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Elsie Baptiste

remembering Elsie baptiste March 22, 2017 Elsie Edolia Baptiste was born October 26, 1961, in Fresno, CA, one of three children born to Edward Eddie Baptiste and Nevilee Susan Brooks. After the death of their mother, Elsie and her brothers Edward and Meshach were moved to The Bronx, New York where they lived with three of their mother’s siblings, Vivian Andrews, Rennie Brooks, and Glenn Brooks - who is known by everyone as Uncle Glenn. In 1971 Uncle Glenn moved his wife Yvonne, son Glenn “Cito”, and his niece Elsie to Los Angeles, California. Elsie attended LA Union Elementary School, and then Lynwood Academy where she was a member of the baseball team. After graduation from Lynwood Elsie continued her studies and earned qualification as an Optician, a profession that she practiced at Pioneer Hospital, and other facilities. While living in Los Angeles Elsie attended the 54th Street Seventh-day Adventist Church where she was a member of the Sounds of Faith Gospel Choir, and the Pathfinders. In 1993 Elsie married Dwayne Witherspoon. On January 31, 1995 their daughter Briana Nicole Witherspoon was born. A few years later a tragedy occurred and their second child, a boy named Brandon was stillborn. While raising Briana in Elk Grove, CA, Elsie owned and operated Precious Gifts Academy a home-based daycare. She was assisted by Gabriela “Tita” Moretch, and Judith Young. Elsie was an active member of the Capitol City Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento. She served as the Children’s Choir Director, Adventist Youth Leader, Lay Advisory Committee member, Pathfinders’ staff member, and played on the church softball team. Another important contribution by Elsie was in forming the male quartet known as “Gentlemen For Christ.” Working with children was Elsie's passion and delight. Elsie wrote sermons that were presented by the youth, she wrote plays, and organized concerts throughout the city of Sacramento. Elsie was known for her enthusiasm and passion for community outreach. She founded “Teens Against Teen Pregnancy,” and “Reaching Out Community Kindness” (R.O.C.K.) which was an organization that helped to get young people involved in community service. For over 30 years Elsie was a faithful servant and warrior for Christ, leading young people to the Kingdom through her many ministries. On March 15, 2017 at her home in Sacramento, California, she laid down her sword and shield to rest after a long battle against cancer. She is survived by her daughter Briana, brothers Edward and Meshach Baptiste, Uncle Glenn and Aunt Yvonne Brooks, and a host of relatives and friends too numerous to name.