Columbia woman matriarch of her church for half a century

Olivia Chestnut has been a member of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church since the early 1940's.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- When members of Saint Timothyâ??s Episcopal Church are asked about who the anchor of their congregation is, they think of Olivia Chestnut.

Miss Olivia, as they call her, has been a member of the church since the early 1940â??s, and has touched many lives along the way.

â??Itâ??s like a family, a second family,â?? says Chestnut.

The 91-year-old has taught Sunday school and was a member of the altar guild for more than 50-years. Her service in the church is recognized by a plaque in the sanctuary.

Irene Painter says Miss Olivia taught her everything she knows about being on the altar guild. Miss Olivia was Painterâ??s Sunday school teacher as a child. Painter says thereâ??s one particular story from a Sunday sheâ??ll never forget.

â??A little boy in the class asked is it wrong to cut grass on Sunday,â?? remembers Painter. â??She (Miss Olivia) thought for a minute and said as long as you donâ??t stay home from church to do it!â??

Most members of Saint Timothyâ??s have their own Miss Olivia stories to share; something Miss Olivia says humbles her.

WACH Fox news will continue to highlight mothers of the church during the month of May.