volanda watts

Volanda Watts (left), cofounder of Amen Ministries and a former Elizabeth City city councilwoman, is shown during Amen Ministries’ annual free community Thanksgiving meal. Watts died Sunday at 57.

Volanda Watts, a former Elizabeth City city councilwoman and one half of the local ministry that has fed thousands of people a free Thanksgiving meal for decades, has died. She was 57.

Watts represented the city’s 4th Ward from 2007-09.

Tony Stimatz, who represented the city’s 2nd Ward on City Council from 2005-17, said he appreciated Watts for her service, her charity work in the community, and the kind of person she was.

“She was a sweet, sweet lady,” Stimatz said. “She was very caring. She cared about the people in her ward and all the people in the city. She tried very hard to do what was best for everybody.”

In addition to serving on City Council, Watts was well-known in the community for her work alongside her husband, Eugene, in providing food, utility assistance and other help to needy people through their nonprofit Amen Ministries, Inc.

Amen Ministries is known especially for the free community meal it serves at Thanksgiving. The nonprofit hosted its 27th annual Thanksgiving meal at Knobbs Creek Recreation Center last November.

In an interview with The Daily Advance that day, Watts said Amen Ministries, with its army of volunteers, planned to serve 1,200 Thanksgiving meals. That included about 150 to-go boxes that were delivered to prisoners at Albemarle District Jail.

“She was a blessing to the community in her service over the years,” Liz Reasoner, executive director of Food Bank of the Albemarle, said of Watts.