First Lady Of Wayman Chapel - Ennis, Texas

Mrs. Debra Diana Bass Uzzel, was born on July 26, 1953 in Fairfield, Freestone County, Texas. She is the daughter of Aldessa Henry Bass and the late K. D. Bass and the granddaughter of the late Rev. W. E. and Gladys Durham Henry. Her grandmother’s family—the Durhams—are descended from an African named Gobi whose descendants were slaves in Fairfield County, South Carolina and later in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. They were firmly established in Freestone County by 1870. Pastor Uzzel is currently working on a book entitled The Durhams of Fairfield: An African American Genealogy.

Debra graduated from Fairfield High School in 1971 and attended nursing school at Navarro College. She has been a licensed Vocational Nurse since 1972. She has worked at facilities such as Fairview Manor Nursing Center of Fairfield, Chester Clinic of Dallas, Presbyterian Hospital of Kaufman, and Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center of Waco. She currently does private-duty nursing in Corsicana.

Debra accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Fairfield Baptist Church. She joined the African Methodist Episcopal Church after her marriage to Pastor Uzzel on February 19, 1977. She has served as first lady of Emmanuel AME Church in Dallas, Macedonia AME Church in Kaufman, Tyree Chapel AME Church in Blooming Grove, Brown Chapel AME Church in Maypearl, and Forest Hill AME Church in Fort Worth. Since November 2002, this has been her role at Wayman Chapel.

Debra is the mother of four—Ericha Prox, Eric Bass, JoAnna Parker, and Rob Uzzel; and the grandmother of eight—Richard, Dominique, Alicia, Kendra, Davion, Kayla, Eric, and Keyleigh. One of her greatest achievements was putting her husband and daughter through Baylor University. On May 13, 1995, Bob received his Doctor of Philosophy degree while Ericha received her Bachelor of Arts degree in the same ceremony. As a result of this achievement, on September 21, 1996, the Baylor Alumni Association designated her as an “Alumnus-By-Choice.”

Debra is a also a member of Zakat Court #133 of the Daughters of Isis, the ladies to the Prince Hall Shriners, to which her husband belongs. The Shriners have provided college scholarships to Ericha, Rob, and Ericha’s husband Kenneth.

Debra’s top priorities in life are faith, family, and the betterment of humankind.


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