Mother Lizzie Sumler was born in Monroe, Louisiana on October 18, 1934 to the late Rev. Odie Miller and Bertha Burks Miller. She was the fourth child of seven siblings: Odie Miller, Jr. (deceased), Lester Miller (deceased), Lannie Miller (deceased), Ethel Murray (deceased), James Miller (Pastora) of San Diego and Hill Collins Miller of New York.
Mother Sumler graduated from Little Flower High School in Monroe, LA in 1952. She received her degree in Early Childhood Development with Honors from Eastfield College in 1994. She married the late Phillip Sumler on October 18, 1953. To their union, six wonderful children were born. She was an accomplished business owner of Sumler Child Care and provided professional day care services in Oak Cliff for over 40 years and raised multiple generations. The kids were trained up according to God’s Word each morning with devotion, song & scripture.
Mother Sumler accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized as a child at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Monroe, Louisiana. She served as a doorkeeper for 42 years; 9 years at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Monroe, Louisiana, 3 years at St. John Baptist Church in Fairbanks, Alaska, 15 years at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lawton, Oklahoma and 15 years at Jordan Baptist Church in Lancaster, Texas. She taught beginning and primary Sunday School, was an instructor in BTU, served as Sunday School secretary and Assistant Junior Superintendent of Sunday School.
She was a Charter Member and Mother of Graceland Community Baptist Church, which began in her home on January 26, 1993 under the direction of her son in the ministry, the late Cedric D. Stricklin. She was fervent in spirit as she passionately served the Lord in ministry. Until her health failed, she was an active member of the Adult Women’s Class, Mother’s Board, Deaconess and Bible Class.
Mother Sumler’s family includes six children: Patricia Ann Stephens (deceased), Donald Phillip Sumler (deceased), Barbara Jean Sumler-Watts (deceased), Gloria Jean Sumler-Wheeler (Willie Jr.) of DeSoto, Pamela Kay Sumler of Cedar Hill, Lisa Marie Sumler-Eddie (Vincent Sr.) of DeSoto. Grandchildren: Stephanie D. Stephens, Lloyd A. Stephens (Kristina) of Austin, Ashley D. Watts, Whittney L. Johnson & Brittney K. Johnson (twins), Micah E. & Makayla A. Eddie (twins), Tony D. Jerod-Eddie, Vincent E. Eddie, Jr., Kyra D. Eddie. Great Grandchildren, Diamond Robertson, Trenton & Triston Turner (twins), Addisyn & Aubrie Turner (twins), Aeriana & Terrence Turner (twins). She was Mother #2 to her sister, Ethel Murray’s children, Alcides DeJohnette (Janice), Dennis Miller (Eva), Wanda Carey (Michael), Regina Jackson, Brenda Robinson (Donald), Dr. Linda Murray & Stanley Murray. She leaves a host if nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, relatives and her GCBC church family.
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