Here at American House, we pride ourselves on having a robust and active schedule of activities and events for our residents. American House Hazel Park Resident Pastor Payne goes above and beyond the meaning of staying active as the community’s 102-year-old Pastor, choir member, avid reader and licensed driver.
Pastor Payne, born Eunice Payne February 27, 1912, was renamed Leo Adkins Payne several years later. However, to the residents and staff at his home of American House Hazel Park, he is simply known as Pastor Payne – the community’s leader of bible study and provider of what Pastor Payne calls “spiritual food.”
Becoming The Pastor
Pastor Payne was not always a pastor. Originally from Greenville, Alabama, the potential of a better life and education brought Pastor Payne to Detroit in 1941. In 1942, he began working for Ford Motor Company as a checker and packer. Thirty years later, Pastor Payne left the company to pursue his true passion.
“I love people very much,” says Pastor Payne. “It is in my heart to preach and teach, but I was reluctant to face the congregation.”
Pastor Payne underwent public speaking training and gained the confidence he needed to preach. In 1958, Pastor Payne organized his first church at 24 E. Nevada in Detroit where he grew the congregation as pastor for 47 years.
Coming to American House
Pastor Payne first became acquainted with the Hazel Park community by coming regularly to visit one of his members. Pastor Payne would have bible study with his member and, in doing so, became familiar with his future home.
“Moving to American House was one of the best choices I’ve ever made,” says Pastor Payne.
In August 2011, the current pastor of the community approached Pastor Payne with a request to lead Bible study. He accepted and, two and a half years later, continues to faithfully lead bible study sessions on the first and third Mondays of each month.
Pastor Payne describes the experience as very rewarding. “Many senior citizens had church homes, and many of them aren’t able to go – this fills a void. Nothing else will really satisfy them but spiritual food.”
Staying active, staying well
In addition to serving as community pastor, Pastor Payne enjoys participating in the American House Choir, which regularly performs across Southeastern Michigan. The choir is composed of more than 70 talented American House residents with a passion for music, which Pastor Payne enjoys very much.
Pastor Payne recently acquired his driver’s license at the age of 100, and still drives occasionally. Payne can drive and read without problem and enjoys reading the local paper to stay up-to-date and well-informed on current events and politics.
At American House, we’re committed to a whole person wellness for each resident. Call us today at (248) 579-4422 or visit www.americanhouse.com to schedule a tour and find out about the exciting activities and events we offer to your loved ones.