Pastor Celie Stokes Davis Gooden
April 5, 1939 – February 4, 2016
CELIE STOKES DAVIS GOODEN was born in Jonestown, Mississippi on April 5, 1939 to Hill and Beatrice Stokes. Celie was the eleventh child out of seventeen children born into the Stokes Family. Celie was baptized at the age of eight at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Jonestown, Mississippi and continued to walk with Christ her entire life. Celie attended Jonestown Elementary and continued her education in San Diego, California. She graduated from Lincoln High School and then attended San Diego City College for two-years. She obtained a certificate in Electronics. Always dedicated to education, Celie pursed additional degrees at the Theological University, also located in San Diego, California. On December 14, 1954, in Jonestown, Mississippi, Celie married Lake Davis, Sr. and to this union five children were born; Mary Francis, Willie Mae, Lake Jr.,Derotha Ann and Richard Earl. The marriage lasted for over twenty-four years and the couple always remained close friends. Lake, Sr. passed away in 2001, and he will always be remembered. After many years, Celie married Ephron Gooden (Ephron preceded her in death). Celie was employed by Data Graphic, located in El Cajon, California, as a Lead Supervisor for over sixteen-years. After retiring from Data Graphic, Celie entered the ministry full-time in 1993 and received her “calling” to become the Pastor of the Church of Divinity. Under Pastor Gooden’s leadership, the church faithfully; lead people to Christ, provided Bible Study, fed the homeless, provided finances to keep people in their homes, provided scholarships for college to local youth and much, much more. Pastor Gooden always “listened” intently to the voice of the Lord and provided prayer for any and every one. You would find Pastor Gooden stopping to pray for people in the grocery store, on the street, in the bank or wherever the Lord said there was a need. Day and night, people called on Pastor Gooden for her unconditional love and wisdom. Marriages have been saved, children reunited with their parents, and families restored all under the direction and guidance of Pastor Gooden. Pastor Gooden’s, Church of Divinity held services on Saturdays instead of Sundays. When asked why; Pastor Gooden said that the first day of the WEEK IS SUNDAY ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE. PASTOR GOODEN ALSO SAID; EVERY DAY IS GOD’S DAY. Pastor Gooden actively participated in local politics and was a member of the “Jonestown Concerned Citizens Committee”; and worked tirelessly for the benefit of the residents of Jonestown. Pastor Gooden attended the local Jonestown City Council Meetings and Gatherings on a regular basis. Pastor Gooden LOVED to go fishing and she could be found fishing at the, “The Bridge, Pay Lake or Johnson Bottom”, with her niece Florence “Duck” Johnson or youngest daughter Derotha. On one fishing trip Pastor Gooden caught “95” fish. The ultimate gardener, you could find Pastor Gooden gardening in her yard, whenever possible. Pastor Gooden had a “green thumb” and could bring a plant back to life with her tender touch. Pastor Gooden has dedicated her life to “Demonstrating the Will of God”. Although the Church of Divinity originated in San Diego, California the church relocated to Pastor Gooden’s hometown of Jonestown, Mississippi. The Church of Divinity was called by many; the “Church on the Hill”. On Thursday, February 4th, 2016, Pastor Gooden was called home to be with her heavenly Father. She was preceded in death by her loving mother, Beatrice Marshall, her father, Hill Stokes, Sr., four sisters; Rosie Lee Daughetery, Vester Mae Rose, Lady B. Stokes and Florida Belle Sherls; six brothers; L.G. Anderson, L.A. Stokes, T.J. Stokes, George Stokes, Charles Stokes and John Stokes. Pastor Gooden is preceded in death by her two Loving Sons; Lake Davis, Jr. and Richard Earl Davis. Pastor Gooden leaves to mourn her passing, her Caring Brothers; Roosevelt Stokes and wife, Rose (Ft. Myers, Florida), Joe Eddie Stokes (Marks, Mississippi), Hill Stokes, Jr. (Jonestown, Mississippi) and sister, Annie B. Ewing (Jonestown, Mississippi). Devoted Daughters’ and Son-in-Laws; Mary Welch and her husband Oliver (Riverside, California), Willie Mae Robinson and her husband Leonard (Murrieta, California) and Derotha Thompson (Jonestown, Mississippi); Precious Grandchildren, Marlon Tigner, Lake Davis III, Nikki Morrow, Shalisa Robinson, Payton Lowe, Lakeisha Davis, Bradley Lowe, Edwaina Pruitt-Owens, Anthony Owens, Justin Lowe, Breanna Davis, David Pruitt and Isaiah Robinson. She also has Much-loved Great-grandchildren; Elijah Robinson, Nasaya Lowe, Astaria Tigner, Madison Tigner, Faqua Tigner and Donnesha Tigner. A host of grandnephews, grandnieces, cousins, relatives and friends who will mourn her passing, yet celebrate her life.