Annie Lee Sparks Thomas was born in Columbus, Georgia to Annie Hobbs Sparks and Ervin Sparks. She was the only child born to this union. Her father, Ervin, died when she was very young, and her mother later married Joseph Toliver. Together they moved to Detroit, Michigan. For the remainder of his life, Joseph was a dear, devoted father to Annie. Both parents preceded her in death. Annie was graduated from Northwestern High School in Detroit, MI. She attended Eastern Michigan University where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. She also received a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and Pi Omega Pi Business Fraternity. On May 9, 1959, she married Lowell Thomas, and God blessed them with three children: Kim Andrea, Lowell James, Jr., and Leslie Anne. During their marriage they lived in Washington, DC; Guadalajara, Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Detroit, MI, and finally Pittsburgh, PA. For many years Annie was a teacher and administrator with the Detroit Public Schools. In l986, she moved with her husband to Pittsburgh, PA. She taught in the Pittsburgh Public Schools from which she retired in 1997. For many years she worked with and beside her husband, Lowell, who is the senior pastor of Greater Bethlehem Temple. By her own testimony, Annie’s greatest accomplishment in life was getting to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and becoming His handmaiden. She was baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1958 at Greater Bethlehem Temple, Pittsburgh, PA. She received the gift of the Holy Spirit on March 29, 1968, at Greater Grace Temple, Detroit, MI. From that time onward, her life was dedicated to doing the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, and her primary goal in life was to bring others to Christ. She recognized and leaves this thought with each of you “only one life which will soon be past, only what you do for Christ will last.” Don’t cry because I’m gone, smile because I was here. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. – 2 Tim. 4:7-8 SEE YOU IN HEAVEN!!! Annie leaves to celebrate her home going: her beloved husband, Dr. Lowell James Thomas, their children, Kim-Andréa Richardson (Nathaniel); Lowell James Thomas, Jr. (Maria); Leslie Anne-Thomas Murphy (Stevie); grandchildren Alexis, Nichole, Desaray, Delano, Jessica, and Kristopher; great grandchildren Alvin, Robbie, Emanuel, Marvin, Conner, Alani, Michael, Kristopher, Annie, Roland, Samuel, her childhood friend, Dorothy Hall and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and dear friends.
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