Obituary: Isabelle Delores Parris

Angela Faye ParrisIsabelle Delores Parris was born in Jacksonville on August 31, 1935 to Lee Ella Holmes and Edgar Harris. She was the youngest of Lee Ella’s three children. Isabelle attended Davis Street School. Isabelle was raised in the Friendly Baptist Church on West 19th Street where she played piano for the youth choir. While attending public school she met James E Parris, Sr. They fell in love and James and Isabelle were married on May 4, 1952. Isabelle joined the Church of God located at the corner of Steele and Blue Streets immediately after they were married. She worked diligently as church cook and Gospel Choir member for many years.

In James and Isabelle’s early years of marriage, she worked as a cook at Edward Waters College located on Kings Road in Jacksonville. After several years of working for the college Isabelle worked as a cook at the George Washington Hotel in downtown Jacksonville. In the middle sixties, Isabelle saw an opportunity to leave the culinary (cooking) industry and applied for a job at the F. W. Woolworth Store in downtown Jacksonville on Hogan Street. The opening was for a female janitor. She accepted the position. After working there for a few months she began to have a love and interest for the flower arrangement department. Isabelle would spend her lunch hour talking to the store’s flower arranger and learning the trade. She began working for free in the florist department on her lunch hour and off days. After a couple of years Isabelle became so good at arranging flowers and decorating the department store that the store florist asked management to give Isabelle the job full time. The store florist retired in a matter of months, Isabelle was given the job and her florist career started.

In the late 1960’s Lee Ella and Isabelle started the Honey Comb Hat Factory custom designing church hats, dresses and wedding gowns. After approximately tens years at F. W. Woolworth Department Store Isabelle retired to open the Parris Garden Boutique located on the corner of 19th and Fairfax Streets. In 1977 she attended florist and ceramics classes at the Florida Junior College (FJC). In 1978 Isabelle became a licensed florist and licensed ceramics instructor. On her own accord Isabelle taught florist arranging and ceramics classes to the elderly and youth in the neighborhood as a community outreach and education program for many years. She owned and operated the florist and ceramics business for twenty years. Isabelle closed the business, in the late 1990’s, to take care of Bishop James E. Parris, Sr. because of his poor health.

In the early seventies, while members at the Steel Street Church of God, James and Isabelle were given the title of deacon and deaconess. In 1977 they were appointed ward leaders. Their ward grew tremendously in just a matter of months. After several years as ward leaders the state overseer Bishop Pratt encouraged them to enter the Church of God Internship Development Program (IDP).

In 1980 they entered the program and James and Isabelle both became licensed ministers in the Church of God in 1982. Also in 1982, Rev. James E. Parris, Sr. and Isabelle were assigned as pastors of the Eastside Church of God located on the corner of 14th St. and Phoenix Avenue. They served there faithfully for two years.

In 1984 God moved upon James and Isabelle to start the Faith Deliverance Church of God located on the corner of 17th and Fairfax Streets. In 1986 the sanctuary was constructed and dedicated. Over her twenty nine years in ministry at the Faith Deliverance Worship Center (formerly named Faith Deliverance Church of God) Isabelle trained young people, developed church leaders & deaconess’, established programs and helped to lay a foundation for every church department.

Tempette Learning AcademyIn 1990 the Tempette Daycare was founded by Isabelle in an existing duplex on the corner of 17th Street newly purchased by the church. In 2003 she moved the Tempette Daycare to the new three story facility located across the street. Today, the original Tempette Daycare has evolved into the Tempette Learning Academy Kindergarten-12th Grade Christian Private School.

The private school is fully accredited through the Florida League of Christian Schools (FLOCS), Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and the International League of Christian Schools (ILCS). All started by Mother Parris being faithful to the call of God.

In addition to her son, James Parris, Jr., Isabelle leaves behind one son-in-law, Bobby Heath, Sr.; five grand children, Tamara, Adrianne, James III, Destiny and Bobby Jr.; five siblings, Willie Lee Holmes, Ervin Harris, Harry Harris, Johnnie Harris, and Perkina Smith; and an enormous host of nieces, nephews, family members, friends, and many loved ones.



Faith Deliverance Worship Center


Isabelle Delores Parris




My mother, Isabelle, like my late wife Angela, was the purest example of the woman described in Proverbs chapter 31, “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies ...” She decided early in life that she would set a Christian standard for herself and family.



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