The Early Years
Alberta Howard Momon began her life’s journey on December 18, 1945, in Bearden, Arkansas. She was the youngest of nine children born to Jossie (Newton) Howard and Waymon Howard. She was raised in a home filled with a reverence for God. As a small child, Alberta attended Mt. Olive Baptist Church with her family. At the age of 10, she united with Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church under the pastorate of Rev. F.O. Jones.
Alberta and her siblings were encouraged to pursue work that provided an honorable living or higher education. She chose college and attended Arkansas Baptist College before transferring to Ouachita Baptist University where her musical gifts became widely known. She graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Music Education in 1967 and then accepted her first job as a teacher in the Malvern, Arkansas School District.
Alberta met her husband, Robert Momon, while playing the piano at church in Harrell, Arkansas, where he and his family lived. They married in December 1967 and moved to Thornton, Arkansas, where Robert taught Mathematics and Alberta joined the neighboring Fordyce School District as a teacher.
Year after year Alberta’s school concerts packed the auditorium at Fordyce as her students performed the songs she had taught, adding stylistic effects that delighted students and parents. Several generations of students learned to appreciate music because of her infectious instruction and fondly recall the indelible impact she had on their lives. She retired from the Fordyce School District in 2002. A few years later, she reentered the profession she enjoyed and taught at Bearden High School where her enthusiasm for music also made her a beloved teacher.
The High Notes
Throughout her adult years, Alberta continued her Christian fellowship with Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church where she served as the Minister of Music. In 1970 the Reverend F.O. Jones, who was moderator of the Greater Bradley District Association, decided the ministry needed a choir. He selected Alberta as its director.
For the next 43 years, Alberta served as the General Director of the Greater Bradley District Choir. She led a group of talented and dedicated singers who answered her compelling call for excellence in their service to God. Together they traveled the country, recorded two albums – one in 1980 and the second in 1996 – and delivered the Gospel through song to thousands of incarcerated men in Arkansas prisons.
In 2013 Alberta retired as Director of the Choir. Several years later the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center named her Musician of the Year for her unprecedented tenure as a Choir Director and Gospel Music Ambassador.
Over the years, she shared her faith through her music which complemented the Word of God. Starting at the age of 12, Alberta played the piano at New Hope Baptist Church, Harrell; Greater Beulah Baptist Church, Princeton; Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Bearden; Lea’s Ridge Missionary Baptist Church, Farindale; Harmony Baptist Church, Sparkman; Greenville First Baptist Church, Fordyce; New Providence Baptist Church, Fordyce; Greater ¾ Baptist Church; and First Baptist Church, Harrell, where she served until death.
The Heavenly Choir
Of all her endeavors, Alberta was most proud of her son, Rodney Edrick Momon who preceded her in death in 1997. Rodney shared his mother’s love of music and played several instruments including the trumpet. He also performed around the country as a premier tap dancer. When Rodney died of Renal Cancer, he was an Air Force Captain and a student at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville which awarded his law degree posthumously in 2009.
Alberta transitioned peacefully on Sunday, September 3, after a brief battle with Pancreatic Cancer. She remained spiritually strong and remarkably courageous during her illness, often requesting Gospel music for her comfort and proclaiming the goodness of God. When family and friends visited, she never failed to inquire about their well-being.
Her husband of 48 years, Robert Momon, preceded her in death in 2016. Three of her nephews preceded her in death including Darrell Carruthers who had a special place in her heart.
Memories of Alberta will be cherished by her sister and caregiver, Alice Faye Carruthers; sister Joyce Wildridge; and brother Waymon Howard. Her godchildren: Charles Ashley, Jr., Christiana Lacy, Dianna Epps (Michael), Vanita Palmer Fountain, Austin Johnson, Anthony Jackson, Reggie and Thelma McDonald, Shaniecia Manning, Kassandra Miller, Nikki Newton (Kim), Vickie Newton, Rodney Ben Rogers, Georgina Roshell, Tracy Walker and Kim Wesley; a host of nieces including caregiver Evelyn Carruthers, nephews, cousins and best friends: Pearlie Newton, Kenneth and Pam Harris, Bobbie Walker and Virginia Ashley.
A celebration of her life will be shared at 12 noon on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at Greater Second Baptist Church, 5615 Geyer Springs Road, Little Rock, AR with Rev. Rodney Fraizer, pastor of First Baptist Church-Harrell as eulogist. Entombment will be at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11, 2023 at Griffin-Leggett Rest Hills Memorial Park in North Little Rock.