“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.”
Deaconess Pearl Williams Moody, 88, affectionately known as “Sis” departed this earthly life on Monday, December 27, 2021, at her secondary residence in Blythewood, South Carolina. She was a daughter of the late Houston and Sallie Williams.
Pearl was educated in Sumter County and is a 1952 graduate of Congruity High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Morris College in 1957 and completed further studies at the University of South Carolina, Francis Marion University, University of Tennessee, South Carolina State University, and several other institutions. She often credited her sharecropper parents for ensuring that she had the opportunity to obtain her education as a first-generation college student and teaching her the value of hard work.
A much beloved and inspiring educator, “Mrs. Moody”, spent 50 years teaching and mentoring generations of students. She began her career in 1958, as a public-school teacher in the Britton’s Neck/Gresham Communities. She taught both English and French at Bethel School, and after integration, at Brittons Neck High School. From 1970 until her retirement, she served as senior class advisor where she mentored countless students and chaperoned the annual senior trip to Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Pearl’s impact on the lives of her students remains immeasurable. During her 34 years of teaching in the Britton’s Neck/Gresham Communities, she was twice honored with surprise appreciation banquets by her former students, commending her exemplary service. Upon retiring, she immediately returned to the classroom and spent an additional 16 years teaching in the Marion County Alternative School and Adult Education programs.
Pearl gave her life to Christ at an early age upon joining the St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Sumter, S.C. As a youth, she regularly attended and taught Children’s Sunday school and Vacation Bible School at the Mulberry Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter, S.C. She later became a member of the Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Marion, S.C., where she faithfully served for nearly 60 years. At Pleasant Grove, she worked in many capacities including: Deaconess, organizing president of the Pastor’s Support Ministry for 45 years, Layman of Training for new members, Sunday school and Vacation Bible School teacher, S.C. Congress of Christian Education Youth Chaperone, choir member, and member of the Missionary Ministry.
Pearl’s community involvement consisted of membership in Eastern Star beginning in 1969, where she served as Worthy Matron of Stevenson Chapter #316 and Supervising District Deputy. In 2019, she was honored by Eastern Star with her 50-year membership pin. She was also a Board Member for Health Care Partners of South Carolina for over 20 years, Membership Chairperson for the Marion County South Carolina Education Association (SCEA), member of the Marion County Morris College Alumni Association Chapter, member of the Marion Branch of the NAACP, and member of the Sumter County SCEA Retired. Pearl was fluent in French, an avid gardener, baker, coloratura soprano, amateur organist, seamstress, and a skilled writer and editor. She greatly enjoyed the challenge of learning “the computer”, watching football and basketball, traveling, and relished spending time with her loved ones. On August 20, 1961, Pearl was joined in Holy wedlock to McLendon Moody. To this union a son was born which preceded her in death. In addition to her parents and her husband, she was also preceded in death by her four (4) brothers: Lester Sr., Houston Jr., Adren Williams, Vidrian Williams, and one (1) sister, Mary Jane Williams. She leaves to cherish precious memories: a beloved and devoted niece: Dr. Sonji (Rev. John) Williams Garvin Baxter of the home; a loving and devoted sister Dorothy Williams Thorne of Sumter, South Carolina; a sister-in-law Gracie W. Williams of Sumter, South Carolina. Additional nieces and nephews: Lester (Loretta) Williams, Jr., Dorothy (Dale) Edwards, Timothy (Elouise) Williams, Gwendolyn Williams, Deborah Williams, Sherry (Willie) Singleton, Adren Williams, Jr., Savitra (Terrence) Wilson, Norris (Serena) Williams, Mallicha (Frankie) Ragin, Glendaria Thorne, Leneric Thorne, Bettye Green, and Peggy Moody. A dedicated cousin Centra Green, a God-daughter Delores Fore, as well as a host of grand and great grands nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, colleagues, and former students.
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