July 12, 1929 - November 07, 2019
July 12, 1929 - November 07, 2019
Celebration of Life
Missionary Mother Clara L. Paskins
On the Wings of Love, Clara L. Harris Paskins took flight to be with the Lord God, whom she loved and served. The struggle ended and her earthly sufferings would be no more. It was Thursday, November 7, 2019, that her life forever changed. She stepped into the glorious portal of eternity to be in the presence of the Sovereign God, who called her home. For this, we give Him all the glory, honor and praise for His great grace, mercy and compassion shown to Mother Clara!
Clara Lillian Harris Paskins was born in Wyoming, Delaware, on July 12, 1929, to the late Linford E. Harris and Martha George Harris. She was the eldest of her four sisters; June L. Harris (1943), Mildred G. “Sugar” Harris (2005), Thelma D. Council (2010) and Margaret D. Miller (2014). Clara was the granddaughter of Fletcher and Martha Loper Harris and, Palm George and Clara Pennewell George Black. Her historic lineages include the celebrated Summers ancestors.
Known by her childhood names as Nu or Snooky, Clara was primarily reared in the family community of Star Hill. She attended Star Hill Elementary School, William Henry High School and continued high school studies at the former Delaware State College. She was always an avid reader and her aspiration was to become a school teacher. However, she became a young wife to World War II Veteran, Earl Paskins. Born to this union were, Charlotte Earlene Smith Davis, Earl Linford Paskins, William Edgar Paskins, Cledus Harris Paskins, Martha Ann Paskins, Robert Lee Alexander, Jr., Doreatha Lynette Alexander, Barbara Jean Taylor and Carol Lyn Bynum.
Mommy, as we affectionately called her, worked very hard to help sustain the family. Her early employs began in local Canning factories. She then began employment in various restaurants as a cook and Kitchen Manager. She retired from Kirby and Holloway Restaurant. But it took the collective efforts of the Village of Star Hill including our beloved grandparents, relatives, friends, Community Elders, M.F. Chase Unity Memorial Church and School Teachers from Star Hill Elementary School and William Henry High School that helped in various ways to raise us, teach us and guide our lives. Mommy never forgot those times of hard struggle and often expressed her sincere gratitude for the many who brought her over and helped her through.
During her childhood, Clara’s Spiritual journey began by attending Sunday School at M.F. Chase Unity Memorial Church, otherwise known as the family’s church. There, she was taught the Word of God by Pastor-Overseer, Elder Daniel Smith, Mother Annie Piner and Mother Esther Yates (a professional School teacher), who trained her for special occasion presentations. In her adult years, Clara served during the pastorate of Elder John Pleasanton and Elder Fred Bordley. She was an Usher and sponsored popular events such as the 12 Tribes of Israel and Country Breakfasts to raise money for the Usher Board. At this time, she also began her Missionary Outreach ministry.
Subsequently, Missionary Clara’s spiritual journey took her to serve at Mt. Carmel, Church of the Living God, under the leadership of Bishop Benjamin Leroy Washington and Assistant Pastor, Rev. Morris L. Ryder. She served in the Ambassadors for Christ ministry and continued with her missionary efforts. Missionary Clara was very faithful and highly noted among the “faithful few” who attended every weeknight and Sunday service available at the church. Despite the weather conditions, she was just glad to be in the service, one more time.
As her desire increased to be of more service to those outside the walls of the church, Mother Clara soon found herself visiting and eventually joining Holy Tabernacle Church of Love. She formed a special bond with Mother Rosie Lee Johnson, the Founding Pastor. They shared many life experiences. Mother Clara loved this church and served mightily with her time, talent and finances to support the ministry and vision of Mother Johnson. She was a great fundraiser and leaned on the support of her family and anyone seemingly interested, in buying her shirts, to raise money for the Building Fund--for the new church. Many people around town knew the colorful story of Mother Clara and those shirts! She was quite proud to have been a contributor to the establishment of the new church, now known as Holy Trinity Church of the Living God.
Then, Mother Clara went to support the new ministry of Bishop Norman E. Hutchins at Frontline Ministries. By this time, she had retired from doing her Missionary Outreach ministry, but still very faithful in her attendance at church. At Frontline, Mother Clara enjoyed being in the fellowship and formed special relationships with many of the members.
So now, Mother Clara’s work is finished. She victoriously fought a good fight; she finished the race and she kept the faith! Therefore, this concludes the life of this iconic Missionary Servant, who for over thirty-five years, walked the streets, visited the sick and served in the churches, that she might win souls for Christ. Her purposeful destiny was fulfilled. Mother Clara’s faithful and dedicated service to the Lord Jesus Christ will never be forgotten. He knows her name.
Mother Clara was predeceased by her parents, Linford and Martha G. Harris, husband, Earl Paskins, six children; Charlotte, Earl, William, Cledus, Robert and Doreatha; sisters; June Harris, Mildred Harris, Margaret Miller and Thelma Council; brother-in-law, Kenneth Council, numerous relatives and her friend, Mrs. Ella Bordley.
Celebrating her legacy are her children; Martha Ann Paskins, Barbara Jean Taylor (William) and Carol Lyn Bynum (Leon); 23 grandchildren; Anthony L. Smith (Charlene), Doneatha Abney (Cary), Angela Jefferson, Venus Brady, Tacoma Melton (Rufus), Tyree Walker, Demetrius Paskins, John Walker, Dane Alexander Paskins, Victoria Paskins, Antoinne Harris, Takeesha Bell (Thomas), Dwaine Taylor, Nicole Mack, Clarese Alexander Paskins, Britani Alexander Paskins, Sharonda Bynum, Leon Bynum, Avery Selvy, Naji Selvy, Jeremiah Selvy and Sarah Selvy; 41 Great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; sons-in-law; William Taylor and Leon Bynum; daughter-in-law, Maudessa Paskins; a special niece, Vera Ann Clairborne; faithful friends, Elder Lillie Mae Harris and Mother Anna L. Washington; special friends, Faye Yelverton, Kathy Harris, Jesse Pinkney and Darlene Smith; a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
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