For the love of God, honey.
La Verne Ford Wimberly, 82, is serving the Lord in style.
Shining in the holy trinity of high fashion, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, native meticulously color coordinates her outfits, hats and jewelry to attend Metropolitan Baptist Church’s virtual services via Zoom each week.
“In the 20 years I’ve been going to church there, I’ve always had my little routine that I learned from my mother as a girl,” Wimberly told the Washington Post.
“I’d pick out a nice outfit and hat and lay it out the night before, so that I could be prepared and look presentable.”
She has donned her lavish garments of praise for remote worship every Sunday since the church transitioned to online meetings in March 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, I can’t sit here looking slouchy in my robe,’ ” she said. “I didn’t want to sit around alone and feel sorry for myself, so I decided, ‘You know what? I’m going to dress up anyway.’ ”
Wimberly — affectionately called “doctor” by her fellow parishioners, owing to her doctorate in education and the years she spent as a school principal and superintendent — posts a Sunday selfie and a Bible verse on Facebook every week, hoping her posh presentations inspire others.
“For years, everyone had known to look for me in the last row, section two, dressed to the nines,” she said of her signature church service slay.
“People always looked forward to seeing what I was wearing. So when I posted that photo, everyone told me it boosted their spirits.”
But giving God the glory through her collection of heavenly headpieces and embellished ensembles is hard work.
Since serving up an Easter Sunday look featuring a pink skirt and beaded sweater jacket, as well as a matching hat decorated with pink and yellow lilies in April 2020, Wimberly has logged each outfit on a calendar, so she doesn’t accidentally wear her divine designs twice.
“It’s safe to say that 50 is a good number for the hats,” she confessed of her fully-stocked wardrobe and accessories, which span over three closets in her house.
“But the clothes? I’d better not go there. Let’s just say I’m now refusing to look at any catalogues.”
Wimberly, a widow whose husband died in 2009, said the motivation behind flexing in her godly gear is to make her friends and church family feel good.
A mission her pastor, Ray Owens, said she has accomplished.
“Her flare for fashion really ignites and sustains our faith,” Owens told Fox 23 News in Tulsa.
And while in-person services at her church haven’t resumed just yet, Wimberly is already planning her post-pandemic pageantry.
“What will I wear? That will be determined by the season and the weather,” she told the Washington Post.
“Maybe something purple with black and white. You can’t go wrong there.”
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