When you've had 104 birthdays, it can be hard to pick a favorite.
That's not a problem for Helen Patterson.
"Probably about the best one," Helen said.
Helen's church family organized the birthday parade for their senior member.
Sallateeska Baptist Church in Shawnee stopped in-person services during the pandemic, but nothing was going to stop the church from celebrating Mrs. Patterson.
"We knew we had to do something. A Friday night, people are probably doing whatever, but we can put everything on hold for Mrs. Patterson," said Anthony Ramirez, a deacon at Sallateeska Baptist Church.
"It was a great, I just can't believe it, that group out there are so great, they've done so much for me," Helen said.
Helen's family tree has deep roots. She has eight children, along with a combined 28 grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.
Church has always represented an extension of that family.
"Church has just been my life, all my life. Even before I was born, I was in church," Helen said.
She met her husband in church. Lester Patterson was a pastor and the two were married for 69 years until he passed in 2004.
She's taught classes at church over the years and plays the organ, doing both up until the pandemic.
"She is one of those that, you want to be a better person because you're around her," Ramirez said.
Helen said the worst part of the pandemic for her has been the separation from her church family, but she's hoping to continue her organ playing once the pandemic is over.