The congregation on Oct. 13 included his wife, Velvehree; his three children, Lydia Springs, Carol Bryant and Donald Boals; and other extended family. Twenty-five churches were represented in the overflow crowd. Some came because “it’s not often you get to hear a 100-year-old man preach,” Boals told Florida Baptist Witness.
The veteran pastor preached for about an hour. He cited I Peter 4:17 in proclaiming: “Judgment must begin in the house of God.”
Because our bodies are the Temple of God, and created for His use, we will be accountable to God for our use of them, he said. The church house should be a house of prayer and the church should ask, what does the community see when they look at the church? Is it a house of consecration, reverence and a witness? The People of God are to be representatives of the Kingdom of God as they present the Father in the power of the Holy Spirit. All must stand to give an account before God, he said.
Boals has preached 82 years, and he stepped down as pastor of Riverside Baptist Church in Branford two years ago, when, according to his daughter Lydia, “his age demanded it.” His longest pastorate was 18 years at Jones Road Baptist Church in Jacksonville, and his shortest, four days with a faction from Hawthorne Baptist Church in the Santa Fe River Baptist Association. In the mid-1930’s the group called Boals after a split, but after three days of his careful ministry, they voted to re-unite with their church.
Today, Boals lives in Williston and he rides 12 miles to attend two Sunday services and Wednesday evening prayer meeting every week in Archer.
First Baptist Interim Pastor Travis Hudson said Boals stood to deliver his sermon and he quoted Scripture references from memory.
“His voice was just as strong at the end of his sermon as it was at the beginning,” Hudson said.
Boals said he remains willing “to do whatever the Lord leads me to do, but there aren’t many things a 100-year-old man can do.”
After a few seconds of thought the centenarian added, “I would like to lead some revival meetings in these my last days.”
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