Seniors celebrate life at rally

Published 6:00 pm Friday, April 22, 2011

Southwest Mississippi’s seniors enjoyed fellowship and learnedthere is no excuse for not living life to the fullest at the AreaVII Senior Adult Enrichment Rally, which was held at First BaptistChurch on Thursday.

More than 250 seniors traveled by bus and car from all overSouthwest Mississippi, including Crystal Springs, Bude,Centerville, Port Gibson and Natchez, to visit Brookhaven for anannual event that has been ongoing in this region since it firststarted in McComb in 1985.

“I think we had a great event,” said Jeff Doremus, associatepastor of First Baptist Church. “We really enjoy the opportunity ofhosting an event like this because it just allows the seniors toget out and have a good time together.”

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Sitting comfortably inside the spacious First Baptist Church,visitors enjoyed scripture and prayer, a performance by the LincolnChorale, a ventriloquist act, a speech from guest speaker BobbyShows and a whole lot of singing.

“It doesn’t take much to entertain us,” said Talmadge Smith,Area VII director for senior adults. “We’re just happy to be a partof it and to celebrate life.”

“Celebrating life” was the overall theme of the morning’sfunction. From notes sung to messages spoken, presenters encouragedthose in attendance to enjoy every day.

“The way to understand how to celebrate life as a senior is toforget who you are and get to looking at how you can help someone,”said Shows.

Shows graduated from Brookhaven High School and then attendedMississippi State University on a basketball scholarship.

After dedicating his life to the Lord his sophomore year incollege, Shows has been using his athletic ability to bring peopleto Christ ever since. He has also helped start a world-traveledfaith ministry, Sports Crusaders, in Missouri.

During Shows’ message, he encouraged those in attendance to bethat little extra something to make a difference in someone’s life,and that growing old is no excuse to sit on the sidelines.

“We are not through yet,” said Shows. “As long as God gives usbreath to breathe we got a job.”

In the second half of his speech, Shows implored everyone to usetheir talents to make a difference in some way.

“God gave me a basketball,” he said. “What do you have, maybeit’s your age?”

Ironically, the day was filled with various talents spreadinginspiration and God’s message. Pastor Hubert Greer of PoplarSprings Baptist Church in Hazlehurst has been singing roughly 60years and led the group in multiple songs. Ventriloquist DarylLogan’s comedic-dummy routine provided a few laughs during theevent.

“It’s my duty to use what God’s given me,” said Greer.

Smith hopes that visitors will go back to their homes and beyondto share what they learned at the rally and make a positivedifference in some way.

“We can still share encouragement with other folks,” said Smith.”Put a smile on people’s faces; life is hard.”

The morning function allowed out of town visitors to leave FirstBaptist Church and venture out to enjoy the sights and sounds ofBrookhaven or to meet up with a few friends.

“It was just inspirational, everybody was,” said Glenda Canoy,of Brandon. “There wasn’t a down spot in it.”