Dr. Gertrude Stacks
Detroit native Dr. Gertrude Stacks, and senior pastor of Shalom Fellowship International in Detroit and This is Shalom in Harrisburg, PA, passed away on Monday, September 20 at the age of 77 years old.
Mother Stacks was the seventh child of eleven children born to the late Prophet Cato Weatherspoon, II, and the late Tennesee Weatherspoon.
According to her biography, at 25 years old, Dr. Stacks accepted Jesus Christ as her savior. She received spiritual gifts and many impartations through the hands of God’s anointed vessel and Mother in Zion, the late Dr. Estella Boyd. These gifts include the word of wisdom, knowledge, healing, deliverance, prophecy, and discerning of spirits. Her gifts of God were used to help God’s people and His leaders.
Dr. Stacks was described as God’s seer and His doctor in the Spirit. She received her honorary Doctor of Humanities degree from A.L. Hardy Theological Academy in 1999, and her Doctor of Divinity degree from A.L. Hardy Theological Academy in 2004.
Her biography added that she was the beloved wife of the late Bishop Jesse T. Stacks. Before his passing, he appointed and charged Dr. Stacks with the leadership of Shalom Temple Ministries, now known as Shalom Fellowship International Ministries, of Detroit, MI, Harrisburg, PA. Since then, Dr. Stacks has established the Spiritual Clinic, which deals with substance and character building. The Clinic also cultivates the gifts of God and renders healing and deliverance to the Body of Jesus Christ physically, mentally, and spiritually, according to her website.
Stacks’ final arrangements include a public viewing from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 6-7 at New McFall Brothers Funeral Home, 9419 Dexter Ave. in Detroit. A Rejoicing Service is on tap at 7 p.m., Thursday, October 7 at Perfecting Church, 7616 Nevada Avenue in Detroit; a Homegoing Life Celebration Service is at 11 a.m. on Friday, October 8.
Pastor Marvin Winans, pastor, and founder of Perfecting Church spoke to the Michigan Chronicle about what Stacks meant to him for the decades he has known her.
“I’ve known Mother Stacks all my life,” he said, adding that his family has known her family by marriage, church relations, and beyond.
“I knew her grandfather, mother, father – all of her brothers and sisters,” he said, adding that she was also part of a church founded and pastored by his great grandfather. “Her youngest brother was actually my aunt’s husband. Part of their family is a part of mine.”
He added that he has watched the “progression of her life” and she became his first lady and beyond.
Some of Winans’ favorite memories include traveling with her and Boyd, along with other spiritual leaders, going back and forth to parts of Illinois and Indiana to preach the gospel, which he has “fond memories of.”
“She was who she proclaimed,” he said, adding that “she will be missed.”
“It is an honor for us at Perfecting Church to host the memorial service,” Winans said, adding that it will be done with as much dignity and honor as the life she led.
“(It will be) indicative of the gospel she preached and taught and love she had,” he said.
Shalom Fellowship International member Jarrod Rice, 32 of Detroit told the Michigan Chronicle that he has known Stacks since he was around eight years old.
“Mother was always someone I could talk to if I really needed her. Sometimes you just wanted to hear a different voice and new perspective and she always knew what to say. Timely advice,” he said, adding that her impact is eternal. “She’d always preach to us to never be afraid to give and help others.”
Rice added that if someone has never met her, “they missed out.”
“Outside of her being a pastor, she had a great personality and would talk to anyone. One of the sweetest people once you knew who she truly was,” he said.
Farmington Hills resident Jamillah Sherman, 39 of Farmington Hills, and fellow church member told the Michigan Chronicle that she knew Stacks for decades since she was around five years old.
Described as like a grandmother to her, Sherman said that out of the countless memories she has of Stacks, one is especially poignant to her of how Stacks helped her when she was on death’s door after a cancer diagnosis when she was 14 years old.
“Dr. Stacks came to the hospital prayed for me,” Sherman said, adding that God told Stacks one day that Sherman would recover after taking a long journey toward recovery. “He showed her me in my future healthy state. She was like, ‘OK, God said she is going to live.’”
Sherman added that hours after Stacks prayed for her again in the hospital she woke up.
“Through her prayers, God used her to heal me and deliver me from death,” she said. “That was one of the pivotal things she’s done in my life and my family.”
Elect Lady Etta McCaskill of Shalom Fellowship International added that she has known Stacks for 44 years and met her after a Winans concert.
“She was like a mother to me…we traveled,” she said, adding that Stacks was like a grandmother to her children and so much more. “A confidant and friend,” she said, adding that Stacks was very caring, compassionate, giving, and loving.
“She never met a stranger,” she said, adding that she treated everybody like a child of God, and a lot of young people gravitated toward her. “Dr. Stacks never judged people and she was so loved in the community.”
Daughter of Zion Diane Rudolph of Shalom Fellowship International has known Dr. Stacks and told the Michigan Chronicle that Dr. Stacks served as the pastor for over 20 years.
“It was an honor to work with her and know her,” Rudolph said, adding that she meant the world to her.
“I wouldn’t be today if it wasn’t for her,” Rudolph said, adding that Stacks has been in the ministry for 52 years and gained thousands of followers in the nation and world.
“She had spiritual children (who were) like her biological children,” Rudolph said. “She inspired us in so many different ways …she promotes and cultivates your natural abilities and spiritual abilities. She touched every facet of (our) lives.”