96 Too Young to Retire

by Stacey Hamby

S. S. Borum 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, and shares the gospel one-on-one with people as often as he can.

Borum, of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 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 of Millersville, Mo. 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 Jalana Johnson, a 6-year-old girl he had known all her life. "It was a great feeling to be able to baptize Jalana," Borum said.

The youngster and Borum met because her grandmother, Joann Leadbetter, has been his driver in recent years. Leadbetter has known Borum since she herself was a child.

Borum retired as full-time pastor of First Baptist Church in Perryville, Mo., 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.

Baptist Press