Died: Thu., Dec. 17, 2020


10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Sat., Jan. 02, 2021

Celebration of Life

12:00 PM Sat., Jan. 02, 2021

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Nettie Louise Sawyer was born on September 25, 1938 to James Griffith and Oswald Tucker Sawyer, in Arlington, TN. She was the fifth of seven children (Ruby Sawyer Smith, James Sawyer, Albert Sawyer, Dorothy Sawyer Moon, Sadie Marie Sawyer Bryant, and Barbara Joyce Sawyer Phillips), who all preceded her in death.


Nettie took her education very serious, matriculating through the Barrett’s Chapel school system in Arlington. In 1956, she graduated from Barrett’s Chapel High School as Salutatorian. After relocating to Indianapolis, IN, Nettie completed her Bachelor of Science degree from IUPUI, majoring in Social Work. It is no secret that the younger generation held an enormous and genuine place in her heart. Because of this, she utilized her strong education foundation to provide social services to inner-city youth, as well as Substitute Teaching via the IPS school system.


Nettie was baptized at a young age at Hammond Grove Baptist Church in Arlington. She was a ministry minded member, faithfully serving as both a child and young adult, until her relocation to Indianapolis. Upon relocating, she united with Greater Morning Star, developing her unique style of choir decorum. She later served as Choir Director at Grace Memorial Baptist Church and True Vine MBC. With Gods’ guidance, she joined Bountiful Blessings, under the leadership of Dr. Annette McGuire-Kenon, where she served for over 20 years. She answered Gods’ call, accepting her ordination as Elder in the Lords’ church. Ultimately, Elder Nettie Lester served as Founder and Senior Pastor of All About “Him” Church and Ministries.


In her lifetime, Elder Lester birthed an abundance of plays, books, musical compositions and outreach ministries. Whereas she was passionate about these things, what brought her the greatest joy was the birth of her son, William “Billy” K. Lester III, in January 1964. Into him, she poured and instilled the Word of God, her knowledge of music, and the importance of a strong work ethic. They became thee Mother-Son Dynamic Duo, with Billy serving as her Music Director for over 30 years.


Elder Lester was a pioneer in the Gospel Music Industry of Indianapolis and abroad. She founded Youth Rapping and Mapping to Save Youth, Inc., Joy Publishing Company, Joy Records, Interfaith Records, WHTJ 1690-AM Radio Station, “Let’s Get It Together” column published in the Indianapolis Recorder, The Nettie Lester Interfaith Choir, The Little Children of God Choir, and Joy Fellowship Choir. While leading, she knew how to serve. Elder Lester labored as a faithful member of SESAC, an original board member for Gospel Meets Symphony Executive Committee, the Gospel Music Workshop of America, the Gospel Announcers Guild, and the Gospel Music Workshop of America – Academic Division.


While her contributions are too many to name, her novel song “In the Beauty of Holiness,” with her permission, was recorded by the Ohio Baptist General Convention Mass Choir. To this day, it is sang in churches around the world and published in various hymnals. A trailblazer in her own right, Elder Lester selflessly provided and paved ways for up and coming artists, and acknowledged their successes via the annual Joy Awards. She received  countless awards and recognition throughout her lifetime, most recently the Legends of Gospel Award in Indianapolis.


Although known as Elder Lester to the community, she was affectionally known to her grand and great-grandchildren as “Muffy.” Muffy continuously reared her grandchildren, always reminding them to keep God first, provided an unbiased listening ear, and would endlessly give her last. She will be most missed for her crisp $5 bills, yellow cake with chocolate icing, and always sending you out of her house with a goody bag. Muffy never missed a baptism or school graduation, was an avid confidante, and an unwavering supporter. A tender memory will always be Chaela calling her every day after school, sometimes just to hold the phone for hours.


Elder Lester is survived by a very close-knit family. She leaves to cherish her beloved memory her Son: William; Daughter-In-Love: Chapelle`, 9 Grandchildren: C. Atasha, Chauneesha, Chakhala, Juwan, Jalon, Chakyrah, Chaunyah, and Chaela; 4 Great-Grandchildren: Leland, Julian, Terrance Jr., and Nissi; God-Daughter: Tammy Davis; Close Friends: Mother Ida Townsend and Evelyn Stevenson-Phillips, nieces, nephews, the Interfaith Choir, Little Children of God Choir, Joy Fellowship Choir, and All About Him Church and Ministries.


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Condolence Booklet

Mildred Townsend
   Posted Fri December 18, 2020
Billy, Please accept my sincere condolences to you and the family in the passing of your mother. She was a sweet talented woman of God and will be missed by all who knew her. I am praying that your faith in God will sustain you during these trying days. Remember that God will be whatever you need him to be. Many prayers and much love is being sent your way. Sister Townsend

Sheila Ayorinde
   Posted Tue December 22, 2020
Bill I am so sorry for your lost. Your mother was my rock.she became my grandma. She taught me so many things and my children the group 2 BLESSED.we send our prayers love if you need anything let me know. Please I called her and didn't get an answer I guess this why she kept popping up singing thank you for being there and in the beauty of hollines. I would b honored to sing for her in the beauty of holiness she taught me that song

   Posted Fri December 25, 2020
My heart goes out to you Bill

   Posted Wed December 30, 2020
Loving and missing Aunt Nettie already. I’m so blessed to have so many cherished memories to look back on. Billy, you are forever my brother not just my cousin and I am here for you and your family always. Love you all much!

Cathy Williams
   Posted Wed December 30, 2020
Your loss is great, But God has given you a strength even as a child.... Your Mom is now where she had worked so hard to go... In the arms of Her Father. Now she’s getting her questions answered and the peace she had always seeked for. She will aways be missed, for she had contributed so much to and for those God placed in her path. Allow God to give you Strength. For you will always remember Mama. All the difficult moments of life will become pleasant memories and strength for years to come. Love you Billy and my prayers will be with you and your family.

Michelle Gaines
   Posted Wed December 30, 2020
Billy and Family my heart and prayers are with you during this time. Hold on to the legacy and great memories. The memories will help you make it from minute to minute. Elder Nettie Lester will be greatly missed. There is no one that will be able to fill the void she has left. Just remember she is smiling down on us from heaven.

   Posted Thu December 31, 2020
Heartfelt prayers to Billy and family. I am so heartbroken at the passing of my dear Aunt Nettie. However I am also comforted in knowing she is resting with her Lord and Savior. I will forever cherish our time together. I am here for you and family.

Marcus O Bryant
   Posted Fri January 01, 2021
May the mercy and grace of God be with you and your family

Deadrick and Monica Sawyer
   Posted Sat January 02, 2021
God Bless you and your family

Trudy Sawyer
   Posted Sat January 02, 2021
Lord God have mercy on this family. Bind all wounds and heal all souls. Truly Aunt Nettie was Mighty Minstrel of God; may her work be left upon the hearts and souls here and here to come. God use others as you used her but do GREATER WORKS.

Linda Johnson
   Posted Tue January 05, 2021
I am so sorry for your loss , I am praying for you and the family. I have great admiration and respect for your mom and her calling in her ministry in life she taught all of us a lot and she instilled in us great principles and morals about being workers for the Lord please give me a call at your convenience and I will talk to you when it is a better time for you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers forever .


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