Meet Anne Rooks (or as my friends and I like to call her - Grandma Anne)! This Sole Sister has been impacting the Wilmington community for over 60 years through her tremendous faith, her commitment to the next generation, and her loving family.
I have the privilege of calling this beautiful woman of God my Grandmother… and my roomie! It’s hard to put all that she means to me and everyone in this community into just one blog post, so I am going to do my best to at least scratch the surface.
Anne and her husband Fred moved to Wilmington from Burgaw the year they got married in 1953. Here is where they raised their family of three girls - Becky, Mary Anne, and Pam. Grandma and Papa were insistent about raising their family in the faith. Grandma Anne has been a member of Wesley United Methodist Church for over 50 years, putting her heart and soul into serving and growing the community there. Bible study leaders, youth leaders, service project coordinator, you name it - Grandma has served that church and this community so well.
After starting a family, Grandma Anne decided she wanted to go back to school to get her degree to teach. When she was finished helping her own three kids with their homework, she would then move on to her own - eventually graduating and becoming a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher at Blair Elementary. The classroom was not just a daytime job for her, but it was a mission field - a platform where she could mold young minds teaching them about what it looks like to be kind, to be strong, and to show love. The impact she had on her students (even at such a young age) is astounding - with many students still reaching out to her to this day with updates on their lives since elementary school.
If you were to meet this woman, the first thing you would see is Jesus. She illuminates the love of Christ with every cell of her being. She is slow to speak, quick to listen, gentle with her words, patient beyond words, and filled with an unwavering hope.
Grandma Anne is committed to prayer. I moved to this small beach town and into her house 3 years ago. I know, without a doubt, that every worry or hurt that I have shared with her over the last 3 years (and trust me, they have been some rocky years) is being taken to our Father in Heaven through prayer. Not only that, but she is attentive to the lives of my friends who come over. She remembers every detail about what they are going through in life, prays for them, and then follows up with them to see how God worked. This is why (and many other reasons) all of my friends call her “Grandma” as well.
Anne Rooks is the type of woman that I strive to be when I grow up. I hope that when I am her age, I can look back on my life and know that I gave it all to Jesus - to knowing him better, loving his people more, and trusting in his immense plan for my life. Whenever the Lord takes her Home, I know with my whole heart that he will stare deeply into her eyes and with complete certainty say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).