From the Office of Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
In sadness, we share the news that Pastor Avis J. Emerson Black, died on Saturday, February 12, 2022.
Pastor Black was a former local pastor in the Desert Southwest Conference, born to the late Elmer and Lucille Emerson on July 29, 1946 in Fort Yuma, CA. She was very proud of her native heritage of Quechan, Mojave and Kumeyaay tribes and was involved and passed along tribal customs and traditions. Pastor Black received a Masters degree from Claremont School of Theology and worked as a United Methodist Pastor who was passionate about serving her community and the Lord. Her service in the Desert Southwest Conference included Fort Yuma United Methodist Church in Winterhaven, CA as a lay person assigned (1997-2000) and as a part time local pastor (2001-2004); and the Native American Gathering and United Methodist Fellowship in Tempe, AZ (2005).
She was honored in 2018 by being selected as the San Pasqual Shii yii (Great-grandmother) which is an honor they give to respected female elders within the tribal membership.
Pastor Black was often surrounded by her big family, eating and conversing. She enjoyed thrift-store shopping, reading, watching tv, crocheting and competing in various traditional bird dancing competitions in Arizona and California. She was a great mentor and confidante to family and friends she gained through life. She always expressed that her faith was a big part of her life and left the following note: “The road I’ve traveled hasn’t been easy, but I’m still here. The only reason I’m here today is because God was walking that road with me every step of the way, Amen.” She is survived by her son, many siblings, cousins, grandchildren and extended family.
Condolences may be sent to:
PO Box 26
Winterhaven, CA 92283
Memorial Gifts may be made to:
Fort Yuma United Methodist Church
for implementing the Youth Ministry Program
3030 South 8th Avenue
Yuma, AZ 85364
We join our hearts together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort; in sorrow, hope; and in death, resurrection. With gratitude for the life and ministry of the Pastor Avis Black, please hold her family and friends in prayer at this time.