In Southern Illinois, Cairo’s first Black librarian celebrated as she turns 100 years old

Though more people are living longer, in the U.S. there are still only about 90,000 people over the age of 100, according to a PBS report on population changes, citing U.S. Census Bureau demographers. That’s about 0.03% of the total U.S. population.

Seavers’ long and fruitful life has offered Cairo a great gift, said Pastor Jimmy Ellis, leading Wednesday’s First Missionary Baptist Church Bible study class via Zoom. Ellis noted that there is an African proverb that teaches that seniors are actually Encyclopedias, and said he was humbled to get to sit down with Seavers the day prior in her home to ask her about her life.

Seavers has been a member of the church for about 90 years, and rarely misses a service. She was baptized in 1934 and has since held numerous positions within the church, including most lately that of “Mother.”

“I was just so captivated by her commitment to God and to the church,” Ellis said. “Mother Seavers is so rare — this is the God’s honest truth — she is the only person that I’ve ever met that nobody has anything bad to say about. I’ve never met anybody like that.”

Ellis structured Wednesday’s lessons around Seavers’ advice for a good, long life, rooted in biblical teachings. Her advice for young people, as relayed by Ellis: honor your parents, study the word of God, learn how to follow direction, especially the direction of God, and respect one another. Through Ellis, she also offered these keys to her longevity: find a church home, take relationships with God and each other seriously and learn to pray and “truly give it to the Lord.”



July 11, 2020 at 04:37PM

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