Woman dresses up for 52 virtual church services

Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 4:39 AM EDT
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TULSA Okla. (KTUL) - When Metropolitan Church went to virtual services, it was life changing for some of its members, and many remember that first Sunday.

“The morning of March 29 was our first Sunday that we did not have church in the sanctuary,” said church member Dr. Laverne Wimberly.

Wimberly decided to get dressed up for virtual church and then post it on Facebook.

“I just decided at that point I’m just going to get dressed as if I was going to church, so I would not get into the habit of just slouching around,” she said.

And she did that every single Sunday for a year - her picture in her Sunday best with a word of encouragement.

“I wanted not only to keep myself motivated, but I wanted to help keep others motivated as well, to inspire them, encourage them, and kind of eradicate some types and forms of depression, isolation, fear and despair,” she said.

She kept a journal of what she wore so each day was different for every Sunday Facebook post.

“I got a lot of feedback, more feedback than I wanted on the way I looked,” Wimberly said. “I really wanted them to focus on the message. I did have to say one time during one of those posts, to focus on the message rather than on me.”

A long-time teacher, principal and school administrator, the hats and smiles of Wimberly were missed.

“I would see Dr. Wimberly every Sunday morning,” said Minister of Worship Merton Huff. “She was the first person in the sanctuary with me.”

Huff is ready to welcome members back, but until then he appreciates Wimberly’s pictures and posts.

“I don’t think she has missed a Sunday of just devotionals, encouragement. It’s like she gives you a sermon before service even starts. It gives you something to focus on,” Huff said. “And, you know, of course the dressing up, it made my kids get dressed.”

She spent a lifetime encouraging and educating Tulsa families. The pandemic didn’t stop her from celebrating the election, holidays and even her 82nd birthday - alone, with a cake that she didn’t have to share this time.

But she’s ready to go back to church.

“As soon as the health officials and the scientists give us the green light that everything will be safe, I’ll probably be the first one in the door,” she said.

Copyright 2021 KTUL via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.