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Sermon centers around Fulton Road seniorcomment (0)

September 16, 2004

By Grace Thornton

When Pastor Art Burroughs needed a committed Christian to use as a sermon centerpiece, he said he didn’t have to look past the third pew.

Autine Buchanan, 100, is a walking illustration of loyalty and longevity for Burroughs’ congregation at Fulton Road Baptist Church, Mobile.

“She is not one to want or expect attention, but because of her commitment to Christ and the way she has lived to be 100, I think she deserves it,” Burroughs said.

On Aug. 1, Fulton Road’s Sunday activities — the sermon, the service and the luncheon afterwards — centered around Buchanan, Fulton Road’s oldest member.

“She is a great lady, and we need a lot more like her,” Burroughs said. “She has got a great attitude, and she puts the Lord first in everything she does.”

The church set aside the day to honor the person who had inspired them for years — and who had conspired for years to not let them know her age.

“It’s a game we’ve  played since I came to the church in 1992,” Burroughs said. “She never wanted me to know how old she was.”

On Mother’s Day, Buchanan would stay seated through the recognition of the church’s “oldest mother.”

“She would catch me after the service and say, ‘You thought you had me this time, didn’t you, Pastor?’” Burroughs said.

But the church finally did catch her when her daughter alerted them to her 99th birthday last year. “We had been planning this year’s service ever since then,” He said.

On this year’s “Autine Buchanan Day,” Fulton Road presented her with a certificate of recognition and a letter from Gov. Bob Riley inducting her into the elite Century Club. Family members from around the world flew in to join Buchanan, filling her third pew and several others. “She is a beautiful example of a lady who is committed to Christ and His church,” Burroughs said.

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