Faith leaders throughout greater Los Angeles commended the life and legacy of Brenda Marsh-Mitchell upon learning of her passing on August 3. A veteran community advocate and committed follower of Christ, Brenda built enduring relationships with clergy and laity of all beliefs.
She was raised in West Angeles Church of God in Christ. In the 1970s and 1980s, Marsh-Mitchell was an active member of Ward A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles. In recent years, she faithfully attended First A.M.E. Church in Pasadena.
However, when it came to soliciting support for the good of the people, denominational lines did not bind her. She united with churches of all sizes and administrations to organize food distributions, clothing drives, educational programs, environmental projects and more.
Brenda’s homegoing service will be held on Friday, August 8, at 11 a.m., at First A.M.E. Church, 2270 South Harvard Boulevard in Los Angeles where the Rev. J. Edgar Boyd serves as pastor. The program participants include the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., the Rev. Dr. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray and the Rev. Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick.
The following are reflections shared by some of the faith leaders throughout the greater metropolitan area.
“We are deeply saddened to hear that our dear friend, Brenda Marsh-Mitchell, passed away. Lady Mae and I offer our sincere condolences.
“It was such a privilege to have known Brenda for more than 35 years. Brenda served the community for many years in a steadfast manner and was always ready and willing to make the City of Los Angeles a better place for all of us!
“Brenda was a dear friend, a treasure and an asset to West Angeles Church of God in Christ. She operated in excellence and was loyal to her family, Danny Bakewell, the Brotherhood Crusade, Mothers in Actionand the Los Angeles Sentinel.
“Our hearts are heavy. Brenda will be missed and our city is better because she was once an active participant!” - Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Church of God in Christ, Inc., Pastor - West Angeles COGIC
“I truly mourn the passing of Brenda Marsh-Mitchell. She was such a strong woman of faith and she always made sure that the faith community was not neglected.
“Over the years, I worked closely with her on a number of social projects and we were working together on the George McKenna campaign. In every effort, Brenda gave her best and inspired others to join her.
“I am sure by now she has arrived in heaven offering her gifts and talents to the heavenly host. If I was to preach her service, I would do it from 2 Corinthians 4:7, “For we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” The vessel is gone, but the treasure remains. Brenda did not die on the day she died. She will always be remembered.” - Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Sr., Presiding Prelate, Fifth Episcopal District, A.M.E. Church
“Brenda Marsh-Mitchell was a unique blend of professionalism, excellence and class. Her pleasant personality combined with her business acumen made her a key player in the success of the L.A. Sentinel. The city has lost a giant!” - Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Faithful Central Bible Church
“Brenda was such a good and godly person and so committed to any task she was over. She possessed a steadfast love for Christ and His people. I thank God that I knew her and I will truly miss her.” - Bishop L. Daniel Willams, The Baptist Church of the New Covenant
“Sister Brenda Marsh Mitchell was fully awake to God’s constant presence. She was acquainted with the needs of the people and touched many lives as a silent partner to brotherhood and a moving spirit in the community.” - Dr. J. Benjamin Hardwick, Pastor, Praises of Zion M. B. C., President, Western Baptist State Convention of California
“In a day when there is much emphasis on ‘free agency,’ Brenda Marsh-Mitchell was the classic paradigm of loyalty coupled with professionalism and expert competence.
“She was lovingly kind to me and my family and Mount Moriah Baptist Church. My prayers are with the family and my friend, Danny Bakewell and his family, and with the LA Sentinel family.” - Rev. Dr. Melvin V. Wade, Sr., Mount Moriah Baptist Church
“Today, the officers and members of Walker Temple A.M.E. Church are saddened because a mighty oak has fallen among us.
“Lady Brenda Marsh-Mitchell demonstrated for the world what it meant to become the image of Christ! She was always willing to fight for justice, showed mercy, and her walk was cloaked in humility.
“She was a great friend and I will miss her dearly. My prayers go out to her family. Farewell, my friend, until the morning.” - Rev. Rosalynn K. Brookins, Pastor - Walker Temple A.M.E. Church
“Brenda Marsh-Mitchell was a door opener. Every executive like Danny Bakewell seeks such a person, else the load becomes too heavy because the wagon becomes too light.
“She was there at the door to both the Brotherhood Crusade and the Los Angeles Sentinel, opening up and receiving you whether rich or poor, red or yellow, black or white, powerful or powerless. She knew the community, seeing it as a nation of nations, and speaking in every language of civility.
“So because she opened doors to others, all others, a door is opened to her now. Come in, Brenda. Choose your seat and sit down.” - Rev. Dr. Cecil L. "Chip" Murray, Co-founder, The Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement, USC
“Mrs. Brenda, that’s what we called our ebony queen. Mrs. Brenda was royalty, real and community revolutionary. She was fearless, unflawed, and forever on the march for social justice, organizing, and community development. Mrs. Brenda knew where all the bones were buried and had no problem pulling a few out of the closet to help liberate Black people.
"Mrs. Brenda was our friend, confidant, and crusader for justice. Danny, thank you for sharing Mrs. Brenda. God forever keep our friend near the throne. We will see you again, Mrs. Brenda.” - Rev. Mark Whitlock, Senior Minister, Christ Our Redeemer AME Church and the USC Cecil Murray Center
“Brenda was a gift to the City of Los Angeles and the African-American community in countless ways. She was one woman with so many dynamic women on the inside. Her death not only leaves a void among her family, Mr. Danny Bakewell, L. A. Sentinel, L. A. Watts-Times, the Taste of Soul, but also in a plethora of other areas in our community. It will take ten people to fill her shoes.
“She was a trusted friend and role model. In all of the 30+ years that I knew her, she lived by the motto, ‘Dream work takes team work.’
“We can all walk a little taller, sing a little louder and be a little prouder for a great lady of God named Brenda Marsh-Mitchell passed our way." - Quaford Coleman