June 26, 2012

A Tribute to JoElaine Heaven; February 9, 1946 – June 19, 2012

Today, I went to the Home going service of a sister in Christ, a friend and an advocate for justice who has gone home to be with the Lord.   JoElaine Heaven, Attorney at Law transitioned from labor to reward June 19, 2012.   Miss Heaven was the Attorney which represented us the Board of Trustees in the case in which Bishop J.C. Gilkey and the Church of God in Christ, Inc sued to take the church from the members who had constructed and maintained the Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Wichita, Kansas.  Not only for us but she (we) believed her work would benefit the entire Body of Christ.

After graduating as an honor student from high school,  JoElaine earned an Associate Degree from Coffeyville Community Junior College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from The University of Kansas.  After working as a Social Worker, she became disenchanted with what the courts allowed to happen allegedly in the “best interest of the child” and with the difficulty in getting attorneys to file petitions on behalf of children needing help.  She decided she would go to law school and learn how to do the petitions herself.  Subsequently JoElaine went to law school where she became the first African-American woman to earn a Law Degree from Washburn Law School over 30 years ago.  JoElaine worked tirelessly as an advocate for children and in assisting older members of her church and community.

It is with great sadness and humility I add, she was working on the case for Emmanuel at the time she left.

We who are members of the Body of Christ and those who believe we should act justly and treat everyone fairly owe a debt of gratitude that can not be repaid to JoElaine Heaven, Attorney at Law, another soldier gone home.

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