Last Tuesday many were shocked at the announcement that Dr. Gertrude “Mother” Stacks passed away, just 12 days after her 77th birthday. The news was revealed on her Facebook page.

“Shalom Fellowship International of Detroit, MI and This is Shalom Pentecost of Harrisburg, PA are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Pastor, Dr. Gertrude Stacks,” the announcement reads.  “The late Dr. Gertrude Stacks served well as a pillar to the Body of Christ for over five decades. She was a general in the Spirit, spiritual mother, sister, overseer, counselor, and confidante to many across the nation. She will be greatly missed. Final arrangements are forthcoming and will be posted on her Facebook page by the family. Please keep the Stacks family and Shalom congregants in your prayers.”

Stacks was the seventh of eleven children born to the late Prophet Cato II and Tennesee Witherspoon. She was the sister of famous actor John Witherspoon, known for classic roles like Willie Jones in Friday and Mr. Strickland in House Party. In a 2008 stand-up comedy show, Witherspoon described her as the “most religious person” he met.

Mother Stacks, as she was also called, served as a pastor and was a native of Detroit, Michigan. She accepted Jesus into her life when she was 25 years old and believed her spiritual gifts were healing, deliverance, prophecy, and discerning of spirits. She obtained her Doctor of Humanities degree from A.L. Theological Academy.

In 2001, she became the lead pastor of the Shalom Temple Ministries after her husband, Bishop Jesse T. Stacks passed away. The church has several campuses located in Detroit, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Chicago.

People have been sending their condolences to the family of Stacks on social media. “She just celebrated a birthday…but I know for sure she’s in the arms of Jesus SIP Mother Stacks,” wrote one Instagram user.  Another person stated, “Wow. Was watching her videos the other day 😢 ❤️ she operated with such power of the Holy Spirit.”

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