Mother Vastia Fleming Beard, 93, of Nashville Tennessee, transitioned to eternal life on Sunday, February 12, 2023. She began her journey of living on February 10, 1930 as the second of 2 children born to Early and Maxie Fleming. Early education commenced with the Maury County School System in Williamsport, TN and later completed within Nashville Metro Davidson County Schools. Professionally, Vastia Beard worked as a licensed cosmetologist and proprietor of a beauty salon. She also worked many years as a devoted school crossing guard, referred to during that time as “Mother Patrol”.
December 20, 1947, Vastia joined Robert E. Beard in the Union of Holy Matrimony and was married 58 years. From this union, 8 children were born; Ronnie, Claudia, Bernard, Ruby, Ernest, Dessie, Beverly, and Sandra. The added gleam in her eye went to her grand, great grand, and great-great grandchildren which now total close to 100. She is preceded in death by her parents, Early and Maxie Fleming; brother, Melvin Fleming; husband, Robert E. Beard; daughter, Ruby Maxzine Louis; and son, Bernard Leon Beard. She leaves to cherish her memory, her 6 children; Ronnie Leon Beard, Claudia Jeanette Beard, Ernest Nelson Beard, Dessie (John) Otey, Beverly Fant, Sandra Christine Beard; and a host of treasured relatives and longtime friends. Special notations are given to her adopted sons William Trotter and Ernest Britton; and niece, Angela Fleming of Chicago, Illinois.
Vastia Beard was led to holiness by her husband, Robert E. Beard, and accepted Christ and was saved at the Original Church of God, then 14th and Phillip Street Church of God (Sanctified). In 1965, she was invited to and became a member of Cane Tabernacle Church of God in Christ under the leadership of the late, Elder David M. Cane. Her involvement in church quickly flourished as she became a member of the Cane Tabernacle adult choir, teacher within the YPWW, prayer and bible band leader, drummer, altar worker, and a coordinator for the Sunshine Band; the children and young adult ministry. After the passing of Elder David Cane, Mother Beard served under the leadership of Elder James Cane, of Community Temple Church of God in Christ and was active in ministry. She then went on to serve in tremendous capacity under Pastor Gentil R. Cane (Cane Tabernacle Church); her son-in-law, the late Harry E. Williams, Sr. (New Beginning Church of God in Christ); and her grandson, Elder Brandon Williams, Sr. (Tabernacle of the Congregation) where she was an active member as recent as to 2 weeks before her passing. She is remembered for her steadfast tarrying and calls onto the Lord and her anointed foot movement and dance of praise.
Affectionately known as “Granny”, “Moms”, “Granny Sue”, and “Granny Pooh”, Mother Vastia Beard embraced everyone with loving, open arms. Everyone that knew her happily wanted to claim her as their own and she had a unique ability of making everyone feel like they were her favorite, although in reality, it was known that she loved everyone equally. Many know her for her selfless acts. She would graciously give you the clothes off her back and the shoes off her feet with no hesitation. Despite being a longtime provider for her own large family, after the illness and passing of her husband, she often quietly made contributions to others around in who expressed need. In these acts, many learned how to survive and how to stretch resources until relief was restored.
Mother Vastia Beard was a mighty prayer warrior and the definition of a virtuous woman. She was a devout woman of God and boldly lived her life in service and worship to the Lord. She loved God like she loved her family and she trusted wholly in his word. The words to one of her favorite songs says, “Look where he brought me from.” As we reflect on her 93 years of life, we know her work was not in vain.