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Pearl Lee Ausberry, a church founder
Oct. 2, 1900 -- Jan. 21, 2007

Pearl Ausberry, a founding member of Greater Emmanuel Temple, died Sunday in her Buffalo home. She was 106.

Born Pearl Amos in Tarentum, Ala., the daughter of a former slave, she moved to Buffalo with her family in 1934.

A founding member of Greater Emmanuel Temple on Richmond Avenue, Mrs. Ausberry began the church with her two daughters and another woman, who provided her home above a storefront for prayer meetings and services. Soon the meetings evolved into a church, originally located at Howard and Madison streets.

"That was the beginning of Emmanuel Temple, and she brought in the first pastor, Bishop William Crossley," said Ellen Douglas, one of her 12 grandchildren.

In the 1990s, Emmanuel Temple dedicated its library to Mrs. Ausberry, and the City of Buffalo presented her a key to the city when she turned 100.

Her husband of 51 years, George W., died in 1967.

Survivors include a daughter, Curley Foster.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in Emmanuel Temple, 151 Richmond Ave.


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