Dr. Lou Ella Franks was born the 5th of 11 children on July 2, 1950, to Robbie Lee (Jelks) and Melvin Franks in Shreveport, Louisiana. Born and raised in the Church of God in Christ, she accepted the Lord at the early age of 9. Lou graduated from Logansport Rose High School in 1968 and immediately enrolled at Grambling State University (GSU) for her first 3 years of college. While at Grambling, she was known as the one woman to pledge by herself during the Sorority hazing season for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority (she made it through).
Lou Ella moved to Portland, Oregon and was married to Clyde Beavers in 1972. She finished her degree at the University of Oregon in 1974 with a major in mathematics and continued her education to earn her master’s degree in curriculum and instruction in 1977.
Lou Ella worked for the Portland Public Schools as a teacher for Thomas Jefferson School of Arts from 1973 – 1991 and at Lincoln Summer High School as the Assistant Principal from 1986-1988. She later established her own school, Judah Educational Center, from 1992 – 2010. She accepted a Superintendent Externship with Tarkington School District in Denver, Colorado in 2008.
Lou was a member of Albina Church of God in Christ, New Hope K/N/A Cornerstone COGIC, Solid Rock COGIC, and later moved to Bethel AME. As a faithful servant of the Lord, Lou became Rev. Dr. Lou Franks with the African Methodist Episcopal Church where she became a Pastor and was assigned to several churches during her ministry. As a Pastor, she believed and stuck to her COGIC roots and was determined to stir up her churches by speaking in tongues as the Lord gave utterance. This was something the AME organization didn’t encourage in the 90’s but her efforts didn’t go unnoticed when she moved to Houston Texas, where she became a member of South Westley AME. Later, she pastored New Bethel AME in Cleveland, Texas, Williams Chapel in Brookshire, Texas, and Allen Chapel in Shepherd Texas.
As you can tell, Dr. Franks loved learning and teaching. She also loved singing, traveling, family and ministering. Most of all, she loved her children. Lateecia, Nelobie, and Martin.
Lou was preceded in death by her parents, Robbie Lee Franks (Jelks) and Melvin Franks; three sisters, Callie Frazier (Jelks), Helen Branch (Franks), and Earnestine (Doll) Banks (Franks), two brothers, Melvin Franks Jr. and Joseph Franks; granddaughter, Cadence Bolton.
Lou is survived by her brothers, Monroe Franks, Greg Franks, Dan Franks, and Peter Franks; sister, Joyce Hall (Franks); her three children, Lateecia Beavers, Nelobie Beavers, and Martin Beavers, grandchildren, Nehemiah Beavers, Alaysia Atkins, Tajmah Gillespie, Trisha Beavers, Elijah Beavers, and Chase Bolton; and a host of cousins, aunts, nieces, and nephews.
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