Mrs. Naomi Francisco Co- founder and member of Calvary Community Church Hampton, Virginia and mother of Bishop L. W. Francisco III and Mr. Myron Francisco, transitioned on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at her home in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Naomi Rowe (Taylor) Francisco was born in the County of Warwick, Virginia on August 26, 1935 to the late James Taylor and Carrie Rowe Taylor. Her father was born in Kingston, Jamaica and her mother was born in James City County, VA. She was one of eight children who grew up in a home with a foundation held together by faith in God. Their family faithfully attended Gospel Spreading Church in Newport News, VA where they were members and Elder James Taylor often preached. After graduating from George P. Phenix High School in Hampton in 1953 and working at Gloria Sewing Manufacturing in Newport News (where she later became a supervisor), Naomi was determined to escape a religious life by marrying a man who was as far removed from church as she could find. Shortly thereafter, her older sister Leoney introduced her to the brother of her best friend Mildred Francisco Mathes. His name was Leslie Walker Francisco II, and he became the love of her life.
After dating for almost a year and a half, Naomi and Leslie were married on February 13, 1956. She often said that he was the best sinner that she could have married and that she’d never have to worry about going to church ever again, so she thought. However, after becoming the proud parents of three handsome sons (Leslie, Steven and Myron), her husband dedicated his life to God and immediately stopped drinking alcohol and going to clubs to dance the night away. Naomi was angry at first, but was later convicted and convinced to allow God to transform her life as well.
After rededicating her life to God, Naomi worked faithfully by her husband’s side in many roles as a member of Calvary Mennonite Church in Newport News. She became a minister’s wife in 1966 and shortly thereafter, she became a pastor’s wife. Although there was no assigned job description as “First Lady” of the church, she assisted with teaching Sunday school and vacation bible school, directing the children’s choir, leading prayer meetings and women’s activities, and helping with the pastor’s aide committee for 19 years until God gave her husband, Pastor Leslie, a vision to build a new church in Hampton. Calvary Community Church located at 925 Old Buckroe Road, opened its doors in July of 1985, and Naomi served as co-founder and “Mother” of Calvary Community Church, which later became known as C3 Hampton at its present 2311 Tower Place location.
When Pastor Leslie Francisco was installed as a bishop by the Virginia Mennonite Conference in 1995, Naomi then became a bishop’s wife. In that same year, she and her husband received the James and Rowena Lark Award given by the Mennonite Board of Missions in Recognition of Creative Leadership in evangelism and church development. As the ministry continued to grow locally, nationally and internationally with additional church plants, thousands of souls have been blessed by the firm yet loving embrace, instruction and correction of Mother Naomi. Her beautiful smile, sparkling eyes, bubbly personality, hearty laughter, and generous nature also warmed the hearts of hundreds of children enrolled throughout the years at Calvary Christian Academy founded by her son and daughter-in-law, Bishop L. W. III and Dr. Natalie A. Francisco. Mother Naomi was affectionally known as “Grandma” by the many staff members and students who loved to see her come into their classrooms and offices with special treats and words of wisdom to live by. She was also a consummate organizer as food service manager, overseeing the kitchen and its staff and taking pleasure in helping wherever else that she could.
Although Mother Naomi and her husband, the late Bishop Leslie Francisco II, built a solid foundation as co-founders of C3, their legacy continues in the lives of their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the many spiritual sons and daughters who have been touched and transformed by the love and light of Christ that lived in them. Their dedication to God, family and ministry, in that order, was always evident and prioritized accordingly. Mother Naomi, in particular, always taught and modeled that home is and should always be the first ministry. Her compassion, kindness and candor were always on display at home with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as in the church, in the surrounding community, and throughout her travels abroad during the 26 year span of her husband’s evangelistic ministry.
Mother Naomi leaves to cherish her memory two sons, Bishop L. W. Francisco III and Myron G. Francisco; three daughters-in-law, Dr. Natalie A. Francisco, Karla Francisco and Pandora Francisco; four sisters, Ivy Canady, Leoney Orie, Thressa Edwards (Arthur) and Ernestine Taylor (Abram); eleven grandchildren, Tiffany Francisco, Nicole Francisco Bailey (Phil), Delano Francisco, Steven Francisco II, Lesley Francisco McClendon (Caleb), Azurlyn Francisco, Lauren Francisco, Myron Francisco II, Taylor Francisco, Chassidy Gaines and Ciarra Gaines Barker (Vaughn); nine great grandchildren, Gia Wilson, Callie Neville, Phil Francisco Bailey, Delano Chase Francisco II, Jackson Francisco McClendon, Torei Neville, Logan Naomi Francisco, Cori Marie Gaines and Vaughn Barker Jr.; nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of C3 family and friends throughout Hampton Roads and around the globe.
(Monetary donations can be made to C3 South Africa Missions in honor of Mother Naomi Francisco.)
Viewing for Mrs. Francisco will be held 10:00a.m. until noon Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at the Church.
Services for Mrs. Naomi Francisco will be held noon Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at Calvary Community Church 2311 Tower Place. Hampton, VA. Bishop Courtney McBath, Presiding. Pastor Leslie Francisco McClendon, Eulogist.
Interment will follow at Hampton National Cemetery.
It is the desire of the Francisco family that you keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
The family of the late Mrs. Naomi Francisco has entrusted her final care to the staff of C.C. Carter Funeral Home, Inc.
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