(December 26, 1926 – April 29, 2008)
Mother Virginia Ree Cannady; the wife of our Presiding Bishop, Bishop Leroy H. Cannady, Sr. for nearly sixty-four (64) years. She also faithfully served as First Lady of the Refuge Way of the Cross Church of Christ in Baltimore, Maryland for fifty (50) years.
Mother Cannady heard the Gospel preached in its fullness for the first time in her life and was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ in 1946 by the late Bishop Henry Chauncey Brooks, founder of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ, International. With a pure heart and a burning desire to live for the Lord, she was filled with the precious gift of the Holy Ghost shortly thereafter. As a newborn babe in Christ, she obediently adhered to the strict discipline and staunch teachings of the devout missionaries at the Ransom Way of the Cross Church in Franklinton, North Carolina. So impressionable were those high standards she was initially introduced to that she continued to hold them in high regards, until she went home to be with the Lord on April 29, 2008.
Mother Cannady obediently (and willingly) followed her husband to Baltimore, Maryland after his ministry led him to leave his hometown of Franklinton, North Carolina in 1956. For nearly fifty (50) years, she held many laborious positions within the church including: President of the Missionary Department, Communion Coordinator, Refuge Chorus, Prayer Band Circle, Pastor’s Aid Committee, Baptismal Committee, and the Dining Room Committee. This busy woman of God also possessed exceptional managerial skills and was able to work in each of these capacities while superbly taking care of her husband and rearing their eight (8) children: Delphine, Vivian, Leroy, Jr. (deceased), Shirley, James, Gregory, Phyllis, and Michael. Mother Cannady’s home was filled with love where many saints found shelter. As a servant, she loved preparing meals and concluding with an invitation to “Dinner is ready”! She believed in serving her husband the best that she could offer. She especially enjoyed serving homemade buttermilk biscuits and sweet potato pies. However, her utmost desire was that all of her children would learn to “serve the Lord in the beauty of Holiness”. She often told them that is was “Holiness or Hell”. By a living example, she taught many young women how to love their own husbands and become chaste keepers at home according to the second chapter of Titus. She was indeed a Virtuous Woman.
In addition to working on a local level, Mother Cannady also served as the third President for the National Missionary Department of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ, International and the leader of the Pastoral Wives Council. Her dedications to the yearly national meetings were notable as she traveled from state to state with her husband and family.
The Refuge Way of the Cross Church of Christ acknowledges Mother Virginia Ree Cannady for her quiet and gentle spirit. She was a loving inspiration to the Body of Christ.