We Remember: Deacon Ulysses Embry May 11, 1931 – November 11, 2022

LANSING, MI — Deacon Ulysses Embry was born May 11, 1931, in Alpine, Alabama to the union of Horace and Mamie Embry. He was the fifth of nine children. Ulysses attended Public Schools in Alabama, where he completed the eighth grade. He placed his education on hold to assist his family on the farm. In 1981, he received his general education diploma from the Lansing School District and continued additional course work through Lansing Community College.

In 1951, Ulysses married the love of his life, Bernice McClurkin. They remained in love for 71 ½ years. This union was blessed with ten children, whom they raised in church, teaching them about the love of Jesus. He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great- and great-great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and godfather.

In 1957, he relocated to Lansing, seeking a better life for his family, away from the civil unrest that was prominent at that time. Employed by General Motors as an inspector for 38 years, he also worked a part time job to ensure the care of his family.

In 1958, Ulysses was baptized in Jesus’ Name and received the gift of the Holy Spirit at Bethlehem Temple Church under the leadership of District Elder Sylvester Winston. He worked in the church doing whatever his hands found to do. In 1960, he was ordained as a Deacon, served as Chairman of the board, and faithfully fulfilling the duties of this office being the longest serving Deacon in the history of this church.

In 1962, he was appointed Sunday School Superintendent. Deacon Embry was very passionate about this position as he loved children and the Sunday School Department. He would walk canvassing the neighborhoods asking parents if their children could attend Sunday School. Before the church had transportation, he would drive his own vehicle, picking up children to bring them to church. He was affectionately called the “Sunday School Man.” In 1997, under the leadership of Bishop Alfred Singleton, Sr. Deacon Embry was awarded an achievement award from Bethlehem Temple Church for “being directly responsible for the great improvements throughout the years” in the above areas.

Early in his walk with the Lord, Deacon Embry became a part of the Michigan State Council (Great Lakes Conference). Being devoted to the Sunday School Department, he was appointed Treasurer of the Council Sunday School Department, serving faithfully for over 50 years.

Deacon Embry enjoyed and loved listening to good Gospel music. He sang with theGospelites formerly known as the Male Chorus for over 45 years of which he was instrumental in starting.

He was well known and loved throughout the community. He was a strong man, yet kind and genuine. No one was a stranger to him; in the mall, walking around town, or at church, he would always have a smile, speaking (or nodding his head) to everyone he encountered.

Deacon Embry loved the Lord, the house of the Lord and was loyal to his pastors. Often if he was not at home, he was at the church, his second home. He was affectionately known as “the basement Bishop.” He would render a quick message or give you a topic and/or subtopic for a sermon.

On the night of Friday, November 11, 2022, Deacon Embry quietly made his transition with his family at his side.

He was preceded in death by grandchildren; James E. Jones III, Shamari Milton, and Jennifer P. Samuels; son-in-love, James H. Bransford, four sisters and spouses; Beulah (Harrison) Phillips, Mattie (William) Mitchell, Annie R. Newton, Martha Hoarsley, four brothers and spouses; James R. (Rosa Lee), Jerry (Doll), Ernest, Curtis (Rose) Embry.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his beloved wife, Bernice Embry, three daughters; Diane Bransford, Vivian (Jimmiel) Bodiford, Sandra Embry, seven sons; Anthony, Ronald (Sheila), Ulysses Jr.(Barbara), Kent (Renee), Marvin, Eric (Lynette), and Jeffrey Embry; 13 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, 12 great-great-grandchildren, brother; Robert Jones, three sisters-in-love; Gladys Embry, Joyce Armstrong, and Charlotte Keith; a host of nieces, nephews, god-children; church family and friends. Deacon Embry will be missed!