She has been around a long time, but you wouldn’t know it to look at her. Cordie Siler, who will be 93 on her next birthday, June 28, is a pleasant, kind mother of Liberty who hasn’t let her age keep her still. Sister Siler holds a weekly prayer and Bible study group in her home, is a member of a Christian social club called “Distinguished Ten,” and attends church regularly. Her daughter thinks she should cut back on some of her activities, but Sister Siler said, “I’m not going to because I wouldn’t have anything to do.”
Born in Virginia in 1914, one of four children, Sister Siler was raised mostly by her maternal grandmother, Liza Fosque, who was a midwife.
“She used to get $5 for delivering the black babies and $10 for delivering the white babies,” Sister Siler said, and she remembers helping her grandmother by filling out the birth papers for the new births. “She taught me how to clean and she taught me how to wash on the washboard,” Siler said.
At the age of 16, Sis Siler moved to Maryland and a year later she married Jessie Siler on December 5, 1931. Together they had five children, two girls: Salima and Gloria, and three boys: Jessie, Jimmie and Lilton. Jessie died at age 62 and Lilton as an 8-day old baby. In addition to raising her children, she raised one of her sister’s son, Mark.
Despite Sister Siler’s long life, she said she, along with an aunt who is also 92, is the exception in her family. Her mother died in her 60s and her two sisters at age 42 and 38.
Sister Siler was baptized into the Adventist faith at age 20. She said a woman, Mildred Evans, was walking down her street pushing a stroller with a Bible under her arms and stopped to give her a Bible study. She continued to study with the young woman’s father and then took her stand and was baptized along with about 40 others by Pastor Fred Phipps into Berea Temple in Baltimore city. She remained at Berea for 37 years, and then worshiped at Liberty and Baltimore First Church in Ellicott City, MD before returning to Liberty.
The Distinguished Ten is a group of ten Adventist women who range in ages from 65 to 100 years old. The group meets one Sunday per month and plans fundraising activities to raise money for scholarships. Sister Siler gives thanks to God for all the blessings in her life and frequently gives financially to help students attending Baltimore Junior Academy.
“The Lord has blessed me and answered many prayers throughout the years. I thank the Lord for His faithfulness,” Sister Siler said. She has some minor illness but for the most part she said she feels good and sleeps well. Her favorite song is “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and her favorite Bible text Psalm 1:1. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. ----by Khalid Gilmore