1911 saw the first landing of plane on a ship, the Mexican Revolution in full swing, a Ford Model T that could be purchased for $650, the very first running of the Indianapolis 500, the launching of the Titanic, the price of a loaf of bread at 3 cents, Boston breaking ground for Fenway Park, Cy Young playing his last baseball game, the first Chevrolet automobile going on sale, a gallon of gas costing 20 cents, Roald Amundsen becoming the first person to reach the South Pole, the New York Public Library opening it’s doors for the first time, William Howard Taft as the President of the United States…and Agnes Siegel being born.
Today Ms. Agnes celebrated an amazing milestone in her life…she turned 100 years old. To sit down and have a conversation with Ms. Agnes is like a guided tour through history. She’ll talk about what it was like growing up in pre-Depression era New Jersey. She’ll tell you about being at Charles Lindbergh’s ticker-tape parade in New York and listening to Frank Sinatra sing as a teenager around Hoboken, NJ. Ms. Agnes shares stories about seeing the Hindenburg burning and what it was like when World War II ended. Her eyes light up when talking about the first moon landing and celebrating the bicentennial. Most of all she loves to share about how God has blessed her for over a century and how her faith in Him helped to give her comfort throughout life.
For the last five years Ms. Agnes has been a permanent and much-loved figure around Compass Point. Almost every Sunday Ms. Agnes walks into Compass Point about 30 minutes before the service. She usually stops by the cafe for a few minites to talk with folks and then makes her way to her normal seat on the right side of the auditorium about three rows from the back. She claps to the music, always has a smile on her face and never misses an opportunity to tell me how great she thinks the sermon was (I really love that). Every week she actively participates in a Compass Point small group Bible study and attends many of the special functions. One of my favorite Compass Point memories is 4 years ago when Ms. Agnes went out to a local park to help us hand out free bottles of water. She has brought in guests, raved about how great it is to see teens a part of the lifeblood of our church and celebrated when someone comes to Jesus. It is both an honor and privilege to be the pastor of Ms. Agnes. On the rare occasions when the weather is cold…and she can’t make it to church…Compass Point just fills a little empty. In essence…Compass Point just isn’t Compass Point without Ms. Agnes.
I do not know how many churches have the blessing of an centenarian actively participating in the life of their ministry…but I’m glad our church is one. Ms Agnes…Compass Point loves you…wishes you a very happy 100th birthday…and are grateful that you call us home.