“No matter what you’re going through, God is good all the time, and all the time God is good.” “No matter what others may think, you just live holy and walk slowly to glory."
Mother Lillie Ruth Sykes, affectionately known as Momma, Mommy, Ma, Baby Girl, Sunshine, Granny, Granny – Granny, and Auntie Lillie, was born on Sunday, September 29, 1935, in Philadelphia, Mississippi to parents Jessie and Necie Bell Kirkland. She attended Hopewell Elementary and High School in Philadelphia, and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1954 a er she graduated from high school. Lillie accepted the Lord at an early age and was a third generation member of the Church of God in Christ in Philidelphia. e four sisters, Lillie, Ollie Mae, Jessie Lou, and Jessie Ruth, had no choice but to attend church on a regular basis with their mother. One fond memory was that they sat in chairs and had to tarry at the altar o en. While tarrying Lillie was saved, sancti ed, baptized and lled with the power of the Holy Ghost to the bone. Mother Kirkland traveled to Chicago with Lillie to stay with Mother Johnson, a ectionately known as Aunt Martha. Lillie wanted to go to a Church of God in Christ, and Aunt Martha knew just the person to call: Freddie Hobbs. He was currently a member of St. Lawrence Church of God in Christ, where Elder Hezzie Hudson was pastor. Lillie eventually lived with Pastor Hezzie and Mother Rebecca Hudson until she married. Otis Sykes and Lillie met at the state youth night service. Mother Hudson asked Brother Sykes to give Ms. Kirkland a ride home. On Saturday, January 18, 1958, Lillie Ruth Kirkland was joined in holy matrimony to Otis Edward Sykes. Otis decided to join Lillie at the St. Lawrence Church of God in Christ. To this union four children were born: Edward Andre, Sylvia, Elaine, and Jennifer. Lillie joined Saint Lawrence Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Pastor Hezzie Hudson, located at 4422 South Cottage Grove Avenue. e church later moved to 6959 South Vincennes, then to 7400 South St. Lawrence Avenue in Chicago. Mother Sykes was an active member of St. Lawrence as Sunday School teacher, Youth Department President for over 30 years, President of the Missionary Board, and as the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. She served faithfully in her local church as well as her district. She was appointed Assistant District Missionary by the late Mother Mozella urston. A er the passing of Mother urston, Mother Sykes was appointed District Missionary of the Macedonia District of 5th Illinois Jurisdiction, under the leadership the Bishop Bennie Earl Goodwin and Mother Rosa Marie Smith. Mother Sykes worked at Sara Lee Corporation for more than 30 years. She traveled over 44 miles one way every day and mentored, counseled, and mothered her colleagues. Mother Sykes was the reason so many young ladies accepted Christ and joined St. Lawrence. After 56 years at St. Lawrence, Mother Sykes joined the St. Luke Church of God in Christ on Sunday, June 1, 2014, under the Leadership of Bishop James C. Austin, Sr. She served faithfully with the Missionary Board and Mothers’ Board until her health limited her attendance. Mother Lillie Sykes received numerous recognitions throughout her life for leadership in service to the church. Mother Lillie Ruth Sykes moved from earth to glory on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at 1:31 PM. She led an indelible imprint on the lives of many. Her parents and two sisters, Ollie Mae and Jessie Lou, preceded her in death. She leaves to cherish her loving memories: her four “beautiful children,” Edward Andre Sykes (Linda), Sylvia L. Sykes, Elaine V. Johnson (Rodney), and Jennifer S. Hicks (Paul Hudson); a special daughter, Kim Yvette omas-Williams; twelve grandchildren, Edward Andre, Jr., Sabrina (Robert), Daniel (Brittney), Monet, Michael, Rodney Jr., Anthony Jr., Rachel, Ryan, Dwane, Iylana, and Terrell; thirteen great-grandchildren, Davion, Maykala, Malachi, Alaysia, Kaden, Darius, Wyatt, Lianna, DeAndre, Jayce, Chloe (PooPoo), Daniel Jr., and Noah; one sister, Jessie Ruth Brown of Omaha, Nebraska; three sisters-in-law, Alma Whitaker of Memphis, Tennessee, Catherine Sidney of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, E e Taylor (Robert) of West Bloom eld, Michigan; and Lue Catherine Sykes of Memphis, TN; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, spiritual daughters, the St. Luke Church family, and special and loving friends.