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Church baptizes woman at 104

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By Audrey Underwood

Recently members and guests of Flint Ridge Baptist Church witnessed something that no one ever has before.

Florence Alexander was among four others who were baptized on Feb. 10.

What makes Alexander so unique?

She's 104 years old.

Pastor Kelvin Hinson of Flint Ridge introduced his brother, Pastor Stacey Hinson of Higher Ground Christian Church, who would be baptizing Alexander.

Their church "adopted" Alexander after several members visited her before Christmas to see if she had any needs.

She was asked if there was anything she would like to do or any last requests.

Her response, "I want to be baptized like Jesus was."

Alexander said she was saved years ago. She reads the Bible, loves the Lord and wanted to be obedient to the Scriptures.

Helen Connell, who headed the ministry, describes Alexander as very special.

"She is totally an amazing woman," Connell said. "She is precious and full of the Lord. That's why she smiles all the time."

She said God is not through with Alexander.

"He put her here to take care of people," Connell said. "She takes care of me, not physically, but spiritually."

Leighanne Stevenson, whose son Zachary, 11, was also baptized, said she became teary-eyed as Alexander entered the baptismal pool.

With a smile on her face, Alexander looked toward the congregation and replied, "I love Jesus."

The congregation stood to their feet and applauded as "amens" echoed throughout the church.

"It was a privilege to be baptized with Ms. Florence," said Nan Hendrix.

Hinson said he had baptized many people but never was able to experience anything like this before.

"The spirit in the baptismal was like God was saying, 'I am well pleased,'" he said. "It was a joyous and awesome experience."

During her baptism, a member of the congregation leaned over to his wife and said, "We'll never see this again."

Those whose lives she has touched through the years described her as a selfless person. She always took care of the needs of others over her own, they said.

Until recently, Alexander was a live-in caregiver to a 90-year-old woman, but that woman was put in a nursing home, and Alexander returned to her home.

Throughout her life, she has taken care of children and the elderly without pay.

"I have never done anything for anybody that I regret," Alexander said. "I would do it all over again."

Alexander said she has no secret for her longevity of life.

"I've always worked hard, and I try to behave myself," she said, later adding that she's never been happier.

"I've got things right now," she said.