2020 was declared loungewear year because COVID-19 restrictions kept all of us at home in our casual, comfortable clothing. However, an 82-year-old woman was not having any of it and fully dressed up in her Sunday best for her virtual church services at her home.
For the past 52 weeks, Dr. Laverne Wimberly has made sure not to repeat any combination for her home church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
According to her, many people were struggling during the quarantine period. Her way of uplifting dampened souls was by dressing to ‘kill’ every Sunday. She made sure to take photos of herself for her journal so she could keep track of her outfits so as not to repeat any combination.
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Wimberly, who was a teacher, principal, and retired school administrator, also took to Facebook and made weekly posts accompanied with motivational messages to uplift everyone’s soul, and this gave many something to look out for every Sunday.
“I just decided at that point I was just going to get dressed as if I was going to church so I would not get in the habit of just slouching around,” she said.
Just like she would have done if there was an in-person church service, Wimberly dressed up in different eye-catching and color-coordinated attires, complete with a large matching hat and lots of jewelry.
Speaking with ABC’s KTUL News, Wimberly shared the true meaning behind her detailed ensemble and why she put in so much effort each week in the last year.
“I wanted to not only keep myself motivated, but to help keep others motivated as well — to inspire them, to encourage them — and kind of eradicate some form of depression, isolation, fear, and despair.”
“I got a lot of feedback,” she explained about the responses to her outfits. “More feedback than I wanted on the way I looked. I really wanted them to focus on the message. I did have to say one time during one of those posts, to focus on the message rather than on me.”
The minister of worship at her church got the import of her efforts and was in awe of her consistency. “I don’t think she has missed a Sunday of just devotionals, encouragement — it is like she gives you a sermon. She gives you a sermon before service even starts. She gives you something to focus on and the dressing up — it made my kids get dressed,” Pastor of Worship at her church Merton Huff said.
Inasmuch as Wimberly enjoys rocking her ‘Sunday best’ and sharing her looks and messages with her Facebook followers, she cannot wait to go back to her church’s sanctuary for in-person service.
Many churches and public places closed and although restrictions have eased up, the Tulsa native said until health experts give clearance for in-person services, she would join in virtually from home.
“As soon as the health officials and scientists give us the green light that everything is safe, I will be the first one in the door.”