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Jannie P. Gladden, a longtime worker in the Church of God in Christ who helped organize religious programs for children statewide, died Monday (Oct. 13, 1997) in Deaconess Nursing Center after a long illness. She was 88.

Mrs. Gladden, a Buffalo resident since 1929, was a member of Holy Temple Church of God in Christ. She served the church as the president-teacher of the Sun Shine Band for more than 40 years. The band is a youth organization within the church that offers Bible study and recreation.

She also served as interim state president of the Sun Shine Band Western New York Jurisdiction. Because of her efforts, her church became a leader for youth programs within the denomination. Many of her students went on to work in the Sun Shine Band, and other departments of the church.

Born in Camden, S.C., the former Jannie Pickett came to Buffalo at the age of 19 to be with relatives.

She lived in the home of Church Mother Frances Roberts, where she was exposed to the teachings of the church through prayer services that were held there.

She formerly entered the church under the late Elder T.J. Jennifer and was baptized in a church at 501 Clinton St. Mrs. Gladden began working in the church as a Sunday school teacher under the pastorate of the late Bishop E.F. McClellan.

The bishop appointed her to serve on the Mothers Board at Holy Temple, and Mrs. Gladden assisted the church mother in the preparation of the Holy Communion. She took over this duty when the church mother became ill and was active in the church until the age of 86, when she served as president of the Deaconess Sisters. Mrs. Gladden was the widow of Deacon Elliott Gladden Sr., who died in 1977.

Survivors include two daughters, Mary Harris of Guadalupe, Calif., and Almeta Gladden; two sisters, Addie L. Pickett of Washington, D.C., and Esther Shropshire of Smyrna, Ga.; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday in Holy Temple Church of God In Christ, 527 Clinton St. Burial will be in Forest Lawn.

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