Remembering Theresa Cerullo

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration MinistriesAugust 2, 20225 Minutes

Affectionately known as “Mama” to millions around the world, Theresa Cerullo left earth for heaven on July 30, 2022, to the God she so faithfully served. Theresa is predeceased by her parents, Charles and Vivian LePari, her husband, Morris, who passed away on July 10, 2020, and their son, Mark. She is survived by her children, David Cerullo and Susan Peterson, seven grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Early Years

Born January 6, 1931, Theresa married her Bible College sweetheart, Morris, on July 28, 1951. With her diligence, prayer, and faithfulness for over seventy years, she was a true ministry partner with her husband, Morris, in training over five million Nationals, bringing a witness to over a billion souls, and sharing faith and hope with tens of millions. Her son, David Cerullo, President of The Inspirational Network, and Morris Cerullo World Evangelism (MCWE), said that her great legacy will continue jointly with that of Dr. Cerullo. National ministers continue to be trained, and souls come to Christ, through the mission of MCWE and the Legacy International Center. Lives are being impacted all over the world. Her daughter, Susan, continues to perpetuate Theresa’s life work as the Sr VP of Event Services.


Theresa’s heart toward people was summed up in her favorite scripture, Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Her loving care led to countless testimonies from those who received her encouragement. She championed orphans, helping establish orphanages in Mexico. She cared for women recovering from alcohol and drug addiction, sex trafficking, prostitution, and domestic violence, with her acclaimed “Mama Theresa’s Place” where Morris and Theresa sponsored an entire floor of the Los Angeles Dream Center. Those who were discouraged and defeated looked to her with appreciation for her genuine take on life and family. Her message and teaching continue to offer strength and encouragement to many around the world.

Theresa was a woman of prayer, student of the Bible, and generous with her hospitality. As a culinary artist, her recipes play a vital role at Theresa’s Italian Steakhouse in San Diego, California. Her background was Sicilian with her father, Charles, being born in Sicily and marrying Vivian, the American daughter of Sicilian immigrants. Her parents embraced her husband, Morris, as their own son. The young couple rose from a small pastorate to conducting historic, evangelistic crusades that were credited with changing the spiritual atmosphere of entire nations. After the children were grown, she was able to travel with Morris and see the fruit of the ministry to which she contributed so much.


Theresa is survived by her children, David Cerullo and wife, Barbara, Susan Peterson, her grandchildren, Benjamin Cerullo and wife, Jessica, Rebecca Henderson and husband, Chip, Theresa Mellusi and husband, Mike, Joey Cerullo, Michael Cerullo and wife, Lindsey, Marissa Deiboldt and husband, Jay, Roseann Horter and husband, Mike, and her great-grandchildren, Joel, Samuel, Matthew, Mark, Sicily, Gabriel, Victoria, Madden, Josiah, Addiston, Isabella, Charlotte, Daniel, Dylan, Isabella M., and Jonathan. She is also survived by her brother, Joseph LePari, and sisters, Christine Blakely, and Lucille LePari.

The time and date of Theresa Cerullo’s memorial service is yet to be announced by the family, who appreciate the prayers of her spiritual children and friends around the world.

Memorial Service Details

Theresa Cerullo’s memorial service will be held Friday, August 12, at 12 noon at the Legacy International Center, 875 Hotel Circle South, San Diego, California, 92108. The viewing will begin at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Theresa’s honor to either Mama Theresa’s Place at the Los Angeles Dream Center, or the Lily of the Valley Orphanage in Chihuahua, Mexico These outreaches were dear to Theresa’s heart.

This video shares some of Theresa’s love and compassion for those who are being helped at the Los Angeles Dream Center: Thank you for your love and support.