Retired educator La Verne Wimberly, the 84-year-old author and smiling face of My Sunday Best: Pearls of Wisdom, Wit, Grace, and Style (Nelson Books, out now), had no idea she'd write a book. She simply wanted to worship God as she always did, attending Tulsa's Metropolitan Baptist Church each week, dressed perfectly and sporting a gorgeous hat.
When the Covid pandemic forced the church to go virtual in March 2020, Wimberly had no intention of moping through the worship service in her pajamas. She donned her wide-brimmed white hat, blouse and skirt, and turquoise jewelry to worship God at home dressed in her Sunday best.
Then she took a selfie to post on her Facebook page. And another selfie the next Sunday for 51 consecutive weeks until the church doors reopened. Every Sunday a different hat. Every Sunday a different outfit. Every Sunday a joyful woman honoring the God she loves by looking her best and sharing that love with a growing number of fans. Wimberly's posts went viral on social media and soon newspapers and network TV hosts —Gayle King, Anderson Cooper, David Muir, Trevor Noah, and more — came calling.
A Nelson Books executive editor Janet Talbert took notice. She connected Wimberly with Washington D.C. writer Barbranda Lumpkins Walls, to pair Wimberly's views on life, faith and worship with 52 photos of her wearing exuberantly colored hats festooned with all manner of ribbon and lace, tulle, flowers, and feathers.
Wimberly will be talking about her hats and her book on The Tamron Hall show that is scheduled to air on Good Friday. She tells PW, “I hope readers see that life is a journey filled with adventure, with countless ups and downs. If they equip themselves with biblical principles, they can help make the best of the circumstances they encounter. I want readers to strive to live life to the fullest, to master the challenges and vicissitudes of life with resilience.”