Third Baptist Church hosts appreciation for Mothers Louise James and Ophelia Williams

Two choir members retire

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From left are, Mick Collins, choir director, Sarah Lee, past retired honoree, Mothers, Louise James, and Ophelia Williams, current retired honorees, and Frances McFarland, past retired honoree.

By Journal Staff Writer

Over 108 years of combined vocal experience between Mothers, Louise James, and Ophelia Williams, has officially ended for Third Baptist Church, 9775 Angola Rd, choir.

Sunday, June 23, at the church, both long standing vocalists hung up their choir robs, to sit amongst the parishioners they faced for many years.

Besides honoring the two Mothers of the church, the adult, men’s and youth choir were all honored, as they have been, for the past seven years, during Third Baptist Church Appreciation Day, with the theme, “Singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

Started by Mick Collins, director of music, he told The Toledo Journal that, holding an appreciation celebration for the choir may not be considered the norm, but he felt it was long overdue.

“I thought it would be a nice gesture for all the work that they do,” he said.

Each member of the three choirs received a gift, Mr. Collins said. But the focus of the day was directed on the two retirees.

Mother James said she has been singing in the choir for 50 years, and said it helped keep her young. But due to health related issues, she said it’s time for her to step aside.

“It’s time for me to step aside, and let the young folks take over,” she said. “I really appreciate the honor I’m receiving today, and the fact they said they’ll miss me,” Mother James said. Although she won’t be officially in the choir, Mother James said she knows she’ll feel as if she’s supposed to be singing with them.

“I won’t let my retirement stop me from singing amongst the congregation,” she added.

“I’m old, and can’t hit those high notes like I used to,” Mother Williams bluntly explained. “I will miss the structure of preparing, and singing, as well as just learning new songs,” she said.

“It has been a wonderful 58 years, and I am going to miss it,” Mother Williams said.