- Post 05 December 2012
- By Special to the Daily World
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Evangelist-prophet-teacher Mary Ellen Strong, a frequent speaker at such well-known ministries as the Abundant Living Family Church in both Rancho Cucamonga and Hesperia, Crenshaw Christian Center in Los Angeles, Word of Faith in Detroit and Nashville, Believers Bible Christian Church in Atlanta, and Norvel Hayes Ministries, among others, has died. She was 91.
Memorial services are set for Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, 212 Riverside Pkwy in Austell, Georgia. Strong died on Tuesday, Nov. 27 at her home in Rancho Cucamonga. A memorial in California was held on Dec 1.
She was born Mary Ellen Brady on June 4, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wis. In 1970, she married James Strong, an attorney and U.S. diplomat to the Gambia. Strong worked with a number of major corporations and was a former marketing executive with the Kellogg Corp. As a businesswoman, she was a pioneer publisher of newspapers and a national magazine. She was a building contractor, known for developing depressed properties and revitalizing communities in several states. Her last venture was the development and founding Gugi's Global Foods, a spice company whose products are sold in major grocery chains and on the web. She was a life-long Republican and was honored by the US Senatorial Inner Circle with The Medal of Freedom, which she treasured. She was a friend and confidant to several presidents and was known throughout the United States and abroad.
After entering the ministry later in life, she was ordained in 1985 by Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, founder of Crenshaw Christian Center church and Ever Increasing Faith television ministries. Strong, always articulate and humorous, could be heard on numerous radio stations and seen on such television programs as the 700 Club. Her messages were delivered with the authority of someone who knew her secure position in Jesus Christ. She was considered a trailblazer for change and improvement in each community where she resided, and she was known to stand up with great boldness to those who were thought of as powerful.
Those who knew her best said she never had a challenge expressing her opinion. "Dr. Strong's heart to serve God's people was always the same whether she was ministering to one person, or to thousands," said longtime friend Elois Watson. "Her passion was to see souls won to the Body of Christ." Strong received numerous awards, accommodations, proclamations and citations. She held the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Strong is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Wright, and a son, Jerrel Jones, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A son, Douglas, preceded her in death.