HARRELL, Rev. Marita
Celebration of Life will be Friday, June 10, 2022, 11:00 AM at Cascade United Methodist Church Rev. Dr. Kevin Murriel, Sr. Pastor, Officiant and Rev. Dr. Byron Thomas, Eulogist. Viewing will be Thursday, June 9, 2022, 1:00 PM-6:00 PM at Central United Methodist Church. The Omega Omega Service will follow at 6:30 PM. Services will be live streamed.
Reverend Marita Yvette Roberts Harrell was born in Chicago, IL, on May 25, 1965. She was a blessing to her parents, Howard and Margie Roberts, and her brother Howie. She is preceded in death by her brother, Howard D. Roberts, Jr. With the guidance of her parents and the grace of God, Marita had strong Christian and educational foundations. She was Christened at Gorham United Methodist Church (UMC) in Chicago, IL, by the late Rev. Harry Gibson. While living in Indianapolis, IN, Marita sang in the children's choir at University UMC. After the family moved back to the Chicago area, Marita became active at St Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Glencoe, IL where she sang in the St. Paul Youth Choir. As an adult, she joined Central UMC in Atlanta, the home church of her parents and extended family, where she was actively involved in ministry for over twenty years. While there, she served in numerous leadership roles, including Children's Sermon Coordinator, Council on Ministries Co-chair, Vacation Bible School Coordinator, Community Festival Director, Sunday School and Youth Enrichment Teacher, and Girl Scout Leader. All of these roles helped her grow in ministry and faith. It was during this time that she realized and accepted the call to the Ordained Ministry. She once said, "Although I had spent my time running from pillar to post in various ministries in the church, I never felt the pure joy and peace that I felt as I pursued ordained ministry as an Elder in the United Methodist Church."
Marita's educational journey included Elementary School at the Orchard Country Day School in Indianapolis, IN, where she was a Girl Scout. She attended Central Junior High School in Glencoe, IL. She graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL, as a National Merit Scholar. During high school, she was a member of the Drama Club, worked at the Glencoe Public Library, and was a camp counselor for the Glencoe Department of Recreation.
Marita left Illinois to continue her education in Atlanta, GA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University in 1987. While at Emory, she was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Omicron Xi in 1984. After a 22-year career in Advertising at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, Marita accepted God's call on her life and returned to Emory in 2011 to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Candler School of Theology. She earned her Master of Divinity Degree in May 2014 and her License to Preach certification in 2015. Rev. Marita Harrell was then commissioned as a Provisional Elder in June 2019.
She served as the Pastor of Rivertown United Methodist Church from 2016 to 2018, The United Methodist Children's Home from 2018 to 2019, and December 2019 as the Assistant Pastor at Newnan Chapel United Methodist Church. In June 2020, she was appointed as the Senior Pastor at Connections @ Metropolitan United Methodist Church where she was currently serving.
In 1987 Marita met Antonio Harrell at a mutual friend's home, while planning a pool party. They began dating in 1989. After an amazing courtship, they were wed on July 25, 1992. Into this union were born two precocious daughters, The Resolute Marae and Gregarious Alyse, the two most cherished joys in Marita's life. Motherhood immediately embraced Marita with special spiritual nourishment and supportive love, from the moment that she gazed loving into their beautiful eyes at birth, and throughout her life with them. She totally supported her daughters spiritually, academically and throughout their extracurricular activities, utilizing her many talented crafts. Marita was a courageous and inspiring Woman of God but took pride in balancing her ministry, being a loving wife and devoted mother. Her radiant smile, calming voice and loving spirit were magnetic which was also extended to her parents, nieces, nephews, cousins, and God children.
Marita valued relationships and lived her life in a manner that fully encompassed the words of her favorite scripture, Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the god of the amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.
Marita's love and compassion for others extended beyond her family. She maintained many deep and abiding friendships, several of which originated in early childhood and remained intact until her transition. Her compassion knew no end, and her care for others did not discriminate. She simply loved everyone. Those who knew her well knew that both Marita's smile and laugh were contagious and could permeate any room, bringing joy to those around her. She is remembered for her positive attitude and light-hearted spirit.
Howard Roberts Jr., Marita's brother and Tremayne Newton, her brother-in-law, preceded her in death. Marita's transition to life eternal occurred on May 18, 2022. Mourning her passing but celebrating her victory in Christ is her husband, Antonio Harrell; and two daughters Marae and Alyse; her parents, Howard and Margie Roberts; her mother-in-law, Patricia Newton; her fathers-in-law, Oscar Wells (Shirley) and Joseph Newton (Irene); her sisters-in-law, Tonjaneka Johnson (Lorenzo), Rachelle Tellez (Marlon), Joann Newton, Tashon Walker; Special Family Friends, the Jones of Indianapolis. Included in her loving family and celebrating her life are a host of other relatives and friends.
The life of Marita Yvette Roberts Harrell was well lived; her legacy is rich and indelible and her faith in God endured until the end. Her epitaph could read "If I helped somebody as I passed along the way, then my living shall not be in vain."
Professional Services Entrusted to Grissom-Clark Funeral Home 404-373-3191, www.grissom-clarkfh.com.