Dr Laverne Wimberly

With Easter Sunday coming up, my mom recently asked me if I had a dress to wear for Easter Sunday mass. When she asked this, it got me thinking about the church attire I wore growing up. I was always taught to dress respectfully when going to church — I even had certain dresses in my wardrobe that were specifically meant to wear on Sundays. 

Come to find out, many of my friends who attended weekly church services grew up the same way. When my grandmother was growing up, church attire was taken even more seriously. Men wore suits to every service, and women wore nice dresses and sometimes hats. There was a special kind of reverence involved when it came to dressing for church. 

Some may say that in recent years society's expectations for the church dress code have declined. However, people like La Verne Wimberly remind the rest of us of the appropriate way to dress when attending church. 

Wimberly, who has a doctorate in education, is an 82-year-old Tulsa native and member of Metropolitan Baptist Church. Like most people, Wimberly — or just "Doctor," as her friends call her — has been restricted to her home for the last year due to the pandemic and has attended church virtually for the last 52 weeks. 

Now, when I had to attend church virtually, it was hard not to become complacent. I could sit in bed, drink a cup of coffee and watch Mass. If I'm being honest, most weeks I would attend virtual services while still wearing my pajamas. 

Wimberly, however, was determined not to become complacent. Every single Sunday for the past year, Wimberly dressed up to attend her virtual church service.

When I say she "dressed up," I don't mean she put on a pair of jeans and a sweater. No — for Wimberly, getting dressed means putting on her Sunday best, regardless of whether or not the service is virtual.

Fifty-two weeks means 52 outfits. Each Sunday, Wimberly wore a beautiful outfit with a matching hat.

It gets better: she never wore the same outfit twice, and she kept track in a journal. Thank goodness she took selfies so we could appreciate how wholesome and dedicated she is. If you need to smile, I guarantee looking at Wimberly's pictures will do the trick. 

Her mission was to keep herself and others motivated in a time we needed it most, and that she did. Wimberly, you are a remarkable treasure. I admire your commitment to dressing to impress no matter how or where you are attending church. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of wearing my "Sunday best." 

On this holy weekend, I hope each of you has a happy and blessed Easter. For Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. 

Elizabeth Crochet is a 19-year-old political communication sophomore from New Orleans. 

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