Mother Sarah Mae Crosland was 71, and departed this life on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 in Florence, SC.
Services are scheduled to be held 11am Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at Greater Gethsemane Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, Inc, 1532 E. Old Marion Hwy, Florence, SC.
In Loving Memory
The Life of SARAH MAE CROSLAND
December 1, 1951-March 22, 2023
Sarah (Hebrew name) | Princess and Woman of High Rank
“The LORD visited Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as HE had promised…” (Genesis 21:1)
On December 1, 1951, James J. and Mary Ethel Brown Ellerbe gave birth to the last of their five princesses. Her name was Sarah Mae Ellerbe. Born in Marion County, South Carolina, no doubt in austerity, her mother was determined to see the royalty Sarah was come into fullness. Growing up on a farm in the rural South, Sarah’s elder sisters can remember her being spoiled by their mother. She was doted upon, but also was taught to love, serve, and adore others. Raised against the backdrop of de-jure segregation, she recounted missing school days, while kids passing on the bus mocked her and her sisters. Nevertheless, God was faithful, and in 1971, she graduated from the newly integrated Marion High School. Having experienced the ills of segregation, the honesty in hard work, and the challenges of becoming a mother to her first baby boy at 17 years old, Sarah the Princess pressed, because she was in pursuit of a God who was chasing after her.
As her mother became ill, Sarah and her sisters were taken under the helm of their pastor, the late Bishop Annie Mae Jenkins. It was at Refuge Pentecostal Holiness Church on Bluff Road in Marion, South Carolina, that little Sarah gave Jesus a total ‘Yes’. There, she repented, was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, and while tarrying with her sisters around the altar, she received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
While Sarah was chasing after the man Christ Jesus, a man from Mullins was chasing after her. This little drummer boy named David Crosland loved Sarah and her little 2-year old son, “Chris”. On November 16, 1971, David took Sarah as his wife. Together, this testimony became true concerning David and Sarah: David sang…and Sarah shouted. David sang…and Sarah evangelized. David sang…and Sarah shouted some more. Together, Sarah Crosland and her husband became a force to be reckoned with, and their three children were their first mission field.
Sarah pursued God, and she was serious about chasing a devil. Together, her and her sister in Christ, Pastor Connie Dickerson, and their prayer band were the epitome of Mark 16:17…
“And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
They would pray, minister, open doors and windows, and cast the devil out. Many were saved, healed, and changed because of it.
A long-time employee of SoPackco and Francis Marion University, Sarah’s hands blessed each life she touched. From her impeccable culinary skills, to her laughter, her witty parenting skills, her love for others, to the anointing upon her life, you could not help but pursue God because of her.
In the late 1990’s, Sarah, David, and their family came to be pastored by their late uncle and aunt, Bishop Lloyd and Mother Susanna Swaringer, and they continued their pursuit of God under his son and wife, Bishop Kenneth J. and Brenda B. Swaringer.
In the ministry, Sarah found a place as Pastoral Assistant, in the Ushers and Greeter’s Ministry, singing (and “shouting”) on the Senior Choir, and her cooking skills were put to good use in the GGAC Nation Kitchen until her health declined.
Sarah and David loved their leaders, the saints, and were committed to their pastor’s vision. That blue Camry was often the first to appear and sometimes the last to leave Old Marion Highway. Why? Because they were in pursuit of God, His people, and His promise.
“…For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:39)
Sarah, the princess, held firmly to God’s promise for her family. Although she won’t see it all, she saw enough to know – God is faithful.
She leaves behind her most precious promises, three children: James Christopher Ellerbe, Sherman (Angela) Crosland, and Angela Renae Crosland; six grandchildren: Britney (Timothy) Grant, Amonti (Adrian) Hobbs, Daniel James II, Jaylen Crosland, Lauren Crosland, and Dredan James; two-great grandchildren: Timothy Grant II, Aloura Hobbs; two living sisters: Mary Ellerbe and Martha (James) Pee; three living sisters-in-love: Clara Campbell, Annie Crosland, Constance (Pastor Gary Plowden) and Gretchen Crosland; two brothers-in-love: Danny Crosland and Gregory Crosland; nieces, nephews, her tremendous caregiver and friend: Mrs. Isla (Kermit) Smith, godchildren: Elder Alexis (Ladonna) Pipkins, Elder Lou (Derrick) Washington, Tasha Davis, Samantha Player, Sarah Bull, Monica Moody; the Dialysis Carpool Team, the staff of the Carolinian, the staff of the Palm Rehabilitation Center, and a host of other loved ones. Sarah loved you.
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