (Source: WSFA 12 News)
DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) -
Chimney sweep Cleveland Pope is moving up from the houses in the Wiregrass to the White House.
The owner of The Chimney Sweeps, LLC, is the first chimney sweep to represent the state of Alabama on the White House chimney sweep team this year. The team of six sweeps from across the country are selected by their peers in the business.
Of Pope's nearly 400 chimney sweep appointments a year, this appointment is the most prestigious one yet. He has worked in the Wiregrass for the last 30 years with his wife.
"This is like a pinnacle of our career. To be in business so long as a small independent businessman and have the opportunity to go to the White House and service those chimneys," said Pope.
The service provided is not paid for by taxpayer money. The sweeps take on the burden of the cost, but Pope said the trip is worth every penny spent.
"I think the statement was made once what can your country do for you, it's really what can you do for your country. If we have an opportunity to give back then I think it shows everyone else that you can do the same thing," said Pope.
During the trip, the team will sweep and inspect the 25 chimneys at the White House. Pope anticipates working on eight of the chimneys.
Pope considers this trip a blessing and, as a man of God, said he's spent time in prayer figuring out what he's called to do with this blessing.
"I'm going to pray for our country, for our White House, for our leaders, for our Senate and Congressmen, that we can all come back to Christ," Pope said.
He plans to leave for Washington, D.C this Thursday and return next Saturday. It's not clear yet if the sweeps will have an opportunity to tour the White House.
This is the 25th year of the White House Chimney Sweep program.