Essie OdomsOra Ward-Hicks was born on March 6, 1926 in Doyline to Louis Samuel Ward and Ola Moore-Ward. She was the youngest of fourteen children, all who preceded her in death.

Being brought up and reared in a Christian environment and the church, she confessed Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age. She was baptized at the New Zion Baptist Church, at the young age of 10 years old.

She finished grammar school at Jenkins Elementary in Doyline, and high school at Princeton High. She began working as

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