On Sunday, August 27, 2023, the Reverend Doctor Margrie Lewter Simmons peacefully left this earthly realm and is now resting with the elders. We celebrate the life and memory of Margrie L. Simmons, born on November 5, 1926, the eldest of six children to the late Reverend Rufus C. Lewter, Sr. and Mary Lee Mitchell Lewter, in Sebring, Florida.
In 1951, Margrie relocated to Brooklyn, New York where she established herself as a successful businesswoman who owned and operated DeRee’s Beauty Salon and became a senior district manager with Field Enterprises Education Corporation, the publishers of World Book Encyclopedia. She would later move to Roosevelt, New York where she founded and directed Mercy House (an outreach ministry for mentally challenged adults), providing shelter, meals, counseling, and support.
While still in Brooklyn, Margrie became a member of the historic Cornerstone Baptist Church, pastored by the late Reverend Dr. Sandy F. Ray, where she was lead alto in the Senior Choir, chairperson of numerous organizations. In keeping with the Baptist Church covenant, she later moved and joined the Hollywood Baptist Church of Christ, pastored by her brother, the Reverend Dr. Andy C. Lewter, Sr. While there, she finally accepted her call to the gospel ministry and was licensed and ordained by her brother.
In 1990, Rev. Simmons was called to pastor the Assembly of Prayer Baptist Church where she served as senior pastor for over 20 years. Because of her God-given vision, and under her leadership, the congregation was able to erect an edifice of its own which was dedicated in 1998. In 1994, Reverend Simmons earned her Doctor of Divinity degree from the United Theological Seminary of Dayton, Ohio. Reverend Simmons is predeceased by one sister, Dr. Dorothy L. Davis, and her brother, Dr. Andy C. Lewter, Sr. She leaves to cherish her memories, two daughters, Deborah Simmons, Renee Hye, and a son-in-love, Pastor Reginald Hye. She leaves her remaining siblings: one sister, Reverend Maryanne L. McElroy; a brother, Dr. Rufus C. Lewter, Jr; Mr. Clayton Lewter; and Theresa Hightower.
Reverend Simmons leaves to cherish her legacy, five grandchildren: Lashawn Hye (Tamika); Kara Hye (Brian); Marqui Hye (Latoya); Joseph Hye (Jasmine); and Brianna Johnson-Simmons; ten great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cherished friends.
The Celebration of Life will take place on November 4, 2023 (the day before Margrie would have turned 97 years old), at Assembly of Prayer Baptist Church in Roslyn Heights, New York at 1:00 p.m. Condolences may be sent to the family at 219 Lake Pointe Drive, Savannah, GA 31407. Donations may be made in memory of Dr. Margrie L. Simmons, to Hospice Savannah, at https://www.hospicesavannah.org/givePrint This Obituary & Condolences