On May 24, 1929, Thelma Lee Morgan Gibbs was welcomed into the loving arms of her parents in the rural town of Kemp, Texas. As the eldest child of Clyde C. Morgan, Sr. and Francis Tucker Morgan, Thelma shared her childhood with six loving siblings; Pearle Steele, Clyde Morgan, Jr., Arnette “Bubba” Morgan, Ladoris Peterson, Roy Kenneth Morgan, and Kelvin Ray Morgan. Being a preacher’s daughter, Thelma thrived in the church as a young child and became an avid follower of the gospel of Christ.
Her devout faith continued to grow throughout her youth which was spent in Lubbock, Texas where she attended grade school and graduated from Dunbar High School. Thelma would further her studies in Wiley, Texas attending Wiley College.
As a faith-filled young lady, Thelma regularly attended Gospel meetings and church service while in Lubbock. At one of those meetings, Thelma caught the eye of her future father-in-law who was also a minister. He was struck by her poised elegance and steadfast faith in Christ so much that he arranged for her to meet his son; a young preacher who later became renowned Fort Worth, Texas preacher, Dr. Shelton T.W. Gibbs, Jr. of the Church of Christ.
Thelma and Shelton took well to each other and developed a beautiful courtship cultivated by heartfelt letters of love that went back and forth between the two for some time. This relationship of sweet missives blossomed into a beautiful marriage on February 21, 1948, and from that union, five children were born; Camilla L. Gibbs Woods (Charles Woods) Shelton T.W. Gibbs, III, (Jeanette Godwin Gibbs), Dwight A. Gibbs (Cleo K. Walker Gibbs) Carla Gibbs (deceased) and Joe D. Gibbs, Sr. (Taryn Y. Mullins Gibbs).
Being married to a well-known preacher enabled Thelma to make her home in many US cities and states. She and her family spread the Gospel in Charleston, West Virginia and Chickasha and Ardmore, Oklahoma before eventually settling in Fort Worth, Texas. She stood with her husband for fifty-five years and together they ministered to the Stop Six Congregation (of the Church of Christ) with distinction for forty-eight years.
Thelma served in many roles with the Stop Six Congregation and in the Church of Christ at large, one of those roles being the National Dinner Day Coordinator for Fort Worth, TX.
She proudly served in this position for four decades! She also served on the Stop Six Church of Christ Bulletin Staff team. Additionally, Thelma devoted herself to sowing seeds of goodness into Southwestern Christian College. Her love for the college was so great that all four of her remaining children attended the school to receive their first two years of college along with six of her eleven grandchildren doing the same.
The Stop Six Congregation, many other Church of Christ Congregations and Southwestern Christian College were not the only groups to bear witness to her giving heart, humbled nature, and poised elegance. These attributes were also witnessed in the Pathology Department at Harris Hospital and the State Bank of East Fort Worth, later known as Bank One and now called Chase Bank where she served as a check processor (retired).
Nevertheless, Thelma’s greatest work of these was being a Minister’s wife for over fifty-five years. The work she and her husband completed together was received well by her children, and all four of them are faithful members of the Body of Christ. An even greater testament is that all three of her sons and one grandson currently preach the Gospel and serve as ministers, with one of her sons, Joe, having come full circle serving as her minister. Even after retiring from her duties, she continued to worship at the Stop Six Congregation (now known as East Pointe), and she was graciously referred to as their “First Lady Emeritus”.
Aside from spreading the message of Christ, Thelma’s chosen pastimes were shopping, singing, writing, cooking, watching various talk shows and expressing her love towards her grandchildren, whom she affectionately called each one by the same name, “Sugar.”
In her latter years, Thelma was fondly cared for by her daughter for over seventeen years. This is a further testament to the loving relationship she had with her children.
On Saturday, May 30, 2020, Thelma Lee Morgan Gibbs passed to be with Our Father in heaven. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, renowned preacher, Dr. Shelton T.W. Gibbs, Jr., her daughter; Carla Y. Gibbs, her parents; Clyde Morgan and Francis Tucker Morgan, her brother; Clyde Morgan, Jr, her grandson; David E. Blakely, Jr., her great-granddaughters; Jordyne S. Blakely, Chloe T. W. Burgess and her sister; Pearle Steele.
Thelma’s memory will be relished by her four loving children Camilla L. Gibbs Woods (Charles Woods) of Fort Worth, Texas, Shelton T.W. Gibbs, III, (Jeanette Godwin Gibbs) of Terrell, Texas, Dwight A. Gibbs (Cleo K. Walker Gibbs) of Houston, Texas, and Joe D. Gibbs, Sr. (Taryn Y. Mullins Gibbs) of Fort Worth, Texas. Thelma’s memory will also bring joy to her “Sugar’s” (grandchildren) David S. Blakely (Shaunese), Shawnell T.W. Gibbs Bradshaw (John), Kevin E. Blakey (Rosa) Shalon T.W. Gibbs Bond (Marcus), Brian K. Blakely, Shandra T.W. Gibbs Clay (Chris), Shelton T.W. Gibbs, IV (Francine), Carla P. Burgess (Torrance), Sherilyn T.W. Gibbs Turner (Erick) Joe D. Gibbs, Jr. and Jermarcus D. Gibbs. Further adoring her memory are her caring brothers; Arnette” Bubba” Morgan, Roy Kenneth Morgan and Kelvin Ray Morgan, her doting sister; Ladoris Peterson. Furthermore, she will be remembered fondly by her twenty-eight great-grandchildren, one great great grandchild, and many nieces, nephews, extended family, friends and well wishers.
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