Bishop James Leo Sipes
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
Bishop James L. Sipes was born September 26, 1893, in Martin County, Indiana. He was saved around the year 1914. His ministry began in Shelbyville, Indiana, where he also worked as a farmer. While Leo was courting his future wife (Ruth Ann White) she was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ. She wrote him a letter suggesting that he too get baptized in Jesus' Name. He wrote back saying, "I have obeyed Matthew 28:19 to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and that's good enough for me."
One of the great attributes that Leo Sipes possessed was the honesy and willingness to listen to the Holy Ghost. As he was replying to Ruth's letter, he began to think about baptism into the "Name" and asked himself, "What is the Name?" Before he realized it, he said to himself, "Jesus is the Name!" He received the revelation of who Jesus really is. Therefore, he was baptized into the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins according to the Apostolic pattern of the early church.
Elder Sipes was ordained by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. His first pastorate was Apostolic Tabernacle in Shelbyville, Indiana, previously pastored by the late Bishop Rowe and the late Elder C.W. Shew. After some time in Shelbyville, the church decided they didn't want Elder Sipes any longer for a pastor. When the P.A.W. officials came to investigate the reasons, there was no accusations against his character or any moral behavior. Although they said that he was a good man, and a fine pastor, they simply wanted a change. In 1937, he moved from Shelbyville to Bedford, Indiana to take over the pastorate of a local assembly in that town. Elder Sipes was elevated to the bishopric in the P.A.W. in 1944, and assigned to the 12th Episcopal District of Southern Illinois and Missouri. Later he was reassigned to the 5th Episcopal District of Michigan, of which he was the diocesan until jis demise.
He became ill in 1961, and suffered several fainting spells, which were due to a heart condition. His declining health lead him to an appointment with his Creator. On December 7, 1961, at the age of 67, this legendary man of God passed on into eternity to receive the reward that he so passionately preached about throughout his illustrious ministry. Bishop Sipes will long be remembered in the P.A.W., as a purpose driven leader. Audio Recordings of Bishop J.L. Sipes are available in our audio library.