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A L IFE OF PURPOSE
“With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation”. Psalm 91:16
Born For A Purpose
Ernestine Sutton Stevenson was a very special woman who knew her life was purposefully and divinely orchestrated by God. She was born to the late Ernest and Katherine Sutton on September 26, 1931, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She attended Winston Salem Public School. As a young girl, Ernestine was adventurous and took pleasure in doing things such as crawling in manholes under the city of Winston-Salem, among many other daring escapades. Ernestine believed in working, caring for, and providing for her family. She spent a great deal of her adult life taking care of her mother. As a young mother, she worked at Smith’s Cleaner for several years and ensured that her youngest son, who was still in high school, wore freshly starched dry-cleaned clothes to school. Her work ethic was unparalleled. She retired from Winston-Salem Convalescent Center after twenty-two years of employment and only missed five days during her tenure there. She loved her job and always said she enjoyed going to work and taking care of her patients. To her, they were not just patients but, part of her God-given assignment on earth.
Living A Christ-Centered Life on Purpose
Mother Stevenson became a baptized believer of Jesus Christ at a young age. This foundation fostered her love for the Lord and his work. She started her Christian journey as a devoted and faithful member of Shiloh Baptist Church and United Cornerstone Missionary Baptist Church, both in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Both ministries were under the leadership of the late Dr. Jay Ray Butler. Later, following the transition of Dr. Butler, she continued to serve at United Cornerstone then pastored by Reverend C. Anthony Jones, and later she became a charter member. She served in various church auxiliaries: Queen Elizabeth Group, Young Women Progressive, Usher Board, and Deaconess Board. She began leading praise and worship at 78 years old. She was named a Church Mother under watch care at St. John Holy Church when she moved to South Carolina after losing her eyesight. At her transition, she was a loyal member of Mt. Sinai House of Prayer, Oliver, Georgia under the pastorate of her daughter, Elder Vicki B. Halls.
Purpose Driven Fellowship
“To know her was to love her.” She was popular from her youth and found that people were naturally attracted to her. She was affectionately known as “The Lady in Red,” “Mother Stevenson,” “Stevie,” “Grandma Teen,” and “Songbird.” If you were to ask people about her character, they would use terms of endearment. It didn’t matter which of the names they best knew her by, they all would say that she was kind and generous, humble, had a beautiful smile, was a sharp dresser, and wore snappy attire. Everyone knew that Teen loved her family, that she loved other people, that she loved laughing and making others laugh, that she loved giving compliments, and that she was self-sufficient. She always displayed an appreciation for any gift given to her. Very rarely would you find a person whose work ethic was like hers or who honored time the way she did. She wanted to ALWAYS be on time, regardless of what event she was attending. Mother had a unique and awesome ability to recall stories from years ago and could remember telephone numbers. She was a well-rounded person and loved wearing caps, from ball caps to church caps. Yes, she could go from bling to feathers in no time. Mother Teen had music in the core of her bones and loved music and dance, loved sports, and loved getting to church so she could get her praise on. Although chronologically Mother was considered old, she was young at heart and could hang out with any crowd.
Purposely Enjoying God’s Landscape
Psalm 128:2 tells us to enjoy the fruit of the labor of our hands. As an adult, she did exactly that as she was afforded the opportunity to travel and tour the United States on many excursions including places such as Las Vegas, Lake Pontchartrain, the Grand Canyon, the MJK Museum, and the Lorraine Hotel, Niagara Falls, Shenandoah Cabins, several cruises on the High Seas, and many more. She also enjoyed attending church conventions and other celebratory events. She never allowed the loss of her sight to stop her. If you said Let’s, Momma Teen said “Go”. She traveled until her days were over on this side of Glory.
Experiencing God’s Final Purpose
She was preceded in death by her parents: Earnest and Katherine Sutton; her husband, Willie Hampton Stevenson; a son, Willie Hampton Sutton; a daughter, Gwendolyn Sutton; three Brothers, Solomon Wade, Sr., George Goodwine, and Leon Sutton and a host of other family members and friends.
She leaves to cherish her unmatched love and memory, two children: Vicki (David) Halls of Hampton, South Carolina, and Calvin (Angela) Stevenson of Hephzibah, Georgia; one brother, Bobby Sutton of Atlanta, Georgia; two sisters, Audrey Sutton of Pompano Beach, Florida, and Deloris (Preston) McConnell of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, the members of United Cornerstone and Mt. Sinai House of Prayer. Special friends who have served her in consistent love and devoted friendship: Vivian Tanner, Evelyn Foster, Barbara Goodin, Janice Cannady-Washington, Janice Prince, Ann McMillian, Betty Bailey, Dell Brooks, Barbara Burke, and Vincent Butler