Cheryl Steward Interview



Cheryl Steward Interview


Interview with Cheryl Steward about her collection.






Oral History


Sam Smith


Cheryl Steward


St. Mark's Christian Fellowship Church of God in Christ


Smith Do you have any stories attached with this robe that you'd like to share?
Steward: My mother loved her church. And I'm pretty sure she was in the choir at least -- at least forty years. (indistinguishable)
Steward: In her earlier years, she worked with the youth and the youth choir. But then, in later years, she did a food a co-op in a food pantry and she was always helping others.(indistinguishable) She was a social worker. I mean she really -- I'm just thinking back.
Smith No, No, she sounds like she is a beautiful part of the community.
Steward: Yes but not only in the West End, but in the East end (laughing). That's where she worked (?). But she was -- there was not stone unturned where she was concerned. You know. But I'm trying to give you... she did so much. [laughing] You want to stop it for a minute?
Smith Well, let's, we'll keep recording. And I'll just edit it ???
Steward: She worked out in a few of the Sevel Hill Neighborhood Houses in the West End. It was on Bay Miller, I think. I don't know if it's still on there or not. I just-
Smith Well, let's take a look at what we've got.
Steward: Yes, that's the robe from 816 York Street.
Smith Awesome.
Steward: That's the church where she pastored at.
Smith Wha-- is this a heart, or?
Steward: Yeah [laughing]. Now, he was in the choir. He (indistinguishable)
Smith Do you sing?
Steward: No.
Smith Okay.
Steward: I used to be in the youth choir.
Smith So, did everyone just wear these, like, yellow goldish--
Steward: --Yep. Yep. That was in the choir, yeap.
Smith That's awesome. That's beautiful. So, we said that this was probably from around 1880?
Steward: Oh, no. Not that robe. [laughing]
Smith Oh, not the robe? [laughing]
Steward: That was the old church. She got that at the new church. That's the old church.
Smith Is this your-- is that your mother?
Steward: Yes, that's her.
Smith Absolutely.
Steward: I just-- and that's part of her work. You know, helping others. Leading. (indistinguishable) years ago
Smith I went through the whole foster care child system and all that. So, having a good social worker that really cares--
Steward: --Yep, and she did--
Smith --and to be in that line of work with good intentions is so important.
Steward: Yep. Yep. You can ask just about anybody about my mom, especially in the East End, about my mom and they all have good things to say.
Smith Absolutely.
Steward: I found this robe this morning. (indistinguishable) anything you can find. But that's from the new church -- 816 York Street. I don't have anything from the old church. And then, we used to live down on Dayton St., but see I was four years old at that time. So I --
Smith Well, alright. Do you know how long she sang in choir? Like the choir she was associated with?
Steward: She sang down at the old church and the new church. So I'm gon' say at least fifty years.
Smith Yeah?
Steward: Uh-huh.
Smith Well, there ya go. Did she ever sing around the house?
Steward: Yeah, yeah. She was more into youth ministry. She went and took a group of kids to Africa on a mission trip. So, but as far as me rememberin' and having anything, that is so weird -- the pictures..
Smith It's fine. It's her history. Let's see, let's pick this up. (indistinguishable)
Steward: Yeah, that's where we--
Smith --Alright. Made in the U.S.A
Steward: [chuckles]
Smith Aw, that is just beautiful.
Steward: [indistinguishable] he didn't bring his.
Smith Do they -- does his look like this?
Steward: Mm-hmm.
Smith Really? Alright, so same church. Awesome.
Steward: Uh-huh.
Smith Awesome. So, what do you think that this is from? Do you think -- what date can we place on this?
Steward: Oh, you know, that's not that old. Maybe the nineties.
Smith Okay. Awesome.
Steward: (indistinguishable) I had it packed up in the suitcase.
Smith So this is from the-- the new church is on the corner of York and Bay Miller? No--
Steward: --York and Bay Miller was the old church. And the new church is on the corner of York and Linn.
Smith Okay. Alright. So this was from the church that was on--
Steward: --York and Linn.
Smith Awesome. And the -- this is awesome. It's so, I just love the (indistinguishable). This is very beautiful. How many-- do you know how many people were in the choir?
Steward: When it first started out, you know 'cause everybody start passin' away, [chuckles] it was a small congregation. So, I say maybe twenty?
Smith Twenty voices in the name of God is a lot-- you know, there's a lot of power behind that. Do you-- Would you go and see her sing and go to church with her?
Steward: Yeah, I would go to church every Sunday.
Smith Awesome. Awesome. What was, what do you think was your favorite pastor of the church? Who gave the best word?
Steward: They all did. They all bought something different to the table. But, from the old church to the new church.. they all did.
Smith Well there you go. Awesome. Well, would you like to talk anymore about your mother or is there anything, like I said, of seen heard (???) associated with the history?
Steward: Like in the robe?
Smith Yeah.
Steward: [pauses]
Smith Whatever you got, lay it on me. [chuckles]
Steward: Ok. She used to sing a song [laughs] It used to be high pitched. It used to tickle me when she sung. But, it's hard to hear outside (indistinguishable).
Smith Awesome. She had those pipes then.
Steward: [laughing]
Smith Oh my god. I've got a raspy voice. That's impressive. Did she have like a favorite song that she'd sing around the house?
Steward: 'Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray'.
Smith Awesome. She was a woman of the Lord
Steward: Yeah.
Smith Awesome.
Steward: And 'He's Sweet I Know.' She used to sing that all the time.
Smith Awesome. Well, before we close our lil interview, is there anything else you'd wanna add?
Steward: I'll just say my mother loved her church and every Sunday she was there unless she was sick.
Smith Absolutely.
Steward: And she always, always was asking if she missed somebody. And she would visit, and help out with food or whatever they needed, you know.
Smith Well Cheryl, I think that we'll wrap this up.
Steward: Did you need more (???)
Smith Oh, it was beautiful. Your mother sounds like--



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