Christine Watkins Felder was born on Wednesday, December 24, 1924, to the late Henry and Arlena Watkins in Camden, Ms. On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, at 6:30 a.m. after a gallant battle with COPD, Christine died peacefully.
Called a “spiritual trailblazer” by those who have known her down through the years, she was committed to missions. She began her Christian journey at the age of 10 as secretary of the Missionary Society and choir member at St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church in Memphis. Since then, she has held 14 different offices over the years ranging from deaconess to organizing an evangelistic bus ministry in the Westside/College Hill Courts housing development. She served as past president of the Chattanooga Women’s Auxiliary, served as board member of the Chattanooga Baptist Bible College, President of the Missionary Society of Greater Second Baptist Church, and in August of 1999 she received the “Special Achievement Award” as a Black Pioneer Woman by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.
Chris moved to Memphis, to live with her aunt, Mrs. Mollie Brooks after the passing of her mother. There in Memphis she met and married Rev. Kendall Perkins Felder. To that union was born three sons, Leon, Jackie Avilla, and Nigal whom she loved greatly. Her sons Jackie Avilla and Leon Felder preceded her in death. During the early years of their marriage, Kendall “Buck” Felder played baseball in the historic Negro Baseball League. Moving and living in several cities, they settled in Chattanooga where they lived a successful life of service and commitment to God and their community. The love of her life, “Buck” transitioned to his heavenly home on January 9, 1999, after 57 years of marriage.
Christine is survived by one son, Nigal (Rev. Lindoria); five grandchildren, Keith, Anthony, Nikia, Tiffany and Janelle; four great-grandchildren, Keith(KC), Raeanna, Trinitee Nicole, Marcus Antoine II; two sisters, Lorene Watkins, Bessie Watkins; five brothers, Daniel (Ann) and Willie (Ruby), Henry Jr., of Chicago, Il., Roosevelt (Jean) of St. Louis, and Ernest of Kansas City, Mo.; four devoted friends, Burnette Hughes, Mildred Walker, Sue Campbell, and Izola Humphries. She leaves a host of loving nieces, nephews, cousins from Indiana and St. Louis, and friends from all around the United States.
The Homegoing Service will be on Friday, June 1, at 11 a.m., officiated by Reverend Dr. Steve Caudle, Senior Pastor. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery.
The body will lie in state after noon on Thursday, May 31, at the funeral home with the family receiving friends and well wishers from 6-8 p.m. at Greater Second Missionary Baptist Church, 810 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of John Franklin Funeral Home, 1101 Dodds Ave., 622-9995.