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|Aunt Bea's 100th Birthday
St. Patrick's Day - March 17th, 2002
Bethel Baptist Church Reception - March 24th
|On March 24th, 2002, instead of the usual Sunday evening service, Bethel Baptist Church had a reception honoring Bea on her 100th Birthday. Ouida Williams interviewed Bea prior to planning the reception. Bea told Mrs. Walker who her favorite piano player was, favorite song leader and favorite songs; Bea also talked about her life in general. Mrs. Williams combined the interview information with the informa- tion contained in the presentation written for Bea's Party at the Banks' Ranch to plan the reception.|
|The party began with BABY BEE (Betty Gross' two-year-old granddaughter) bringing a crown on a pillow for the QUEEN BEA!
The DO-BEEs crowned and robed QUEEN BEA and sang this song for the QUEEN:
I like your eyes, I like your nose,
I like your mouth, your ears, young hands, your toes.
I like your face; It's really you,
I like the things you say and do.
There's no one...no one - exactly like you!
|Along the back wall of the room were refreshment tables and to their right were tables where the Presentation Exhibit Boards were displayed. Food tables held sandwiches, dips-including crab-, chips, a large birthday cake and punch.|
|The reception was held in the long, narrow party room at the church. Each of the large round tables was covered with a white linen tablecloth with yellow and black placemats in the middle. On each of the placemats sat a honey-dispenser bear with yellow, black, and white balloons tied around his neck with yellow, black, and white ribbons.|
by Ouida Williams
The bee produces its honey,
'Tis sweet to our taste buds, you know.
It pollinates all of the flowers,
And helps all the blossoms to grow.
But now let me introduce you
To a queen we know as OUR BEA.
She produces a spiritual honey
That's sweeter than that from a tree.
No need to rob her of honey,
She has something much better to yield:
A coconut pie that you'd die for
'Cause that's her specialty field.
What a blessing she's been for Bethel,
How she's served in so many a way.
Her contributions (along with that pie)
Mean more than we can say!
A great steward under four beloved pastors,
What a great member she's been.
With no hesitation and real admiration,
Pearl says, "I'm happy we're kin!"
For you at this centenary occasion
Tell this one in whom Jesus we spot
Her wisdom's desiring, her life's quite inspiring
We love you, dear Bea...a whole lot!
So, Miss Bea, when we all get to Heaven,
To that city that's beyond compare.
My final plea, this one just for me
Let Bea's coconut pie be there!
|Anita Walker reading
| - Early History, Family & Education -
On March 17, 1902, near Pilot Point in Denton County, William Jefferson Sullivan and Louisa Bevers Sullivan were blessed with a tiny girl weighing only three pounds--Mae Beatrice Sullivan. Actually Mrs. Sullivan said that Bea was wearing half a pound of clothes when she was weighed, so she really weighed only two and a half pounds! A shoe box was used for her cradle.
Bea was the third of six children. First, there was Edward, then Essie, Bea, Clem, Pearl and William. So, Bea grew up with three brothers and two sisters. Bea attended a one-room school which went through the eighth grade. Like many before her, she had to walk to school because there were no buses. She proudly tells all that her little sister Pearl and youngest brother Will went on to the ninth and tenth grades.
Bea says that her life has been wonderful and she is grateful that God has made a way for her to spend most of her adult life with her beloved sister, Pearl. (Bea's life reminds one of Lois and Eunice. One can hardly say Bea without saying Pearl.) Their mother passed away in 1944 and their father in 1962. She becomes pensive as she talks about her precious niece, Audrey.
Bea has seen a lot of things in her lifetime. She becomes nostalgic as she recalls the trips she, Pearl, Kathleen Brogdon and Minnie Ward enjoyed. Why, they even "invaded" Canada! It was on this trip that they were accused of "bringing the cold stuff with them"! She and Pearl have taken many trips as a twosome as well.
Bea and Pearl live in Mesquite, but they still have the old homeplace and they go there often and stay days or weeks at a time.
- Career -
When asked about her career, Bea replies with her sheepish grin, "My first job was in a cotton field. My second job...my firlfriend and I got a job sorting out beans, peas and other things. You know, picking out the rocks and stuff. My last job was at Lorch Manufacturing Company. I retired from there in 1972, but they let me keep working as long as I wanted to work."
|After a commentary by Rev. C. D. Walker covering the highlights of Bea's life, the DO-BEES lighted the 100 candles on the Birthday Cake - -
WHAT A BLAZE!
Gregg Porter then lead the group in singing Happy Birthday to Bea as she and Pearl were walked to the refresh-ment tables so that Bea could blow out the candles.
[During this portion of the program Michelle commented that she hoped the smoke alarms weren't going to go off before Aunt Bea arrived at the cake!]
Bea blew out the candles (with help from the DO-BEES) after which Brother Walker asked Bea if she wanted to say a few words to her guests.
Bea must have taken her cue from the OSCAR acceptance speeches which were being televised that night. I've never heard Aunt Bea talk so much at one time before! She thanked everyone she ever knew for their contributions in making her journey through life so won-derful and especially for everyone's work in making her 100th Birthday such a memorable one!
After refreshments everyone gathered near the piano and sang.
As flowers and cards were being loaded into the car one gentleman could be heard commenting to Bea, "this is the longest evening service I have ever attented!"
Taking the good wishes of her many church friends Bea went home...taking with her more birthday memories to ponder over.
What a wonderful 100th Birthday!
|Rev. C. D. Walker|
|Calvin Phillips Gregg Porter
Pianist Song Leader
| - Relationship with God
and Church History -
Bea rejoices in the fact that her beloved parents were Christians. As a young child, she attended many great revivals. She was saved at the age of fourteen, along with ten of her girlfriends. While her friends wanted her to join the church with them, Bea, even at her young age, wanted to search the scripture, and find a denomination that accurately repre-sented the true church of God.
There were three churches in her community--the Church of Christ, the Methodist and the Baptist. Bea spent lots of time and energy researching all three denominations. Bea was curious and wanted to search out the scriptures for herself as well as obtain the history concerning the organization of each church.
In 1944, Bea met Brother C. C. Phillips who became the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Dallas. It was at this church that Bea deter-mined that it was the Baptist which she believed more accurately followed God's instructions. However, she hastens to tell you that she knows there are saved people in all churches. Feeling certain that she was following God's Will, she was baptized by Brother Phillips at Bethel in 1952. (A photo of that blessed event is here today.) Since that time, Bea has remained a faithful and steadfast member. As you know, Bea is an active member of Bethel, obeying the command, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves.."
Bea's life has had its ups and downs. She has had her share of sorrow, but she has enjoyed a joyful and spirit-filled life. Bea's philosophy is akin to that of Mae West who said, "You are never too old to become young."
Now, as you experience a little of Bea's history displayed on the boards, remember Psalms 103:5: "Who satisfies your years with good things. So that your youth is renewed like the eagle." For Bea this has been the greatest benefit of all.
Like Bea, maybe someday we can all say,
"The view is better when we're over the hill."
HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY,
MAE BEATRICE SULLIVAN!
|COMMENTS BY BROTHER WALKER ON BEA'S LIFE:|