Super Senior: Lorraine Norris

Published: Mar. 5, 2020 at 3:51 PM EST
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Every Wednesday, Lorraine Norris drives from her house to the Sutton Freewill Baptist Church. "I get into my car and get out and get everything in order," she said.

For an hour, it's her sanctuary. Practicing on the church organ and getting ready for Easter service.

The 90-year-old has been the church organist here for over a half century. "It's a skill, you know. If you don't use it, you lose it!" she says with a laugh.

Norris is in full control of the organ, but she has a backup of five singers who join her every week. "Well, I don't feel like I'm in full control because I'm always asking the choir what they want to sing," Norris said. Choir members disagree with her assessment.

They sing and play their hearts out each week. But the truth, like so many churches, fewer people are going to services. They average around 15 people each Sunday says Pastor Mark Heinrichs. "I would love to have more people in here, but the reality is we're here to worship," he said.

They may not pack the pews, but they fill the church with spirited enthusiasm. Norris says that when she plays, she's closer to God. "I guess I'm aware and realize a lot of blessings that I have," she said.

Her daughter-in-law and choir member, Lynn, feels blessed too. "We whine sometimes, but mom never whines. She's the most patient, kind, loving individual that I ever encountered," Lynn said.

Reporter Joe Carroll: Do you feel at peace when you are listening to them?

Mark Heinrichs: I do. I feel ministered too, when I here them sing... I absolutely believe sometimes when these guys are on their game, the angels are singing with them, and I hear it.

Reporter Joe Carroll: How did they do?

Lorraine Norris: They did wonderful. They do all the time!

Practice is over and choir members say their goodbyes, but Norris will be back on Sunday. For family and friends -- that's divine.