In February 2021, loved ones had the chance to say goodbye to an honorable man of God, Deacon Willie Bell. He departed for Heaven a day after his 96 birthday.
According to his obituary, Willie James Bell, Sr. was born on February 5, 1925 in Town Creek, Alabama. Deacon Bell was saved and believed in God.
He was the patriarch of the New St. James Deacon Ministry; the last of the original and elder deacons of the church. He never minded giving his testimony of how good God had been to him and how God kept him down through the years.
Deacon Bell was preceded in death by his mother Rebecca Hawks and his father Carter Bell; his wife Carolyn Bell; two sons Willie Bell Jr. and Jerry Bell; two brothers S.L. Whiteside and Willie Hayes Whiteside.
On Saturday, February 13, there was An intimate homegoing ceremony for Deacon Bell at New St. James. Bell’s final resting place is at the McDonald Cemetery in McDonald, AR.
Deacon Bell leaves to cherish his memories three daughters, Lueizer Jones, Lula Davis & Rebecca (Otis) Boyland of Wynne, AR; five sons, Leroy Bell of Trumann, AR; Nugene (Jennifer) Bell of Jonesboro, AR; Tommy Bell, Chamber Bell and Mickey Bell of Wynne, AR; three sisters, Listine Edge of Raliegh, NC; Dorothy Hampton of Decater, AL; Mary Purnell of Wynne, AR; one brother Carter (Lavine) Bell of Courtland, AL; two sisters-in-law, Jackie Freeman of Decater, AL; Jessie Pearl Barrett of Orlando, FL; thirty-five grandchildren; fifty great grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, friends and his church family.
You can watch Deacon Bell’s homegoing ceremony below. Video courtesy of Johnson Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
Church Secretary Frankie Tabor contributed to this article.