March 1998

Zirrah (Cawthon) Parker

by Joseph H. RADDER

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Zirrah (cawthon) Parker knows how to listen. The 88 year-old mother of four is routinely sought after by friends and neighbors who want to discuss their problems. Her compassion for others was nurtured as one of eleven children growing up in Humbolt, Tennessee. She gives of herself because of her lifelong dedication to Jesus Christ, whom she accepted as her personal savior at the age of 12.

Zirrah has been a faithful member of the Emmanuel Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church for 50 years. She has served Emmanuel in various capacities including the offices of Sabbath School Leader of Primary Development, Head Deaconess, Sabbath School Adult Teacher, Community Services Leader, and Coordinator of the Western New York Seventh Day Adventist Community Service. She continues to be active as a Sabbath School Teacher.

While her church activities keep her busy, Zirrah loves sharing time with her daughters, Dolores, Frances, Florence and Virginia, and her son, William Jr. She and her husband, William Parker, Sr., have 10 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren, and 6 great great grandchildren.

Together with her husband, Zirrah opens her home to children whose families no longer want them or have time for them. She’s been helping people who have no one to turn to since moving to Buffalo in 1928. People whom she has touched will come back to Zirrah saying “Thank God you were there for me.” Whoever said angels aren’t visible?

Joseph H. Radder is a freelance writer.


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