Rochester NY: June 2, 2016. Mother Bess was born May 13, 1922 in Albany, Georgia to Lurraine Sellers and Adam Williams. She moved to Summersville, South Carolina to live with her father. Shortly thereafter she moved in with her grandmother who raised her, her brother, and her sister. Mother Bess moved to Fort Pierce, Florida where she met and married James W. Bess. In 1953, she traveled to New York state to work. She had heard that New York was a place you could get a good job and live well. Her intention was to stay for a season and return to Florida, but God had other plans! Mother Bess was a member of St. Philip’s Missionary Baptist Church where she served as the Mother of the Church for close to 40 years. She was the president of the Usher Board (both Junior and Senior). She served as a local missionary and was a member of Eastern Star for several years. In 2004, she joined Trinity Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Sammie King as a founding member. She faithfully served as a missionary and as head usher until her health declined. Her favorite Scripture was Psalm 121:1-2 KJV. Mother Bess was a self-taught woman who was able to repair most any appliance you put before her. She was also an avid bowler, bingo and spades player, and loved fishing. She attended the Baden Street Senior Center where she loved attending for the fellowship. In addition, Mother Bess served on the Baden Street Board of Directors for over 30 years and was a community activist.
Mother Bess is predeceased by her sisters Lula Sellers, Willie Mae George and Devonza Ferguson, and two brothers Jonathan Sellers and Malachi Bacon. She is survived by one brother, Pete Bacon; four children: Annette M. Powell, Virginia Jeannette Powell, Leola (Roosevelt) Charles and Virgil Bess; grandchildren: Crystal Williams, Denise Williams, Cassandra (Kenneth) Williams-Reaves, Latisha Williams, Benita Boga-Williams, Yvette Bryant, Cathy Wilson, James Wilson Jr., and Anthony Wilson; special nephew Darrek Brantley, Dashante Brantley, Quinton Bess, Dante Bess; special family friend Donnie White; and 28 great grandchildren; 23 great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Essie’s Visitation will be held Thursday June 9th 10-11 AM. At In Christ New Hope Ministry, 155 Pinnacle Road, Henrietta NY. Her Funeral Service will follow visitation at 11 AM. Interment Riverside Cemetery.