Shirley LaNell Cannistraci


Shirley LaNell Cannistraci, beloved wife, mother, Nana, pastor, and friend, lovingly known as “Sister C.” She peacefully departed this life on May 7, 2024, surrounded by her family. She was 86 years old.

Sister C was known for her fervent love for people. Throughout her life, she was a spiritual mother, mentor, elegant hostess, and leader of worship, women, and churches. She ministered to hundreds of thousands around the world and her faith in Jesus Christ guided her every step. Her life was a testament to the power of miracles.

Born in Versailles, Missouri on May 22, 1937, to Charles Earl Bennett and Bernadine Lietzke Bennett, she grew up with a deep-rooted faith in God. At the age of 14, she was stricken with polio and paralyzed on her left side. At a revival, a 19-year-old evangelist, Emanuele Cannistraci, prayed for her, and God instantly healed her. They married when she turned 18.

For 69 years, they have faithfully served God spreading the Gospel and helping plant churches throughout the nations, with ministry bases in California, Hawaii, and Texas.

Shirley’s faith was an example to all around her including her husband, Dr. Emanuele Cannistraci, her three daughters, Sharonrose, LaNell, and Robin, and their spouses. Her legacy includes 12 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and a multitude of spiritual sons and daughters.

While we mourn her loss, we find great comfort in knowing that she is now with the One she sang about, preached about, and lived her life to serve: her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Her love will continue to guide and inspire us all until we meet again.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to Gateway City Church, for Missions. This is the church that Sister C founded with her husband, Apostle C.

The family thanks Church on the Rock (COTR), Texarkana, home of Pastors John & LaNell Miller, for their love, support, and prayers during this time. The service will be held in person and live-streamed on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at COTR:

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