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'I thank the Lord': 107-year-old woman credits obedience to the Word of God for her long life

Elderly woman
Adell Julie Thompson celebrated her 107th birthday on Oct. 10, 2022. |

A woman who recently celebrated her 107th birthday credited God and following the Bible for her long life, which appears to support previous research that devotion to the Lord enhances people’s well-being. 

Born on Oct. 10, 1915, South Carolina resident Adell Julie Thompson has lived through 18 U.S. presidencies, never dreaming that she’d live to see the election of the first black President Barack Obama. For her 107th birthday this year, Thompson’s friends and family held a parade in her honor. 

Thompson, who was raised in the town of Santee, where she still resides today, credited reading the Bible and her obedience to the Word of God for her longevity, WLTX reported. 

“I had no dream of being 107 years. But the Lord spared me, and I try to do the right thing, I guess so people don’t talk about you," she said. 

Thompson has lived so long that she can remember the people of Santee transitioning from riding horses and mules to driving cars. 

“Santee now is a city. I think it’s past a city, it’s so big," she said.

Thompson attended school in the town of Elloree, later serving as a substitute teacher in the 1930s and marrying her late husband, Eddie Thompson, in 1940. The South Carolina resident also worked for years on a farm with her four brothers, picking cotton and doing domestic work. 

“I could pick 260 pounds of cotton a day, yes sir. I’ll never do it no more. I sure would drag now if I had to do it," Thompson said. 

Thompson has a large family, consisting of three children, six grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and three great, great-grandchildren.

“I thank the Lord to have me to do the right thing until I do go,” she said. 

The 107-year-old grandmother and great-grandmother is not the only American woman to live past 100 and credit God for her longevity. 

In June 2019, North Carolina resident Ruth Hilliard celebrated her 106th birthday, telling ABC News affiliate WTVD that her long life was a testament to her Christian faith. She celebrated her birthday at the assisted living home where she resided in Hampton County. 

While poor vision prevented her from reading the Bible at her age, the grandmother recited Scripture from memory “on a regular basis.” Her favorite verse was Psalms 91:14-16, according to the news outlet. 

"He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation," the scripture reads.

Hilliards saw the Bible’s verses as a promise to her from God, saying that they’re the reason she lived so long.

She was born on June 5, 1913, before "stoplights, Band-Aids, bubble gum, ballpoint pens, microwave ovens and the discovery of penicillin," according to WTVD. Hilliard was the mother of one son and a grandmother to three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

The North Carolina House of Representatives also sent Hilliard a certificate of recognition on her birthday. 

According to Hilliard's obituary, she lived to be 107 before passing away at her residence in April 2021. 

A 2017 study by Baylor University researchers found that devotion to God can enhance older people’s well-being. Specifically, spending time in prayer was shown to improve their mental health and decrease depression. 

Researchers analyzed data from the nationwide Religion, Aging and Health Survey. The 1,024 respondents who were at least 65 years and older were categorized into three groups: currently practicing Christians, Christians in the past but not presently religious, and individuals not affiliated with any faith at any point in their lifetime.

For older people who felt highly secure in their faith, praying served as a natural barrier to chronic stress, and they experienced a greater sense of well-being. The results for those with a moderate attachment to God, however, were mixed. Some had an increase in well-being, while others registered a decrease. 

The results appear to support the conclusion of a 2015 analysis of more than 1,500 reputable studies examining the link between health and regular worship. Those who devoted more time to prayer had better physical and mental health, with consistent religious practices helping them cope better with stress. 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: samantha.kamman@christianpost.com.

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