SEBRING, Fla.—Morgan Dawley of Maranatha Village, a Baptist retirement community, celebrated his 102nd birthday with the help of Maranatha Baptist Church.
Morgan and his wife, Donna, who is now with the Lord, moved to Maranatha Village 25 years ago. For the past five years Morgan has resided at Maranatha Manor, the 20-bed assisted living facility located in the center of Maranatha Village.
“If you come into the village, you most likely will see Morgan on his yellow three-wheel bike that he enjoys daily,” says Betty Hendsbee of Maranatha Village.
On Wednesday evening, Oct. 7 (the day before his birthday), Maranatha Manor gave Morgan clearance to leave the Manor, which has been in lockdown for seven months, and brought him to Maranatha Baptist Church in a wheelchair. When he arrived at the church, the congregation sang “Happy Birthday” to him. Then he was the first to use the church’s new wheelchair lift to access the platform, where a cake was on display.
Thinking back on his life, Morgan told the church, “I’ve been on a long journey. I was saved as a junior in Sunday School over 90 years ago.” Since that time he has attended five Regular Baptist churches and has held offices in each one. He says, “I’ve been around a long time and look forward to the day God calls me Home.”
Interim Pastor Ernie Schmidt closed the celebration in prayer, thanking the Lord for Morgan’s good health and sound mind. Maranatha Baptist Church also praises the Lord for His protection for the Village and the Manor, whose residents have remained free from the coronavirus.