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Mount Pisgah’s oldest member still active at 95comment (0)

January 10, 2002

By Leigh Pritchett

The day Roberta Davis Ingram turned 70, she cried and cried. She felt sure she was ancient. Then her husband told her that he thanked God for letting him live so long. That was when Ingram decided being upset about turning 70 wasn’t the wisest thing for her to do.

She is now 95.

“Being 95 isn’t half as bad as being 70,” she said with glee.

In fact, being 95 has garnered Ingram two particular distinctions at her church: she is the oldest member of Mount Pisgah Baptist, Cropwell, and she received recognition last Mother’s Day for being the oldest mom.

Her Sunday School class also threw her one of the two surprise parties she received for her 95th birthday last July. This is no surprise since church has always been an important part of her life. “I’ve always just loved to go to church,” she said. “I don’t miss many Sundays.”

Ingram has many stories to tell about growing up on a farm in Vincent. She remembers her father’s two-seat surrey and the family’s first vehicle, for which he swapped three-and-a-half bales of cotton.

Ingram’s mother died when she was 12. The oldest of four children, Ingram quit school to care for the family.

During a revival when she was 13, Ingram asked Jesus to come into her heart and was baptized in Kelly Creek. Her husband, Joe Ingram, was also involved in church. He was ordained as a deacon at age 18.

They were married in 1925 and lived in Easonville. She helped make ends meet by selling butter she’d churned, buttermilk, apples and vegetables.

In 1963, the couple moved into a home in Pell City that her husband built. They shared that home for 20 years until her husband’s death in 1983. Mrs. Ingram still resides in that home, and her two children — Jo Ann King and Betty Cosper — live  on the same street.

Ingram has been a member of Mount Pisgah Baptist Church since 1937 and has served as  director of BYPU (Discipleship Training), children’s Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School (VBS) worker.

“I helped in the first VBS we had there,” she said.

She not only took her own children, but also some relatives’ children. “I had a carful,” she said. “We had a good time.”

While raising children, maintaining a home and being involved in church, Ingram was also working. She worked as a seamstress at a dress factory and an overall factory, as an inspector at the dress factory and, finally, at Mays and Jones, a store operated years ago in Pell City.

Now, the grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of 13 likes to spend her days making preserves and jellies or baking breads. Her Sunday School teacher, Billye Ann Faulkner, said Ingram loves to give her baked goods to people who’ve been ill or in the hospital.

Although Ingram has limited mobility now, she rides a stationary bike three miles each day.

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