May 31, 1926 - January 13, 2020
Mother Ella Mae Ferrell, born Ella Mae Patterson to the late Ezra Benson Patterson and Julia Lee Patterson (Shines) on May 31, 1926 in Pulaski Tennessee, lived her life fully and intentionally displaying her love for Jesus Christ. The second of three children, Mother Ferrell was raised by Christian parents in a Christian home where she was taught to love the Lord at an early age, to know his Word and learned the principles of character, integrity, hard work; and what it meant to be a Proverbs 31 Woman. Influenced by her parents, Mother Ferrell accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior in her early twenties. She later committed to serving God and learning his Word for herself. She was committed to living her life for His purpose and sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone she met. Mother Ferrell was independent and showed this characteristic even as a young girl. She attended Conway Elementary School through the eighth grade and Bridgeforth High School before her family relocated to Detroit, Michigan. In 1945, she graduated from Miller High School and briefly continued her higher education at the Detroit Institute of Commerce. In March 1948, Mother Ferrell was introduced to Fred Ferrell, Jr. who had recently relocated to Detroit from his birthplace of Sharon, Georgia. On December 24, 1948, Fred and Mother Ferrell were married in Detroit. After one year of marriage, the couple gave birth to Fred Ivan, their first child. Their second child, James Howard was called to glory shortly after he was born. God blessed the couple with their third child in the birth of Rita Pearl; and in consecutive years, God blessed this union with three more children in the birth of Gerold Alan, Arthur Duane, and Charles Ezra. Mother Ferrell took her role of wife and mother seriously and undertook whatever training she needed in order to assist our father in caring for their home and family. Fred and Mother Ferrell attended Beth-Eden Missionary Baptist Church regularly under the leadership of the late Pastor P.L. Woodson. Having been led to Christ as a child, Mother Ferrell came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior while at Beth-Eden. She continued to serve in several ministries after the leadership of Beth-Eden transitioned to the late Ocie Tabb, Jr., Senior Pastor. This sacred union served out its marriage covenant vows for 43 years and concluded only due to the death of Fred, Jr. in August 1992. After her husband passed, Mother Ferrell joined LeMay Church of God in Christ in Detroit. She quickly continued her duty of service by working in several ministries and served as Chair of the Mother’s Board and the Scholarship Fund. Mother Ferrell directed service projects that generated funds to several ministries, including participating in bake sales that included her award-winning banana pudding. In 2001, Mother Ferrell relocated to Southfield, Michigan from Detroit and united with Hope United Methodist Church. Maintaining her commitment to serve God, Mother Ferrell became a contributing member of the Mature Disciples Ministry. She utilized the sale of her banana pudding to help other ministries at Hope United Methodist Church. Mother Ferrell was grateful to God for the gifts He gave her and was faithful in using her gifts for His glory. She was particularly humbled by the congregation’s response to her plea for assistance to obtain a church bus for senior citizens and others in the church who needed transportation to worship God. Through generous gifts and sales of her banana pudding the Hope church bus was acquired. Mother Ferrell was presented an award at Hope, which acknowledged her as the “Banana Pudding Queen.” Mother Ferrell did not work a full-time job outside of her home until her youngest child started junior high school. Despite this late entry into the workforce, Mother Ferrell worked as a silk finisher in the dry-cleaning industry for 30 years. Fred Jr. and Mother Ferrell both desired for their grandchildren to have greater opportunities than each of them and had the foresight to establish an educational fund for their grandchildren’s future success. While Fred Jr. watched from glory; Mother Ferrell was able to personally see God’s hand at work in the lives of their grandchildren. Mother Ferrell has consistently devoted her life to Jesus Christ. As such, she gave selflessly of herself. She was the consummate cook; always ready to make sure that everyone who entered her home was well fed. Whether it was Sunday dinner after church or a holiday, no one left her home hungry. Mother Ferrell also served as the primary caregiver for several of her sick family members to include her mother, father, and husband for six years, two of her uncles; her younger brother and her eldest son, prior to each being called home to the Lord. Serving God was Mother Ferrell’s priority, which she demonstrated through a life of obedience to God’s Word; and service to His church. God extended great favor to Mother Ferrell and sent so many wonderful people into her life from Beth-Eden Missionary Baptist Church, LeMay Church of God in Christ, Hope United Methodist, and the Daughters of Zion Ministries (all in Michigan); and New Life Fellowship in Arlington, Texas. So many people of God cared deeply for Mother Ferrell and sought to ensure that she was cared for well. Over the course of her life, Mother Ferrell came to depend solely on God. She would say daily, “I talked with God this morning and told Him, Lord, I am turning my agenda for this day over to you. You know what to do; how to do; and when to do.” On Monday, January 13, 202o at 4:03 pm, Mother Ferrell was called home by her Savior to rest for eternity. Mother Ferrell was preceded in death by her Father and Mother: Ezra Benson and Julia Lee Patterson; her two brothers: James Lee and Oliver Daly; her maternal first cousin: Mattie Pearl Shines, who was raised as a daughter by Mother Ferrell’s parents and regarded as a sister by Mother Ferrell and her siblings; her husband: Fred Jr.; her daughter: Rita Pearl; and her sons: Fred Ivan and James Howard. She has left a permanent imprint to be forever remembered by her three sons: Gerold (Na’Tiya), Charles (Treva) in Michigan; Arthur (LaVerne) in Texas; four grandchildren: Charles Ezra, II and Malcolm (Charles); Khari Malcolm and Koya Pearl (Arthur); five nephews: Oliver, Timothy, and Michael Patterson; Anthony McDaniel; (all in Michigan); and Derrick Baker in Georgia; one niece: Dedra McDaniel in Michigan; and a host of many beloved family members and dear friends. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Mother Ella Mae Ferrell please visit our Sympathy Store.
Mother Ella Mae Ferrell, born Ella Mae Patterson to the late Ezra Benson Patterson and Julia Lee Patterson (Shines) on May 31, 1926 in Pulaski Tennessee, lived her life fully and intentionally displaying her love for Jesus Christ. The second... View Obituary & Service Information
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