The life of Rhandi Mattie Stith began on April 26, 1955, when God blessed the late Betty V. Smith Stith and George Hogben Stith. After a fruitful life, she transitioned to eternal rest with the Lord on January 14, 2024.
A most unique character, Rhandi’s journey of development began as she attended the Public Schools of Rye and New Rochelle, New York. She then journeyed into her higher education at Livingstone College of Salisbury, NC, and The College of New Rochelle of New Rochelle, NY, for the degrees that prepared her for the fulfilling work education, challenging the revealing gifts she nurtured, in Elementary E especially with her 1st Graders. These same gifts would lead her into greater works as God would use her to impact generations.
Rhandi began her walk into Christian maturity by following and developing with her mom as a member of St. Frances A.M.E. Zion Church of Port Chester, NY. Her gifts were nurtured here in Sunday School, Junior Choir, and the Teenage Cultural Club and into various district and conference programs and events. In 1995, she and Mom relocated to New Rochelle, NY, and transferred their membership to St. Catherine A.M.E. Zion Church. Here, as she matured in God, she became a Life Member of the Lay Council, a Life Member of the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society, then Secretary of Y’s for WHOMS, a Member of the Audio Visual Ministry, Mass Choir, and Director of Vacation Bible School for Christian Education.Witness the complete and heartfelt celebration service held on January 26, 2024, right here.
Climbing and Expanding her borders, she rose to serve on The Westchester District with the Lay Council and as Missions Education Director for WHOMS. Her faithfulness and genuine commitment became evident, and she became president of the New York Conference Lay Council. Watch out, cause ‘Here She Comes...!’ Taking it to the Next Level, she Coordinated Sponsorship/Partnership with AARP and NY Conference Laity. Then shared most unselfishly the resources and assisted other Annual Conference Lay Councils into like relationships. She was the Coordinator for WHOMS and Balm in Gilead Programs, Mass Choir, and Board Member for The M. Ardelle Shaw Retreat Center. Elevating to serve with The Connectional Lay Council, Rhandi became the Editor of The Connection Newsletter, serving 4 Administrations from 1997 - 2017. She was Editor of “Equipping the Laity, Chronological Endeavors of the Connectional Lay Council of The African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church 1948- October 2011. She was Northeastern Episcopal District Regional VP from 2019 to the present. In this work, she coordinated Regional Academies, Guided regional lay activities for publication in The Connection Newsletter, and developed programs to grow Lay Council Memberships. For over 20 years, she was a Volunteer Assistant with/for the Director of Public Affairs and Social Concerns, assisting Rev. McKain in serving the conventions at every level. Also involved and faithful servant with The International Ministers and Lay Association, she served as their Chairperson for The Annual Recognition Banquet and was Recipient of The Presidents Award under Dr. Kevin McGill’s administration. A General Conference Delegate since 2008, she has been appointed and served on the Commission on Judiciary and Global Missions Administration Board. She was just Duly Elected as a Delegate for the upcoming 2024 General Conference.
She accepted the Global Mindset of The Freedom Church, and in good order, both supported and attended to serve and represent around the world. She journeyed to share and build the work in the Bahamas, Jamaica, and in Ghana, West Africa. Her most recent and final journey was January 2-9, 2023, when she attended the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society Regional Convention in Ghana, supporting her Godbrother, Bishop Hilliard, and Missionary Supervisor, Cynthia Dogbe. Her support and work allowed her to also share in programs of The National Council of Churches USA and travel for the World Methodist Council to England and Singapore. Her advice to many and most is, “On a personal note If you haven’t traveled to Western West Africa, I plead with you to consider making the trip. Our people, the work, and the cultural immersion are thrilling. As for the people, you will witness the amazing things they accomplish without the fiscal abundance by which we measure the achievable. Your life will be significantly broadened in so many ways upon a visit to Bishop Dogbe’s episcopal work.”
Rhandi was a “Foodie.” If not the Oyster Stew on holidays, Roast Duck or Chitterlings, Very rare Steak Ginger Beer or Chocolate candy bars from Ghana, Big Nana’s Pizza, or Gub Hub, it may have been the Hot Pastrami sandwiches triple wrapped in Foil she’d bring to bless her friends with at connectional meetings on Day One! She was a Charter Member of the Mother/Daughter “Admiration Society.” “The pride of my life is my Daughter Rhandi. As an adult, she has become a real partner in my ministries as well as exploring her own and as my traveling companion.”
Dr. Betty V. Stith - 1999
“I, as your daughter, whom know You Best, can testify first hand that All that is said about You is true. You are the Best Mother that God could have blessed and daughter to have.”
Rhandi - 1999
Immediate Family members preceding her in death are her father, George Hogben Stith, and her mother, Dr. Betty V. Smith Stith. Rhandi leaves to celebrate her life's gifts and all the memories: Special Children, Godbrothers and sisters, Spiritual Brothers and Sisters, Childhood Friends, and Nieces. Nephews and dear friends, both clergy and lay. The names we know are many.