It was February 27, 1934 that the local midwife announced to Milton Sr. and Annie Bell Mitchell, Sr. that their 4th born was a boy. The midwife named him Carnest because his older brother was Earnest (she took off the E and added a C). His father, mother, and siblings Mary, Frances, Earnest, Milton, Jr., and Stanford preceded him in death.
Carnest was educated in the Grenada School system in Grenada, Mississippi. Although not fully able to attend school for months due to working on the farm fields, he graduated from Grenada High School in 1950. He continued his education by taking courses at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As time progressed, he attended school for his Christian journey. He took courses through Victorious Life Bible Institute in Kansas City, Missouri and had other educational endeavors.
After high school, he was drafted into the United States Army. This journey was God ordained although at the time he did not know it. He was in radio communication learning how to teletype sending and receiving the Morse Code. He was stationed in many of the states within this country and also toured in France, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and two tours in Germany. He fought for his country in the Korean War and the Vietnam War. One of his fond recollections was meeting and serving alongside Elvis Presley.
After those experiences and fighting for his country, he became a recruiter for the United States Army and was stationed in the Kansas City region to recruit soldiers for the military by way of Ft. Riley, Kansas. In this capacity, he met numerous people and sought to recruit everyone he could. It was here that the name “Sarge” was attached to him after being elevated to Sergeant First Class. Sarge was personally responsible for recruiting over 700 people to the United States Army. He had a passion for recruiting young people off the streets, rescuing them out of trouble, and giving them a hope for their future by enlisting them in the Army. For this accomplishment, he received 50+ commendations and awards. His office was later relocated to Topeka, Kansas, and he continued his dedicated career with the Army.
In the early 1980’s, the United States Army, being impressed with his recruiting record, began the process of transferring him to Connecticut to help there. Not wanting to disrupt his family by changing school systems, he took a leap of faith and announced his retirement. Many were sad, but Sarge knew going to the east coast was not in the plan for his life. He retired from the military after 25 wonderful years and entered the insurance industry.
Immediately, the same success he had in the military was felt in the insurance industry. He literally insured thousands in the Kansas City area. Because of this fast success, he received promotions and was awarded trips and many other prizes for the business he brought to Farmers Insurance. In fact, when he decided to retire from the insurance industry after giving 25 years, many agents in Kansas City swarmed him to try to get a list of his client base.
When Carnest arrived in Kansas City in 1970, he was in the process of recruiting Timothy Paul Whiters and Timothy’s sister Cecelia Whiters, and through them he met their sister Mable. Mable invited him to church, and another sister (Brenda Whiters) invited him to an Easter dinner. Carnest and Mable began a relationship and were married on February 5, 1972 by the late District Elder Edmond Berry and Suffragan Bishop Kenneth Neal. To this union, three children were born.
When Carnest arrived in Kansas City, his spiritual journey also was renewed and revived. In Mississippi, he was raised in the Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church. There he was baptized and accepted Christ and served the Lord. He loved to sing and joined a quartet which ministered for several years. When he relocated to Kansas, he became a part of the New Jerusalem Pentecostal Church where he rededicated his life to God. He was baptized in the great name of Jesus and received the gift of the Holy Ghost on the same day, October 5, 1971. At New Jerusalem he served District Elder Edmond Berry with all of his might. If you saw Pastor Berry, you saw Carnest.
Under the leadership of District Elder Berry, Carnest was made a deacon and later became the Assistant Pastor. He served in the Sunday School Department, Men’s Ministry, Choir, and other ministries within the church. He loved the Lord and was excited to serve in whatever capacity he could. He also served the Northwestern District Council of the PAW under the late Bishop James A. Johnson, the late Bishop Samuel A. Layne, Bishop Horace Smith, and now, the honorable Bishop Mark C. Tolbert. For years he served as the Sunday School Superintendent. He loved serving under the leadership of Bishop Mark C. Tolbert and frequently commented on how well the council was and how rejuvenated the council became under his leadership. One of his greatest honors was when he received the call from Bishop Tolbert that he was being elevated to the office of Suffragan Bishop. The smile on his face was priceless. He was elevated to the position of Suffragan Bishop on the same night his son Donnie was elevated to the position of District Elder.
After the death of District Elder Edmond Berry, Elder Carnest Mitchell was voted in as pastor of New Jerusalem. He served the church well. Immediately, he began to intensify prayer by holding all night prayer meetings and extra days of prayer during the week. He served as a mentor to the young men teaching them how to treat their wives and children and what the scriptures said about it. As the church grew, several ministries were birthed. His goal was to lead God’s people to excellence in Christ.
During his service to the Lord, he developed many impactful friendships with men who have gone on to Glory. He always fondly remembered Pastor Benjamin Day, Elder James Gibson, Elder Damon Pearson, Elder Ravon Rainey, Pastor Jimmie Roustic, District Elder Clarence Johnson II. (his EVERY Monday talking buddy), Pastor Leland Thomas, and Pastor Robert Richmond (his coffee buddy). He now joins his friends in the great cloud of witnesses.
Before his death, he had a close relationship with special brethren of the Gospel; District Elder Nathaniel Bradley, Bishop Daniel Chavis, Bishop Al Combs, Bishop Marvin Donaldson, Bishop Jones Foote, District Elder Carl Grayson, Bishop John Sawyer, and Elder Robert Thomas.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 49 years, Mable, two sons, Carnest Donnell Mitchell (Rashonda), Riverside, Missouri, Stephen James Mitchell (Lauren), Olathe, Kansas, and one daughter Traci Lynnette Thompson (Mark), Longview, Texas; six grandchildren, Mark L. Thompson, Trevon L. Thompson, CaiLyn R. Mitchell, C. Donnivan Mitchell, Lily J. Mitchell, and Megan E. Mitchell; one sister Lillie Belle Irwin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, many sisters-in-love, many brothers-in-love, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carnest "Sarge" Mitchell Sr., please visit our floral store.