GREENWOOD, Ark. – Faithful. Prayer warrior. Energetic. Kyle Elmore, the student pastor at First Baptist Church (FBC) of Greenwood, describes a woman named Mrs. Louise Phipps with those three phrases. “Mrs. Louise,” as the students call her, is 96-years old. Despite her age, she continues to serve in the youth group with joy, eagerness and passion.
Elmore shared, “Mrs. Louise has been involved with the students here longer than I’ve been here. She helps us in the greatest way she can for her age: she comes early, walks arounds the room and prays, sits on the front row with students, stands in worship, introduces herself to kids and encourages them.”
He continued on to share that, “She is quick to connect and seeks to pray for students. Our kids love her and think she is a superstar. A few years ago, some girls in the youth group gave her a calendar with everyone’s birthdays listed on the calendar. They gave this to her and knew she would pray for each of them on their birthdays.”
Not only do the students appreciate her, but she is an encouragement to fellow senior adults. Although she did not start this prayer ministry between senior adults and students, she has been a huge supporter of senior adults and youth connecting. Elmore shared, “Mrs. Louise has been a big part of intergenerational discipleship at our church. At some point in the year, we have note cards at church with the names of students in our youth group. We ask people to consider taking one and committing to pray for them. There are senior adults in our church who now have multiple note cards – even note cards of former students – and they sometimes ask me, “what is so-and-so up to? I’ve had their note card and have been praying for them for years now.” The heart of Mrs. Louise has impacted and encouraged more people in their church to spend time praying for and investing in the next generation.
Elmore shared that Mrs. Louise even comes to every D-Now that they have (D-Now is usually a planned weekend in a church where students gather to worship, learn, grow and fellowship with one another). She shows up to every service. She does whatever she can to serve. And, she always makes sure to get a t-shirt so she can match the kids.
“When you are around her, you get this feeling of energy and joy in the Lord,” Elmore said.
As she continues to grow older, Elmore said that she is starting to lose her vision. Yet her biggest concern about losing her vision isn’t necessarily that she might not be able to see people’s faces or certain things in life, but she told Elmore that her biggest concern about losing her vision is not being able to see and read God’s Word anymore. Elmore said, “Her passion is to know God’s Word and be in His Word is huge. Her saying this just speaks to her love for the Lord and dedication to Him.”
Mrs. Louise Phipps: a woman of God who continues to faithfully serve in the church and seek God. She has been an encouragement to many people in her church and her heart for intergenerational discipleship is greatly appreciated.