A retired pastor in Georgia is enjoying the media spotlight for earning a college degree at age 88.
Horace Sheffield enrolled at Shorter University, a Southern Baptist school in Rome, in 1961 but didn’t complete his degree because he needed to focus on taking care of his family.
His granddaughter Jill Brazier told Fox 5 Atlanta that Sheffield is a determined man and that she wasn’t surprised that he wanted to return to school at Shorter to follow through with what he had started so long ago.
“That’s one thing in his life that he had never finished,” she said.
Sheffield was able to enroll tuition free and do his work online to earn a bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies and a spot alongside fellow graduates of the class of 2017.
Known as “Pop” to those who love him, Sheffield is an honorary senior pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Barnesville, his hometown. He used to work as director of missions for the Georgia Baptist Convention.
Sheffield, who is only days away from turning 89, has three children, five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. His wife Bernice died several years ago.
A Shorter University news release described the enthusiasm that greeted Sheffield when he took the stage at the May 5 graduation ceremony to receive his degree.
“He made his way across the graduation stage with the aid of his walker to the sounds of thunderous applause from the crowd that rose to its feet to honor him,” the news release said.
The news release also noted that news of Sheffield’s accomplishment has received media coverage in places as far away as Nigeria and Kenya.