Georgetown Mayor Jack Scoville recently signed a proclamation making March 20, 2013 Marthena McCants Day in the city.
What a day of celebration for this genuine Christian lady who today celebrates her 100th birthday.
Marthena Armstrong McCants, also known as Mother McCants, is the second of 11 children born to William and Mary Gamble Armstrong in Georgetown County on March 20, 1913.
As a child growing up in the Oatland Community of Georgetown she worshipped at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church where Rev. Michael McCants served as pastor.
She actively participated under his pastorate as a child and young adult, not realizing that he would later become her father-in-law.
One can only imagine the many changes in the growth of both the city and rural areas that she has witnessed.
McCants says that, “we would travel on dirt roads by horse and buggy whenever we would go to town to shop.”
Growing up in Oatland, her childhood school days were spent at Browns Ferry School.
In their small community of family members and neighbors she and her siblings (seven deceased) Harold Armstrong, Sadie Armstrong Larkin, and Mamie Armstrong Britton played many games along those dusty roads but were dutiful to chores in order to help their parents maintain the homestead.
She met and married the love of her life, Samuel Matthew McCants, on June 29, 1929 and they settled down as a young couple in the City of Georgetown on Hawkins Street.
There, where she still resides, they lovingly reared their nine children: Julia (deceased), Harold, Mary, Samuel Jr., Franklin, Ethel Lee and Jessie Lee (deceased), Dorothy, and Linda.
In addition to relocating to the city, her religious affiliation also began in 1929 at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church as she moved her membership from Mt. Sinai to work beside her husband who was an ordained Deacon.
This union of 57 years ended with his demise in 1986.
God has richly blessed her to see the births and assist in rearing 17 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
Mother McCants was a dutiful, vibrant, and ardent member and worker in Bethesda for more than 70 years serving under the leadership of Reverends G.G. Daniels, T.O. Mills, F.K. Simms, W. A. Johnson, J.B. Lewis Sr., and A.N. Scott.
Within the last 10 years she has relinquished her duties to the younger members but continues to pay her dues.
Years of service have been given to the Deacon Wives & Deaconess Board Ministry, the Senior Missionary Society Auxiliary, Pulpit Aid Society, and all of the local, state, and national Baptist associations.
Her active work for the Lord was not only at Bethesda; but, in all of the surrounding churches in the city and county, regardless of their denomination.
In the community she has also been a part of New Hope Tent for decades.
To this day, Mother McCants continues to encourage and enlighten everyone with whom she comes in contact to develop a personal relationship with God.
She often says: “God is the only one that will keep you if you serve Him in Spirit and in Truth.”
I am grateful to Almighty God for granting me the opportunity to be in close fellowship with such a gentle, lovable person with a quiet, humble nature.
Truly as a member of Bethesda for over six decades, I have seen so many positive attributes exemplified by this true Spiritual Ambassador.
Let me express my sincere appreciation to all of her children for graciously accepting my assertiveness in pursuing some aspects of their mother’s life history for her to be so honored.
We wish for you a happy birthday for 100 years of longevity.
This comes from your entire family, my family members, and hopefully all of the citizens of Georgetown County.
By Mercedes M.G. Munnerlyn
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