WATCH: Drive-by birthday parade surprise held for ’90 plus-year-old’ reverend in Ensley

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) The beautiful sound of a horn playing ‘Happy Birthday’ could be heard all through the Ensley community in celebration Friday morning. Neighbors, church members, and city leaders turned out in droves to surprise and celebrate the birthday of Reverend William McKinley Norwood in a massive drive-by birthday parade.

As many as 100 people lined up at Jackson-Olin High School and then drove around Macedonia Baptist Church in Ensley in an unforgettable celebration.

Reverend Norwood has been preaching for 82 years. And he has been the Reverend at Macedonia Baptist Church Ensley for 67 years. He is known as the ‘Dean of Ministries’ by all, due to his profound knowledge of the ministry and because he is able to recite the entire Bible, word for word, every scripture.

He is well-known for his ‘preacher hat’ and for always being dressed in a suit, no matter the occasion.

During his Birthday parade, Jazz Hall of Fame Trumpet player Jose’ Carr, played ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Old Time Religion’ as everyone joined in the celebration.

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr along with a few other city leaders shared in the memorable parade for the Reverend. Also in attendance were officials from the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Office, Fire Department officials, and several local ministers.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin could not make it but he called the Reverend to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’ and told him that he would see him soon.

During the celebration, choir members sang ‘ God be with you’ for all to enjoy. 

Reverend Norwood is said to be ’90 plus-years old’, as many question his age due to him not looking or sounding as such. Most people believe that he could actually be between the ages of 60 or 70 years old because of his awesome spirit, knowledge, and the way he carries himself.

Happy Birthday Reverend William McKinley Norwood!

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