Official Obituary of

Thelma Carling Mitchell

August 15, 1949 ~ March 12, 2024 (age 74) 74 Years Old

Thelma Mitchell Obituary

On Tuesday, March 12, 2024, Reverend Thelma C. Mitchell, humbly and gratefully answered the invitation to “Come Home” to be with her Creator, the One True Living God. Thelma is the older of two children born into the loving union of Henry Duvall Mitchell and Julia Ester (Johnson) Mitchell.

She is a native of Pittsburgh; and attended Lemington Elementary, Cresent Elementary, and Westinghouse Junior and Senior High School. After graduating from Westinghouse, she attended Penn State before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh (PITT) where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology; followed by a Masters of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; returning to PITT to earn a Masters of Education and Post-Graduate ABD designation just before joining the national staff of the American Baptist Churches, USA.

Rev. Mitchell’s noteworthy distinctions include working as a Community Mental Health therapist beginning in 1973; being the first woman ordained by Mount Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh through the ABC USA; being the first woman and first African-American Associate Pastor called to First Baptist Church of Pittsburgh in Oakland; serving as an Ambassador and Commissioned Missionary to the United States for the ABC USA - facilitating and co-hosting the First Gang Summit in Kansas City; rebuilding Black Churches destroyed by arsonist; working on negotiation team for reconciliation in apartheid South Africa; monitoring the Presidential Election of John Taylor in Liberia; serving as a delegate in Hong Kong, Great Britain, Sweden, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Buenos Aries. Mid-1990 she became the first woman and the first African-American Pastor of Wilkinsburg Baptist, as well as, the first woman to become a Senior Pastor within ABC USA. At Wilkinsburg which became Dunamis Baptist she served thousands through Naomi’s Way, the Wallace Avenue Soup Kitchen, daycare, and preschool; teaching New Testament within Pittsburgh Theological Seminary’s Metro-Urban Institute, and circling back to empowering others as part of the therapeutic behavioural staff UPMC’s Comprehensive Recovery Services at the Oxford Center of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinics.

She is survived by her beloved sister, Manella H. Mitchell (friend Steven Reid); God Sister, Carol Weaver and God-Brother, John Weaver; God-Children Jill Smallwood and Chanel Richardson, Jason Mitchell; plus, a host of family and friends who shall cherish her memory

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March 25, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Bethesda Presbyterian Church

Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Funeral Service
March 25, 2024

11:00 AM
Bethesda Presbyterian Church

Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Video is available for this event


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