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April 19, 1939-Oct. 26, 2011

Pastor Verna Battle Tate fell on sleep in the arms of her loving Lord on Oct. 26, 2011, at University Hospital in Chapel Hill.

A service of remembrance will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011, at 1 p.m. at Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, 4531 US Hwy. 13. The family will be receiving friends at the church the day of the service. All correspondences are to be sent to E.M. Matthews Funeral Home, 401 N. William St. Following the services in the sanctuary, Ms. Tates's delicate temple, along with her adored family, will be escorted to Old Mill Cemetery for interment rites.

Pastor Tate was born April 19, 1939, to the late Walter "Doc" and Lois Buckrham Battle in Wayne County. She was preceded in death by both parents and four brothers, Melvin, Willie James, Walter Lee, and Lindwood. She lived an abundant life of faithful service to Christ as a pastor, humanitarian and community worker.

Verna grew up in rural and agricultural communities in Greene and Wayne counties. She attended the public schools of Wayne County, graduating from Central High School in 1958. As a student, she was well liked by her classmates and peers, distinguishing herself in music and other extra-curricular activities.

Following high school, she enrolled at Fayetteville State College (now Fayetteville State University), graduating in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. Following graduation from college, she worked as an educator-teacher for 33 years in the public schools of North Carolina.

In this capacity, she shaped, molded, impacted and nurtured the lives of a host of students, many who now remember her as a firm disciplinarian, yet beloved mentor and role model.

As a youngster, Verna always had a special God-consciousness. In accordance with family tradition, she united with Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church at an early age. Later in the early 1960s, she had a profound religious experience that resulted in a deeper spiritual life. She eventually became a member of Greater Guiding Star Holy Church, and later she affiliated with the Tabernacle of Prayer under the late Mother Naomi Buckrham.

Verna eventually entered the preaching ministry and in 1983 she pioneered the planting of Power of Prayer Deliverance Center, which she served as founder and pastor for nearly three decades. During this period, many souls were mightily blessed and spiritually nurtured by the force of her life and ministry.

Like Dorcas of Joppa (Acts 9), Pastor Tate lived a life of good works that gave special focus to those who were often ignored or overlooked--the weak, the powerless, the marginalized. Hence, she rests from her labors and her works do follow her.

She leaves to mourn her loss and cherish her memories, a special son, Charles T. Williams Jr. of Washington, DC; a special daughter, Mrs. Henrietta Hutchins of Augusta, Ga.; five nieces, Mrs. Brenda Darden, Mrs. Melba Royal, Ms. Pamela Battle, Ms. Sheila Battle, and Ms. Patricia Battle, all of Goldsboro; a special brother, Dr. Clifton E. Buckrham Sr. of High Point; a stepmother, Mrs. Dorothy Battle of Goldsboro; two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Beatrice Battle and Mrs. Helen Battle of Goldsboro; a special godson, Mr. Steven Green of Goldsboro; a loving and attending goddaughter, Mrs. Gail Steele of Goldsboro; numerous spiritual children, including the Wade sisters of Goldsboro and members of the former Power of Prayer Deliverance Center; and a host of other relatives, colleagues and friends.

Ms. Tate's earthen vessel is peacefully resting at E.M. Matthews Funeral Home, where the Tate and connected families are receiving prestigious service.


Published in Obituaries on October 30, 2011 11:47 AM