Rev. Girdie Washington-6-16-2024 | Lawson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, LLC (2024)


VISITATION- Sunday 6-16-2024

Lawson Funeral Home & Cremation Services

243 Broadway

Long Branch, NJ 07740

1:30 PM - 3:30 PM

FUNERAL SERVICE - Monday 6-17-2024

Second Baptist Church

124 Atkins Ave.

Asbury Park, NJ 07712

10:00 AM

Viewing prior to service 9:00 AM-10:00 AM


B.G. William C. Doyle Memorial Cemetery

350 Province Line Rd.

Wrightstown, NJ 08562

Reverend Girdie Belle Washington, a Godly woman of wisdom and love, passed away on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at her home in Neptune, NJ. Born to Blanche Sumpter and Leroy Washington, Sr. on February 12, 1940 on St. Helena Island, SC., Rev. Washington’s life was a tapestry of family, ministry and community service.

Rev. Washington was raised on St. Helena Island, SC where “the village’’ contributed to the person she became. She excelled academically and attributed this to her teachers at Robert Smalls Elementary and Junior High School in Beaufort, SC who educated and nurtured her in her early school years. This was her first introduction to nationally known singers, musicians and educators, Marian Anderson and Lionel Hampton among them. Her South Carolina education kindled her love of learning and set the expectation that she WOULD attend college. The family moved to Stamford, CT when she was 15 years old. Upon graduation from Stamford High School in 1958, Rev. Washington worked at a local dry cleaner’s and in food service at Stamford Hospital. In 1959, she enlisted in the United States Army Women’s Army Corp (WAC) and was honorably discharged after serving at Fort McClelland in Alabama, Fort Sam Houston in Texas, and Fort Meade in Maryland. It was during her service at Fort Meade that she met the love of her life, George W. Washington, a fellow military service member. Girdie and George married on August 7, 1961, and were married for almost 46 years before his passing in April 2007. They raised their family – daughters, Kelly and Audrey and son, Seth on several military bases in Germany, New Jersey, Japan and North Carolina, before settling in Neptune, NJ in 1971. These were merely the early stages of a colorful journey filled with excellent achievements wrapped in a deep sense of care for others.

Rev. Washington would become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and during her career worked for the Long Branch Schools, Red Bank YMCA, Bell Labs, and ended her career of service at the Mercy Center in Asbury Park, NJ. Her educational background includes an Associate of Arts Degree from Brookdale Community College in NJ, a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from Kean University in NJ, a Master of Social Work Degree from Fordham University in NYC and a Master of Divinity Degree from New Brunswick Theological Seminary in NJ. She also studied abroad at NBTS International School of Theology in the Netherlands and with the seminary's Metro-Urban Ministry Program's Travel Seminar in Cape Town, South Africa.

Rev. Washington was a member and Associate Pastor at St. Paul Baptist Church, Atlantic Highlands, NJ and was ordained under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Henry P. Davis, Jr. in 1997. She was only the second woman to be ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the Seacoast Missionary Baptist Association of New Jersey, in its nearly one hundred year history. She was instrumental in initiating the Women's Ministry at St. Paul and during her time there, also served as interim pastor at Martin Luther King, Jr. Presbyterian Church in Neptune, NJ and Second Baptist Church, Asbury Park, NJ. She established a small business, "Spring into Life Seminars", which provided seminars and lectures on topics that enhanced the quality of life, including lectures and presentations on her native home, St. Helena Island, SC, known for its rich Gullah culture and heritage.

Rev. Washington modeled for her children and family, a life of service and giving back. Her community service included leadership roles in the church, Boy/Girl Scouts, parent/teacher organizations and volunteering with the Red Cross. She was a member of the organizing committee for the African American Family Festival at Brookdale Community College and was secretary for the Alumni Association. She served on the New Brunswick Theological Seminary's Strategic Planning Committee and volunteered for a presidential candidate and traveled with the campaign to New Hampshire. She was also a founding committee member of Neptune Township's African American History celebration. Rev. Washington was a life member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and past president of the North Shore Area Section. She served a term on the Supreme Court of NJ, Ethics Committee.

Rev. Washington’s humanitarianism has been recognized by the Program for Acceleration of Careers in Engineering (PACE) as Outstanding Counselor; by the Modern Beautician's Association of New Jersey for Community Service; she received the Women of Achievement Award for religious service from the Monmouth County Division of the Status of Women; was recognized for religious service by the Monmouth County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., NJ State Legislature Women of Achievement, and is cited in the 101st United States Congressional Record for her religious service. Rev. Washington was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award and Community Service Award Wilbur Ray Scholarship Program both from Brookdale Community College; the Mahala F. Atchison award from the North Shore Area section of the National Council of Negro Women; and the Sojourner Truth Award from the Central Jersey Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club.

Rev. Washington was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. She was welcomed into heaven by her husband, George W. Washington, who was her love and partner; her beloved grandmother, Grace Sumpter; her father, Leroy Washington, Sr.; brother, Herman Jefferson; sisters, Edna Washington, Sarah Little, Marie Washington and Rosemary Washington; nephew Gregory Sumpter; grandson-in-law, Julian Michael Smith and a host of very dear friends.

She leaves to cherish her memory and build on her legacy, her daughters, Kelly J.W. King, West Orange, NJ and Audrey D. Washington, Bronx, NY, son, Seth E. Washington, Capitol Heights, MD, son-in-law, Kirby King, West Orange, NJ, grandsons, Nolan King, Baltimore, MD and Zalen King, Irvine, CA, and her mother, Blanche Sumpter, Stamford, CT. Additionally, her sisters, Rosa L. Thomison, Ethel L. Sumpter, Carolyn C. Frank, Joan M. Sumpter; brothers, George C. Sumpter, Nathan Sumpter, Sr., Leroy Washington, Jr., and CW4 (Ret.) Joseph Washington. In-laws, Laroy Washington, Linda L. Sumpter, Kenneth L. Frank and Colonel (Ret.) Gail McGraw; goddaughter/niece, Renee V. Sumpter; godson/nephew, Nathan Sumpter, Jr.; adopted granddaughters, Jordyn Richardson-Norris and Sydney Rose Kulesz; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends and her St. Paul church family and NCNW sisters.

Rev. Girdie Washington-6-16-2024 | Lawson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, LLC (2024)
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