The Wonderful Life of
Dr. Emily Jean Parker-Ferrell
I was born on October 31, 1937, in Houston, Texas to Mr. Emery and Mrs. Dorothy
Breedlove Parker. I was the second of two children born to this union. My older brother,
Emery Junior, died at three months old.
I was raised in a home steeped in strong faith and Christian beliefs. My godfather, Dr.
W.H. Dudley was the Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Houston, it was here I accepted
Jesus as my Lord and Savior. As I worshipped and grew in the Lord, one of the spiritual
gifts God had given me became known through my love for music. I enjoyed singing in
Youth Choir and serving as their pianist.
While serving under the pastoral leadership of Dr. Dudley, I never thought that one day
he would mentor my future husband in the first few years of his pastorate.
In my early school years, I attended Douglas Elementary School and the renowned
Jack Yates Senior High School in Houston. In high school, I enjoyed sports, swimming,
singing in the Glee Club, marching in the Pep Squad, and as a High Stepping Majorette
performing in front of crimson and gold marching band. I graduate in 1956 and traveled
to California for college. During a summer vacation in San Diego, I met the man I would
My godbrother, Charles Hooks introduced me to a handsome sailor named Tony and
the rest became history. Harry (Tony) Ferrell and I joined in holy matrimony on March 2,
1957. Three years later I gave birth to my daughter Donna on January 13, 1960. Exactly
one year later, January 13, 1961, I gave birth to my son Anthony. I felt like a celebrity
when they wrote about their births in the newspaper!
I was an active member of Calvary Baptist under the late Rev. S.M. Lockridge. Later,
we planted our membership at Bayview Baptist, under the late Rev. L.L. Henderson,
where we served faithfully. I taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, and directed the
Echoes of Bayview choir. I also wrote a weekly newspaper column called “Views from
Bayview” which was filled with local church news and views!
In 1974, God called my husband to be the organizing pastor of Grace Missionary
Baptist Church. I felt privileged to serve as Minister of Music, Wedding Coordinator, and
leader of our Ministers Wives. In 1975, I received an honorary Doctor of Music degree
from Southern California Bible College and Seminary.
My love for Ministers’ Wives and Minister’s Widows began before I became a pastor’s
wife. I served as President of the San Diego Ministers’ Wives, California President of
the Ministers’ Wives, and the Vice President of the Pacific Region of the International
Association of Minister Wives and Widows.
My husband retired from the pastorate in 2015, and I became First Lady Emeritus of
Grace Unity Missionary Baptist Church. As the years went by, my health began to fail
but my love for God and His people continued to grow. Confined to my home, I
continued to engage and minister through texts, phone calls and Facebook! I cherished
the smiles, love, and attention from family and friends.
On Sunday, March 14, 2021, God called me home and my first ten thousand years to
praise Him in His presence began. Celebrate with me because I beheld my Savior face
to face! I rejoiced to reunite with my parents, my granddaughter Dominque Ferrell, and
all my loved ones who proceeded me in death. I leave behind the love of my life, my
husband of 64 years, Dr. H.L. Ferrell, and my precious children, Donna (Ron) Scott and
Anthony (Sheila) Ferrell. My beloved grandchildren, LaMarr Ferrell, DeAndre Ferrell,
Sharyna Scott, Drew Ferrell, Shanice Ferrell, DeRon Scott, Shariana Scott, Sharyce
Ferrell, and DeShon Scott. My cousins, Carolyn Scantlebury, Rev Dr David C Greene
(Louise), Henry O Greene Jr (Lois), Regina L Gray (Frank), Anthony O Greene (Peggy),
Marcia J Greene, James W Greene (Kathy), Bonnie E Greene (David), Pamela E
Mavity. My brother, Dr. William Jenkins and my sister, Billie Calvin. Nieces, Donna (Lee)
Washington and Adrienne Freeman. My Grace Missionary and Grace Unity Church,
along with other family, relatives, and friends. You all held a special place in my heart.
I’ve lived a blessed life. I watched God turn my tests into testimonies. I’m so excited to
live in Heaven with my Friend, the King of Kings.
To God be the glory!
a walk through viewing will be held on Wednesday, April 7th from 5pm-7pm at Anderson-Ragsdale Mortuary. Services will be held on Thursday, April 8th at Grace Unity Baptist Church, 6328 Brooklyn Ave at 11am (attendance by Invitation of the family) a livestream link will be provided later via the Church's facebook page.
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