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Jun 03, 2009

COMMISSIONED ABC HOME MISSIONARY, MACKENZIE, PASSES AWAY

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/3/09)—Maribelle "Mitzie" Mackenzie, a commissioned American Baptist home missionary and director emeritus of Chinese Christian Church and Center, Philadelphia, PA, died May 25. She was 88.

Affectionately called "Mitzie" by the people she loved and served, Mackenzie was a faithful servant of the Lord. She served at Chinese Christian Church for more than 60 years—she was the founding director of the center, and served in that position from 1941 until formal retirement in 1991. The Center was sponsored by five Protestant denominations, including American Baptist Churches USA. The Chinese Christian church grew out of this ministry, in 1946. Mackenzie was greatly respected in the Philadelphia Chinatown community.

After retirement, Mackenzie remained active for about ten more years, serving the community by participating on several boards, including On-Lok House and Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation.  

The Chinese Christian Church and Center memorialized Mackenzie in a statement sent by Deacon Calvin Wang: "In her selfless ministry, Mitzie modeled the love of Christ through caring, visitation, and a deep respect for the people she met. She was a source of assistance for new immigrants, a mentor for teenagers, an advisor for parents, a counselor for coworkers, a friend to many, and, above all, a tender-hearted believer to all who knew her. Mitzie regularly referred to herself as a ‘CBC': Chinese by Choice. Many were blessed to have known her. Praise the Lord!"  

Mackenzie is survived by her sister Esther (Leonard) Swenson, sister-in-law Gloria Mackenzie, one cousin, and six nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held Saturday, May 30. Donations in her memory may be made to the CCCC Playground Fund, 10th & Springs Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God's mission around the world.  


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