Hankerson Family

Bishop Elijah Hankerson and his late wife, Evangelist Rachel L. Hankerson, founded the Life Center International Church 20 years ago and helped it grow into one of the area’s leading faith communities. Rachel Hankerson passed away on June 20, 2021, and services will be held on July 2-3 at Kennerly Temple Church of Christ, 4307 Bishop Robert J. Ward Ave.


Services for nationally renowned Evangelist Rachel L. Hankerson will be held on Friday, July 2 and Saturday, July 3 at Kennerly Temple Church of Christ, 4307 Bishop Robert J. Ward Avenue.

Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson called his late wife, “my best friend.”

“My family and I wish to thank everyone for your support during the recent, sudden illness and unexpected passing of my wife. Our family is very close, so this has hurt us deeply.”

Rachel Hankerson passed on June 20, 2021, at the age of 47.

“This is by far is the hardest announcement I have ever had to make in my life. But our consolation has come from the Saints. We yet trust God & still testify that ‘every time I turn around the Lord is blessing me. That is what she would want,” said Bishop Hankerson, who will eulogize his wife during Friday’s local celebration of her life. Public viewing is from 5-7 p.m., and the service begins at 7 p.m.

Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Church of God in Christ chief apostle, will serve as eulogist officiant of Hankerson’s national service on Saturday. Public viewing is 8-10 a.m., and the service follows at 10 a.m.

The Hankersons founded Life Center International Church at 8500 Halls Ferry in June 1998. Evangelist Hankerson, who was known as “First Lady,” was nationally prominent and carried a message of encouragement to women to “live as ladies of destiny, dignity and purpose.”

She led Life Center’s women department, was an entrepreneur and the mother of three children: Elijah IV, Raquel and Matthew.

Michael Eaddy, chair of the General Counsel of COGIC Pastors and Elders, remembers Evangelist Hankerson as “a powerful woman of God.”

“She will be sorely missed.”

Services will be live streamed at Missouri Midwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hankerson Children College Fund at via GiveLife, Life Center International Church. 

“Please continue to pray for us during this very difficult time,” said Bishop Hankerson.

“Please pray for my children.”

For additional information, call (314) 786-2801.

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