Friday, April 10, 2009

A Special Tribute "Save A Seat For Me!"

The Dunamis Word and the Pastor and members of the New Bethel Church of God In Christ of Peoria, IL. and the Bethel Epiphany Church Of God In Christ of Detroit, MI. pay a very special tribute to an extraordinarily great woman of God. Mother Earlean Cross-Sanders (August 13, 1939 ~ April 1, 2009), wife of Bishop Robert R. Sanders of Illinois 3rd Jurisdiction Church Of God In Christ, went home to be with the Lord on April 1, 2009. Mother Sanders served faithfully in her multiple duties as Servant of God, Spouse, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Teacher, Friend and Example for all Saints within the body of Christ. Mother Sanders' transition to her new abode makes us realize what we yet wait in earnest to experience.

It is really no surprise that this was a great woman of God, having been born to an outstanding family that labored in the Lord. Her parents, Bishop Moses Cross, Sr. & Mother Priscilla Cross, laid a great foundation for Mother Sanders and their other children. As a result, Mother Sanders was saved at the age of 12. Mother Sanders was a beautiful and exemplary woman of God. She was a blessing to women in Illinois and all over the nation. Mother Sanders stood by her husband in marriage just shy of 50 years (since 4/4/1959). She helped to diligently raise 5 children (Robert II, Dehlia, Tereasa Elaine, Terry, and Rosalind) She ministered to the needs of Saints wherever and whenever opportunities arose for her to do so. Mother Sanders' outward beauty was only eclipsed by her inward beauty and light of the Lord within her life. Her accepting smile and love will be greatly missed as we move foreward in the work that Christ has, by his grace, left us here to do.

Final Thought:

At the homegoing celebration of Mother Sanders, held at All Nations COGIC Joliet, IL. on April 9th 2009, Dr. Marilyn Cross, our Jurisdictional Supervisor and wife of Mother Sanders' brother Supt. Arthur Cross, reminded the women of 3rd Jurisdiction that just as Mother Sanders carried forward the legacy left to her by her Mother (Mother Priscilla Cross) we all have a responsibility to carry on the work that Mother Sanders left with us in mentoring and teaching the next generations in our homes and in the ministry. Mother Jean Booker (spouse of Bishop Ocie Booker ~Illinois 1st Jurisdiction Church Of God In Christ) was called to represent the National Bishop Wives Circle in a special tribute to Mother Sanders. In what I considered to be a highlight of the service, Mother Booker explained how she and Mother Sanders would often talk about their plans at National and International church functions and would always conclude their conversations by encouraging one another to "Save A Seat" just in case they didn't see each other right away. She explained that although they didn't have that final conversation before Mother Sanders transitioned, she knew that Mother Sanders automatically knows to do her best to "Save A Seat" for her.

As I thought on these things, I thought of the greatness of glory that Mother is experiencing at this very moment. I simply wish to say, thank you Mother Sanders for setting a wonderful, great and biblical example for all to follow. Thank you for showing that the trials of Pastoral ministry are not an inhibitor to a strong family and beautiful children. Thank you because the people of God, myself and my spouse included, have been blessed by your mere presence. I join Mother Booker in saying "Save A Seat For Me Too!"

With Love, Respect & All Humility

Supt. H. Burnett


  1. I was impressed by Mother anyway, but when Roz said that she (her mother) was there for them as kids and always supported her children in what they did...that really took the cake.

    Mother Sanders is proof that God has called a good Mother to FIRST take care of her home, family and love her kids and that strong service to the church grows out of strong service and committment to the family.

    If this "new church" can ever get that vision, what a dynamo we would be.

    Examples like this mother will surely be missed.

  2. I actually just stumbled onto your blog post on Mother Sanders. I grew up at Cross Temple COGIC and Mother Sanders used to be over the Sunshine Choir before her husband started his ministry. She was always a loving person and I was saddened to hear of her death. I invite you to read my blog:

  3. Thank you for your comments and thoughts. That was a little history I didn't know.

    You have a good site. Hope you enjoy other articles and discussions too.

    God bless.


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