The congregants at New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Inkster, Michigan, will have something special to celebrate this Sunday, May 25 because they have in their presence a woman who has seen the beginning of two centuries and lived through over 110 years of vast changes.
Jeralean Talley, the oldest living person in the U.S., turned 115-years-old on Friday, May 23, and plans on living a considerable time longer than that. She was born in Montrose, GA on May 23, 1899 and has had a life full of experiences and good health.
Although Talley is experiencing things that most of us would have done years ago, such as loss of memory and hearing and aches and pains in her joints, she still gets around by herself with the aid of her walker.
On her birthday last year, the sprightly old woman even went fishing since she stopped bowling when she was 104.
According to Gerontology Research Group, an organization of physicians, scientist and engineers dedicated to reversing the process of human aging, Talley is not only the oldest living American, but is the second-oldest person in the world.
The U.S.-based group also tracks how many Super-centenarians there are at any given time living in the world today and at present, there are 74 of them, 71 being women and three men, according to their May 1, 2014 listing. A super-centenarian is one who has lived past 110 years of age, which the chances of that happening in America are 1 in 5 million, according to experts.
Their records show that a Japanese woman, Misao Okawa, is the only living person in the world that is older than Talley. She celebrated her 116th birthday this year on March 5.
Talley said that she gives credit to her advanced age to the Lord taking good care of her during her life. She now lives with her only child, Thelma Holloway, since her husband, Alfred Talley, died in 1988.
Themla, 76, said that one of the highlights of her mother’s life these days is talking to her 14-month old great-great-grandson, Armmell Holloway. She adds that they seem to understand one another and she lights up when he is around.
As to her secret for longevity, Talley believes that you should attend church to give thanks to the Lord for your life and treat others the way you want them to treat you.