By Carla Thomas
Evangelist Charlene Jackson, a shining star in Oakland, has moved on to re-position herself in the heavens. As the First Lady of Acts Full Gospel Church of God in Christ, she was a woman on fire for Christ, who illuminated the Bay Area and beyond, beside her husband of 28 years, Bishop Bob Jackson.
A musical celebration of her life featured the church’s choirs, praise dancers and gospel artist Laurence Mathews. “People like Evangelist Jackson never die, they leave a legacy,” said Oakland Mayor Jean Quan. “We will miss her but we know she’s with the Lord,” said sister-in-law Senior Associate Pastor, Dr. Doris Limbrick.
During the funeral services thousands packed the church to honor her life of 64 years. She was adorned in a royal purple suit and hat in a black glazed casket as the audience was granted a parting view.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke of Acts Full Gospel Church’s contributions to the community and honored Evangelist Jackson with a congressional resolution.
“In the midst of the darkness look at a great woman shining,” said Bishop J.W. Macklin of Glad Tidings COGIC, as he compared the brilliance of her life to the luster of a fine diamond.
Bishop Ernestine Reems of Center of Hope Community Church, said, “She leaves a wonderful legacy for all women in every walk of life.”
“I wore this white because she’s in heaven in white,” said Jackson’s sister Alicia Jackson of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Evangelist Jackson’s sister-in-law Frances Jackson sang “Precious Lord.”
One of the most special moments in Jackson’s life was recorded at a Sunday service last December. On this day, Jackson not only sang “Jesus Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” but demonstrated it. She shared how the power of prayer gave her the ability to walk again after being in and out of a wheelchair at times, throughout her private battle with cancer. In the video, she radiated strength as she joined her husband in the pulpit, energetically professed her faith in Christ and urged others to believe and trust God.
A perfect powdery blue sky on an unusually warm February day framed the final ceremonies and resting place of a great woman placed back into the earth amongst the “Peace” section atop a grassy green knoll at Rolling Hills Cemetery in Richmond.
Carla Thomas, Post contributing features writer, is also a member of Acts Full Gospel.