LANSING, Mich. — A crowd gathered outside of Trinity AME Church on Thursday to celebrate Claude Browne's 99th birthday.
Trinity AME Church is the oldest Black church in Lansing, and Browne is its oldest male member. He was born in Columbia, Tennessee, in 1922 and has lived in the Lansing area since 1952.
He says turning 99 means a lot to him.
"It means that I'm still alive and I'm able to go around where I want to go," Browne said.
His celebration included a drive-by birthday parade with balloons, smiles, pictures, honking horns and friendly waves.
Browne held his head high as he wore his gold crown and a shirt that let everyone know he was the birthday king.
"Mr. Browne is one of a kind. He's here every Sunday. He beats me here every Sunday when we can be in church. He gets here to make sure everything is in order," Pastor Lila Martin said. "He serves in whatever capacity he can."
And at 99, Browne isn't letting his age stop him from being active.
"I do 150 pushups every day God lets me live," Browne said. "My motto is 'I'm not in a hurry to go. And I'm not going until the good Lord calls me.'"
His daughter Thresa Browne says her father is a hard-working man and well known in the community.
"He's good for helping someone somewhere. If you're sick, he'll be there. If you need some food he'll bring it to you. He's that type of person," Thresa Browne said.
She says it's a great feeling to know that he's loved by so many in the community. And she's happy that he could celebrate his birthday at a place he loves so much.
"It's a wonderful milestone. I wish my mom was here to see it all," Thresa Brown said. "It's wonderful that he made it to 99, and he's going to make it to 100."
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