Eunice Turner Day: Church to celebrate last surviving charter member’s 100th birthday
Published 12:54 pm Thursday, March 24, 2016
By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – A longtime Chelsea resident and fixture at Chelsea Church of God will celebrate a significant milestone in her life in festive fashion.
Eunice Turner, fondly known as “Sister Eunice” at her church, will turn 100 years old on April 1. A celebration in her honor will be held on April 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Chelsea Church of God.
“The whole day is for her,” Pastor Mike Kiker said. “She is a wonderful lady, and we’re excited about giving the whole day to her.”
Turner is the sole surviving charter member of 26 people that started Chelsea Church of God in the fall of 1934.
“She attended the Methodist church until it closed, then began attending Liberty Baptist Church,” friend and fellow church member Linda Brasher said of Turner. “After attending a revival held in the garage of J.I. Crane in Chelsea, she felt led to join this body of believers and has been a member of the Chelsea Church of God since that time.”
Brasher, 68, has known Turner for as long as she can remember. Brasher’s mother was one of the charter members with Turner.
“I was one of the first to join the church and one of the first to be baptized in the creek under the railroad trestle in Chelsea,” Turner said.
Turner was active in the Ladies Willing Worker Band and did quilting for other people in her home and in Mr. Chesser’s store, where she was employed.
She was a Sunday School secretary and was involved with the Young People’s Endeavor, the youth organization at the time. She directed a youth program, “Little Tommy Brown,” seen at the local church and by other churches in Pelham and Shelby, Brasher said.
Turner married Floyd Turner Sr. on Nov. 11, 1944, and became an instant mother to five children: Jean, who was married and had children, Evelyn, Charles, Jackie and Brenda, the youngest at 26 months old.
Eunice and Floyd Sr. have a son, Floyd Jr.
Brasher said Eunice “has been an inspiration to all of us down through the years.”
“She’s very loving,” Brasher said. “She was always a hard worker, faithful in attendance. She still attends (church) now on Sunday mornings.”
Kiker said Turner is still “sharp in her mind,” adding, “She can tell you the history of Chelsea if you want to know it.”
When asked to what she attributes her long life, Turner said, “I’ve lived a clean life dedicated to the Lord and went to church just about all my life.”
Turner’s celebration on April 3, dubbed “Eunice Turner Day,” will start with praise and worship at 10:45 a.m. at the church. The event will include recognition of Turner, special music and a birthday luncheon.
Anyone who would like to celebrate with Turner is welcome to attend.