Dr. Verna Linzey is a 92-year-old stroke survivor. She is also an Assemblies of God minister--and yesterday she officiated at her first wedding.
Linzey married her termite inspector Jeff Bybee to his fiancé Vena Goodrich at Carlsbad Beach, Calif. That's not all she's done since she had a stroke. She's been on the speaking circuit and even won awards for her passion in ministry.
Here's the backstory: When Bybee inspected Linzey's home for termites and had bad news to share, he was overwhelmed by Linzey's spirituality and charismatic personality. He consulted his fiancé about asking Lynzey to marry them. Then he asked Lynzey's son, Chaplain James Linzey, if he thought she would consider officiating. He consulted her. After they both counseled the couple she agreed to do so. Of course, the engaged couple knew nothing about her stroke last year or that she never officiated at a wedding. Yet they sensed something special about her.
Linzey has a storied background. She was married to a US Navy Chaplain, is the mother of three military chaplains, the grandmother of one military chaplain, and the great, great, great grand-daughter of a chaplain in George Washington's Army. She had a step-father and mother who were ministers, and had five siblings who were ministers. The churches represented among them were Methodist, Assemblies of God, Pentecostal Church of God, Independent, and Southern Baptist. So deciding upon the wedding vows could be surprising. She is a trained minister and watched most of her 10 children get married. She chose Anglican, being a very traditional lady of God who makes use of the eloquent English language.
After surviving a stroke in October 2010, Linzey, a television evangelist, spoke at the World Believer's Convention in Phoenix where she was awarded Evangelist of the Year 2010 Award. She also spoke at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, for the 2011 Leadership Summit where she was awarded Leader of the Year Award and received a standing ovation, embarked upon her second solo artist CD, finished editing her television programs, was filmed in a movie entitled Iniquity, completed the Women's Leadership Bible as general editor, and was continually listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.
What is Linzey doing now? She spends time in God's word and gardening, where she communes with God and receives spiritual strength to continue succeeding and change lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
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