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Homegoing Celebration Held For Mrs. Grace DeMorst

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By Cheryl Brown

They came before the eleven o’clock service and they came after. It seemed they couldn’t stop coming. The church and the choir stand was full.

Chairs were lining the aisles in conformance with the fire codes as friends and family of the DeMorst family came to pay their respects to Mrs. Grace DeMorst, 85, of San Bernardino.

She was funeralized at St. Paul AME Church on Monday, March 24, 2003.
Known as a woman who did so much for people without fanfare, Mrs. DeMorst will surely be missed.

She was also known to be slain in the sprit whenever God touched her.
God began slaying her when Pastor Al Smith came to St. Paul. As his wife, Rev. Bea Smith indicated in her words of condolence Mrs. DeMorst was not one to accept her Christianity, she wanted to grow in her Christian walk.

Rev. Brooks, her former pastor, remembered she was going to make him her world famous "monkey bread". He also said the last time he preached she was slain in the spirit and he didn’t touch her.

“I remember how she made all the usher uniforms for our children,” one church member recalled. Over the years she could be counted on to make costumes for various programs. She was an accomplished seamstress, and a spiffy dresser. Decked from head to toe, she many times covered her shoes with the material she used in her outfit. She said that it was out of necessity because of her long narrow feet. It was very hard to find shoes to fit.

At some point she stopped the busy work of the church and was drawn more and more to the word of God, which she studied voraciously. Pastor Anthony Hughes said she didn’t think she was “all that and a bag of chips”…she put self -concept and God concept in the right prospective. She was still seeking a deepened relationship with God.

He poured out blessings on her all her life. She was a puppet for the Lord, he said.
Born November 6, 1918 in Clearview, Oklahoma, she was the first of six children born to Ellis and Laura Washington. Shortly after she was born, the family moved to El Centro, California.

In 1940 after attending local schools she met and married the late Charles DeMorst, Sr. and in 1943 the family moved to San Bernardino. She had three children, two of them Carol and Lionel preceded her in death. She was proud to be a homemaker and was proficient in knitting, floral arranging and baking.

At church, she was known for her "monkey bread" that was always pre-sold at the Youth Usher’s annual bake sale.

She had accepted Christ at an early age and grew up in Second Baptist of El Centro, but when she moved to San Bernardino she joined St. Paul AME.

She was a faithful member of the Matrons, Ella Inghram Missionary Society, the Golden Gleaners Senior Citizens organization, an elected Trustee, and under the leadership of Rev. Smith she was named Deaconess by the Southern California Conference, the highest position a lay person can hold in the church.

She leaves to cherish her memory, her devoted son, Charles, Jr.; daughters-in-law Jewel of San Bernardino, Doris of Chicago, IL; two sisters, Estee Washington and Ruth Estus; three sisters-in-law, Mae Martinez of El Centro, Gussie Johnson of San Diego, and Henrietta DeMorst of Nyland, CA; a host of grandchildren, great grand children, nieces, nephews, relatives, friends and her church family.

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