Retired teacher Marthis Riddle was recently awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Pentecostal Bible College in Tuskegee, Ala. Riddle is a member of New Jerusalem Temple.

Bishop George F. Austin, founder and president, said:

"This award is being made in celebration for the outstanding contributions that Sister Marthis Riddle has made to the body of Christ. Her commitment to teaching has earned her the respect of her peers and colleagues. She has dedicated herself to studying, teaching and spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Sister Marthis Riddle is an anointed woman of God who ministers with authority and clarity. Her objective is to deliver the uncompromising word of God and motivate people into applying the Word to their living.

Sister Marthis Riddle is a product of Booker T. Washington High School. She has been challenged to pursue an education since the Civil Rights era of the fifties and sixties. After graduating from High School in 1953, she attended Rust College in Holly Springs, Ms, earning a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Education.

She continued her educations at Clark Atlanta and the University of Southern Mississippi receiving certifications in Library Science.

In 1955, she married the late Willie James Riddle, Sr. and to this union 7 children were born, Sharon Young, Renee Riddle (deceased), Willie James Riddle Jr., Laura Holloway, John Riddle, Derrick Riddle and Edith Clay.

In June 1967, she was baptized in Jesus name. She immediately felt a change in her life, but with a hunger and thirst after righteousness in her spirit, she realized that something was still missing. It was in August, 1967, that she experienced the new birth in its fullness by receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

I knew you before you were formed within your mother's womb; before you were born I sanctified you and appointed you as my spokesman to the world (Jer. 1:5 LB).

The calling to teach was upon her life. However, growing up in poverty, African American students realized early that education beyond Booker T. Washington High were slim to none. but God's plan was already being set in motion.

One Sunday in June, 1947, her father was buried in the Griffin Rest Cemetery. On Milling Hill. The following Monday morning she and a friend were walking the streets in the town's white neighborhood, asking whoever answered the door, if anyone needed a baby sitter. Her friend was hired by a family. Walking alone, doing what I had learned from her, I soon came upon an elderly lady doing something in her yard. She asked me questions about who I was. When she heard that my father was William Clark, she said, "I'm going to keep you for my daughter-in-law. She is visiting in California now."

A week or so later, I went to her daughter-in-law's house to be trained in housekeeping duties.

My friend and I were only 11 years old just promoted to the sixth grade. I remained as a student Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Garrett's home until I graduated from high school. I still had no hope of going to college. They broached the subject. They were members of the First United Methodist Church.

Rust College is a Methodist College. Mr. Garrett made contact. Arrangements were made that I should attend Rust College. I went to Rust on a work-aid scholarship for the duration of my tenure there. My mother, working as a domestic, managed to pay the remaining balance that the scholarship did not cover. I never knew then how all this happened. They told me later.

Ephesians 4:11-12 states, And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Sister Marthis Riddle surely walks under the anointing of a "Called Teacher". She has been a Sunday School Teacher for more than 40 years, assisted in the ministry in teaching Bible Class, teaching Aenon Bible College courses, jail ministry and other ministerial classes. Sister Riddle has not only been a blessing with her teaching skills to the body of Christ, but taught in the public school system for approximately 47 years. The schools included:

• Booker T. Washington School (before the integration)

• Philadelphia Public Schools

• Neshoba Central High School

• Choctaw Central High School (Indian Reservation)

• Walnut Grove Correctional Facility

She is a faithful teacher, a Berean of the Word of God and a prayer warrior for many.

Therefore, after reviewing the request submitted by Evangelist Laura Anderson, and on the recommendation of the Board of Trustee and the Faculty of the Pentecostal Bible College, I hereby confer the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Christian Education upon Marthis Riddle together with all the honors, rights, privileges, and responsibilities thereunto appertaining thereto. In witness of the official signatures of the college duly authorized officers are hereunto affixed this Twentieth-seventh day of April, 2014."