• 55°

Brookhaven group celebrates a 90th birthday every year

These seniors celebrate a 90th birthday every year.

Four years ago, several Sunday school friends at First Baptist Church Brookhaven started a 90-year-old birthday celebration that would be hosted every September.

Cecil Rhodes, Julius Summers, Frank Burns, Ralph Calcote and John Smith were the founding members.

“This was all Jack Combs’ idea,” Rhodes said. “We had several people turning 90 in our Sunday school class. He told us that we’re not going to have five separate parties. We’re going to have one. And that’s how the 90s club got started.”

For the initial year, the group celebrated at Porches Restaurant in Wesson.

Attendance grew each year — 10 in 2014, 12 in 2015 and 38 in 2016. This year, 25 people celebrated at Cracker Barrel on Brookway Boulevard.

Since the crowd kept growing larger, Rhodes and his friends decided to invite everyone — birthday or not.

“It doesn’t matter where you go to church. If you’re 90 and want to join us, we’d love to have you,” said Rhodes. “If you’re not 90 and you think you’d like to be 90 for a day, we’d also love to have you.”

Combs is the moderator at the celebration. Every birthday party has gifts, and this one is no exception. Women are given pins and the youngest in attendance receives a $2 bill.

“It’s all about fellowship. We recognize the 90-year-olds and it’s a lot of fun,” said Rhodes.