Gwendolyn Bell Obituary
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In Memory of

Gwendolyn Esther Bell

August 7, 1924 - June 5, 2014
Obituary

Gwendolyn Esther Bell was born on August 7, 1924 the third of six siblings to the late Rev. James E. Howard and Evangelist Okie M. Howard. She was raised in New Jersey and was educated in the Newark Public School system. Her family was very passionate about their Christian lifestyle and was always willing to share with others their talents and blessings. They were quite musically inclined and used their gifts to reach out in service individually and as a family choral group to the Pentecostal Churches throughout the area. In the spring of 1942, Gwen was married to the late Walter J. Bell, and from this union was born, Barbara Ann, Walter...
Gwendolyn Esther Bell was born on August 7, 1924 the third of six siblings to the late Rev. James E. Howard and Evangelist Okie M. Howard. She was raised in New Jersey and was educated in the Newark Public School system.
Her family was very passionate about their Christian lifestyle and was always willing to share with others their talents and blessings. They were quite musically inclined and used their gifts to reach out in service individually and as a family choral group to the Pentecostal Churches throughout the area.
In the spring of 1942, Gwen was married to the late Walter J. Bell, and from this union was born, Barbara Ann, Walter James Jr., and the late Wayne Allen. As the years passed, her husband was called to the ministry and served faithfully in the state of New Jersey. She labored by his side and enjoyed doing whatever was needed, including being the church pianist. Gwendolyn was quite a passionate, spirited worshipper and served as directress of the New Jersey State Choir of the churches of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was said of her by one of the younger people, when she entered a church service, "Oh, we're going to have a good time today, Sister Bell is here!"
In 1964, Gwendolyn's husband was sent to pastor Little Refuge (99th St.) church in New York City. There she continued to serve as pianist, when needed. She worked with the senior choir, Women's Council and the Missionary Department. In New Jersey and New York, among the church family, they were affectionately known as '"Papa and Mama Bell". Their home in New Jersey, nicknamed '"The Bell Hotel" was, for years, a haven for many young people, children, and adults in need. Some even remained there for years.
Gwendolyn continually made every effort to set the atmosphere of praise and worship in their home, which had never been without a piano. When they were alone (which was rarely), they sang, when they had company, they sang and going to and from church in the car, they sang. They often sang at local and state meetings as the '"Joy Bells."
In May, 1975, Pastor Bell suffered a severe heart attack and was invited to come to Florida to recuperate by a former member of one of his New Jersey churches. After a short while, Pastor Bell and Sister Gwendolyn prayerfully decided to relocate to Florida permanently, leaving the New York church in the care of his oldest son, Bishop Walter J. Bell, Jr. When he recovered, he accepted a position as chaplain at the Avon Park Correctional Institute, where Gwendolyn also served as musician for their prison services. For approximately 10 years, Gwendolyn worked at WalMart as a greeter in the garden shop and has a reputation of being a woman of integrity and loyalty. It was very rare that a person would depart from her without a laugh or a big smile.
Gwendolyn was predeceased by husband, Pastor W. I. Bell, one son, Wayne, four of her siblings; Ruth Burton, Huldah Smith, Okie Howard and Bishop Elect. James E. Howard. She leave to cherish fond memories, one remaining sister, Lois Darden, one sister in law, Dorothy Howard, one daughter, Barbara Gregory, two sons, Bishop Walter Bell, Jr. (Elphenia) and Everett Kelly (Ernestine), 11 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews and a host of dear friends and loved ones.

"May the memories you have bring you and your family much comfort during this difficult time. My prayers are with you and I hope that you will find peace and..." Cynthia (Jax)

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