Cover Story

Old but not isolated

"Old but not isolated" Continued...

Issue: "Endings & beginnings," Jan. 13, 2007

Despite his busy schedule, the pastor insists that he can't think of another way he'd rather spend his time: "Anyone who retires should be looking for opportunities to serve out of gratitude to God." Each Sunday he helps wheelchair-bound Elizabeth Townsend to church. Townsend is the widow of Wycliffe Bible Translators founder William Cameron Townsend. "What a debt of gratitude the church owes to Wycliffe," Tevebaugh says. "This is payback time for me."

Churches interested in following Westminster Towers' model of serving the elderly will need two things, according to Jimmy Hambright: determination and patience. Hambright, 87, was a founding elder at Westminster church and a member of the Towers' original board of directors. Today he lives in a Towers apartment with his wife.

Hambright says a church doesn't need to be large or wealthy to take on such a project, but it does need to be willing to seek outside support. He says the church worked hard to show the surrounding community the need for good elderly care, and carefully explained how the church would meet it. That made securing financing and outside donations easier. But Hambright quickly adds that it still wasn't easy: "Every obstacle that could have been thrown at us was." But in the end, he's glad the church persevered: "It was certainly worth it."

It's certainly worth it to Nell Carrier, who says coming to the Towers was "the best move I ever made." She's looking forward to reading to schoolchildren again next week.

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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