In the springtime, on April 10, 1947, God gave a gift to the world in the form of Jerlena Watson Cannady. Mrs. Cannady was born to the late Julia Band Charlie Watson in Bennettsville, South Carolina.
Her God-given purpose sparkled early in life after the death of her father. She was a little helper to her mom in the kitchen, in the fields, or wherever and whenever needed. Her mother knew she had a special gift in her daughter. Her mother shared her love for Christ with Jerlena by taking her to church at an early age.
Jerlena loved God and she loved caring for others. She was saved and baptized at St. Luke Holiness Church as a young lady. She was a devoted Christian, prayer warrior, and a Soldier in God's army. She later joined St Beulah Baptist Church where she worked with the youth; Mrs. Cannady created the "Boys and Girls in Action Youth Choir", this being just one of her testaments of loving children and youth. She later served as a minister at Community of Grace Church with her Pastor, the Reverend Eddie L. Davis.
Jerlena met the love of her life Charles Edward Cannady, Sr. at Eastside High School. They were high school sweethearts and later were joined in holy matrimony on November 20, 1965. Their union was blessed with four beautiful children. She loved her children with all of her heart. She was a devoted wife and mother. Many sacrifices and sleepless nights were made to make sure her family's needs were met She was a living example of Ephesians 4:32-"And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ"
Jerlena had many talents which allowed her to have many jobs and a career. She was a machine operator, florist, cashier, an awesome teacher, and an ordained minister. She loved being a teacher at Chesterfield-Marlboro Head Start She taught school for 45 years. Teaching was her career but the love of children was her passion. Whenever there was a need Mrs. Cannady, whom she was affectionately called, was there. If she saw a child with no coat, she would give them the coat off of her back. She was that special person, to everyone she met, taught, or came in contact with.
All of the children loved Mrs. Cannady and she loved them. She especially loved her role as a grandmother and GiGi. She had a vivacious personality and always made people around her laugh.
She was educated in the public schools of Marlboro County. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Development from South Carolina State University. She went on to receive her Master's and Doctoral (Ph.D.) Degrees in Theology at Fisher Bible College. She imparted biblical wisdom into people as she was a distinguished Professor at Word of Life Bible College.
Cherished memories of the Reverend Dr. Jerlena Watson Cannady are left with her husband Charles Edward Cannady, Sr., her four children Tracey (Andrew) Campbell, Thresea (Allan) Smith, Cheralyn (Cheikh) Konate, and Charles Edward Cannady, Jr., her loving sister Charlena Davis, brother and sisters-in-law: Rev. J.W. Cannady, Lula Mae Carrier, Albertha Cannady, Larry (Willie Mae) Cannady and Ray Cannady, her grandchildren Haison, Destine', Allanesha, Daunte', Alexis, Gabriel, Victoria, Tayheem, William Charles, Ja'Mya, bonus grandchild Labreya, her great-grandchildren, Jaiyana, Jayceon, Madison and bonus great-grandchildren Ahmir, a host of nieces and nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.
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