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Ever present God, you taught us that the night is far spent and the day is at hand. Grant that we may ever be found watching for the coming of your Son. Save us from undue love of the world, that we may wait with patient hope for the day of the Lord, and so abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may not be ashamed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The above quotations are the familiar responses from Norena Jane (nee Hawkins) Toyer, the 95 yearold grand matriarch and oldest member of Smith Chapel United Methodist Church. She has been a member since her childhood. She is the devoted wife of the late Edward “Ed” Toyer, Sr., and mother of the late Gail R. Toyer. She is the mother of five other children. Moreover, Norena is credited with being the surrogate mother of many other children within the community. It is significant to note that “Ms. Toyer” is a loving Christian Mother who always welcomes a kiss from all and reciprocates. Ms. Toyer’s reputation in the community precedes her especially as a singer. She began singing at an early age. It was a joy for her to sing and welcome the opportunity to use the innate gift that God gave her. She is reputed to have sung for alumni groups, choirs, funerals and weddings. Significantly, she organized the interdenominational Choir along with Ms. Jewel McMillan, pianist for Smith Chapel. Also, Ms. Toyer served in outreach ministry. Along with the late Laurette Smith and other women. Ms. Toyer participated in the food sharing ministry. They obtained food for distributions to needy families in the community. Barbara Washington, Norena’s oldest daughter, remembers how her Mom enjoyed traveling. Ms. Toyer along with Mrs. Ida Mae Woods sponsored travel experiences within the United States and internationally. Such travel events were thoroughly enjoyed by all. In autumn of Ms. Toyer’s years, her health has declined with memory issues and mobility problems. However, her love for the Lord has not diminished. Visits from friends emotes smiles of joy in her and at times helps her to recall names of friends of by-gone years. One can truthfully say Mrs. Norena Jane Toyer has a heart of gold and indeed knows, “it is good to be here…” Thanks be to God for Ms. Toyer to continue to be among us.
Honor to Octogenarian (80+)
Nonagenarian (90+) Christian Moms
Mrs. Annette Bowman (80+)
Mrs. Elizabeth Butler (80+)
The Late Mrs. Rosetta Bowman (02/10/19)
Mrs. Yvonne Chase (80)
Mother Margaret McRae (90+)