“I’m a child of the King, A child of the King, With Jesus my Savior, I’m a child of the King.”
Sister Bettie Brady Chaney was born in Alexandria, Louisiana to the late Matt and Florenza Brady. Six children were born from this union, five of which were deceased and one surviving daughter, Bettie Mae Brady. From a young age, her grandparents reared and nurtured her emotionally and spiritually, especially her grandfather who was a minister in the Baptist church. Together with his wife, they instilled in Sister Chaney a foundation of Christian virtues and values that have sustained her throughout her life as well as the self-confidence, humility and forthrightness which had become the hallmarks of her character. She attended local parochial schools and graduated at the age of seventeen. Her grandfather encouraged her to migrate to California which would offer her better economic opportunities and a respite from the virulent racism than blanketed the South at that time. With his encouragement, blessings, and a return ticket home, Sister Chaney moved to Oakland, California to live with an Aunt Elizabeth and a cousin and began working in the federal government. While here, she met and married Lloyd A. Chaney, and joined Greater Cooper AMEZ Church in 1948 under the pastorate of the late Rev. George Lynwood Fauntleroy at the encouragement of her grandfather who told her that a family could not thrive where there was a spiritual split. He told her that as long as God was the head of Greater Cooper and the church was Biblically based that she had his blessings and should rear her family in Methodism. As a member, she worked with the following auxiliaries: the Methodist Women, the Lamplighters, the Parent Body, the Usher board, and served as a delegate to both the district and annual conferences. While rearing her family of six she coparented and partnered with her husband Brother Lloyd and his work as a lay activities district and conference director. Later in her tenure at Greater Cooper, Sister Chaney was appointed as a class leader, and for many years she functioned as the secretary for the Quarterly Conference.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” I Peter 4:10
However, her life took a dramatic spiritual turn under the leadership of the late Rt. Rev. George J. Leake and Mrs. Vilma Leake. In 1974 she moved from the local level to the district one to become the Bay Cities District Life Members Chairperson, succeeding the late Mattie I. White. Her goal was to stole everyone in the Bay Cities District, and she worked diligently to that end. She later moved to the Supply Department under the tenure late Rt. Rev. Herman Anderson and Mrs. Ruth Anderson where she faithfully served until she became the Bay Cities District President upon the retirement of Sister Ollie Callahan. During her tenure as District President, the missionaries continued to grow spiritually through her implementation of the quadrennial themes on a personal, local, district, and conference level and her work with her counterpart in the Central Valley District, Mrs. Ida Francis. She not only continued to build on the foundation of her predecessors, but she also continued many of their programs with the graciousness, sensitivity and discernment that are derived from her close walk with God. Sister Chaney has always thirsted and hungered to learn about the mission work both here and overseas, so she frequently attended the missionary convocations at Camp Dorothy Walls as well as every quadrennial meeting since 1974 to keep herself and the Bay Cities District abreast of all the new innovations, themes, constitutional and leadership changes. She was blessed to support and serve the following Missionary Supervisors: Mrs. Velma Leake, the late Mrs. Ruth Anderson, Mrs. Geraldine Walker, Mrs. Barbara Carr, Mrs. Lovetta Holmes, and Mrs. D. Diane Proctor, and Mrs. Devita Moorer. Sister Chaney was also privileged to serve as a district officer under the following Bay Cities District Presidents: the late Mrs. Cora Carson, the late Mrs. E. Silas Jones, the late Ollie Callahan, and Mrs. Geneva Watts. Sister Chaney’s ecumenical affiliations included her work with Church Women United, the World Federation of Methodist and United Women, and her life membership in the National Council of Negro Women.
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…”” Proverbs 31:28
Sister Chaney had been married for seventy-three wonderful years to the late Lloyd A. Chaney, Sr. who predeceased her in September of 2014. Of all the endeavors that she had undertaken, none was greater nor showed her capacity for love and sacrifice than when she nurtured and cared for Brother Chaney the last three years of his life. Together they created a loving home for their six children—the late Floretta Chaney Brumfield, Deborah Chaney, Denise Chaney, Cleo Chaney, Lloyd Jr. Chaney, and Roy Chaney as well as their nine grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren, two great great-grandchildren, and her daughter-in-law Crystal Chaney. Everyone knew from the youngest to the eldest that there was nothing “Granny” would not do to love, support, and encourage you, but they also knew that she would not hesitate to chastise, admonish, and advise, whether solicited or not. This was based on her many years of wisdom honed from living a fruitful life. They jokingly reminded one another that “99.9%” of the time, Granny is right.
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for me, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:28
After having worked for the postal service for thirty-two-years, Sister Chaney retired to a life of babysitting, working with her local church while meeting the needs of the missionary society. Prior to her work with the Postal Service, Sister Chaney worked for Internal Revenue Service, the Oakland Health Department, and Naval Supply Center. She continued to be a fount of wisdom at Greater Cooper, admonishing and encouraging everyone from the pulpit to the pew. She continued to strive and grow in her walk with her Lord and Savior, having put her hand to the plow, without turned back. Her external beauty and style were merely a reflection of inner serenity and faith. She truly modeled the attributes of the virtuous women in Proverbs 31. As Scripture says, “Her price is far above rubies, and her children arise up, and call her blessed.”
The Legacy Continues:
As Granny makes her transition from earth to heaven, she leaves as a testament and a celebrant of her life, her daughters, Deborah Carmel, Denise Arleen, and Cleo Renee Chaney; her sons Lloyd (Crystal) Alfred Chaney and Roy Anthony Chaney; her grandchildren, Kirtus (Elfreide) Clanton, Nicole McCurn, Tyrentheus (Chemise) Cisco, Julius (Aliesha) McCurn, Danielle and Sarena Brumfield; Levester (Kassandra) Chaney, Coral and Calitha Chaney; great-grandchildren Ricky (Laura) Clanton and Kya Clanton, Miquela Alia Brumfield, Damany Mills, Julius and Samone McCurn, Alonzo and Jaylen Smith, Azariah Maddox, Kingston Francis Cisco, and Jersi Cecilia Parker; great great-grandchildren Lydia and Julian Clanton; family friends June and Cleo Nelson, Jessie Monroe and Hazel Wilson whose presence and support has made this family challenge an easier one to bear. We could not have done this without the support and prayers of our Greater Cooper family, family members, and friends.
Granny was preceded in death by her parents, Matt and Florenza Brady; her husband, Lloyd Chaney, Sr.; and their daughters Floretta Chaney Brumfield and Ellender Chaney who died at birth.