This 82-Year-Old Woman Dresses Up for Virtual Church Services Every Sunday

La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom

For over a year, many churchgoers have been attending their Sunday services online. The spread of COVID-19 has meant that the safest option for parishioners is to gather on Zoom. And like many things in the pandemic, this virtual option means that sweatpants are appropriate attire—unless you are Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberly, that is. The 82-year-old; Tulsa, Oklahoma resident has been dressing to the nines every Sunday, as if she were attending Metropolitan Baptist Church in-person. And after the service, she's been sharing her outfits via a selfie posted on Facebook.

Dr. Wimberly has been sharing her color-coordinated outfits since March 29, 2020. That’s over 50 outfits featuring large hats adorned with ribbons and feathers as well as blazers festooned with statement-making brooches. Her style is impeccable with just the right amount of matching and contrast. And, of course, it’s made all the more delightful with Dr. Wimberly’s smiling face.

Dressing up for church is a tradition that the retired educator—whom parishioners call “Doctor” because of her Ph.D. in education—has had since she was a little girl. “I’d pick out a nice outfit and hat and lay it out the night before,” Dr. Wimberly explains, “so that I could be prepared and look presentable.”

When in-person services were suspended, Dr. Wimberly didn’t dream of dressing down. “I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness, I can’t sit here looking slouchy in my robe,'” she recalls. “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.’”

The response to Dr. Wimberly’s first post-church selfie was overwhelmingly positive; many said seeing it boosted their spirits. So, she has continued to share her Sunday outfits after each virtual worship and will do so until she’s back at Metropolitan Baptist in the late spring.

Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberly doesn't let virtual church services keep her from dressing to the nines.

La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom

Each Sunday, the 82-year-old retired educator attends worship from her home wearing color-coordinated outfits and then shares a selfie.

La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom La Verne Ford Wimberly in Church Outfit for Zoom

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Dr. La Verne Ford Wimberly.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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