"Oh the glory of Your presence…We Your temple give you reverence. So arise to Your rest and be blessed by our praise…As we glory in Your embrace…As Your presence now fills this place"
On Thursday, February 18, 2021, at Spectrum Health Lakeland, in St. Joseph, Michigan, Evangelist Dorothy Ann Sanders was promoted to her heavenly home in the presence of her two beautiful daughters, Chantel and Nijah and her loving brother, Isaiah.
The beautiful and well-lived life of Evangelist Dorothy Ann Sanders was born into time on Wednesday, March 7, 1956, to the Christian union of the late Rev. Proc Randolph Sanders Jr. and Mother Berthella Ivy Sanders in Hughes, Arkansas. She was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, Ananias Sanders.
Growing up in a home where there was always a rich Christian heritage, one that paved the way for her wealth of Godly wisdom, it was in 1963, when the Sanders family relocated from Hughes, Arkansas, to Benton Harbor, Michigan, that Dorothy, at an early age, gave her life to Christ shortly thereafter.
As a little girl, Dorothy found her niche in the church and fell in love with singing and would often lead songs with her little brother Marlon Ray whom she affectionately called “MarRay” at the Galilee Baptist Church in Benton Harbor, Michigan.
She graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1975 and was a proud “BHHS TIGER” as she served faithfully as a member of the “Class of 1975 Reunion Committee”. Dorothy was a lover of learning and proudly received a Computer Applications Certification through Benton Harbor Area Schools Adult Education Services.
Dorothy was formerly employed as a professional care technician with the Avenue Family Network and was the proud black business owner of Berthella’s Wedding Designs.
As life would have it, Dorothy went through a season of “testimony development” and it was that season of her life that allowed her to mentor, guide and reach young women and men in this community in an evangelistic manner that was received by many as she often shared her life experiences telling them that God was a faithful, loving and forgiving God and they too could make it. She never forgot about God’s grace and mercy towards her. There would be times she would get ‘happy’ just thinking about how good God had been to her.
Dorothy made a renewed commitment to Christ in 1986, at the Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church and from that time forward, she proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ as often as she could, and she never looked back. For several years Dorothy served under the leadership of the late Rev. Emery Mack Varrie I and blessed the congregation with her voice while singing in the Combined Choirs. She became known for two songs that would stir the house every time she stepped to the microphone, “All of My Help” and “I Can Go To The Rock”.
Her evangelistic ministry was nurtured and developed even more as she served the ministry at Pilgrim Rest as church administrator, assisted congregants in need with housing placements, created food baskets and care packages for the needy and ministered to countless others through her prayers and words of encouragement.
Later in life, she united in Christian fellowship with the Reed Temple Church of God In Christ under the pastoral guidance of Pastor Philemon Reed. There Dorothy sang in the choir and decorated the church for an array of special events and programs, and she loved being given the opportunity to teach God’s Word in Bible Class. Dorothy was a blessing to the members of Reed Temple, giving of her time and talents in every way possible because she truly loved her church family.
With an eye for beauty and decor, Berthella Designs was birthed in honor of her beautiful, late mother, Berthella Ivy Sanders. Dorothy was a proud black business owner, creating the most exquisite floral arrangements, corsages, and centerpieces that each of her clients loved. From weddings to graduation parties and proms, Berthella Designs displayed elegance and class.
“Dorothy Ann” as she was affectionately called by those who loved her, had the most beautiful smile and was quick-witted, hilarious and had a way with words. She spoke phrases like, “Change the channel on your face” and “Don’t come in here with that Mickey Mouse mess.” just to mention a few. Even while being chastised, her children and grandchildren often couldn’t help but laugh. It was the effect that she had on everyone she knew. She will forever be remembered, and she will truly be missed.
Dorothy leaves the fondest of memories in the hearts of her beautiful daughters Chantel and her husband (Gentry) Phillips Jr. of Benton Harbor, Nijah and her husband (Maurice) Williams of Indianapolis; one special son, Matthew Sanders; (2) sisters, LaVerne Whitfield of Erie, PA, and Ebony Rockette of Abbyville, LA; (4) brothers, Proc and is wife (Doris) Sanders of Watervliet, Isaiah Sanders and Marlon and his wife (Mae) Sanders, both of Benton Harbor and Timothy Rockette of Abbyville, LA; (6) grandchildren, Euleasia Eddie, O’Netress Reaves, Jullijah Williams, Joseph Williams, Matthew Sanders Jr., and twins, Justice & Journee Williams; (2) great-grandchildren, twins, Zhuri & Zion King; (1) special niece, Nikeyia Rimpson, (1) aunt, Effie Razor of Detroit; (2) special cousins, Regina Todd of Long Beach, CA, and Nolan Granderson of Chicago, IL; special sisters, Debby Ann Rand-Butler, Kelly Hatcher and Delores Love and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, her Reed Temple Church family, classmates and friends.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
The family of the late EVANGELIST DOROTHY ANN SANDERS is grateful beyond measure for the generous outpouring of love and your genuine sympathetic concern. You will never know how much this has meant to all of us. When time renders more adjustment, personal acknowledgement will be sent to you letting you know how much we appreciate every act of kindness. Please keep us in your prayers.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Ann Sanders, please visit our floral store.