Shirley A. Pierre O’Giste was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on March 11, 1950. She was the first of eight children in the family of Augustus and Elaine Pierre. Before the age of 10 years old, Shirley was raised by her grandfather, Augustus Bob in Mason Hall, Tobago. After his passing, she was reunited with her mother and helped to raise her younger siblings back in Trinidad. By the time Shirley was 16, Elder E. E. Cleveland came to Port of Spain, Trinidad and held an evangelistic crusade. The year was 1966 and at that time, Shirley was a student of the Southern Academy SDA School in San Fernando, Trinidad. She was invited by her friend, Jean Semper, to attend Elder Cleveland’s crusade. Instead of going home after school, she decided to ride the church bus from San Fernando all the way to Port of Spain without parental consent. Shirley attended the evangelistic meetings night after night against her parents' wishes and was punished for her continued disobedience. After several weeks of this, her parents became a little curious and decided to find out why Shirley chose to attend this crusade night after night knowing punishment would follow. To her surprise, her parents attended the meetings for themselves and the entire family was baptized; becoming Seventh-Day Adventists.
After graduating from Southern SDA Academy, Shirley went on to graduate from Trinizuela Technical and Vocational College, where she completed her training as an executive secretary. She would often boast about her ability to type 120 words per minute and use Pitman shorthand. By the time Shirley was 17 years of age, her parents brought the entire family to the United States where they took up residence in Brooklyn, New York. Shirley began her adult career at the Manhattan Children’s Center and then the Elmhurst Hospital where she was able to show off her administrative skills.
In 1970, Shirley and Augustus met while singing in the Fellowship Clefs Youth Choir at the Christian Fellowship SDA Church. They were later married on August 20, 1972 at Bethel SDA Church in Brooklyn, New York. In 1974 they began ministry together, pastoring in the North Eastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at the Lighthouse Tabernacle church in Brooklyn, New York and the Sharon SDA Church in the Bronx, New York.
In 1976, they went to the Andrews University Theological Seminary and while there, their daughter, Aundra Keotisha Candace O’Giste was born. 12 years later, Shirley took a job working at Nabisco in Piscataway, New Jersey where their son, Augustus F. O’Giste II was born. Shirley then decided to open up a home-based daycare until their son was of school age. Shirley returned to the work force until her retirement from Genesis Healthcare and Rockland Place in Wilmington, Delaware.
Over the course of her life in ministry, Shirley has been known as a multi-talented person in that she served as a Nurse’s Assistant, Clerk /Typist, Receptionist and
Teacher’s Aid, specialty decorations, plus Mahogany Creations Catering. Her Interior Design skills produced
many beautiful Christmas wreaths for the Allegheny East Conference Office.
Shirley came to Allegheny East with her husband – Augustus and they served the following churches:
Hyattsville, MD/Metropolitan - Montclair, NJ – First (now Grace Point) New Brunswick/Plainfield, NJ –
Camden, NJ - Mt. Olivet; Wilmington, DE/Sharon Temple – and Philadelphia, PA - New Life
Shirley was also by her husband’s side as he served for six years as Sabbath School, Personal Ministries, PARL-
Religious Liberty & Children’s Ministry Director! During this time, they also served as the Interim Pastor Couple for
of Calvary Seventh-day Adventist Church in Newport News in Virginia & Trinity Temple in Newark, New Jersey
Shirley leaves to mourn her husband Augustus of 51 years, 4 months and 7 days, daughter Keotisha, son,
Augustus F. Ogiste, II, grandchildren and a host of relatives and friends.