Church Mothers: Mrs. Velma T. Moore

In honor of Mother's Day, we are celebrating a group of women in the Mississippi Delta who anchor their communities as only a mother can.

Story by Alysia Burton Steele
Mrs. Velma T. Moore
Photo: Alysia Burton Steele

Grapeland, MS
Age: 78

Matriarch of: 15 children, 145 grandchildren, 33 great-grands, and 23 great-great-grands

"No indeed. I don't like that, talk about no divorce. No. If you gonna marry somebody, you supposed to marry them—you said 'til death do us apart. You hang there. It's gonna be dark days, light days, but you supposed to hang there until death do you apart. And I always say, 'Lord, I want one husband, I want all of my children to be by that one man.' And God fixed it so. We got 15 heads. That's the first man I married, never been married no more and never will. No, I will not. And I got 15 children by that one man and I thank God. And I did just like He say. We was not divorced. I'm still Mrs. Moore. I be Mrs. Moore until I'm dead and gone and I'll still be Mrs. Moore."