DR. BEBE PATTEN Went to be forever with her Lord--whom she loved so much and served so faithfully--on January 25 in Walnut Creek California, after a long illness. She had lived a highly fruitful and happy life of 90 years. Her highly successful career spanned 76 years of Christian ministry as evangelist, pastor, teacher, broadcaster, editor, and founder and leader of institutions. She conducted those ministries simultaneously and continued to do so as a godly mother, after the birth of her three children in the early 1950s. She began to preach in Detroit at age fourteen and evangelized nationally for thirteen years before settling in Oakland in 1944. Here she conducted a citywide nineteen-week revival, filling Oakland's largest auditoriums with as many as 5,000 in a single night. Soon afterward, as the Oakland revival was extended, she received from the Lord the vision of founding four institutions to equip men and women for Christian service--the Oakland Bible Institute, now Patten University, the Patten Academy of Christian Education, and the Christian Evangelical Churches of America, of which Christian Cathedral of Oakland is the headquarters church. These institutions still thrive as a result of her early vision, nurture, and continuing leadership. Christian Cathedral continues to provide a light to the Bay Area and an inspiration for the schools, both of which are accredited. Many hundreds of graduates of these schools are serving in leadership roles throughout the world, having been taught and inspired by Dr. Patten's devoted and untiring ministry. Always regarding motherhood as a high calling, Dr. Patten left upon her children a permanent imprint of the love of God and the love of serving Him. Her identical twin daughters, with B. S. degrees from Patten College and Ph.D. degrees from Drew University, served Patten College in administrative leadership and music, and Christian Cathedral in preaching and music. Her son, Tom, Jr., with a B.A. from Patten College and a Bachelor of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, used his gifts in Christian Cathedral's ministry of preaching, music and prayer. He was gifted as a performer and conductor and was fervent in intercessory prayer. Dr. Patten was preceded in death by Tom Jr. in 1989 and Dr. Priscilla in 2000. She is survived by her daughter Dr. Rebecca Skaggs, her granddaughter Charmaine Benham, and sons-in-law John Skaggs and Don Benham. The public is invited to her funeral in Christian Cathedral, 2433 Coolidge Avenue, Oakland, on Thursday, January 29 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to the Patten University Scholarship Fund, 2433 Coolidge Avenue, Oakland, CA 94601. Dr. Patten will be interred at the Chapel of the Chimes, 4499 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland. CHAPEL OF THE CHIMES-OAKLAND (510) 654-0123.
Alameda Times-Star 1/28/04.
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