Mother Estella Watson Ezell was born in Monroe County, Georgia on August 9, 1923. She was the daughter of Mary McCowan Shannon and the stepdaughter of Minister Moses Shannon who raised her and her sister, Carrie Lou Mann from childhood to adulthood. In 1940, she was joined in holy matrimony to the late Willie James Ezell and to that union seven children were born. She was preceded in death by a baby son, Carl, and her oldest son, Willie James Ezell, Jr (Rosa) in June of 2012.
Mother Ezell’s spiritual journey began in Shiloh Baptist Church where she was raised, attended faithfully and sang in the choir. Her journey took a profound detour when she received the baptism of the Holy Ghost under the leadership of Evangelist Hattie Finney. This would be the defining moment that led her to witness to her family and later draw other members of her family to the knowledge of God’s saving power.
Through her work as a domestic in Warner Robins, GA, Mother Ezell met her dearly departed friend, Elder Josie Mae Solomon, and this began what was known as “The House Service” through the witness of these two powerful women of God, many souls came to Christ.
In 1970, Mother Ezell joined what is now Zellner’s Chapel First Born Church of the Living God and served faithfully for several years in her role as a church missionary. She also continued the “House Services” and as the number of participants in the services grew, Mother Ezell followed God’s vison for her to found and Pastor a church of her own, birthing the Holy Saints of God Church. She would pastor this church for several decades until her health declined.
Mother Ezell’s legacy lives on in the lives of the many souls that she has brought to Christ which includes her parents, children, other family members and various members of the clergy, some who are present today and others who preceded her in death. She will always be known for her favorite words when witnessing to others:
“If you saved, you better stay saved, and if you’re not saved, you better get saved!”
Mother Ezell leaves to cherish her memory her children, Evelyn Ezell Lockhart, Calvin Ezell, Sr. (Barbara), Mary Ann Ezell Jackson (Larry), Melvin Ezell, Sr. all of Fort Valley, and Kathy Ezell Reese of Lorton, VA.
Two nieces and a nephew, Betty Jean Lowe of Bronx, NY, Rosita Stanley and Thomas Mann of Macon, GA. Eleven grandchildren: Alvin Ezell, Ronald Ezell, Kimberly Ezell Jones, Calvin Ezell, Jr., Wykesia Jackson McCrary, Arneatria Ezell, Alecia Jackson Lowe, Melvin Levar Ezell, Cynthia Ezell McGhee, Christianna Ezell and Andrew Reese II.
A host of great and great-great grandchildren, a very devoted family friend, Mrs. Susie Pearl Johnson, other relatives, loved ones and friends.