Pastor Mae J. Ellis was born on a hot August summer day in
the South, in the great state of Mississippi. The fourth chid in the family of eight; born to Tillman and Tullia McCullum.
She moved to Joliet, Illinois at the age of 13. Pastor was the wife of one husband, Brother Jack Ellis. To this
union a child was born, Lee Samuel "Pete" Ellis.
Pastor Mae J. Ellis has been serving the Lord at Refuge Mission since
1957 and has come up through the Christian rank serving in Sunday School, Usher Board, Pastors Aide, Choir, Y.P.H.A. and the
Central Western District Missionary Department.
Pastor Ellis' education includes attending Joliet Township High School,
Lydia's Beauty School in Chicago and Alla Mae's Beauty School in Joliet, Illinois. She became a licensed cosmetologist
in 1967. She also attended Joliet Junior College, the United Christian College of the United Holy Church and the Living
Word Christian College in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Most notably, she has also attended the School of Hard Knocks.
Pastor Ellis started her employment career at Caterpillar, Inc. in 1966.
She was employed with Caterpillar for 30 years and retired in 1996. She was among the first group of women to be hired
at the Joliet facility. These ladies were called the "Women of 66."
Pastor Ellis has been to Israel twice and was even baptized in the Jordan
River. Pastor Ellis was called to Pastor in 1982 and has seen many changes during the years.
Pastor Ellis has gone above and beyond the call of Pastor. Her abilities
to do God's will is amazing. When you talk about the legacy of a Black woman, Pastor Mae J. Ellis is that kind of woman.
Exemplifying an example of strength, she eulogized all four of her brothers.