By Emily Reed

Higher Call Heating and Cooling Inc. general manager Wesley Criswell wants his customers to know that Jesus has a purpose for them.

“I hope anyone who does business with us understands that we all have a higher call,” Criswell said. “This isn’t about this world, but about God and His purpose for us. He is working to redeem mankind, and because of that we want to be a witness to anyone who may not have heard the good news of the gospel.”

The business, located in Columbiana, first opened in 2011, servicing calls in Shelby and surrounding counties. Criswell said his journey to own a heating and cooling business was not something immediately on his radar as he was originally planning to join the AirForce.

It was a shift in plans that prompted his family to stay in Alabama, which led to him eventually becoming a business owner.

“I have always been in church, and during that time, my family was actually living in our church parsonage, and the people in our church were letting me do work for them,” Criswell said. “I had already completed my certification, so it started with me doing calls for people needing me to fix their air conditioning, and then it just quickly turned into a business.

Using the Bible passage John 6:47 as a company reminder “He who believes has eternal life,” Criswell seeks to use his passion for sharing the gospel with others as he works his heating and cooling business.

Operating under four main points, employees with Higher Call try to maintain communication in terms of plans, pricing needs, etc.; do the last 10 percent; think like a homeowner; and be meek.

“We have found that if we do these four things, it is very rare that a customer is not satisfied,” Criswell said. “The employees at Higher Call try to work to the same standard, which is heavily influenced by Christian standards. We want our employees to do what they say they are going to do, be respectful, and communicate well, and we feel like because of that, people appreciate the work that we do.”

Criswell said he does not hire employees flippantly, and seeks to find employees who will do a good job no matter what.

“We don’t hire simply to satisfy the workload,” Criswell said. “It has to be the right guy. If the right guy is not available when I need someone, we just hold off on hiring and scale back work. It is that simple. Employees are family, not tools. They need to feel that. We have breakfast together, times where we just hang out and eat biscuits and meet each other’s families. This makes all the difference in our culture and as a result, in quality.”

Criswell said his job allows him the opportunity to also do part-time ministry, which is something he is very passionate about.

“I have always served in ministry, and it is really nice because I have a great work crew that is supportive of that,” Criswell said. “At the root of everything I just want people to know that Jesus loves them and wants them to have a purpose for their life. Everything we do, we do because of Jesus.”

Higher Call Heating and Cooling Inc. can be reached by calling (205) 966-0036 or by emailing