Carrie Mae Edwards was born on January 19, 1935 in Bogata, Texas. She was the fourth born child to the late Ernest Lapsley and Nina Bell Jenkins. Her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she was 18 months old. She later attended Mary Bethune and Dunbar Elementary School and Carver High School in Phoenix.
Sister Edwards had 4 siblings, Dorothy, Ernestine and Joe who preceded her in death. She stayed very close to her remaining brother, Mackey.
At the age of 8 years old, Sister Edwards accepted Christ. She remembers vividly that she was in a play and the song “This Little Light of Mine” was playing and she knew it was the Lord’s calling on her life to accept Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior.
Sister Edwards moved to Santa Ana, California in October 1966 and thought it was the worse place in the world because of all the fog and smog. She is the mother of 6 boys, youngest son Steven and second son Dwayne preceding her in death.
Sister Edwards worked for ITT Canon for 30 years as an Electro-Mechanical Assembler and retired in 2002. It is no surprise the she actively attended bible study during her lunch hour. Although working full time and raising 6 boys left very little time for herself, she liked to attend various “Seniors on the Go” activities held at the Santa Ana Community Center.
Sister Edwards united with Johnson Chapel AME Church in 1984 under the leadership of Reverend Thomas Hill. It is no surprise that “This Little Light of Mine” was playing during the invitation. Five months later, after several rigorous interviews to determine her qualifications, Reverend Hill appointed Sister Edwards to the Stewardess Board. During her long tenure, she served as Vice President and Treasurer. She took pride in calling on the sick and shut-ins.
One of her favorite duties as a Stewardess was preparing and serving Love Feast at that time. She remembered fondly working with Reverend Rodghl Stewart when he entered the ministry.
In 1991 Sister Edwards was appointed Class Leader under Reverend Stanley L. Harris. She faithfully carried out her duties until 1997 when she had to step down to care for her son who was very ill. Her son, Steve went home to the Lord later that year.
In 2016, Mother Carrie Edwards was selected by her Pastor Rev. Delman Howard and confirmed by the official board of Johnson Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church At the 92nd Session of the Annual Conference she was elevated and consecrated as a Deaconess in the church, the highest level of the church for a lay person by the Right Reverend Theodore Larry Kirkland Sr., Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal church. Mother Carrie was a faithful servant at Johnson Chapel for 40 years.
Sister Edward’s wonderful memories will be cherished by her four sons: James, of Diamond Bar, CA, Clarence “Clancy”, Eric, and Joseph, of Santa Ana, CA; her brother Mac Lapsley of Phoenix, AZ; as well as a number of grandchildren, great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews, relatives and friends who also mourn her loss.
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