Fifty Years of Friendship
No one spends the holidays alone at Meadows Baptist Church. On the first Saturday of every December, women from all walks of life and all ages come together in radiant Christmas reds and greens to celebrate The Granny Party, an annual event that has touched generations of women in Plano.
“What a moment to break away from the throws of Christmas and the hustle, and to just have fun and be celebrated,” said Judy Fenton, the Ladies’ Ministry coordinator at Meadows Baptist Church. “We always make the grannies feel special.”
Fifty years ago, in the middle of Tuesday morning bible study, a handful of women from the Ladies’ Ministry conceived The Granny Party for senior women who did not have families to spend Christmas with. A granny would be paired with a granddaughter, and the two would get to know each other at the party – a chance to connect on a deeper level.
What started with a modest number of granny-granddaughter pairs blossomed over the years. On Dec. 1, the church celebrated its 50th year of The Granny Party with the theme of “the Golden Jubilee, the room glowing magnificently with light, love, and the presence of God.”
A few years back, the Men’s Ministry members started dressing up as elves, serving at the party and adding to the fun. They are certainly charming in their pointy elf hats and playfulness. This year there was a harpist performing on-stage, a large screen replaying photos from past parties, and a mesmerizing Christmas tree with piles of gifts. And let’s not forget Judy’s husband, Senior Pastor Dr. Scott Fenton, who rode into the room as Santa Claus on a Honda Shadow 1100 motorcycle, making quite the entrance. “Rudolf had a runny nose; I had to get alternate transportation,” the pastor said, laughing.
Faye Derbonne has attended The Granny Party 48 out of the 50 years, first as a granddaughter, now as a granny. “Look at the number of women who have been able to share in this, and know that they are loved,” she said, smiling, as she surveyed the room. Faye’s warm-hearted welcome puts everyone around her under a spell. This year, she was presented with a tiara and a sash spelling out “Queen,” but she sparkles even without it.
Another granny in her eighties and her adopted granddaughter, who is in her thirties, take trips together. One granny who suffers from anxiety was hesitant to attend the party at all, but her granddaughter assured her she would stay by her side, and now that granny has decided to join the occasion every time.
“We hope that they can carry on the friendship,” Judy said. The magic in The Granny Party is how it unites people who have never spoken before, how it reminds us we are all connected, especially now, during the holidays.Meadows Baptist Church >