By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.—Mid Maryland senior adult consultant Lou Redd sang Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” at the Howard County senior idol contest and brought down the house. Three hundred of the 407 guests voted for Redd.
“His voice was perfect for the song. They loved him. He was fabulous. Lou won in a landslide victory,” Vicki Stahly said. Stahly is the assistant director of the Ellicott City senior center.
Redd moved to the state level competition on Jan. 22 at Howard Community College’s Smith Theater.
Stahly explained that the contest, sponsored this year by the Howard County Department of Aging, included participants from nine counties. Auditions were held in October.
Redd’s neighbors in Parkview Retirement Community contacted Stahly and told her to recruit Redd to audition.
“That’s how I met Lou,” Stahly said. “The residents were crazy about him and they called him ‘preacher.’
“The first time he sang I thought, he’s going to take it all. He has such charisma and magnetism.”
Redd said the opportunity has been fun, but has also been an opportunity to be a witness. A Howard County seniors’ newspaper interviewed Redd and in addition to his win, reported how as a young man he rode a streetcar to Catonsville Church where he was mentored by Godly Christian men and how God called Redd to sing at the age of 45, though he had no formal training. The newspaper also told how Redd ministers to churches throughout the state.
Since the contest, Redd has been receiving more offers to perform. He’s been asked to sing the national anthem on Jan. 19 for a United Seniors of Maryland rally at St. John’s College in Annapolis. He’s also been asked to be part of a gospel extravaganza and has been invited to sing at senior centers throughout Howard County.
Redd is excited about the win and the opportunities. He enjoys ministering, especially to seniors, and sees this as an opportunity to expand that ministry.
The 75-year-old senior saint ministers with the Mid-Maryland Association, helping churches develop, maintain and expand their senior ministries. He calls seniors today the “encore generation,” with plenty left to give.
“You don’t sit down and retire, that’s not Biblical,” he said. Redd encourages seniors to get out and use their talents to minister and volunteer.
“He’s an ‘idol’ but he’s not idle,” Stahly quipped.