Annie Ruth Morman Sanders was the second of seven children born to John and Frizel Jeter Morman on February 29, 1940 (a leap-year baby). She was born in the township of Santac, South Carolina. She was affectionately known as “Ann” (meaning “Full of grace, mercy and prayer”) to most who knew her.
Annie attended elementary school in South Carolina. Her education from middle school through high school was completed in Detroit, Michigan, to which her family relocated in 1953. Annie also attended business college in Detroit. Her higher educational pursuits were continued in San Diego, California.
Before her family left South Carolina, Annie received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She became an active member of her church, attended Sunday School and sang.
Upon relocating to Detroit, Annie and her family united with the Zion Hope Missionary Baptist Church. The Morman family was very active, demonstrating dedication and commitment at Zion Hope. Annie was a Sunday School student, musician and singer with the children’s choir and the junior choir.
On August 31, 1960, Annie married her high school sweetheart, Roosevelt Sanders Jr., who had recently enlisted with the United States Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California. Annie joined her husband, nicknamed “Sandy,” as they began their new life in Southern California.
The Lord blessed the union of Roosevelt and Annie with three beautiful boys: Todd Roosevelt, in 1961; Darryl Damon, in 1963; and Brett Bryan, in 1965.
While living in Oceanside, the family united with Saint John Missionary Baptist Church, where they were very active and dedicated members and received spiritual nourishment.
Roosevelt was reassigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in late 1965, and the family relocated to the beautiful city of San Diego in early 1966.
Life in San Diego: Ministry
Annie had found her spiritual home at the Mt. Erie Baptist Church. She immediately began singing with the Sanctuary Choir, where she would come to discover her true “sanctuary”; the choir was where the Lord sent her. It became her greatest passion.
As time and events commenced, Annie acted as Assistant Director and eventually served in the role of Primary Director/Conductor. She operated in this capacity for many years.
Along her journey, Annie was blessed and privileged to flourish under the mentorship and tutelage of two great people in music ministry: Geraldine Banks and John Dungen. She also benefited from her association with several other wonderful musicians: “little brother” Clyde Arberry; Roger Brown; Carolyn Cherry; Yvette Simmons; Sue Arberry; Jeanetta Wilson; Edd Sullivan; Troy Richardson; Melvin Johnson; Elvert Waltower, Jr.; Leon Lavergne; Marcus Williams; Jeremy Wilson; Carl Overstreet; and Tony Crossland. In addition, she enjoyed the pleasure of working with her sons Brett Sanders and John Staten.
Annie was also a proud member of the dynamic and spiritual Mount Erie Praise Team! Along with the Sanctuary Choir, the Praise Team was nearest and dearest to her heart. Both ministries functioned as vehicles for her expressions of praise and worship of the Lord.
Annie was a dedicated, committed and loyal member of Mount Erie. She loved, adored and respected her church family. She held her beloved pastor, Dr. Walter G. Wells, in the highest esteem and had great admiration and affection
for her First Lady, Sister Frankie Wells. Annie loved and admired the First Family as well.
The Mount Erie Baptist Church served as the spiritual platform where her children were raised in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Her youngest son, John, was born into the family of this great church in April 1979.
Annie attended Sunday School and Bible Study as well as serving as a faithful member of the Junior Women’s and Matrons auxiliaries. She was also an active participant in the Progressive District Association, along with State Congress musicals and services.
Life in San Diego: Career
Annie’s working career covered a period of 45 years. Her primary employment was with the Federal Government (General Dynamics and the Social Security Administration) for over 22 years and with the State of California Department of Employment Development for over 15 years. While employed with the State of California, Annie was also partnered with the County of San Diego and the San Diego Workforce Partnership. She retired from active service in December 2005.
Life Post-Retirement: Character Forged in Adversity
In September 2007, Annie was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. In October 2007, she received a prognosis of six months to five years. This circumstance led her to return to Detroit to seek medical care; it also afforded her the opportunity to spend quality time with her mother, her eldest son, her siblings and their families, as well as other extended family.
While in Detroit, Annie submitted herself under the “watchcare” of the Christian Tabernacle Church, pastored by her younger brother, Dr. James L. Morman, one of God’s “mighty men” in the Gospel. Annie received additional comfort from the fact that most of her family in the Metro Detroit area are members of Christian Tabernacle. As part of the “Tab,” Annie sang in the choir and was richly blessed by the Spirit-led ministry of this great church and its family.
In 2008, Annie returned to San Diego to pursue further treatment for her illness, managing to beat the prognosis and to enjoy many wonderful days with both her biological and spiritual families.
On November 22, 2017, Annie Ruth Sanders went home to be with the Lord. She fought the good fight; she finished her course; she kept the faith to the very end. She is now “home at last.”
Annie was preceded in death by her parents, John and Frizel Morman, and brothers Eugene, Roy and David Morman.
Annie is survived by: four sons, Todd Roosevelt, Darryl Damon (Davina), Brett Bryan and John Harvey Staten; the father and godfather of her sons, Roosevelt Sanders Jr.; one grandson, Devin Damon Sanders; three siblings, John H. Morman (Thelma), Pastor James L. Morman (Loretta) and Linda Bedford (Tommy); sister-in-law, Shirley Morman (Roy); nieces, Carol Palmer, Sonya Marshall, Loretta A. Morman (Cecil) and LaShawn Morman; nephews, James Morman II (Andrea), Brian Bedford, Antwone Bedford, Torrean Bedford, and Roy Morman, Jr.; many grand-nieces, grand-nephews and other extended family.
Annie is also survived by goddaughter Kadek “K.K.” Rich (Dennis) and sons Kyle and Gavin; dear “sisters” Leah J. Thompson, Regina “Gina Doc” Cobb and Annie Williams; “adopted” sister Lorraine Fearce; “adopted” brother Earnest Fearce and the Fearce family; and dear “brother” Loyal Thompson.