Submitted by: Annette Michaels
Shirley Bush is the oldest member of the Tellico Plains, Tenn., Church. Born Shirley Evans on December 26, 1917, she recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. As a young girl she had a dream where she saw Jesus coming. She saw clouds rolling and a Man sitting on a cloud with a sickle in His hand. She knew about sickles because her dad was a farmer.
When she was 9 years old, a woman named Edith Cross came to her house and gave her family Bible studies. In the Bible study book was a picture of Jesus coming just like what she had seen in her dream. She, along with her mother, continued the Bible studies and was baptized.
Shirley was an Adventurer in her younger days. She has memories of flying along with her sisters, with Homer Stockert, who was one of the pioneers of aviation. She loved telling people about Jesus. One time she was punished by her father for staying out too late. Where was she? She was on a neighbor’s porch telling him about Jesus.
As a teenager she had heard so many stories about Ellen White and Battle Creek, Mich., that she decided she needed to be in Battle Creek where the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s roots were. She moved to Battle Creek and got a job as a nanny; she wanted to be near the action.
She has had many jobs, including working in an office for Singer Sewing Company. She worked for many years as a Bible worker. Later she worked at The Bon Marche.
One day she met Francis Bush, who was a pastor. They got married and spent many years ministering together.
She and “Fran” raised three daughters and two adopted sons. She has lived all across the country, including Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, Florida, and now with her daughter in Tennessee.
She checks the news every day on her iPad. Every morning she gets up, showers, dresses, does her hair, and eats a breakfast of fresh fruits and nuts. She has daily devotions and spends lots of time talking to her friend, Jesus.
A prayer warrior, she prays for her family, the Church, the neighbors, the country, and much more.
When asked about the secret to her long life, with a smile, she says, “I’m afraid to say. God is in charge of my life. I was the oldest of six. I’m not sure why I’m still here, and they are gone. God must still have something for me to do.”
Georgia-Cumberland | May 2020