106-Year-Old Woman Honored at Cleveland Heights Church
Central Bible Baptist celebrated Vivian Rogers' birthday during and after the 11 a.m. service.
Members of Central Bible Baptist Church in Cleveland Heights know Vivian Rogers for a couple of reasons.
The Cleveland resident has been honored each November since she became a centenarian. That was six years ago. This year, on Nov. 7, Rogers celebrated her 106th birthday.
As one member pointed out, she's older than the West Side Market, which recently marked 100 years in Cleveland.
They also know Rogers will have something for them each Sunday — peppermint candies.
"She gives out her candy mints. That's her favorite thing to do. That's probably the only thing in her purse," said Patrick Beasley, deacon at the church.
On Sunday, the church celebrated her birthday once again during the 11 a.m. service.
Pastor Harry Cain Jr. said his birthday is also in November, but Rogers' has celebrated twice as many times as he has, which "sort of puts things in perspective," he said.
The more than 100 people who attended the second of the day's services gave Rogers a standing ovation and sang "Happy Birthday."
Afterward, the church gathered to enjoy two homemade cakes — each half chocolate and half white — brought by Ann Hawkins.
Rogers' daughter and the eldest of her three children, Annie Crider, was by her mother's side. She's her primary caregiver.
Rogers moved from West Virginia, where she was born, to Cleveland about 10 years ago to live with Crider. Rogers had lived by herself into her 90s, and one of her sons who lives there would check in on her. Her other son lives in Pittsburgh, PA. Rogers is an only child, Crider said.
She's not sure if a long life runs in her family, but Rogers' mother lived into her 80s.
Crider said her mother worked as a housekeeper until she was in her 80s. She used to sing in the church choir and loved to ride her bike.
Though she doesn't sing anymore, Rogers still claps her hands and taps them on her knees while the choir sings. She goes to church every Sunday, weather permitting.
Though Crider said her mother often talks about the past now and tires easily, she's still got a sense of humor.
"I have to hide her peppermints because at night, she'll put them under her pillow and eat them all night."
Crider says when Rogers comes to church, she sees her mom light up.
"She has a strong spirit," Beasley said. "She doesn't like to be fussed over."