Mother Stevie Nolan at her 104th birthday celebration.

Stevie Nolan, the 104-year-old church member of New Sardis Missionary Baptist Church, recently was saluted as the “Matriarch” of the church.

The (Sept. 8) recognition for the church’s oldest living member was immediately after church service in the Family Life Center of New Sardis Baptist Church, 7739 E. Holmes Rd.
Born on Oct. 9, 1914 in Millington, Nolan was the first of Isaiah and Henrietta Dandridge’s nine children.

She resides in a local healthcare nursing home.

Nolan and her husband, Jessie Nolan, were married for 65 years. A lifelong member of New Sardis Missionary Baptist Church, her years of service have included time devoted to being secretary and a Sunday School teacher.

A devoted member of the choir for more than 10 years, she loved going to the Zion District Association and now serves on the Mother’s Board. Humble and “very grateful for everything others do for her” are among the descriptions shared of her character and personality. Big on family – church and home – she is associated with what one church member called “love in action.” Her motto for the younger generation is to always go to school and save money.

To help support herself and her family, “Mother” Nolan was a domestic worker in private homes over the years. Her joys included planting vegetables and making homemade jelly, wanting to make sure that she had plenty to eat for the winter.

Mother Nolan long has paid particular attention to what she wore, and for years mostly donned outfits for church that she made herself. Now, she loves to buy her suits and hats for church, still loving to step out clean and sharp.

“Her key to living a long life has been her ‘walk of faith’ in GOD and being grateful for everything she has received from others,” a notice about the tribute to her noted. “She believes that everyday should be celebrated when you have lived this long.”