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106-year-old renews baptism for birthday


A web-only photo by Kandy Barnard.
A web-only photo by Kandy Barnard.

4:00 P.M. EDT August 24, 2011 | ANDREWS, N.C. (UMNS)

Jean Christy celebrated her 106th birthday by renewing her baptismal vows Aug. 21 at Andrews United Methodist Church, where she has been a member since she was 12 or 13 years old.

At 104, Christy called her pastor and asked what more she could do for the church. Since then, she has been the church’s “birthday ambassador.” Last year, she estimated she called at least one person a week to offer birthday well wishes.

For Christy, it was just another chapter in nearly a century of service to the church. For decades, “Miss Christy” taught the youth Sunday school class and helped lead the youth group. Her extended family has included a district superintendent, two ordained elders, a diaconal minister and a full-time local pastor. A brother was Andrews United Methodist Church’s treasurer for 36 years.

Her birthday was Aug. 20. She usually uses a walker to get around, but after spending the previous day with family, she opted for a wheelchair at worship. She had a tough winter and spring and spent 10 days hospitalized in intensive care.

Her pastor, the Rev. Mike Macdonald, calls her an inspiration. He said her example shows that a person is never too old to heed God’s call to ministry.

Read more: 105-year-old leads hospitality ministry

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