Nita Kay Shoemake was born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma on Jan 14, 1942. Her father, Elder Voar Shoemake and his wife Blanche Kilgore Shoemake pastored a church in the nearby city of Morris, Oklahoma.
When Nita was ten years old, the family moved to San Jose, California. Nita graduated from Campbell High School in 1960. Soon she met the extraordinary evangelist, Rev. Verbal Bean, and two years later they were married.
The first five years of their marriage, Verbal and Nita evangelized, and during this time their first two children, Jana Kay and Jennifer Ellen were born. In 1967, the family moved to Houston, Texas, where Verbal became the pastor of Greens Bayou Apostolic Church. God blessed the ministry of the Bean family and the church saw revival and growth during the next ten years of their pastorate. Nita loved this time of ministry as she grew in maturity and leadership. She taught the youth class, led the Tuesday morning ladies prayer meetings, and organized the music ministry of the church. On July 1, 1975, Verbal, Nita, Jana and Jennifer were overjoyed to welcome the newest member of the family, Joel Winston Bean.
Tragically, on April 2, 1977, Verbal, Nita and their young son, Joel, were in a disastrous automobile car accident. They were traveling back home to Houston from DeQuincy, Louisiana, when a drunken driver crashed head-on into them. Verbal was killed instantly; Nita was left with a broken back and two broken feet and Joel suffered a terribly injury which left his left arm permanently damaged. Nita has always been thankful to our merciful Savior because Jana and Jennifer were staying with friends that weekend and were not with them during the wreck.
The ensuing weeks would have been unbearable except for the love of Jesus Christ and the care of His wonderful family. Friends, relatives, and church members gathered close to this broken family, held them, nurtured them, prayed for them, and sustained them during the long, painful days which followed.
In August of that year, Nita’s parents moved her and her children to San Jose, where they would be close to the Shoemake family. The grace of God was manifested during the next few years, and although there were heart-breaking events and struggles, the Bean family survived and in many ways were blessed. Jana married Calvin Bass at this time.
Nita received an interesting letter in February of 1980. A widower, Rev. Arthur Hodges, Jr., (called Johnny by family and friends) wrote asking her to join him for dinner. Nita asked her brother, Jimmy Shoemake, also her pastor, for his advice. He and his wife, Bobbie, both felt this would be a good friendship for Nita and this proved to be true. After several trips to San Diego to meet Johnny’s children, Art, his wife Rosa and daughter Amber, Brent and Cami, the couple began the wonderful experience of getting acquainted during their visits and phone calls. On August 9, 1980, Nita and Arthur Hodges Jr. were married in the First Pentecostal Church of San Jose.
After a honeymoon in Hawaii, Johnny moved Nita and her family into his home in National City, Ca., where he pastored the National City Pentecostal Church and they all welcomed Nita and her children into their fellowship.
These were busy days, endeavoring to combine two families. This was not always easy but was without fail, interesting.
In 1984, Johnny accepted the pastorate of Moss Bluff Pentecostal Church and moved the family there. During this time, Nita was privileged to serve on the Louisiana District Ladies Ministries Board under the direction of Thetus Tenney. This proved to be a wonderful time of learning to understand and love Ladies Ministries. Sis. Tenney organized and started some of the first District Ladies Conferences, which opened the doors to many opportunities for women’s involvement in the cause of Christ.
Johnny resigned from the pastorate of Moss Bluff Pentecostal Church in 1998 and the family moved back to San Diego, California. During this time in San Diego, Shirley Buxton, Western District Ladies Ministries, invited Nita to be a part of her ladies board as Promotions Director.
Nita continued this position with the board through the remainder of Shirley’s leadership until she resigned and Dayna Jones, Nita’s sister, became the President of the Western District Ladies Ministries. Nita took that position in 2007 after Dayna’s resignation and one year later So Cal District was formed. Nita was then elected Ladies Ministries President of So Cal District and served several years in that capacity.
Nita has remained actively involved in Ladies Ministries and has spoken at Ladies Conferences throughout the United States. Ladies involvement in ministries is a joy to Nita because she has seen how Jesus Christ anoints, blesses and cherishes His precious daughters as they carry out His commission to reach the world with the gospel message.