Date of Birth: January 23, 1921 | Date of Passing: January 3, 2022
Teresa Antonia Bernier was born on January 23, 1921 in Yauco, Puerto Rico, the ninth of twelve children born to Jose and Teresa Gutierrez. Soon after, the doctors told her parents that she would not live long due to intestinal problems. Her brother born before her had died at six years old, and her sister, born after her, died in early childhood both with similar conditions as Teresa. It seemed that her chances of survival were not very good. Only the sovereign hand of God, and loving care of her family brought her through the difficult days of much sickness. During this time, she developed a childhood heart of faith in God. She entered school at eight years old and was only able to achieve a fourth-grade education when her parents were informed to remove her from school because she again was not going to survive. She was only twelve years old but was very intelligent and quite pious. At this stage of her life, she was more involved with a Baptist church. Her older sister had moved to New York City for work and had left her son in Puerto Rico where his aunt, Teresa, cared for him. Eventually she sent for her seven-year-old son, and asked that Teresa, who was now fourteen years of age, bring him on a boat. The church she attended encouraged her to find the First Spanish Baptist church in New York City when she arrived. Eventually she did, and soon had committed her life to Jesus Christ. She grew in her faith, and in the knowledge of the truth. In 1938, at the age of seventeen, almost eighteen, she married the pastor's son Erasmo. They went on to have four children: Samuel, Erasmo, Alida and Benjamin. Eventually the entire family moved to Los Angeles in pursuit of God's eternal purpose. Their marriage went on to complete fifty-five years before her beloved husband died of cancer. As a Christian couple they were always caring for those in need, especially the elderly and sick. After her husband's death she would go on as a spiritual mother caring for all those around her. She is survived by two sons, and their wives, six grandchildren and their spouses, and sixteen great grandchildren. Spiritually she leaves behind countless children in the Lord that she cherished and nourished. “She fought the good fight, finished her course, and kept the faith”. She was a blessed mother.