Mamie Lloyd turned 100 years old on Jan. 17.
BY KARIN DAVIS-THOMPSON, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG – It was a typical Sunday morning for Mamie Lloyd. She woke up and went about her normal routine, getting ready for church. Her faith has always been important to her, so after moving to St. Petersburg from New York in the early 1990s, she immediately found a church to attend.
But this particular Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, was no ordinary day because Mrs. Mamie was turning 100 years old.
Her son, Carl Lloyd, said that attending church was top on her mind even on such an important day. With the help of their church, Bethel Community Baptist, her son was planning a big birthday surprise – one that required him to stay home to prepare. But when his mother realized he wasn’t attending service, she wasn’t happy.
“She was angry with me because I wasn’t staying for service,” he said. “Of course,
I couldn’t tell her why.”
Hours later, when his mother, a retired public schools food service employee, returned home, she realized just what her son had been up to – a birthday parade.
“I was so surprised,” she said. “I had no idea. It was so nice.”
Born in South Carolina, Mrs. Mamie moved north at a young age and spent nearly 70 years in New York until moving to Florida on her doctor’s advice.
“He said the warm weather would be better for me,” Mrs. Mamie stated. “It was a big decision to make.”
But after moving and finding a church home, she loved just as much as her church in
New York, she was able to settle in and enjoy her new home state.
“I love my church,” she said. “I always tell the young people to put God first in everything that they do.”
Her son said their church had embraced them both, and members worked hard to get decorations and gifts ready for his mother for the parade.
“I would guess there were more than 50 people at the parade,” he said. “Some of our neighbors came over to celebrate with us as well.”
Along with her Bethel church family, Mrs. Mamie was showered with birthday wishes from her former church in New York, Berean Baptist Church.
“The church bought her a tablet so she could participate in the virtual services and keep track of what is happening,” Carl Lloyd stated. “I have to help her with the tablet, though.”
Mamie Lloyd said both churches truly made her big day special, especially her family at Bethel.
“I just love Bethel,” she said. “They just showered me with gifts.”
Her son said she is still on cloud nine from her big day.
“I catch her sitting on the side of the bed, just looking at the birthday cards,” he said.
Making it to 100 means Mrs. Mamie has witnessed a lot in history. She said the one thing she never thought she would see was the election of a Black man as president.
“When Barack Obama was elected, I saved all of the newspapers for the kids,” she said.
“It’s important that they have a record of that. It’s history. Things are changing.”
And although it may seem amazing to some that she is celebrating her 100th birthday, Mrs. Mamie isn’t surprised.
“My mother lived a long time too,” she said. “All I can say is, it’s only God.”