We want to take a moment to remember and celebrate Ernestine “Tina” Berry Carter, otherwise known as Grandma Tina. She was the grandmother of famous R&B artist Usher, who passed away on Christmas Eve, 2022. Carter was a nurse, evangelist, and community leader who left a lasting impact on her family, friends, and community. She was the first African American nurse at Chattanooga Memorial Hospital. Her children preceded her death; Usher Raymond IV, Linda and Connie Raymond, and her sister Leona Bradley.
Ernestine Carter died at 87 years old in her residence in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her parents were Milton and Etta Ruth Berry, and she was born in Stevenson, Alabama, on November 24th, 1935. She was ordained an Evangelist in 2001 and then an Elder in 2005. In 2007, she was in the first graduating class of “Stop the Madness Program” for community leaders to address social struggles. She was laid to rest on January 7th.
She had always been a staple community member working through the Church with the EBC Outreach Ministry. The ministry’s main focus was those incarcerated and their families. She served as a life coach through Intercessory Pray and Fasting Group.
Ernestine Carter was recognized with several awards, including the Distinguished Citizens Award and the Certificate of Excellence in Hamilton County. Certificate of Recognition for the invocation for “Day on The Hill” for the Tennessee General Assembly. The Black Pioneer Women Award of Excellence with the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
She graduated from Howard High School class of 1953 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Afterward, she received her Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) degree and furthered her education to become a Registered Nurse in 1974 from Cleveland State Community College.
Carter became the first black admissions nurse at Memorial Hospital and the first black nurse for the “Ask A Nurse” program. She was inducted into Bessie Smith Cultural Center as the first African American nurse at Chattanooga Memorial Hospital.
Several people throughout the music, nursing, evangelist, and Chattanooga community are mourning the loss of “Grandma Tina.” Her high school Facebook page posted a memorial to her when she passed away, noting that she was “An unforgettable child with unknown gifts and potential that would later become evident.”
R&B radio stations posted their condolences to Usher and his family on the loss of their loved one, Evangelist Ernestine Carter. Thousands of comments followed wishing Usher their condolences on his loss and mourning. Following with over a thousand comments of well wishes and prayers for the beloved star’s grandmother.
Hollywood following Instagram profiles also followed the events of Usher’s grandmother’s passing. Paying tribute and asking “Socialites” to help keep his family in his thoughts and prayers. Several media stations covered and interviewed Usher during this time as he recalled the moments with her coming to grips with the reality of losing his grandma.
Carter’s personal Instagram was filled with love and prayers, with people who follow her account wishing her well and many prayers after she passed away. Through love and devotion, she lifted her community, being a spark of life for many people who needed it.
Usher’s grandmother was a beloved member of her community who spent many years helping others with kindness and compassion. While she will be sorely missed, many heartfelt condolences have been sent to Usher’s family in honor of her life. These are a testament to her sincerity, strength, and generosity, showing that all she did for members of her community was deeply appreciated and will not soon be forgotten. Her unwavering commitment to aiding those around her will undoubtedly inspire future generations to emulate her acts of service.
The R&B star Usher wrote an emotional post on his Instagram “I feel a bit lost right now.” And that he is praying for clarity and strength. He continued to write, “Her daily devotion was to help those in need, and she did just that. It was her life’s work. She was truly a prayer warrior for me and so many others.”
Usher shared her last words with him “There’s a time for everything, son … there’s a time to laugh, a time to cry… there’s a time to live and a time to die.” He shared a beautiful post as a snapshot of his grandmothers and his relationship, with videos of prayer and photos of the family dancing and having fun.