Evangelist, prophet and teacher Mary Ellen Strong, a pioneer in black media and marketing, died last week of heart failure at her California home. She was 91.
“She was the first in so many things,” said Jerrel Jones, her son. “She did have the pioneering spirit.”
Articulate and humorous, on numerous radio stations and television programs including The 700 Club, Strong's messages were delivered with the authority of knowing her secure position in Jesus Christ. She was a trailblazer for change and improvement across the globe; known to stand up with great boldness to rulers and laymen.
Born Mary Ellen Brady on June 4, 1921 in Milwaukee, Wis., she married James Strong, an attorney and U.S. diplomat to Gambia who worked with a number of major corporations, in 1970. He was a former marketing executive with the Kellogg Corp. After his death, she married Andrew Gaines, the father and manager of the late singer Donna Summer.
Strong was a businesswoman; pioneer publisher of newspapers and a national magazine; building contractor; and revitalizer and developer of depressed properties across America. Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, founder of Crenshaw Christian Center church and Ever Increasing Faith television ministries, ordained Strong in 1985.
She was known for her hospitality and delicious meals; her Gugi's Global Foods, a spice company whose products are sold in major grocery chains and on the Web, have been a welcome condiment on tables everywhere.
She was a lifelong Republican, honored by the U.S. Senatorial Inner Circle with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, which she treasured. She was a friend and confidant to several presidents and was known throughout the United States and abroad.
Strong was also a frequent speaker at renowned ministries including Abundant Living Family Church in 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.
“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.”
Alveda C. King, niece of Martin Luther King Jr., said, “She was a friend and mentor to many, and will be remembered with love.”
Strong received numerous awards, accommodations, proclamations and citations.
Besides her son, Jones, Strong is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Wright, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A son, Douglas, preceded her in death.
Memorial services are set for Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, 212 Riverside Pkwy in Austell, Ga. A memorial in California was held on Saturday.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!
Dr. Mark Rutland's
National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)
The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!
FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.
The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.