Salvationist celebrates her 100th birthday
by Mervyn Morelock, Lt. Colonel
Edith Pippin Webb Henderson Harrington, of the Sun City (Ariz.) Corps, has reached a milestone not many people see—she celebrated her 100th birthday on Sept. 13, 2010.
Edith was born in Coffeyville, Kan., to Methodist parents. While on a visit, her grandmother introduced the family to The Salvation Army, and they accompanied her to a Saturday night service.
One Sunday morning, Edith’s mother was ill and couldn’t take Edith and her sister to the Methodist church they attended, so she put Edith in charge of the outing. Passing The Salvation Army church on the way, Edith decided she wanted to go there instead and sat down on the curb, demanding to be taken into the corps.
When she returned home, she was so excited about her experience at this new church—the Bible lesson in the sand box, the memory verse, and her copy of Young Soldier—that her mother told her she could attend there if she wanted to.
For several years Edith’s family dropped her off at the corps on the way to their Methodist church. Eventually, they joined her and became soldiers.
Accepting the Lord at age 4, she was officially enrolled as a “Little Soldier” in the corps. After graduating from eighth grade, she felt called to become an officer. However, her father would not allow it.
She worked at various jobs through the 1929 Depression and as an aircraft mechanic during World War II. After the war her employment included laundress for the Santa Fe Railroad and for the San Bernardino County Hospital. She retired in 1969 due to health problems.
Harrington has outlived three Christian husbands. She lives with her son and daughter-in-law, Majors John and Dee Webb, in Surprise, Ariz., where she helps at the corps and is active in League of Mercy.
Because she left school after eighth grade, she never earned a high school diploma. Determined to accomplish that goal, she earned her GED at age 82. At 88, she completed her AA degree at Gateway Community College in Phoenix, Ariz.
Harrington has been a faithful Salvationist for 96 years. She looks forward to being promoted to Glory while doing the Lord’s work, considering it to be her greatest honor.