Mother Gloria Jean Simon Benjamin, affectionately known as “Big Mama”, “Mama Benjamin” or “Aunt Jean”, entered eternal rest on December 16, 2021. She was the wife of the late Elder Harel Benjamin and the daughter of the late Freddie Lee Simon and Elder Louise Myers Simon. Born on February 5, 1953 in Sumter County. She was educated in the public schools of Sumter County and was proud to be one of the first black students to desegregate Mayewood High School in Sumter County. This was an honor she held deep. Mother Benjamin held many certification and degrees from Central Carolina Technical College. At an early age, Mother Benjamin accepted Jesus Christ. She, along with her mother, Elder Louise Simon, led many to the Lord as they went house to house professing the goodness of Jesus. Ma Benjamin was united in Holy Matrimony to Elder Benjamin for over 40 years and from this union they were blessed with five daughters and countless spiritual children. Mother Benjamin attended The Love Center Non-Denominational Church, where she served under the leadership of Bishop Levern and Co-Pastor Stephanie McKenny for many years. She was proud to be known as Ma Benjamin and counted all as her “children”. She fostered over 100 kids and raised countless others. She loved her family, church families, first cousins, and all that she encountered. Truly to know Ma Benjamin was to love her. She made a lasting impression on everyone. Mother Benjamin leaves to cherish her memory: five daughters, Zelda Benjamin, Jennifer (William) Prioleau, Tarnesha (Joseph) Cherry, Melissa (Arthur) Mitchell, and Min. Cynthia Benjamin; nineteen grands, six great grands, several other grands that were reared in the home; two sisters-in-law; three brothers-in-law; two aunts, Elizabeth “Bessie” Johnson and Dorothy Myers, and a host of nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives, friends and spiritual children. She had a place in her heart for all. In accordance with the COVID 19 guidelines, the family is requesting face masks and social distancing be observed by relatives and friends during visitation at the home, 3045 Homestead Road, Sumter. Funeral services will be held 1:00 p. m., Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at The Love Center Non-Denominational Church, Highway 521 South, Sumter, with Bishop Levern McKenney, Pastor, and Pastor Alfred Johnson, officiating. The Remains will be placed in the church at 12:00 Noon for viewing until time of services. The procession will leave the home at 12:20 p. m. Burial will be in the St. James Holiness Church Cemetery, Highway 378 East, Sumter.
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