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96-year-old ‘retired’ pastor still preaching & witnessing

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (BP)–He has been an interim pastor at least 20 times in the past 24 years. He preaches twice a month at a nursing home and visits folks in hospitals regularly, all the while sharing the gospel one-on-one with people.

S.S. Borum of Cape Girardeau, Mo., does all of this at the age of 96.

“He would work 99 percent of pastors under the table with his visitations alone,” said Daniel Hale, pastor of First Baptist Church, Millersville. Borum was interim pastor there before Hale arrived 12 years ago.

“Retirement doesn’t exist in his vocabulary; he says he’s just changing gears.”

Borum completed his third interim pastorate for Iona Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau this summer. His last official duty was to baptize a 6-year-old girl he had known all her life. Jalana Johnson, now 7, was baptized on July 16.

Her grandmother, Joann Leadbetter of Iona Baptist Church, said Borum was a big influence in the girl’s decision to become a Christian.

“It was a great feeling to be able to baptize Jalana,” Borum said. “It thrilled me when she asked me to baptize her.”

The youngster and Borum met because Leadbetter has been his driver in recent years. Leadbetter has known Borum since she was a child; her father and Borum were both pastors.

Borum retired as full-time pastor of First Baptist Church, Perryville, in 1976. Since then, he has kept a busy schedule of preaching and visiting hospitals and nursing homes, including the one he and his late wife, Beulah, founded in Perryville. He encourages other senior citizens to be active in ministry.

“Just keep on going and don’t let up,” he said. “Forget yourself and keep on going as the Lord leads you. That’s what I’m going to do, Lord willing.”

Borum has two living children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. Photo title: S.S. BORUM.

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  • Stacey Hamby