Mother Joni Henderson, 80, formerly of Chattanooga, departed this life on Sunday, August 14, 2022, in a health care facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
She was born in Greensboro, Alabama to Mr. John Toeran and Ms. Creacy Evans on July 16, 1942. She confessed Christ as Lord and was baptized at nine years old at the registered landmark and historic Salem Baptist Church (Greensboro, Alabama). She moved to Oakland, California after graduating Hale County High School in Alabama. She soon met and married Mr. Robert L. Teal. From their union were born five children - Michael, John, Robert, Lela and Sean (given names). She was a single, “head of household” mother for nearly a decade. She would later marry Mr. Alphonso Henderson. From this union came their son, Alonzo J. Henderson. This union lasted 40 years. Mother Joni attended Laney College, Merritt College, Contra Costa College and graduated from San Francisco State University with a graduate Bachelor of Science degree with certifications in Health Administration. She worked most of her career in Montessori early childhood education. Her early years in the field were nurtured as a volunteer at the nationally celebrated Berkeley Hills (CA) Nursery School and Fairmont Elementary School (El Cerrito, CA). She worked tirelessly as an advocate and educator at North Richmond (CA) Community Center. She was recruited as the YMCA director of early childhood education in an “under performing” urban community. She was a tireless advocate for high standards. She retired from that position. Mother Joni was a “born again” believer, a Bible reader, a spiritual dreamer and a personal intercessor.
She was a faithful member of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, Richmond, California under the leadership of Pastor John H. Green for over 30 years. She served as an Usher, Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member (sopranos), Missions Circle Leader, and Women’s Mission Union president. Upon moving to Chattanooga, Tennessee, she became an active member of the Titus II Circle and continued to be a “church mother” and the mother of her pastor, Bishop Sean Teal.
In addition to her parents, Mother Joni was preceded in death by her firstborn son, Mykaul J. Evans.
Continuing to live her legacy are her children: Mr. John O. Teal, Mr. Quentin Teal and his wife, Mrs. Detra, Lela Denise Teal, Sean F. Teal, Sr. and his wife, Lady Stephanie and Mr. Alonzo Henderson and his wife, Mrs. Angel. She leaves to celebrate, her only sister, Lady Virginia Evans of Bessemer, AL; her longest living first cousin, Mrs. Rebecca Hardy with more generations of her 21 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and family.
The Memorial Celebration will be on Friday, Aug. 19, at 3 p.m. in the chapel of Taylor Funeral Home.
Those wishing to honor the legacy of Mother Joni T. Henderson may give at itsthehope.org/give or CashApp: $house4prayer. Please indicate Missions. All gifts will go in support of the children, work, and ministry at Phebe Grey Memorial Orphanage (Monrovia, Liberia).