First Ladies Help Build Families, Membership and Pastoral Support

By Antoinette Porter

From left to right: First Lady Dr. Rosa James, First Lady Diane Redic and First Lady Gloria Ashley. Photos by Joe L. Fisher and Adam L. Turner.

Last Week the Post began a series honoring the First ladies of more than 1,000 African American houses of worship around the Bay Area.
Meeting with First Lady Gloria Ashley and Pastor Larry Ashley was a rewarding experience.  I found First Lady Ashley was recovering from foot surgery and stated “this too shall pass.  I am looking forward to getting busy again and if you Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” She also stated “it’s an honor to be recognized by the Post Newspaper, God does all things well”.   March 25th Pastor Larry Ashley will celebrate 21 years of service to the Cosmopolitan Baptist Church family.  Pastor Ashley just returned from a 12 days trip in Israel with 17 other pastors from the western part of the United States.  He stated “it was quite rewarding and best time he had”
First Lady Dr. Rosa James of Beth Eden Baptist Church said she thinks the series on First Ladies will be helpful. “I think the paper’s focus on First Ladies is very creative, it shows respect and regard for the church and community.  It makes us (First Ladies) feel special, motivated and we become even better role models for other youth and young adults, Christian models.”  Pastor Gillette O. James who was also a part of the photo session, is looking forward to his 40th year as the pastor of Beth Eden Baptist Church in March.
First Lady Diane Redic and her husband Rev. Ulis Redic were featured in the February 9 issue of the Richmond Post (visit: She said they celebrated their 14th anniversary along with their five children, Shana, Charles, Toronce, Ulysha and Ulis Joel, at the Mt. Zion Baptist church in Richmond on February 13.
The Redics have worked together to grow their membership; convert a former dilapidated drug house, near their church, into a Bible education center as well as an after-school tutorial programs. They also restored a former automotive shop to become a storage facility, playing field and parking lot. The former Mosque, near their church, has been converted for use as the men’s Bible class room, a social hall and the children’s movie room. Her youngest son, Ulis Joel, an accomplished gospel musician and student at Patten University, will preach his first sermon at Mt. Zion on March 4 at 7:00pm.