Mother Leola Cunningham was born on November 30, 1931 to the late Pacience Hare Knight and Matthew McCall, along with her loving step-father, Martin Knight in Calhoun.
Mother Leola moved to New York City at an early age, where she began her Christian journey as well. She was educated through the public school systems and was gainfully employed with Suffolk Development Center of Melville, N.Y. for many years. She met and married the love of her life the late Bishop Charlie Grayson Cunningham and in New York they lived the life of Christ like people, doing God’s will.
They were opportunists to establish two churches while residing in New York and they were: the Church of God by Faith in Long Island, N.Y. and The Church of God in Christ of Westbury, N.Y. After retiring and moving to Alabama, she continued her walk with Christ as she and her late husband established another dwelling worship center, True Faith Church of God in Christ on Robinson Drive of Atmore. Besides being the perfect wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, cousin and friends, she was also renowned for her cooking and her dedication to both family and community.
Cunningham answered the call of Jesus who said “Come unto me all ye that labor and of heavy labored and take your rest.” She transitioned from time to eternity on February 22, 2020. Preceding her in death were her loving parents; stepfather; loving husband, Bishop Charlie G. Cunningham; and three brothers, Leroy Knight, Wilbert Knight and Joe Knight.
Those who will admonish Cunningham’s legacy and forever captivate her memories include three loving children, Allen James (Fuyumi) Howard of California, Shirley Gaston (Sylvester) Brown and Joyce (Jeff) Gardner, both of Atmore, Alabama; one goddaughter, Apostle Mary America of Atmore; 10 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild, Amir; devoted family and friends, Elder Curtis Williams family of Orlando, Fla., Apostle Mary America and Mrs. Susan Saint of Atmore; Brother James of Bay Minette; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins other relatives and friends.
Final arrangements are entrusted to Robinson-Christian Memorial Funeral Home in Atmore.
Public visitation will be held this Friday, March 6, 2020 from 2-6 p.m. atRobinson Christian Memorial Funeral Home, 78 Harris Street Atmore.
A funeral service will be held on Sat., March 7, at 11 a.m. at Empowerment Tabernacle Christian Center, Atmore.