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Transcript: 95-Year-Old Billboard Star’s Message: Love


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(Locator: Franklin, Tenn.)

Shirley Bachelder: “This is Gleason, and Barbara.”

Ninety-five-year-old Shirley Bachelder never forgets a friend.

Shirley Bachelder: “This is Nancy.”

Shirley always takes a picture when someone new visits her Sunday school class at Christ United Methodist Church near Nashville, Tennessee

(Voice off camera) “They’re kinda like your flashcards aren’t they Shirley?" Shirley: “They are. Yeah”

And she never misses a chance to make a new friend. Like the time Shirley took in a homeless man her daughter brought home from the park.

Shirley Bachelder: “When I got to the back room with the couch in it, the Lord tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Have him sleep there.’ So, Ahmad was with me for two years. I had been praying for an angel and he certainly was.”

Prayer is an important part of each day. Shirley’s signature flower headbands are a gratitude tradition she started way back on her 80th birthday.

Shirley Bachelder: “I was kind of nostalgic and thinking about all the wonderful things that God had given me...the three beautiful children, the wonderful husband, the nice house, the garden, two wonderful cats, and you know, all my friends and all the church. And I thought, ‘I should do something.’ And I said, I will put flowers in my hair. And in the morning when I put ‘em on I will say, 'Thank you, Lord, for all the good things that you have supplied me with. Thank you.'”

Shirley is a bit of a local celebrity around town for convincing an ad agency to put up billboards for free reminding people to “love one another.” It was something God asked her to do.

Shirley Bachelder: “I said to Him, ‘You know, Lord, that’s gonna cost a bundle.’ He said, ‘Well, if you have to mortgage your house, I wish you would do it.’ My granddaughter photographed me. When Lamar saw it they said, ‘We will put 21 billboards up.’ And so it was quite an exciting moment for me.”

Shirley says helping God to spread his message is the least she can do.

Shirley Bachelder: “I haven’t had a life of ease by any means. I’ve had a lot of operations, and miscarriages, and family upsets, and all kinds of things. But there’s always been the Lord that’s taken care of me.”

Voice off camera: “What would you say to somebody who feels like they’re lost?”
Shirley Bachelder: “They’re lost? Oh, I would love to meet that person because I would say, ‘You know, You’re one of the lambs that are lost. And somebody’s looking for you. And I know who’s looking for you. It’s the Lord.’”

Shirley says one of God’s greatest gifts in these 95 years has been the friends God sent to walk with her every single day.

(Shirley's voice reading a poem) “The more we love, the more we find, that life is good and friends are kind. For only what we give away, enriches us from day to day.”