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On February 8, 1970, the breath of God blew upon the earth, and a woman became a living soul. As God exhaled, He gave life to the fourth child of Melvin Hurt, Sr. and Annie Inez Hurt. On Tuesday, April 25, 2023, God in His infinite wisdom called her back to Himself….Elder Anita I. Updike, RN, ordained Elder, devoted wife and mother, attentive and loving registered nurse, amazing friend, and encourager of many.
Therefore, let it be so documented in the registry of the righteous that in the life of this great woman, destiny was fulfilled and divine purpose was accomplished.
Anita Updike was born in Miledgeville, GA. Growing up in the church, her leadership ability and musical gifts surfaced. Those qualities would continue into her adulthood. Anita’s ministry walk began in Atlanta, Georgia and was fulfilled and cultivated when she moved to Alabama in 2005.
Upon arriving in Alabama, she was called into the ministry and was licensed at Pure Word Deliverance House of Prayer, under the leadership of Overseer Dr. Ruby L. Eldridge. At Pure Word she served faithfully in the youth ministry and other capacities to help the ministry and vision flourish.
At the end of her assignment at Pure Word, Anita united with New Birth Community Church. At New Birth, Anita furthered her ministry walk by being ordained an elder. Anita served New Birth with her entire heart in her time, talent, and treasure. She served in the worship and arts ministry, outreach ministry, and youth ministry. Anita’s servant heart and gentle spirit made her a pillar in the ministry of New Birth. Because of her, New Birth was stronger and better. She epitomized the faithfulness of Timothy, the warrior spirit of Deborah, the worship of David, the compassion and gentleness of Ruth, the giving of Abraham, the service of Martha, and the tenacity of Paul.
Her love for the people God caused to cross paths with her, regardless of the state they were in, was genuine. Spiritually, God gifted her with the ability to correctly analyze and skillfully teach the Word of God with profound insight and revelation. And from that she became a Living Epistle – a love letter written by Christ himself. The Holy Spirit’s ink was written all over her life, so she could publish its pages on all she come in contact with.
Professionally, her anointed and powerful teaching gift opened the door for her to become a Nursing Professor at Coastal Community College. And her dedication and care for premature babies made her one of the leading NICU Nurses at USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Anita relished being a minister of the Gospel as much as she enjoyed being a registered nurse. Anita believed both roles/assignments worked hand-in-hand. She saw both as an opportunity to getting the Gospel message out to people.
Anita Updike is preceded in death by her father, Melvin Hurt, Sr; and grandparents Lee Hurt Lizzie Hurt, J.T. Thompkins, and Acquilla Thompkins.
She leaves to cherish her memory and to anticipate a glorious reunion according to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, her loving and devoted husband, Kristopher Updike; children: Nadia Barrani and Daniel Barrani (Saqqarah Corbett); one granddaughter: Kaezlyn Corbett; mother: Annie Inez Hurt; three brothers and sisters: Sandrann Faye Lall (Anand), Melvin Hurt, Jr., Lorenzo Hurt (Brenda); six nieces and nephews: Micah Lall, Chanda Moran, Cherie Hurt, Breanna Hurt, Keke Yates, Tanya Vaughn; and a host of relatives, friends, co-workers at USA Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and the entire New Birth Community Church Family-whom she loved deeply.
She leaves to mourn, cherish and walk in the power of her memory, the children/youth of New Birth Community Church and Pure Word Deliverance House of Prayer whom she has loved, nurtured, encouraged, and birthed participation in ministry.