Credit: Bill Moore photo

On Nov. 24 St. James Community Full Gospel Church celebrated the “Mother of the Church” Ramona Day Benson Boyd in a 90th birthday celebration.

The theme of the event was “giving her flowers while she can still smell them.” Family and friends gave thanks honoring her strength and her wisdom.

“Ms. Ramona, affectionately known as ‘Ms. Mona’ or ‘Granny,’” said Sandra McPhee’ Hunter of her adopted grandmother.

The celebration warmed Boyd’s heart.

“She was happy that God allowed her to be here and see all of her children, grandchildren and friends. She is a strong woman,” said Hunter.

Boyd was born in Jacksonville, Fla., Nov. 25, 1928. She was the eldest of 11 siblings, and at 13 years old she moved from Florida to Harlem. After high school she studied nursing and became a certified nursing assistant. She married James Boyd and had six children. After 23 years of marriage James passed. Later she found love again and married Sylvester Benson and had three children.

“She was a longtime member of St. James Community Full Gospel Church where she was appointed ‘Mother of the Church’ in 2011. At St. James she worked tirelessly with the missionaries, the Children’s Ministry and president of the Benevolent Society, all dear to her heart,” said Hunter.

Boyd has a strong relationship with the congregation of the church. Every Thursday night Boyd and the Rev. Crouell lead a prayer night over the phone called Arc of Safety. Boyd is known as a spiritual leader in the church.

“She is sought after for her wise advice and biblical knowledge. In her golden years, Mother Boyd praised God with every fiber of her being,” said Hunter.

Boyd has lived a full life and she plans to continue living life to the fullest.

“Ms. Mona has visited many places over the years such as the Philippines, the Caribbean Islands, Europe, Japan, Korea and many parts while on cruise ships. She is slowing down a little know but she can travel. She is the only one in her family to see the Broadway show ‘Hamilton,’” said Hunter.

Everyone who meets Boyd recognizes the blessing in the encounter, added Hunter. She continued, “I’m so blessed to have her as a part of my life. If you meet this lady, you will feel like you have known her your whole life. She is the kindest woman I know.”