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Make us The Family Tradition



LeVora Griffin

December 24, 1935 ~ December 13, 2018 (age 82)

“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord , all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.” Psalm 27:4

LeVora “Cookie” Upshaw Griffin was born of HOLY PARENTS, Bishop  and Mrs. Dewey Upshaw on December 24, 1935 in Newark, NJ.  She took her eternal rest from this life, surrounded by her family at Mountainside Hospital (Glenridge,NJ) on December 13, 2018.

“Cookie” was reared in Newark, NJ and matriculated through the public school system: Warren Street School for her Grammar schooling and Central Avenue High School.  Following her graduating, she attended Essex County College and obtained several credits, but she obtained her Associates degree in Education from Bloomfield College.

During her college years she met and married the love of her life John Edward Griffin on February 14, 1957 to which two sons were born Edmund Royce and Darryl Quinton.  Upon her graduation, she worked several jobs in the Irvington Board of Education School System until her retirement.

Under the late Bishop T.J. Thorpe’s administration, her father was called to mission in Bloomfield, NJ.  “Cookie” as she is affectionately known, along with two of her younger brothers remained with her father and mother at the new mission, which was first called Church of God In Christ, Bloomfield.  Her late father, along with his family, also served under L. Hamilton, the late Bishop A.J. Reid (of who Reid’s Temple is named in honor of) and Bishop Esau Courtney.

The family formerly worshipped and held membership sometime later at the old Newark’s Mother church of the Churches of God In Christ of New Jersey.  The First Church of God In Christ.  It was there she embarked on her church ministry at an early age.  Since her birth and her unending participation in church functions, “Cookie” has been instrumental as an avid “behind the scenes” church worker.  She has always found what her hands could do and did it!  We have talked about people who have worked “down through the years” and she remains a prime example of this.  In November 1963, she became a licensed Evangelist Missionary by the late Mother Annie L. Bailey.  Her home church is Zion Temple Church Of God In Christ (renamed Upshaw Temple), where the late Bishop Dewey Upshaw, Sr. was her natural and spiritual father.

We are honoring no “small” person here, but one who learned and knew the ropes.  She knew all the tasks ahead of her and was ready for any challenge for the Lord.  She was gifted by God, called, appointed and anointed  for God’s service.  Most importantly, “Cookie” was Saved, Sanctified and had the anointing of the Holy Spirit in her life.  There are no better credentials one can hold.

“Cookie” had many accomplishments, but CHURCH was her life.  One of her favorite scriptures “The Lord is my Strength and song and He is become my salvation; He is my God, and I will prepare Him a habitation; My father’s God and I will exalt Him.”  Exodus 15:2.  She was a part of EVERY facet of the church:

Sunday School:  Secretary, Assistant Superintendent, Teacher (3 Classes), Gift Shopper, Superintendent, Central District Field Worker

Y.P.W.W.:  Secretary, Teacher, Vice President, Northern District Field Worker (8 years)

Choirs:  Upshaw Temple Member, Northern District, State of NJ, re-organized the Northern District Choir, organized and directed the Zion Temple children’s choir (27 years), Z.T. Specials, Organized Unity Ensemble of Z.T. and Z.T. Youth Choir

Missionary Circle: President; Pastors Aid Worker; Y.W.C.C. 1st Jurisdiction President;

Pastors & Ministers Wives President for Central District;

Women’s Department President & Vice President – Zion Temple & Strangers Home

Evangelist Board President for NJ 1st Jurisdiction

Executive Hospitality President; NJ Advisory Board Member; WE 12 Members of the 1st & 3rd Jurisdictions

Purity Class Leader; Counselor; 2ND Assistant Pastor to Edmund R. Griffin of Revelations COGIC

Ministering Mother & Executive Program Coordinator of Total Man Ministries

Church:  Van Driver, Culinary Worker, Cleaning Detail, Program director for Easter, Christmas and Children’s days, Vacation Bible School organizer/Teacher, Radio Announcer, Usher, Noon Day Prayer Leader, Jr. Church Mother.

“Cookie” is preceded in death by her loving husband John Edward Griffin, one Sister Louise Spradley, three Brothers Arthur Lee Upshaw, Melvin and Eugene Upshaw; one Sister-in-law Mary Upshaw and Baby Pearl Upshaw..

“Cookie” leaves to cherish her memory her two devoted sons Bishop Edmund Royce Griffin, Sr. (Cassandra) and Elder Darryl Quinton Griffin, one adopted Daughter Azell Gwynn; four  amazing God Daughters Patricia Jones , Sharon Merritt Taylor (Al), Vernell Davis and Joan Gwynn (Azell’s Mother) and one God Son John Jones; seven Grand Children: Edmund Royce Griffin, Jr. and LaTia Spradley, Kason Martin (Alisha) {Mother Doris Perry Griffin}, Darius Griffin  (Barbara Griffin, mother), Alexandria Nicole Jordan (Cassandra, mother), Ja’lh Brown, Allyah Merritt and Gavin Farrow; three Great Grand Children: Kaelan Asher Jordan,  McKenzie Parker Griffin and Christan Josiah Martin; three sisters Dorothy Upshaw Glover, Eunice Upshaw Deloatch and Norma Upshaw Williams; one brother  Ralph Upshaw; two sister-in-laws Ruth Upshaw and Sylvia Upshaw and a host of relatives and friends

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