Yesterday was Betty Pettit’s 85th birthday.

Betty is Josh Pettit’s mom (Josh has worked for West from Day 1!) and the wife of Bob Pettit.

And Betty is a TikTok star!!!! This has also caused her to be a local news media highlight, and now, Bob and Josh are going to be interviewed next week by CNN. The point is to raise awareness and offer education regarding Alzheimer’s.

Last year Josh took a video of Betty introducing herself to someone.

The only thing was, the someone was herself.

When he shared it on TikTok, it went viral. And a year later, it is still causing conversation.

One would assume that the conversation and comments are all good. What’s not to speak positively of? Josh is videoing his mom, who doesn’t recognize herself in the mirror yet offers the person she sees such kindness and love. It is one of the most beautiful transactions one could see.

The crazy thing is folks have found a way to say nasty things to Josh via online media platforms.

One threatened to find out where he lives and call the Dept. of Aging for elder abuse. Then, she researched where “The Charlotte Observer” is located . . . (duh – sorry!) and put another post that she is going to figure it out. She even went as far as to call Josh an “assailed brat.” (I had to google what that was!)

Another lady wrote that she didn’t think I knew Betty at all, and I was making it all up!


Right now, none of the West staff can get it all done, so we ask for your patience. . . trying to balance working for a church during the Advent/Christmas season is always a challenge, and this year seems to be bigger than ever. It’s a great problem to have – it means our ministries are healthier than ever! It’s a lot to manage as we restructure and recreate post-pandemic systems.

But – the last thing we have time to do is make snarky comments to people online. May we suggest people who have time to write nasty grams volunteer at a local non-profit and be a positive force of change?

The beautiful thing about Betty’s video is that as she greets the stranger in the mirror, she is acting out of her authentic self. Offering kindness, love, and grace.

Betty looks a lot like Jesus.

Betty is the OG. The original gospel. The embodiment of Jesus.

No pretense. Just real. Just her.

And millions have loved her because of it.

Jesus taught that for folks to understand the faith they should become like little children.

Often as we age, especially in our eldest years, we act like children. Innocent, dependent, yet hearts full of hope rather than suspicion and pain.

We are a people of hope.

That’s the message of the Original Gospel. The Original Good News.

I look forward to continuing to explore that on Sunday.

Thanks for all you do for West, this community, and the Kingdom of God!