Sunday is Mother’s Day. It is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. The phrases “Second Sunday in May” and “Mother’s Day” are actually trademarked and “Mother’s” is a singular possessive because the original emphasis on this special day was that each family should honor their own mother.

Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908 because a woman named Anna Jarvis believed that a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world.” Miss Ruby Wadford, 94, agrees wholeheartedly with that statement. “I think about my mother every day. I would not be who I am and my daughter, Sandra, would not be who she is without my mother.” Miss Ruby’s parents helped raise Sandra, who was born with Down syndrome and has been very active in the First Baptist Jackson Special Ministries over much of her life.

A single mother, Miss Ruby found herself alone with a young child with special needs. “There were no resources and I had to rely on my parents, particularly my mother. My daughter, Sandra, sees her as a second mother and the three of us have enjoyed an unconditional loving relationship that a person with special needs contributes to a family. I also do not know what I would have done without the Special Ministries at First Baptist Jackson. Often unnoticed, it provides emotional support and friendships for families like Sandra and me. I want everyone to know what a special thing we have here at First Baptist Jackson. It has changed our life,” says Miss Ruby.

“I’ve never felt sorry for myself. I’ve had hurdles in life, but I focus on what Sandra can do instead of what she can’t do, which makes all of the difference in the world. She tells me she loves me every time I see her and I love her, too.”

There are more than 40,000 individuals in Mississippi with special needs in Mississippi, but only 2% of churches have ministries designed for special needs. If you have a heart for this ministry and want to learn more, visit


  1. Tricia Bradford

    I never knew Ruby’s mother but I did see the love and patience she showed for Sandra. I know she felt God’s love through her daughter’s love. Ruby is a blessing sent to all her friends and our church. 💕
    Tricia M B

  2. Cynthia Mabry

    What a sweet story of the love, the very fortitude of mothers with special needs children. Mrs. Ruby certainly has been that mother. Her love for Sandra always shines in her eyes and in her actions. What a privilege for FBCJ as a body of Christ to come along side families with special needs children. No matter if they are three or forty-three. Serving alongside many of our church members in our Special Ministries has just been my joy. Coming to be with this very special family of believers each Sunday is awesome. I am convinced these wonderful folks have a direct ear from our Lord in our prayer time and they NEVER forget to pray and intercede for members of our church and community, even our nation. But mostly, I come for the hugs. Love has no boundaries. Thanks for sharing this article.