Vickie Riggs celebrates 30 years with FBC

Posted by Shana Adkisson on

Vickie Riggs doesn’t hesitate when she says that the last 30 years of her life have been nothing but a blessing.
During her time at First Baptist Church as the senior adult minister, Riggs has enjoyed traveling, building new friendships and enriching the lives of others.
“I think what I like best about my job are the relationships. And they are long-term relationships so not only do I know my senior adults, I also know their children and their grandchildren. That’s a real blessing to be involved in their lives. When you are involved in their lives for 30 years, you get to know them. They become my family,” Riggs said.
When Riggs first came to Norman it was to work on her masters degree.
“So I always say that the Lord called me to Norman, but not to First Baptist Church. A lot of ministers get called to a church and a position but I felt a call to Norman,” Riggs said.
When Riggs did finally get called to FBC, she began working as the recreation associate doing senior adult activities and children’s activities.
“There’s always been this thread of senior adult ministry. After a point, the personnel committee asked that I would do just senior adults, so we hired someone else to be the recreation associate,” Riggs said.
It was in the late ’90s that Riggs said she really felt like God had touched her life, causing her ministry to take another turn.
“People always say that we are a mission minded church but I realized as a senior adult group, we’d never gone on a mission trip. After much prayer and thought, we went to Bland, Va., to the Bland Ministry Center. We went there four times. Through that, we worked with the food pantry and clothes closet, and they said, ‘Why aren’t we doing this in Norman?’ So virtually the senior adult mission trip caused senior adults to start our community ministry program. They started the Food Pantry, the Clothes Closet and then we started the Bikes and Bibles Program,” Riggs said.
Riggs admits that she’s enjoying her ministry too much right now to consider her own retirement.
“I really love doing ministry so I’m going to keep going as long as I feel like I can be effective. I’ve always said I’ve been enjoying my senior adult’s retirement so I don’t know what to do when I retire. I’ve got to go so many places with them. We’ve traveled in all the Provinces of Canada and Hawaii twice, Alaska three times, England, Australia, and I’ve just been able to enjoy them enjoying those trips. I just love it,” Riggs said. “For the next few years, I want to continue to be creative in ministry and I really want to impress upon the senior adults how important it is that they pass on their wisdom to other generations and just develop relationships with them. I want to lead the senior adults into being involved in all ages and let them know that they still have value no matter what age they are.”
Riggs said that she often has the children of her senior adults come up to her and thank her for her ministry work, something she finds not only rewarding but heartwarming, too.
“It’s good when children come up to me and say, ‘Thank you, my mom or my dad having what they have had at First Baptist with the senior adult ministry has meant the world to them and has made a difference in their life.’ I’ve just been really blessed and I know that,” Riggs said. It’s one thing to be invited to the senior adult birthday parties and anniversary parties but when the family invites me in when the senior adult is ill, even when the senior adult is dying, it’s those precious moments, it’s really meaningful for me. I can have some sad times, because I do lose a lot of my folks, that’s the nature of life. There’s so many blessings, it’s just special.”