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“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward." Hebrews 10:35
May 8,1941, Mary Louise Baker triumphantly entered this world, to her loving parents, Deoders and Margret Smith, in Uniontown, Alabama. She was the baby girl of eleven Smith siblings. She attended Uniontown public schools, and at 12 years of age, she moved to Columbus, Ohio, with her brother, Sam, sister, Marie, and mother, Margret Smith. She graduated from Columbus Central High School and also completed her Associate Degree at Career Con College of Business. She retired from Lazarus Department Store after 20 years where she served as a Wedding Consultant.
“Lil Mary,” as she was affectionately called by her brothers, was graced to work for Shelton’s and Forest Park Inn where she managed the kitchen for many years. Later, she and her sister opened their own business, the Hamburger Shop on South Ohio, and then the Fish Mart on Mock Road. This later evolved into a family-owned catering service, BBC (Baker, Brooks, Croom). Mary, Ann, and April attended Cake Decorating School where they went on to make some of the most unique looking cakes you’ve seen. Mary had other hobbies like sewing, where she made clothes, handkerchiefs, butt hats, bathroom toilet paper holders, and other unique things.
Mary and Columbus Baker united in marriage, and from this union, they had two sons, Rickey Carnell Baker, Sr., and Christopher Darnell Baker, Sr. It was with Columbus Baker Mary traveled evangelizing and worked in deliverance ministry. During this time, they were faithful members of Meredith Temple Church of God in Christ and Faith Tabernacle Church of God in Christ.
Mary and Columbus later established the New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ. There were very few services that you would not find Evangelist Baker behind the mic stirring the people up in a hot devotional service with the theme song, “In the New Jerusalem,” as it came on the New Jerusalem Radio Broadcast. She would sing them to the point that she too would get happy and do her dance while spinning in circles. Even after spinning, she would go right back to singing and giving God praise. After a while, she returned to her roots, Faith Tabernacle COGIC, where she stayed faithful serving as Hospitality Director, on the Pastor Aide Committee, and much much more. She remained dedicated until she was led by the Lord to go and assist her son at the New Palestine Baptist Church where her sister and Mother were founders. While working in the Ministry there, she founded and established the Women in the Know Ministries, served as Sunday School Superintendent, Hospitality Director, Kitchen Coordinator, Pastor’s Aide Committee Member, and wherever else her hands found to do. As the church dissolved, Evangelist Baker, affectionately called “Mother Baker,” transferred her membership to St. James Christian Center, COGIC, where she was a faithful member under Bishop James Delaney until her passing.
Mom, Mema, Auntie, Sister, First Lady, Evangelist, Mother Baker, triumphantly entered eternal rest on Thursday, June 22, 2023, peacefully in her sleep.
There were family members who went ahead of her to that city so bright and fair: her parents, Deodus and Margret Smith; siblings, Willie (Annie) Smith, Sam (Georgia) Smith, Wilbert Smith, Johnny (Emma) Smith, Charlie (Evelyn) Smith, David Smith, and Alonzo Smith; Marie (Jessie) Croom; special nephew (son), Harold Brooks; and host of other nieces and nephews.
She has now joined that heavenly band, waiting for us, her pride and joy, her sons, Apostle Rickey (Carolyn) Baker, Sr., and Christopher (April) Baker, Sr.; special niece (daughter), Anne Brooks; and bonus daughter, Dorene Baker; grandchildren, Her Royal Court, the ones whom she did not just give a name but made each one of them royalty, “King” Pastor Rickey (Tyese) Baker II, “Prince” Eric (Lajera) Baker, “Princes” Erica Baker, “Queen Bee”Courtnee Baker, “Duke” Christopher Baker, Jr., “Pope X” Pope Lake; great-grandchildren, “Dutches” Sky Baker, “Princess Diana” Serenity Baker, “Lord” Velmon Franklin, Sydney Cooper, Syniah Cooper, Jene Brooks, Ashlee Brooks, Ahjanae Turner "Ah’Ja", and Maria Watson; special adopted
grandchild, Krystn Grooms; special God great-granddaughter, Serenity Crockett "Ren Ren"; only brother, Clarence Smith; sisters-in-law, Margret Smith and Dorothy Smith; close nephews, Curtis (Judy) Croom and Dion (Kezia) Croom; nieces, Earlean (Walter Sr.) Morgan. A host of other nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews too many to name; her Mr. Fix-It, Special great-
nephew, Cedric Croom – “Call Ceddy, he’ll do it for me;” godchildren, Pamela Short, Elaine Ware, and Tatiana James; special lifelong friends, Mother Velma Rogers, Mother Vergie (William) Harris, Mother Mary Roberts, Mother Connie (Elijah) Graves, Mother Inez Ford (godmother), and Mother Shirley Davis.
Life will never be the same without hearing her voice. The legacy will never be forgotten.
She fought a good fight, she kept the faith, henceforth, she has now received a crown of righteousness, that the Lord, the righteous judge, told her she was going to get.
“A Hat Like No Other.” The Life of Our Matriarch, Mary