By Curt Yeomans
Bertha Pate has put her faith in God since she was a little girl growing up in rural Georgia.
She is a devoted Christian. The 23rd Psalm is one her favorite passages in the Bible. She refuses to use God's name in vain. She also refers to lying as an offense in the eyes of her lord.
Her faith is so strong, she keeps referring to God whenever she is asked about her life. She said she "couldn't ask for anyone better" in life than God.
Pate, who does not like to talk about the details of her life, lists God as the reason why she will celebrate her 103rd birthday today at the Lake City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Morrow.
"Trust in the Lord, and I bet he'll always be there for you," said Pate on Tuesday.
Pate's mother, Ida Carter, made sure her 10 children grew up to be devout Christians. Ida Carter encouraged her children to always be honest with themselves, each other, and God. The Morrow resident had one brother, and two nephews who grew up to be ministers.
"Lying doesn't help," Pate said. "It does more harm than good ... You can't lie to the Lord."
A picture of Pate's mother, along with one of her father, Oscar Carter, hangs in her room at the Lake City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
"My mother was one of the best women I've ever known, from the time I was born until now," Pate said.
The birthday girl will celebrate her milestone today with her daughter, Jocelyn Harris, and many of her descendants. She has four grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, "numerous" great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild, according to her daughter.
"She adores her grandchildren," Harris said. "In fact, she's always been a very loving, grandmother and great-grandmother."
Cooking is another one of Pate's loves. The spry McDonald native began her cooking career by helping her mother out in the kitchen when Pate was about 8, Harris said.
She went on to become a housekeeper, which meant she was also responsible for cooking meals for her employers. When Pate was asked what her favorite food to cook is, she exclaimed, "vegetables!"
Still, the conversation with Pate on Tuesday kept coming back to God, and the birthday girl's devotion to helping "Him" by helping other people in the world, while praying for spiritual assistance.
"I trust the Lord," she said. "That's who I depend on as long as he lets me stay on this Earth."