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Oklahoma City church prepares to honor longtime nursery leader

St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Oklahoma City is planning a retirement reception for longtime nursery leader Beaulah Knight on Aug. 24. Knight has been the church’s assistant nursery superintendent for 65 years.
by Carla Hinton Published: August 16, 2014
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It’s not uncommon to see children with bright red lipstick marks on their foreheads playing together in an area of St. John Missionary Baptist Church.

By those tell-tale signs, church members know Beaulah Knight is somewhere in the building, and the children bearing the reminders of her crimson kisses are some of “Mama Knight’s kids.”

That’s how it has been for 65 years at the church, 5700 N Kelley.

The St. John congregation is preparing to honor Knight as she retires as assistant nursery superintendent after serving in the position for more than six decades.

Anna Sharp, Knight’s daughter, said a retirement reception for Knight is planned for Aug. 24. She said the congregation also plans to honor her mother by naming the church nursery “The Beaulah Knight Nursery.”

On a recent Sunday morning, Knight, 84, said she didn’t really know how to feel as she prepares to leave her beloved nursery.

“I have mixed emotions, because I love babies,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Sharp said her mother is retiring from her nursery duties due to health reasons but will still attend church and serve as a deaconness and an usher.

From the start

Knight said she and her late husband, Clois, were married in 1949 in a little white house near the church’s former building at Second Street and Phillips Avenue. (The house was relocated to the church’s current property.)

The retired cosmetologist said she was asked shortly after her marriage to become a nursery leader. She accepted but literally ran into a snag, she said.

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by Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide...
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Going on

Retirement reception for Beaulah Knight

When: Following church services Aug. 24.

Where: St. John Missionary Baptist Church fellowship hall, 5700 N Kelley.

Every Sunday morning at 9 o’clock, I’m here. I want to give God all the praise, because He gave me the health and strength to come here.”

Beaulah Knight,
assistant nursery superintendent at St. John Missionary Baptist Church

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