Kentucky Church Honors 99-Year-Old Member

Libby Dobyns has been a part of Unity Baptist Church since 1920 when her family came to Ashland on a horse and wagon.

The 99-year-old was honored for her faithful service and devotion during Sunday’s morning service on July 8. Jeremy Couture — the ninth pastor she has sit under — presented her with a glass-engraved plaque that extolled her years of service to the church.

“This is such a nice honor,” she said. “I don’t know what to say.”

Libby sat with her younger sister Opal, who is 97, and about two dozen friends and family who packed pews around her. The church gave her a rousing ovation and Ashland Mayor Steve Gilmore presented her with a Key to the City and proclaimed Sunday as “Libby Dobyns Day” in Ashland.

“She is Ashland,” said Gilmore, who said he first met Libby only a few months ago during a citywide event that helps the elderly and others with household repairs. “I came to her house and she motioned for me to come in. We talked for a few minutes and she said, ‘I know your face but can’t place you.’ I told her I was the mayor and she said, ‘That’s it! I’ve seen your picture in the newspaper.”’

Gilmore said he learned that Libby worked at Armco Steel for 31 ½ years and at G.C. Murphy’s in downtown Ashland for 4 ½ years. The small department store has been gone for decades.

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Source: Baptist Press