Obituary of Carolyn Thorne Joyner
“Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.” – Proverbs 31:29
Carolyn Thorne Joyner was born on November 22, 1946, in Wilson County, North Carolina. She was the third of nine children born to the late Mark and Macordia Ellis Thorne. She went home to rest in the arms of her Loving Savior on Friday, August 18, 2023.
It was evident from early childhood that Carolyn was a leader, and that she would leave an indelible mark upon this world, and that she did. Being the first girl in the family she was adored by her “Daddy” and grew up under the guidance of her loving Mother. She began school in the Nash County, in Wendell, NC at the age of 5. Shortly afterward, her family moved to Elm City, North Carolina where she was enrolled in Frederick Douglass High School; a first through twelfth grade school. She remained at FDHS until she graduated in 1964. Carolyn thrived in school. She loved learning, was academically gifted, and was very active in extra-curricular activities. She was head of the varsity cheering squad and was crowned Miss Frederick Douglass High School her senior year.
It was at Frederick Douglass High School that she met the tall, lanky, basketball player, who would become the one and only love of her life, Henry McClee Joyner. They were married on March 31, 1964, and moved to Washington DC. Two children were born to this union, Tinita Crystal and Henry Lee.
In 1965, at Bible Way Church in Washington, DC, Carolyn’s life would change forever as she gave her life to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of the Godly example that Henry saw in Carolyn’s life, he came into the saving Grace of Jesus Christ shortly after, and the two of them together embarked on a 59-year journey of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, loving God’s people, and touching many lives for the Kingdom of God.
While in Washington, DC, Carolyn briefly worked at Washington Hospital Center as a Nursing Assistant. When the family relocated to Maryland, she opened an in-home daycare where she nurtured and shaped the lives of many children. During this time Carolyn and Henry united with Refuge Church of Christ in Olney, MD where they served faithfully for many years, under the leadership of Bishop Rufus Settles.
In 1970, when Henry’s brother, Obie Joyner, Jr, died suddenly at 28 years old, Henry and Carolyn brought Obie’s wife Anne, and their three children; Angela, Katrina, and Keith to live in their home. For 13 years, Carolyn and Henry, along with Anne, reared the children as their very own.
When the Lord placed the Pastoral call upon Henry’s life, they began pastoring at Norbeck Church in Silver Spring MD, until God led Henry to become the Founding Pastor of Christ Church of Rockville, in Rockville, MD. Due to full time ministry, Carolyn closed the doors of her daycare, but she continued her loving impact on the lives of children.
While at Christ Church, Lady Carolyn served as counselor, teacher and Women’s Ministry Leader. Under her leadership, the Silk & Purple Women’s ministry was established. She used this platform to teach hurting women their “High Call and High Privilege” in Christ. Lady Carolyn, a handmaiden of God, spoke directly to the fears and struggles that women face today. Through her dynamic presentation of practical biblical truth, people have been transformed and encouraged to passionately embrace all God has for them. She held a Masters of Biblical Studies and was a member of the American Association of Christian counselors. Lady Carolyn was truly a woman with a mission, a message, and a motivation that ignited the hearts of women to become a “Silk & Purple Woman” from the inside out! Carolyn and Henry served as lead Pastors of Christ Church for over thirty years until they released the ministry into the very capable hands of their beloved son, Lee and his wife Lady Carmen.
Carolyn was a Proverbs 31 woman. The way she guided her home and loved her husband and children is an example for women. Carolyn was an excellent cook and the consummate hostess. No one could prepare a meal and set a table quite like Carolyn Joyner. Many through the years have dined on the sumptuous meals served with 5-star elegance at 4805 Topping Road in Rockville, MD.
Carolyn loved her siblings, and was a friend, mentor and role model for her sisters. She adored her parents, and she honored them. She did whatever was in her power to make life easy for them until they went to glory. Carolyn was full of wisdom and knowledge. She was a counselor, a confidante, a teacher; she was always ready to give a reason for the hope that was in her. She was full of beauty, grace and compassion. Carolyn Thorne Joyner was the expressed image of true beauty.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her sister, Geneva Thorne; her brother, David Thorne Sr, and his wife, Charlotte Thorne; and her brother-in-law Pastor Aaron Patterson, Sr.
Left to mourn her passing and celebrate her legacy, are her husband Bishop Henry M. Joyner of the home, son, Bishop Henry L. Joyner (Lady Carmen) of Laurel, MD, daughter, Tinita Joyner Bethea (James) of Beltsville, MD; her grandchildren Shana Morrison (John) of Columbia, SC, Eben Logan of Chicago, IL, Brandon Logan of New York, NY, Kristiana Jordan of Washington, DC, Demetrea Joyner of Laurel, MD, Pvt First Class Henry Lee-Michael Joyner, III (Crystal) of Killeen, TX, Caleb Joyner of Atlanta, GA, and Victoria Jordan of the home; her great grandchildren, Noah, Kennedy, Reagan and Ryder; Her sisters and brothers, James Thorne, Sr. (Shirley) of Greensboro, NC, Pastor Emeritus Geralene Thorne Patterson (Aaron-deceased) of Hickory, NC, SGT(Retired) Bobby Thorne, Sr (Shirley) of Bailey, NC, Dr. Jerry Thorne (Faye) of Greensboro, NC, Elder Cathy Thorne Bynum (Elder Terry) of Falkland, NC and SSGT(Retired) Michael Thorne, Sr. (Arlene) of Fayetteville, NC. Placed in her life by God, her sister Annie Lee Hunter (Elder Bill) of Lanham, MD., and children, Angela Dunbar (Vincent), Katrina Joyner, and Keith Joyner (Yvette); her Sisters-in-law Helen Joyner (George, Sr.) of Hyattsville, MD and Paulette Sharpe (Marvin) of Wilson, NC, and a host of nieces, nephews, god-children, god-grandchildren, other relatives and friends.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carolyn Joyner, please visit Tribute Store