Esther Isabelle Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God dies at 92

CHICAGO (CBS) – The former first lady and mother of Apostolic Church of God Pastor Dr. Bryron Brazier, Esther Isabelle Brazier, died over the weekend.

Isabelle died on Saturday at the age of 92 – she would have turned 93 on Thursday.

Associate Pastor Ivory Nuckolls described her as a leader who spent her time teaching young people.

“I grew up in the church and she was a visionary leader. She had a love and passion for young people. Being involved and innovative and creative,” she said.

To celebrate her birthday, she and her mother plan to reflect on her accomplishments with the church.

“My mother and I will share and reflect on the memories, on the many things she has done to prepare a leadership platform.”

Angela McGee, communications director at Apostolic, said she was a big supporter of her husband and the church.

She was a great support involved in so many ministries at the church. At the same time, she raised her four children,” McGee said.

She says church members knew of her loving nature not only to her family, but to the congregation.

“You say her name around the church, and everyone was in awe of her, her leadership, her compassion, and her love not only for her husband but for the apostolic church family.”

Isabelle, born March 24, 1928 in Indianapolis, Indiana, was the only child of parents Leon and Lola Holmes. After moving to Chicago to pursue a career in fashion and design, she met her husband, a young Arthur Brazier, at a church picnic – the two were married in 1948.

“He and his wife felt honoured. Their mantra was the grace of God, it was the grace that brought us here to the grace of keeping us. He stole some of that perspective and it’s kind of like that he led the church, he was very supportive,” McGee said.

Isabelle walked alongside her husband for civil rights calling for fair housing, inclusion in Chicago public schools, and an end to unethical and unfair practices by black community business owners . She also worked for Planned Parenthood, where she advocated for women and the health initiatives the organization made available to women in poor communities.

The multigenerational church, located at 6320 S. Dorchester Ave., was led by Bishop Arthur from 1960 to 2008 after the merger of two churches, the Universal Church of Christ and the Apostolic Church of God, a few years after the death of Walter Clemons. Bishop Arthur died in 2010.

The church claims to have over 20,000 members, some of whom have been there for over 45 years. His passing comes as the church prepares to celebrate its 90th anniversary with a Bible conference.

Visitation will be on Tuesday March 29 at 5 p.m. followed by the funeral at 7 p.m.


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