A 90-year-woman from Mississippi is a new Guinness World Record holder for the longest tenure as a church pianist and organist.
Ida Mae Cumbest received the official certificate from Guinness at her 90th birthday celebration, the Mississippi Press News reported Monday.
Her son Mark Cumbest contacted the London-based recordkeeping company in April and surprised his mother at her birthday party Sunday with the certificate recognizing her unmatched 69 years of service as the Caswell United Methodist Church pianist and organist in Moss Point, Miss.
“It is kind of unbelievable,” local newspaper quoted Cumbest as saying. “It is such an honor to be able to experience that. It is wonderful and worth what little effort I feel like I put forth to get that recognition.”
Cumbest acknowledged, however, that she had missed a few services when she was on vacation and had taken time off when she had a heart surgery during her 69 years at the church in Cumbest Bluff. But her son Mark estimated that his mother had played in more than 10,000 services, including weddings, funerals and worship.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour has designated June 5 as Ida Mae Cumbest Day.