96-Year-Old Taft Woman Celebrated By Community
TAFT, Oklahoma - She's known as the mother of Taft, Oklahoma.
Reeder Walker is 96 years old, and on Sunday, friends and family gathered at church to show their appreciation for the impact she's had on their small town.
On a rainy day in Taft, Oklahoma, a ray of sunshine walked into St. Paul's Baptist Church.
"It makes me feel younger, to see all these people."
As she's done for decades, Walker took her place in the pew up front for the special occasion.
Her faith has had a huge impact on her life and community over the last century.
She's credited with helping start the church, despite an uphill battle to come up with the funds.
"But we had faith and we believed," Walker said. "You know when the Lord got something for you to do, you're gonna do it."
After her husband died, she was left to raise her children on her own.
But she said through it all, she always relied on her faith and the power of prayer.
"[God] don't give you a task to do and leave you alone, he's right by your side every night," she said.
Now her children are pillars in the church -- preachers, worship leaders and deacons.
Her son, Pastor John Walker, is in his seventh year of ministry.
"She told me when I was a young man that I was gonna preach and I said, ‘No, mom, not me," he said. "She brought us up as the Bible said, train up a child in the way they should go and when they get old they won't depart from it."
And at the end of the service, Taft's mayor gave a special honor to the woman she calls "the mother to this small community."
"I declare today January 27, Mrs. Reeder Walker Day," mayor Lelia Davis said.
A fitting declaration for a woman who has touched so many lives and credits her long life in the Taft community to the principles she leaned inside these walls.
"I lay down with [God] on my mind, and I wake up with him on my mind," Reeder Walker said.