“To be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord”
Ida Olivia (Libby) Thomas Bell was born March 19, 1950 into the loving parentage of Mozelle Joyce Thomas and Raymond V. Thomas Sr. of Thorpe, WV. Born and raised in Thorpe, WV she attended Gary District High School and graduated. She started out babysitting for others, and later obtained employment at Becker’s Jewelry. During her lifetime of earning a living Ida was employed at Dot Discount, King Pharmacy Drug Store, Doctors’ Memorial Hospital, Mountain Heart Day Care, and retired from the McDowell County Board of Education.
At an early age, under the leadership of her Uncle, the late General Bishop Arnie H. Joyce, she had a desire to follow him on the “green bus,” as he was known to travel throughout the area having the children sing and render praises unto God. During this time, she grew in the grace and the knowledge of God. The anointing was upon her life and she was known as a prayer warrior. She interceded on behalf of SO many, as she labored in the vineyard. Although she did not fully understand, and sometimes felt the Bishop was stricter and hard on her, little did she know how her faithfulness would be rewarded. For she always remained humble and dedicated in allowing the Lord to use her. She preferred being in the background and actively supported her Pastor whom she appreciated, loved and obeyed. Through her obedience, she was called into Ministry in 1990. After being One of the Lord’s instruments, she had no desire to be ordained, but after much prayer and speaking with Bishop Joyce on October 3, 2004, she was Ordained as a Minister, along with her son, Ruling Elder Anthony J. Bell. She was a member of Miracle Mt. Carmel Holiness Church of God, under the leadership of the late Bishop Arnie H. Joyce, and remained a member for the past 48 years. During the years, she formed the little Dove’s choir, taught Sunday School, was a member of the Missionary Society and treasurer, teacher of the Young People’s Holiness Association, President of the Usher Board, Senior Choir and Young Adult Choir and Educational Department. When the Women’s Aglow was functioning she was also a member. As the Scripture says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might,”… “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
Minister Bell, loved the Word of God, as she continually read and studied the Scriptures. She stood firm on “Holiness is Right and Living a Holy, Acceptable Life.” She loved to talk about the Holy Ghost/Spirit, the Angels, and the presence of the Lord. She even learned how to usher in the Spirit with the shofar (ram’s horn). She enjoyed traveling, and of course Carlisa, being the baby was so spoiled that she hardly could go anywhere with Tonya or Tony without Carlisa being jealous. She loved to cook and was known for her homemade rolls, made from scratch German chocolate cakes, and the homemade lemon pies, egg custard and sweet potato pies, as she enjoyed cooking and having others enjoy her food.
On Monday, April 6, 2020, in the comforts of her home, surrounded by her husband and son, she departed this life to eternal Glory! She had always sang “Your Face Will Be The First Face I Wanna See; along with others songs that she had led in the choir and sang in Church. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister, Gloria Jean Huff; brothers, Raymond Thomas Jr., Robert Thomas, Earl Thomas, Jerome Thomas, Melvin (Evangelist Betty)Thomas, and Dean Thomas; her father-in-love, Joseph J. Bell Sr., and one grandson, Trey-Anthony Bell. Uncles: General Bishop Arnie H. Joyce, Deacon Uail (Louise) Joyce Sr., Deacon Jerry Joyce, Robert (Hannah) Joyce, Weldon (Lorene) Thomas Jr. and aunts: Mother Mattie (Jordan) Lee, Alma (Roosevelt) Russell, Naomi (Willie) Lewis, Mother Nannie (Benjamin Sr.) Brogdon and Mother Mittie Moore. Brother-in-love, Pastor Dennis “Big Time” Young Sr., sister-in-law, Carolyn Hairston and niece Mellony Monique Young-Horton.
Those left to cherish her memories her one and only husband, Carlton E. Bell of 49 years of the home; her children: Tonya Thompson of Wilcoe, WV; Ruling Elder Anthony J. Bell of Bluefield, WV and “her spoiled baby daughter,” Carlisa (Donald ”Dickie”) Merriweather of Welch, WV. Her spoiled baby sister, Evangelist Doris Ann Young of Wilcoe, WV. Her mother-in-love, Mother Essie Mae Bell of Roanoke, VA. Grandchildren: Brian Thompson Jr. and Ryan Thompson both of Bluefield, WV; Matthew Thompson of Wilcoe, WV; Donald “Big D” Merriweather and Anthony “AJ” Merriweather both of Welch, WV; Dante’ Vineyard of Winston-Salem, NC and one great-grand-daughter, Niyla Hale of Coalwood, WV. Aunts: Mother Lottie Joyce of Winston-Salem, NC; Mother Patricia Joyce of Thorpe, WV; Bertha Pierce of Columbus, OH, Louise Bell of Atlanta, GA; sister-in-love, Velda Johnson of Charlotte, NC; brothers-in-law: Thomas (Karen) Bell of Welch, WV; Cornice (Deborah) Bell, Deacon Richard (Evelyn) Bell, Deacon Joseph (Alice “Faye”) Bell and Herman Bell all of Roanoke, VA; sisters-in-law, Diane Hairston and Pamela (Kevin) Taylor both of Roanoke, VA. Her God-daughter, Trinity Cummings of Gary, WV; God-Grandchildren: Kiyanna Wray, Kiyah Wray, Kiyla Wray all of Moundsville, WV. Those whom she loved and considered as her children: Phillip Brogdon of Welch, WV; Tara (Rodney) Dickey of Highpoint, NC; Daryl Thomas of Wilcoe, WV; Wendy Dalton of Thorpe, WV; Prophet Jeremy (Gabriella) Sumpter of Highpoint, NC.; Crystal Weaver of Wilcoe, WV; Damien (Kristy) Jackson of Charlotte, NC; Ronald “R J” (Alexis) Buford of Bluefield, WV; Overseer Jacqueline (Dr. Earl) Moses of Yonkers, NY, and Minister Arleather Bullard-Amparado of Amityville, NY. Special nieces: Nikita Williams of Charlotte, NC and Nicole Young of Princeton, WV. Special people in her life whom she treasured, loved, held dearly as family: Mother Fannie Cato of Winston-Salem, NC; the late Charles and Barbara Thomas, Weldon S. III and Shirley Thomas of Thorpe, WV, Juanita Cummings of Gary, WV; Patricia Montgomery of Welch, WV; Beverly G. Epps-McDaniels of Gary, WV; Mother Bettye Wylie of Bluefield, WV; Mother Geraldine Gravely of Kimball, WV, Elizabeth Adkins of Beckley, WV and Master Chance Williams of Charlotte, NC., Holly Thomas Jackson and Thomas Thomas of Newark, NJ, Gregory Thomas and Pam Thomas of Washington, DC, Ashanti Bonds of Welch, WV; DeJuan Zack Young of Wilcoe, WV and Jaumaria Jones of Bluefield, WV.
Mother Bell had her own group of musicians and soloists: Minister of Music, Brother Phillip Brogdon, Elder Melvin (Starlet) Charley Jr., Prophet Jeremy (Gabriella) Sumpter, Brother Daryl Thomas, Elder Antwan (Shauna) Clemons, Deacon Ronald (Prophetess Arleen) Buford, Bishop-Designate Izalliar Dalton, Deacon Robert E. (Helen) Brogdon Sr., Brother Kevin Craighead, Prophetess Sheila (Jeffery) Allen-Wilson, Evangelist LaShonda Patterson-Wright, Constance (Al) Alston and Ruling Elder Maurice Middleton.
In addition to a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, her Church family and neighbors. She always had a smile for everyone. “To know her, was to love her.” She had love for everyone, as she preached her last sermon on March 14, 2020 “God Is Love And I Love You!”
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Miracle Mt. Carmel Holiness Church of God in Kimball, WV. Entombment will follow in Restlawn Memorial Gardens Mausoleum, 6605 New Hope Road, Bluewell, WV. Due to Covid-19, a revolving Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. Services entrusted to Gregory-Page Funeral Home in Welch.