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Ellen Christian

May 11, 1929 ~ October 1, 2018 (age 89)

Mother Ellen Christian transitioned on October 1, 2018, at Lakeland hospital surrounded by her family. Legacy farewell services will be held on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church, 214 E Britain Ave, Benton Harbor, MI, with visitation starting at 11:00 am and service beginning at 12:00 noon.

Mother Ellen Christian was born May 11, 1929, to the union of Willie and Katie White in Hughes, AR. She moved to Benton Harbor, MI in 1947 at the age of 18. The exact date is unknown but starting from 1965, under the leadership of Rev. Hazel C. Christian, Mother Christian was the First Lady of the Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, she was also the Choir Director. Under her leadership, she led the Choir with a strong arm. Many powerful, anointed, strong vocalists evolved under her teaching. You didn’t have to know how to read or write, all you needed was a desire to sing.

Mother Christian was a faithful member of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church for 34 years.  She served as President of the Good Shepard Club for 16 years. She became a member of Israelite Missionary Baptist Church on April 26, 2009.   She served on the Mother’s Board. Out of her nine and a half years at Israelite, you can count on one hand the Sundays she missed.

Mother Christian loved children, and they loved her. She spent most of her life babysitting for her children as well as for numerous families in the community.  During church services, the children would race to sit next to “Grandma”.  But whenever they would get out of order, she would reach into her purse and pull out her infamous Afro comb.  The children knew what that meant, and they would sit still like little soldiers.

She was always willing to help when she could. Grandma was generous and kind-hearted, and she would always greet you with a hug and kiss. Grandma never met a stranger. For those who knew Grandma/Mother Christian, knew that she was a praying, God-fearing woman.  She enjoyed spending time with her family, going to church, cooking and singing.

She leaves to celebrate her legacy her daughters Jean (Spencer) Nesbitt, of Benton Harbor, Nicole (Myron) Crockett, of Charlotte NC, Joy (Mark) Normand of Antelope, CA. Siblings her twin brother Rev Eldridge White Sr. of Covert, MI and one sister Mattie Bell Jones of Benton Harbor. Grand-children Darnell (Terri) Johnson, Sonya (Robert) Caldwell, and Ronnella (Lamar) Booker all of Benton Harbor, Nicholas Doughty of Charlotte NC. Great-grandchildren Tierra Ward of Grand Rapids MI, Darnell Johnson II, Genesis Johnson, Michael Levingston II, Nevaeh Levingston, Isaac Johnson, Isaiah Johnson, all of Benton Harbor. Great-great grandchild Dominique Billings II, of Grand Rapids, MI. Goddaughters Barbara Hawkins, Dornesha Coates, Veria Johnson, and Margie Gordon White. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

She was preceded in death by three sisters Lillie Mae Thomas, Katie Bell, and Bessie London. Two brothers Louis White, and Willie White Jr., her parents Willie White Sr. and Katie White.

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