Cover photo for Annie Ruth Merritt's Obituary
Annie Ruth Merritt Profile Photo

Annie Ruth Merritt

February 9, 1938 — December 13, 2020

Annie Ruth (Jackson) Merritt was born February 9, 1938 in Charlotte, TN and transitioned to be with the Lord, December 14, 2020. Her parents, Pastor Idessa Driver and Kelly Driver, Sr., raised her and her eight younger siblings. Sister Merritt married J B Jackson on May 29, 1957 and remained married until he passed away in 1986. They were married for 29 years. To this union 3 children were born, Renita, Jerrold and Jonathan.

Mrs Merritt was preceded in death by her husbands J B Jackson Jr., Fred Dotson and Deacon Jarritt Merritt, brother Mark Driver. Sister Merritt grew up in a rural area of Dickson County, TN, where she taught herself how to read and play the piano. At an early age, she attended Zion School in the Bellsburg, Community. She would later attend and graduate from Hampton High School in 1955. She was such a great scholar that she graduated from high school at the age of 17. After graduation, she enrolled at Tennessee State A & I College (now University), met her husband J. B. Jackson, Jr. and lived happily until his sudden death in 1986. She graduated from Tennessee State University in 1961 and moved to Chicago, beginning her teaching career, beginning her journey as a lifelong learner and dedicated educator. In 1964, she returned to Nashville, TN and continued her teaching career at four elementary schools: Murrell, Wharton, Alex Green and Schwab Schools.
In 1995, Sister Merritt along received the “Teacher of the Year”. She retired from teaching in 1996.

She always had a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone that she met. She was greatly loved by her students, colleagues and the community. In every aspect of her life, she was unfailing, kind, loyal, and forgiving. She had a wonderful laugh and a great sense of humor. Above all, she loved the Lord. Her hobbies included playing the piano, cooking, crafting and reading. Over the years, she was a mentor to many people in the community and at church.

Sister Merritt was saved in 1952 under the ministry of Mother Lena Robinson. She then moved to Chicago where she fellowshipped under leadership of Bishop Holley at Apostolic Faith Church. When she moved back to Nashville, she remained faithful to the Apostolic way. She was a loyal member of PAW churches in Nashville, Charlotte and Springfield, Tennessee. Along the way, she had the distinction of being pastored by District Elder W. W. Harris, Bishop Sherman Merritt Sr. and her mother, Pastor Idessa Driver.

In 1997, Sister Annie Merritt was united with Jarritt Merritt, under the leadership of Bishop Sherman Merritt. She served as a Sunday School teacher, and a sisterhood officer for many years.

She is survived by her devoted children Renita (Russell) Perkins, Jerrold Jackson and Jonathan Jackson all of Nashville; brothers, siblings five sisters Sara (Dr. Benjamin) Blackburn, Atlanta, GA, Patricia Terrell, St. Petersburg, FL, Niva (Bobby) Smith, Mary Braswell Wilder of Maryville, TN, and sister-in-law Sandra Driver; three brothers Gaston (Candi) Driver, Kelly Driver, and Jerry (Patricia) Driver; many devoted grandchildren and great grandchildren, a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family, beloved friends and the entire Greater Christ Temple family. A special thank you to devoted friends Dr. Mitzy Johnson, Jane Randolph, Bobbie Lyons, Evangelist Louise Prince, Sister Edith Floyd, Sister Vanessa Smith and the Greater Christ Temple Sisterhood.

Public Walk Through will be held Friday, December 18, 2020 from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Lewis & Wright Funeral Directors.

Celebration of Life Service held Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, Private Ceremony with limited attendance for family.

For live streaming, visit, beginning at 12:00noon.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Annie Ruth Merritt, please visit our flower store.

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