Mother Earlie Mae Bishop was born on October 10, 1920 in Ridgeland, SC to Jannie Perry Willis and Robert Polite.
Mother Earlie Mae Bishop was educated in the Ridgeland School District. Thereafter, she traveled to New York to seek employment. She was employed at Harlem Hospital after obtaining her Nurses’ Aide Certification, and she was stationed in the pediatric ward. She joined Shiloh Baptist Church in Harlem under the leadership of Pastor Wainwright. There, she was a faithful member, joining the Gospel Choir where she loved singing. She actively participated in the Pastor’s Aide Ministry and the Charity Board.
After her mother Jannie Willis became ill, Mother Bishop returned to South Carolina to take care of her. Soon after, she joined First Euhaw Baptist Church, the church where she was baptized at a young age, under the leadership of Reverend Dr. Allen W. Galloway. At First Euhaw Baptist Church, Mother Bishop continued singing in the Gospel Choir and served in the church until her health began to fail her. She was elevated to the prestigious title of Mother of the Church. Her favorite scripture was Psalms 37 and her favorite hymns were “Jesus Keep Me near the Cross” and “I Surrender all.” She loved God and she loved her church, and her Pastor. She will be sorely missed by her family and church.
Mother Earlie Mae Bishop went home to be with her Lord and Savior on June 7, 2019 at Bayview Manor in Beaufort, SC. In addition to her parents, Mother Bishop was preceded in death by her daughter, Catherine Cooper and her son, Elbert Gaither, Jr.
Mother Earlie Mae Bishop leaves to treasure her loving memories: her son, Robert and his wife, Dorothy Strobert of Statesboro, GA; daughter in law, Denise Gaither of Wappingers Falls, NY; nephews, Albert and his wife, Vera Heyward of Ridgeland, SC and Paul Goodwin; goddaughter, Veronica Lawyer of Hilton Head, SC; special friend, Anna Watson-Hyacinth; and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other realtives, friends and church family.