Merrick leading still life of faith

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 8, 2000

In the words of a nearly 100-year-old resident of Glenburney Nursing Home, &uot;They were some good old days.&uot; Flora Merrick can easily recall many events in her life — and through it all, her religious beliefs have remained important to her.

&uot;The Lord promised me a long life if I would obey my mother and father, which I did,&uot; Merrick said.

Merrick was born Sept. 25, 1900, the youngest of 16 children. She is the oldest member of Rose Hill Baptist Church, which she still attends occasionally.

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&uot;(The church) was good to me,&uot; she said. &uot;I’ve been in that church since 1919.&uot;

Without a minute’s hesitation, Merrick can also recall a variety of religious poetry.

&uot;She can recite the whole bible,&uot; said Fleming Stout, Glenburney activities director.

And she occasionally recites her poetry for the church, said Alma Marvel, wife of Rose Hill’s associate minister, Clifton Marvel.

Merrick used to teach Sunday school at Rose Hill and also served as volunteer secretary/treasurer. &uot;(I) didn’t take a nickel because the Lord promised to take care of me,&uot; she said.

Marvel said Merrick was a great influence on the younger generations when she taught Sunday school. &uot;She was just a very good role model – teaching them morals and (about) holding on to your faith and depending on God for all of your needs,&uot; she said.

And Merrick continues to make an impact on younger people. &uot;I think she just spreads love,&uot; Marvel said. &uot;She’s always happy when my husband and I come by to see her.&uot;

Merrick is also the oldest graduate of Natchez College. She also worked at the cafeteria at Prince Street School.

Merrick said her advice to the next generation is to be obedient. She stressed that children should care for their parents the way she cared for her parents.

Merrick said she likes living at Glenburney because the people are friendly.

&uot;Life is something,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s sweet.&uot;