Former MCS teacher celebrates 95th birthday

(WMC-TV) - Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Whitehaven honored a retired teacher who turned 95 Sunday.

The congregation celebrated Bennie Williams' birthday at Sunday's worship service.

"I thank you, this is such a pleasant surprise," said Williams.

Williams taught in the Memphis City Schools system for more than 40 years.  During that time she worked at a number of schools, including Booker T. Washington High School.

"She taught at Booker T.," said church member Sheila McDuffie.  "She taught world history."

Williams' husband died in 1989, and while they did not have biological children, Williams became like a mother to many students who attended her classes.

"At school, there are things children would ask me for," said Williams.  "Sometimes lunch money, sometimes advice."

"We give thanks to God this day to you, Mrs. Williams," said Rev. Don Johnson.

Williams said one key to her long life was living right and taking care of her health.

"I ate what I wanted to eat and I did exercises every now and then," she said.

Williams gave much of the credit to her faith.

"The Lord shined on me every day of my life," said Williams.  "I could not have made it sometimes without him."

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