A love of God combined with a passion for serving Him compelled Mother Merine Jackson to display the fruits of the Spirit throughout her life. So it’s no surprise that when her time on earth came to a close, people remembered her joy, love, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and more.
Mother Merine embodied all of the characteristics listed in Galatians 5:22-23 that believers in Christ should seek to obtain and she exhibited those traits on a daily basis during her 89 years of living. When her days came to a close on January 21, all people could recall was her desire to minister to God’s people as evidenced by her abundance of positive words and deeds.
Her life was celebrated on February 11 with a joyous worship at Living Stone Cathedral in Littlerock. Family and friends gathered to reminisce, salute, laugh and pay tribute to Mother Merine Jackson. Also, Superintendent Emmanuel Oggs delivered a stirring eulogy that captured the impact of her life n others.
A native of Timpson, Texas, Mother Merine was born to Annie Mae and L.D. Jackson on August 28, 1932. Highly intelligent from a young age, she excelled in her studies and graduated as valedictorian in Timpson High School Class of 1950. She was also skilled in the areas of gardening, baking, homemaking and teaching.
However, Mother Merine had an exceptional love for ministry, which likely stemmed from being raised in the Church of God in Christ where he father served as an elder. Relocating to Los Angeles in the 1950s, she was an active member of Mount Olive COGIC and eventually met Henry Jackson.
She and Henry married and their union produced six children. The Jackson family moved to the Antelope Valley and Mother Merine dedicated her tremendous talents to organizing and building up Memorial Church of God in Christ. A founding board member, she also taught Sunday School and instructed members of the Bible Band, as well as sang, directed and played piano for the choir. Her other positions include Women’s Department president and Church Mother.
During her middle-age years, Mother Merine enrolled in school to study Early Childhood Development. With that education in hand, she dedicated the next 20 years as a preschool teacher at Frederick Douglas Headstart Academy. Evidence of the strong impact she made on her students is illustrated by the number of commendations and awards that she received during her tenure.
“My mom was truly a kind, generous and gracious lady. She loved to cook and our house was where it seems like everyone came. My parents didn’t see race and taught us these same values,” recalled her daughter, Merial.
“Folks would often stop by after church and neighborhood kids always wanted to come to our house to play and eat. Always plenty of love, food and fresh teacakes for everyone!”
As for the best advice she received from her mother, Merial remembered that her mother stressed the importance of having a soulmate to enjoy life with. “I’m a very independent, strong-willed, career woman, but my mother told me that despite your success, it’s not a life that’s worth very much if you don’t have someone at your side to share that success with. She said that looks fade and money can be lost, but true love that lasts is in the heart,” shared Merial.
The enduring legacy of Mother Merine Jackson continues through her family. Cherishing her memory are her daughters, Henrietta Jackson-Morris, Merial (Steven) Jackson, Cynthia (Hasson) Jackson-James, Barbara (Rodney) Jackson-Parks, and Myrna (James) Jackson-Bell; son, Lorenzo (Angie) Jackson, 28 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and a host of relatives, church members and friends.