MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) – Mount Moab Baptist Church was packed for “Sunday Service” and gospel music filled the air, but it was Saturday.
The congregation gathered to worship alongside their dear friend Mary Nettles, who is celebrating her 100th birthday.
“Thank you all. Thank you all. Thank you all,” Nettles told the crowd.
She is happy and healthy, although her arthritis sometimes makes it difficult to attend church on Sundays. That’s why the Le Grand community organized a service for her and her loved ones on Saturday afternoon.
“When she can come, you know she’s there,” Pastor Julius Thomas said.
He adds that despite having lived through World War II, the civil rights movement and the COVID-19 pandemic, Nettles remains positive — even in difficult times.
“You know, she’s seen a lot in her life,” Thomas explained. “She’s overcome a lot, but she still knows how to praise God.”
The centenarian is the youngest of nine children and the last brother in her family.
Although she has no biological children, everyone calls her “aunt”, because everyone is part of the family.
“Acknowledge the fact that she’s flawed, but she’s the closest thing to following Jesus that’s ever been,” said Denise Wigfall, Nettles’ babysitter.
She’s been there for Nettle for almost 18 years. They share a special bond. Before Nettles’ husband died, he asked Wigfall to look after her.
“I kept my promise, that I would stay with her, and I’ve been with her all these years,” Wigfall said.
It’s something you do for a special woman celebrating over a century of life.
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