Pastor Lula Hammonds Merritt was born on July 26, 1936 in Huntsville, Alabama, the daughter of the late Elijah and Sadie Hammonds.
Lula was preceded in death by her husband, Reverend Jim R. Merritt and step-son Peter James Merritt.
Both Lula and Jim answered the call of God to serve as ordained ministers and educators. They founded the El Shaddai Inner City Ministries and Christian Academy in Birmingham, Alabama. What started as a small home after-school program, grew into a thriving academy for at-risk youth. For many years, Aunt Lula and Uncle Jim nurtured and trained young people who might not have had the best of circumstances in life, but became successful college graduates and wonderful members of the community.
Upon retirement, Pastor Merritt remained an active servant of the community. Known to many as MaMerritt or Aunt Lula, her gentle spirit was a comfort and a blessing to everyone she came into contact with. Lula’s favorite saying was “Love God and love people.” This woman of God has left an impact and an imprint on the lives of so many. We praise God for her long life of service and dedication to the cause of Christ. “Well done thy good and faithful servant”.
Lula leaves to cherish her memory her sons, Edderrick (Sabrina) and Melvin (Benita) Wheeler; daughter, Linda (Joe) Readus; step-daughters Cynthia and Shirley Merritt; her sister Nannie Hammonds Joiner and family; a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many other family and friends who look forward to being reunited with her in Heaven.