On February 26th, 1948, Fannie Mae Bell Galloway was born to the late George Washington Galloway and Jessie Bell Livingston Galloway. Few people knew that she had two birthdays; she was born on February25, 1948, but her birthdate was officially recorded as February 26, 1948. From birth Fannie was a special kind of person. As declared in Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (KJV)
Fannie Maebell Galloway grew up in Horry County (Poplaar Section), South Carolina. Fannie was educated in the Horry County school system. She loved learning and excelled in school. She told a story about her participation in a Special Spelling Bee Contest. She took second place in the competition, she was given the word “WHERE”, but she spelled “WEAR”. First Place prize was $50.00. She said she really needed that money to purchase food to eat. Fannie lived through racism, segregation, suffrage, and great poverty. During her childhood, she did not have fancy clothes nor the basic necessitates. She even lived in a house with holes. At times, she suffered great hardship and at times she went to bed hungry. Many Christmas mornings, she would expect a holiday treat, but the cupboard would be empty. Nevertheless, Fannie matriculated up to the 12th grade, but stopped to work and support her siblings/family. Through it all, that did NOT stop her. God had a plan!
As a young adult, Fannie moved to New York and became an active member of Christ Temple Deliverance Church of Christ. It was under the leadership of Pastor Charles and First Lady Mason she accepted the full call of God on her life. In 1975, a fire broke out in her apartment building. Prior to the fire, God instructed her to anoint her home. Every apartment in her building was burned down except for her apartment! Through her faith and obedience, God spared her life and the lives of her children. None of her possessions were damaged. Soon after, Fannie relocated to a larger apartment in the John Adams houses in the Bronx. She continued to faithfully dedicate her life ad her service to ministry. Not long after, God blessed her with a loving husband, Bishop Samuel Simms. Their courtship was short, and they were engaged to be married a month after dating. What a MIGHTY GOD we serve! Together they raised eight children.
In 1981, God called Bishop and First Lady Samuel Simms into full-time ministry. Together they started Faith Temple Deliverance Church of Christ. First Lady Simms served faithfully alongside her husband in many capacities. Every morning, First Lady Simms woke up early and earnestly prayed before the Lord as the lead intercessor of the evangelistic team. First Lady Simms was steadfast, unmovable, and always abiding in the work of the Lord! First Lady Simms preached the Gospel and was known as an “heaven or hell kind of preacher”! Besides being a preacher/teacher, she humbly served as a church cook, and a benevolent giver, giving clothes, food, and her time to all those that sought help and assistance. First Lady wore many hats and helped to serve the Greater Harlem Community.
In September of 2012, First Lady Simms experienced the transition of her life partner, Bishop Samuel Simms. On the same day of his transition, First Lady Simms opened the church doors, and all experienced a great. move of God! The strength and courage she exemplified during her grief was astonishing. Despite the loss of her husband, she picked up the torch, kept pushing, and building the ministry. Shortly thereafter, First Lady Simms was ordained as Pastor of Faith Temple Deliverance Church of Christ by the Honorable Bishop Liston Page, Sr.. Guided by the holy spirt, Pastor Fannie Sims renovated and re-strategized the church both naturally and spiritually. Pastor Simms loved her church members dearly, and she worked hard to keep the church family together.
On August 13, 2021, at 12:03 p.m., the Almighty and All-Knowing God, called our very own Pastor Fannie Simms to eternal rest, Oh! How GOOD it is to hear, “Well Done, Thy Good and Faithful Servant”. The Lord chose such a time as this to call his faithful servant home. Pastor Simms is preceded in death by her loving husband, Bishop Samul Simms, Siblings: Ruth Chestnut, Maggie Vereen, Lela Gause, George Galloway, J.W. Galloway, Covell DeWitt, Jessie Mae Vaught, and her grandchild, R.J. Ferrer.
Mourning her death are her beloved children: Timothy Galloway, Patricia Galloway, Shawn Galloway, Lakisha Galloway, Sherrell Ferrer, Christopher Simms, Emmanuel Simms, Sheniece Simms. Siblings: Lewatha Galloway, Braxton Galloway, Don Galloway, and James Galloway: Twenty-one grandchildren, one great- grandchild, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends who will forever cherish her memories. Pastor Fannie Simms will be remembered as a faithful servant of God, strong-willed, yet compassionate, wife to one husband, mother of eight biological children, and a mother to the motherless.
She was also a prayer warrior, a nine-time heart attack survivor, a loyal friend. Pastor Simms was the gift that kept on giving. We will remember her favorite sayings that will keep us smile. Such as, “Do you have a slip under there?”, “Don’t forget your prayer cap!” and “Make sure your dress is below your knee!” We will also remember her iconic cooking, especially her potato salad, fried chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, smoked neck bones, and lima beans. We acknowledge the God in her and submit to his will. May she rest in peace until we meet again.