If they don’t already, soon, everyone traveling on Twigg Street from Martin Luther King Drive will know the name Irene Coney-Wells. In a resolution passed unanimously by the Board of County Commissioners on January 14, 2020, Twigg Street will officially be known as the Irene Coney-Wells Memorial Roadway.
Pastor Les White Sr. and his sister, Pastor Tonda Wells introduced their mother, and spoke about her impressive life. Beginning over 40 years ago, Irene Coney-Wells began her ministry. She was the state superintendent of The New Jerusalem Church of God, as well as the pastor of New Jerusalem Church of God in Chiefland for 38 years. Concurrently, she served as pastor of New Jerusalem – Twin Lake, near Spring Lake for 39 years. Among her many honors and awards, she was given “The Key to the City of Brooksville.”
The younger Wells described her mother as, “A very powerful woman, a very loving woman … she was known throughout Hernando County, as well as other counties in the United States.”
Twigg Street is reported to have had a rough reputation as far back as 1979, when Coney-Wells started a street ministry there. “The guys loved my mother. Doing her service, you should have seen the guys who came to pay homage to our mother. Even though they do what they do, they served and honored her as the woman that she was.
Elder Irene Coney-Wells was born in Swainsboro, GA on May 10, 1941. Her daughter, Tonda said, “She received her BAC degree in Christ. Born Again Christian. She gave her life to the Lord on April 18, 1962, and she had been going ever since.”
Indeed, she had. At the time of her death in 2017, Coney-Wells had 5 children, 23 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was 75.