70 year old Pastor shares her experience after climbing Kilimanjaro
70 year old climbs Kilimanjaro

Sylvia Tisdale was up for the task of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest summit at 19,341 feet, even at the age of 70.

On day three, she was forced to halt at 12,000 feet due to altitude sickness, but she still made it down to Pensacola happy and with a fresh sense of purpose.

Tisdale, the founder, and pastor of Epps Christian Ministries, stated, “I’ve never done this in my life, and it was a lifelong experience.

Tisdale was exhausted before to the climb after years of feeding the needy and homeless in Pensacola. In all honesty, she was considering her role outside of the soup kitchen. Ruth Tisdale, her daughter, had an idea, so the two of them started preparing in January to tick Mount Kilimanjaro off their bucket lists.

Sylvia launched a GoFundMe with a $25,000 fundraising target to assist in filling their storage containers so they could keep feeding the poor in Brownsville. Since January, she has gone to Planet Fitness every day for a workout. The gym was so moved by her humanitarian activities that it donated her $20,000 to further her cause.

To help feed the needy in Pensacola, Sylvia Tisdale, the founder and pastor of Epps Christian Ministries, treks Mount Kilimanjaro.
Before heading to Tanzania for the climb, the mother and daughter spent some time traveling and doing a safari in Kenya. They left on June 2.

They began their ascent on June 9 at 1 p.m. at Londrossi Gate, and on the first day, they ascended for six hours. Tisdale was feeling okay at that moment.

The two separated from their party of eight the next day to slow down since the effects of the altitude were starting to affect them. They traveled a little more slowly than the others, but after eight hours, they arrived at Moir Hut, the next resting place.

“I had reached the summit and was looking up at Mount Kilimanjaro. It was humbling to see the ice on the mountain, “said Sylvia.

After two hours of walking on the third day, she finally felt the effects of the altitude. She began to feel lightheaded before going unconscious. She felt compelled to halt. Ruth was forced to continue, and as a result, her daughter arrived at the summit.

“You are, as they say, the wildest fantasies of your forefathers. And for me, it was the fulfillment of the greatest hopes of my forefathers “When Ruth arrived to the summit of the mountain, Uhuru Peak, she remarked.

Sylvia thought she was there exactly with everyone else.

“I felt great. I traveled to 12,000 feet, and it was incredible to do it all with my 70-year-old body “She spoke. “I followed the young folks and experienced climbers. I felt proud of what I had accomplished.”

In order to raise money for needy people in Pensacola, Ruth Tisdale scaled Mount Kilimanjaro.

When her mother was contemplating her life’s purpose, Ruth witnessed a side of her mother she had never seen before. As they read the Facebook comments on their daily activities, they were happy to see how her mother was motivating others. Her mother was inspiring others and turning into a shining example.

Ruth said that her mother didn’t act like a person in their seventies. It was a brand-new child discovering the world and all these wonderful things. And being able to share in my mother’s path of rediscovering her passion was really fulfilling.

She had so many fresh ideas and so many various things she wanted to accomplish while we were traveling, which is really different from where she started when she turned 70.

Sylvia was contemplating the folks back home, the ones who are simply existing and not living, much as she previously was, as she made her way up the mountain. She wants these “common folks,” as she refers to them, to feel the same joy she did when climbing. It’s as simple as getting outside and taking in nature; it doesn’t need scaling the highest peak in Africa.

Sylvia has always supported the underprivileged and homeless in her neighborhood, but now she wants to assist those regular people in getting outside and staying active, especially kids who might not have access to activities like camping and hiking.

She said that she and her daughter “truly represented regular folks.” “I carried them on my back because, as I was ascending the rocks, it occurred to me that common people too needed the chance to go hiking and appreciate nature.

So, sure, I truly did discover a purpose.


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Zarina Hirani
Sep 11, 2023
Well done, my name is Zarina Hirani, at the age of 70 I summitted Mount Kilimanjaro 10days ago on 31st August 2023. It was an amazing experience
Sep 13, 2023
Congratulations Zarina. We would love to hear your triumphant story.

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