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Bishop Norman L. Wagner

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Bishop Norman L. Wagner is a native of Youngstown, Ohio and pastor of Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church at Youngstown. During his early ministry he served as Youth Leader in his home church (Mt. Calvary) and Assistant Pastor. In 1969, he began traveling extensively as a national evangelist. His highly anointed and dynamic preaching and singing quickly made him one of the most sought after revivalist and speakers.

In 1971, he was called to pastor Mt. Calvary. Under his pastorate the church established Calvary Christian Academy, a nation-wide weekly television program Tel-A-World Ministries, Saints Saving and Trust Credit Union, and Calvary Towers Senior Citizen Complex. Dr. Wagner is known for his exemplary organization and leadership abilities. He has established an Annual Leadership Conference which has been responsible for sharing his leadership insight with many ministers, pastors and wives, evangelists and teachers from all parts of the International Body.

Dr. Wagner also served as President of the IPYPU from 1973 to 1976. His accomplishments were numerous. He attended Youngstown State University and has received Honorary Doctrate Degrees from Aenon Bible College and Bethel Theological Seminary. He has been listed in the "Who's Who" in Religion. He has written several books, pamphlets and articles, and is a frequent guest lecturer at Youngstown State University. He was elected to the office of Assistant General Secretary of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World during the 71st Annual Convention of the P.A.W. He remained in that position until he was elevated to the office of Bishop.

Dr. Wagner is currently the Diocesan Bishop of the 31st Episcopal Council, the European Council of Nations. In 1998 he was elevated to the office of Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Asemblies of the World, of which he served two consecutive terms. Dr. Wagner and his lovely wife, Rita, are the parents of two daughters.   Audio and Video Recordings of Bishop N.L. Wagner are available in our audio/video lirary.

 

 

Dr. Bernie L. Wade

 International Circle of Faith

1963 ~ Present

Pastor, teacher, preacher, mentor, author, songwriter, entrepreneur, conference speaker and friend, Dr. Bernie L. Wade Sr. was born on June 29, 1963 in Lakewood, Ohio. Bishop Wade was born into a family of preachers. His father was a minister in both the PAJC and the UPCI as well as instrumental in the establishing of a couple of other organizations. His Grandfather was the late Bishop George Wade (PAW and PAJC), his uncle was the late Bishop C.B. Gillespie who (along with the Wade's) pastor Bishop Ray Cornell re-chartered the PAJC after the UPCI merger.

Bishop Wade was baptized at Grace Apostolic Church in Elyria, Ohio by his father, Bishop Sanford Wade, November 4, 1973 at Grace Apostolic Church, Pastor Paul Kearney's church. He received the Holy Ghost at his home church Apostolic Faith Church of God, Columbia Station, Ohio on November 5, 2007. From a very young age, he was devoted to the gospel and in 1979; Bishop Wade began fulfilling his call to the ministry as a youth minister.

Now, over 25 years later he serves the International Circle of Faith (ICOF) as Presiding Bishop. ICOF is a 21st Century movement of God, pursuing the restoration of the apostolic message, authority, power, and anointing around the globe. This global, multiracial, multi-cultral, nondenominational fellowship has 40,000 active ministers. Using some unique concepts, staffed with a team of talented ministers, and focusing on tearing down man-made walls of division, ICOF is bringing real unity to the body of Christ. ICOF is now focused on the more than 100 Bible Colleges, Universities and Seminaries under International Circle of Faith Colleges and Seminaries and in partnership with Global Evangelical Christian college (GECC). Today ICOF has a presence in over 100 countries and key leadership in over 50 countries. In addition to an exhaustive speaking schedule, Bishop Wade contributes to a number of major international conferences. He is also a popular guest speaker at many conferences, crusades, camp meetings, special meetings, etc.

Dr. Wade holds 4 doctorates; theology, divinity, Non-profit Management, and pastoral counseling. He is the visionary behind the vast network of colleges, universities, and Bible colleges, that make up the accredited non-traditional programs offered through International Circle of Faith Colleges and Seminaries. Dr. Wade serves this vast network as Chancellor of the Colleges. Because of his commitment to quality education he serves on the board of the Association of Christian Universities.

 

 

 

Bishop Charles William Watkins

 Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

1923 ~ 1988

Bishop Charles W. Watkins, Devoted Husband and Father; Diocesan Bishop, Theologian, Perennial Student, Master Teacher; Counselor, Compassionate Undershepherd; Musician Extra-ordinaire; God's Sweet Singer in Israel; Writer, Dreamer, Visionary; and Anointed messenger of God, was born in Hopewell. Virginia on December 23, 1923. He was the eldest of two sons born to the union of Lydia Young amd Joycee (George) Watkins.

While still very young, Charles' family moved rom Hopewell to Newark, new Jersey where he attended the public schools. Young Charles developed an interest in music very early. One evening while on his way to a dance, Charles passed Emmanuel church of Christ, where he heard the Apostolic message of salvation preached by Elder Solomon Sanders. He received that message and was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost!

Several years later, young Charles was called into the United States Army-Air Force. The army stint, however, was more than military training, it was the means which God used to nurture and develope the musical talents of this gifted musician. During this same period, he met and married "the love of his ligfe," the lovely Jewell Ellen Page, who for pver 44 years has been his friend and confidante; his inspiration and strength! Of this union were born four children. In 1951 Charles accepted his call to the ministry. His first sermon was "In The Year That King Uzziah Died, I Saw The Lord".

Elder watkins was elected President of the National Young People's Union of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. In 1954, Elder Watkins was invited and elected to Pastorthe members of The Lincoln Park Church of Christ, San Antonio, Texas. A few years later, he was invited and elected to come to Cleveland, Ohio to pastor The Pentecostal Church of Christ.

The many talents and the progressive leadership of this gifted servant of God were not only being realized at the local level, but also at the national and international levels. And so it was that Elder watkins was elevated by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, first to District Elder, then to National Miniaster of Music, and later in 1973 to the Bishopric where he presided over the 4th Episcopal District comprised of the State of Indiana.

To his credit he held the following earned degrees; The Bachelor of Science (B.S.), The Bachelor of Theology; (B.TH.), The Master of Science (M.S.) and an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree (D.D.) Bishop Watkins departed this life on Wednesday, October 19, 1988 and is now asleep and resting in the paradise of glory, awaiting the trump of God when the dead in Christ shall rise first to be with the Lord. Audio Recordings of Bishop Charles Watkins are available in our audio library.

 

 

Rev. Johnny Willhoite

United Pentecostal Church International 

1938 ~ 1997

Reverend Johnny Willhoite was born September 30, 1938 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He was truly a man with outstanding vision and commitment. As a revivalist, he felt the greatest contribution he could make in world-wide revival was not the actual crusades he might conduct, but rather the training of many nationals, so that they could hold revival meetings, and crusades in different parts of the world.

While a memberof the Apostolic Ministers Fellowship, Brother Willhoite served as a missionary to the Philippian Islands. After joining the United Pentecostal Church International, he became a fully appointed missionary with the foreign missions divisions. After struggling with physical problems, Brother Willhoite suffered two severe heart attacks, and was not expected to live, but was miraculously given many more years of service for the work of the Lord.

Determined to make every day count for God, he made an incredible contribution to the cause of world-wide evangelism. One of his greatest contributions was the preparation of very good literature, especially for the training of evangelist' around the world. Brother and Sister Willhoite were in Belize, working hard on the Bible  School facility when he suffered yet another severe heart attack. This outstanding servant of God died on December 5, 1997 at the age of 59. His funeral service was held at Life Tabernacle Church in Houston, Texas. He shall be long remembered by his many friends of whom he made a great impact upon. Audio Recordings of Brother Johnny Willhoite are available in our audio library.

 

 Rev. Clairborne Price Williams 

Apostolic Ministers Fellowship

1898 ~ 1979

Reverend C.P. Williams was born in 1898 to Noah and Ladonia Williams. He received the Holy Ghost at the age of thirteen in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1918 he was baptized in Jesus' name in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Brother Williams was married to Mary Kraus on january 16, 1925 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They conducted evangelistic services until 1929. Afterward they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and established the First Apostolic Church. After stepping down as pastor, he served as co-pastor with his son, John David until ill health forced him to retire.

In 1938 while a member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus christ, C.P. and Mary Williams established the Apostolic Bible Training School in Tulsa. At first is was only a mid-winter school. But in 1939 it opened on October 2, and continued until March 30, 1940. The school offered courses in bible, Church History, Instrumental and Vocal Music, Secretarial Work, English, Printing and Etc. There were ninty-four students enrolled for the 1944 term. In 1945 the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) endorsed the school, but later the endorsement was withdrawn.

 From this College came many leading ministers in Oneness Pentecost, including, Chester hensley, James . Kilgore, James Morar, J.B. Lambeth, and many, many more. Brother Williams contracted cancer  on his face, however, being a man of great faith, he refused any medical attention. After a long battle with the decease, on July 15, 1979 "Pop" Williams as he was affectionalely called went home to be with the Lord. Audio Recordings of C.P. Williams are available in our audio library.

 

 

Rev. Jesse Franklin Williams

United Pentecostal Church International

1927 ~ Present

The improbable path that brought Rev. Jesse Franklin Williams, Jr. to this place and people began on August 3, 1927, in the coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Family was father Jesse Franklin Sr. a building contractor, mother Anne a seamstress, and X-Ray technician, one brother, and three sisters.

Though really not a family of faith, young Jesse was sent to a Baptist Sunday School through his early years.  But at the tender age of 16, providentially, he encountered an Apostolic man and, more importantly - the Apostolic message.  Baptized in Jesus name and with the Holy Ghost in 1943, he quickly accepted an invitation from the Pentecostal pastor, and his wife, to come and live in their home.

 

Feeling his call, and beginning early on to preach, Bro. Williams received his first ministerial license with the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1945.  Drafted into the United States Army at the end of WW II, he served as a medic and X-Ray Technician with the Occupation Forces in Japan throughout 1946-1947, and upon discharge married his sixteen year old sweetheart, Sue Collins.  Back in civilian life, and beginning his family, he continued to work as an X-Ray Technician from 1947 through 1951 during which time sons C. Patton and Michael Jesse were born.

Trained in engineering, Bro. Williams was employed by the Babcock & Wilcox Company in 1951 - served in management there until 1965 - and taught evening classes as a part-time instructor at a local Community College.  Having affiliated with the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ at its inception, he served as Assistant Pastor in his home church during those years. 
In December 1965, now the father of four two sons and daughters Sue Ann and Fay Elizabeth life took an extraordinary turn, when Bro. and Sis. Williams left family, friends, and all things familiar, to go and birth a church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Becoming a member of the United Pentecostal Church in January, 1966 the church was planted and an entirely new era begun.

A bi-vocational Home Missionary Pastor, he was employed as Plant Engineer for Hercules Steel Company until he left their employment and became a member of their Board of Directors in 1972, a position in which he still serves.  Plunging into the work of what was then an emerging District, Bro. Williams served North Carolina as Sunday School Director, and then District Superintendent.

Various tenures as an Executive Presbyter, Assistant General Superintendent of the UPCI, and Chairman of the Board of Urshan Graduate School of Theology have marked his forty-one years of service to this great fellowship.

However, doubtless, his most meaningful kingdom contribution is a thriving Apostolic congregation in Fayetteville, North Carolina, from which over forty ministers pastors, teachers, evangelists, military chaplains, Bible School instructors and administrators at home and abroad - have flowed. 

Always kingdom minded, the Fayetteville area is now home to no fewer than five United Pentecostal Churches, and, as improbably as it all began, it promises to continue with no ending.  For now, once again full-time Pastor Williams at the age of 79 has begun another building program to construct a 1200 seat sanctuary for their still burgeoning church family.  His is a ministry thats made a difference in men whove made a difference in the kingdom, and their world.

Though really not a family of faith, young Jesse was sent to a Baptist Sunday School through his early years.  But at the tender age of 16, providentially, he encountered an Apostolic man and, more importantly - the Apostolic message.  Baptized in Jesus name and with the Holy Ghost in 1943, he quickly accepted an invitation from the Pentecostal pastor, and his wife, to come and live in their home.
 

Feeling his call, and beginning early on to preach, Bro. Williams received his first ministerial license with the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in 1945.  Drafted into the United States Army at the end of WW II, he served as a medic and X-Ray Technician with the Occupation Forces in Japan throughout 1946-1947, and upon discharge married his sixteen year old sweetheart, Sue Collins.  Back in civilian life, and beginning his family, he continued to work as an X-Ray Technician from 1947 through 1951 during which time sons C. Patton and Michael Jesse were born.

Trained in engineering, Bro. Williams was employed by the Babcock & Wilcox Company in 1951 - served in management there until 1965 - and taught evening classes as a part-time instructor at a local Community College.  Having affiliated with the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ at its inception, he served as Assistant Pastor in his home church during those years. 
In December 1965, now the father of four two sons and daughters Sue Ann and Fay Elizabeth life took an extraordinary turn, when Bro. and Sis. Williams left family, friends, and all things familiar, to go and birth a church in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Becoming a member of the United Pentecostal Church in January, 1966 the church was planted and an entirely new era begun.

A bi-vocational Home Missionary Pastor, he was employed as Plant Engineer for Hercules Steel Company until he left their employment and became a member of their Board of Directors in 1972, a position in which he still serves.  Plunging into the work of what was then an emerging District, Bro. Williams served North Carolina as Sunday School Director, and then District Superintendent.

Various tenures as an Executive Presbyter, Assistant General Superintendent of the UPCI, and Chairman of the Board of Urshan Graduate School of Theology have marked his forty-one years of service to this great fellowship.

However, doubtless, his most meaningful kingdom contribution is a thriving Apostolic congregation in Fayetteville, North Carolina, from which over forty ministers pastors, teachers, evangelists, military chaplains, Bible School instructors and administrators at home and abroad - have flowed. 

Always kingdom minded, the Fayetteville area is now home to no fewer than five United Pentecostal Churches, and, as improbably as it all began, it promises to continue with no ending.  For now, once again full-time Pastor Williams at the age of 79 has begun another building program to construct a 1200 seat sanctuary for their still burgeoning church family.  His is a ministry thats made a difference in men whove made a difference in the kingdom, and their world.

 

 

 

 

Rev. O.W. Williams

United Pentecostal Church International

1919 ~ Present

I, like many children born in the early 1900s, was born into a large, loving, farm family with few financial resources.  Born May 3, 1919, I was the thirteenth of fourteen children born to Wesley and Ida Shepherd Williams in the hills of Tennessee.

Every fall, about October, we would get a pair of shoes that had to last until the last frost was over.  My brother, our hound dog Jack, and I would roam the woods hunting squirrels and other varmints.   During one of those excursions we found some white lightening.  Out of curiosity we began tasting and tasting just a little too much so that my brother had to help me home!  I was a typical boy growing up in the hills of Tennessee, but God had a plan for my life.

As a teenager, I met Violet Lynch, a beautiful little blond.  God blessed us with sixty-seven years and nine months of marriage before He took her home to be with Him.  He also blessed us with three beautiful daughters: Virginia, an educator, has gone on to meet the Lord; Laverne, a legal secretary in Dallas, Texas; and Demi, a teacher in Colmesneil, Texas.  On September 23, 2005, I married Doris Gary, a great Christian lady.

In 1940 at the age of twenty-one my family and I attended a service in a one-room school house.  I wept and repented of my sins.  There in Cane Creek Bro. Stubblefield baptized me in the lovely name of Jesus Christ for the remission of my sins.  After that our family started attending a community service at a place called Upper Sinking.  During this revival God blessed me with the wonderful power of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues.  I lay on my back for more that four hours speaking in tongues before some one took me home.

 Next we moved to Nashville and continued studying Gods word.  From Nashville we went to Memphis and became members of the First Pentecostal Church with Pastor E.E. McNatt.  Many nights Brother McNatt expounded and instructed me in studying the Bible.  He taught me how to live a consecrated life.  He also taught me the importance of loyalty, faithfulness, and dedications to God and church.  Here I learned the meaning of true conviction.  During this time, God was also building my faith to trust in Him and I began to feel a call on my life.  Many things in our personal life while in Nashville proved Gods faithfulness to His word!

In 1943, while attending Pickwick Lake Camp Meeting in Iuka, Mississippi, I had a brief conversation with Brother A.D. Gurley.  I made the comment that I wanted God to speak personally to me and say He wanted me to preach.  Brother Gurley, in the nicest manner possible, asked if I didnt think that my demands were a little strong.  My response was conviction that I had demanded anything of the Lord, thereby realizing my place in Christs kingdom was not to demand but to become a willing vessel.  I found an old crooked tree and in prayer and repentance became subject to Gods authority and His divine will for my life.  There I told the Lord Jesus that I would do whatever He wanted me to do and I would do it to the best of my ability.  Thus began my ministry.

During the first decade of my ministry, three churches were started in Tennessee.  In 1945 in Ridgely, Tennessee, I was given approval to take the church in a building that had been vacant for sometime.  Brother Greer, with funds provided by one of his friends, bought the church and there began my pastoral responsibilities.  I sold my wifes cook stove for $35.00 in order that we would have the funds to move.  Later I heard that a building was available in Tiptonville , a few miles away, and began to preach there also. 

Near the end of our time in Ridgely, God began to deal with me about Union City, some 31 miles away.  We experienced many challenges in building a church in Union City.  However, God always has a plan.  My faith was being built through each obstacle.  Jesus Christ had a plan for my life as a pastor, minister, and leader.  Ridgely, Tiptonville, and Union City today have their own pastors.  God is faithful!

While in Tennessee I was elected to several District offices, one being that of a Presbyter in the state.  Building churches and learning to trust Him would prepare me for greater things in my walk with God.  In 1953 I felt the call to go to Kilgore, Texas and accept the pastorate there.  I served in Kilgore for six years before moving to Houston.  In Houston we saw a little white run-down frame building.  I must admit that I had difficulty at first trying to discover why God would move me there.  However, in time we built a church that seated 1100 people.  The church, Stonewall, became a haven for the lost and hurting. God continued to increase His work of faith in me and I was able to help build faith in others.  Many healings and miracles were seen there and people began to come.

For fourteen years I labored at Stonewall until the fellow brethren of Texas elected me to the office of Texas District Superintendent.  It was during my tenure that the current tabernacle on the campgrounds in Lufkin, Texas was built.  At the time it was built, it was the largest tabernacle in Pentecost.  I served as superintendent for three terms.  At the end of the third term, I felt a call back to the pastoral ministry.  In December 1976, I assumed the pastorate of Eastview United Pentecostal church in Lufkin.  Brother J.H. Rogers had retired but he was able to sit on the platform with me until his death.  God is gracious and so should I be.

God continued to bless my ministry and the work of faith in my life.  Many healings and miracles were seen at Eastview as well.  By the early 1980s we had to build a larger facility to accommodate the growing congregation.  I still enjoy the privilege of sitting on the platform of this facility as the retired pastor and being honored by my pastor, Brother David Hunt.

As I look back on my ministry, I remember some notable miracles from God.  A lady in Stonewall had throat cancer, I simply asked her to stand and start praising Jesus.  She reported that when she started praising Him, she swallowed the cancer!  A lady in Granite City, Illinois, had no eyeballs but through prayer and faith, Jesus allowed her to see again!  She first saw light and dark then movement and color.  Pastor K.V. Reeves later called me to report that she was still seeing and that she had been baptized in the name of Jesus.  Hallelujah!  A young man at Eastview broke his leg in three places and was in a cast the full length of his leg.  We prayed for him on Sunday morning.  Sunday afternoon he and some of his buddies cut the cast off.  He came to church that night without pain or a cast!  My God is a God of His word.  He promised healing and miracles and He is still in the business today.  I have always contended that I could not heal a gnat, but that my God is more than able to do above and beyond what we can ask!  Jesus Christ, my God, is great and greatly to be praised.

 
 
 

 Bishop Smallwood Edmond Williams

 Bible Way Churches

1907 ~ 1991

 Bishop Smallwood Williams was born on October 17, 1907 in Lynchburg, Virginia. A few months prior to his birth, his father died, leaving his mother (Mary) widowed, and with child. mary was a dynamic spiritual, and educational influence on young Smallwood. At the early age of fourteen, he began to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in Columbus, Ohio where he and his mother had moved. Columbus is the place where Smallwood spent most of his early life.

Not long after graduating from high school in Columbus, this young boy pracher was licensed at the age of sixteen, and at the age of eighteen, he became ordained, the youngest so honored in the Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As Smallwood progressed into young manhood, the late Bishop Lawson talked with him about going to Washington, D.C., to organize a church. In presenting this great challenge to Elder Williams, Bishop Lawson did not paint a rosy picture, but instead he told Smallwood that washington was a "preachers graveyard, and a mission wreckshop". What a challenge! Although he could have refused, he humbly accepted.

In 1927 Elder Smallwood Williams was sent to Washington, D.C. by Bishop Lawson. From this appointment came the powerful organization known as the Bible Way Churches. At the age of twenty, Smallwood left the comfort of his home in Columbus, Ohio and arrived at Union Station in Washington, with only $5.00 in his pocket. He often related how that two angels met him at Union Station, "Goodness and Mercy," and how they continued with him until the end of his life.

In 1941 the Bible Way Church began broadcasting over radio station WINX on Saturday nights. This brought the church great recognition and attention with many more citizens in the Washinton, D.C. area. Elder Williams would frequently announce very catchy subjects to preach, and people would come out to see its usual scriptural basis, and how the sermons would be developed.

The Bible tells us that it is not good for man to dwell alone. Elder Williams went to Washington alone, and single. However, he had been in courtship with a very fine young lady, sister Verna Lucille Rapley of New York City. Verna was serving as pianist and director for the Refuge Temple choir. She was loved and cherished by the New York congregation for her loving personality and talent. She was a jewel to the church, but now she had become engaged to a well-known young man in Washington, D.C., by the name of Smallwood E. Williams.

It was out of a National Pentecostal Ministerial Conference, September 25-29, 1957 that the Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World-Wide was born. This conference was held at the Bible Way Church, 1130 New Jersey Avenue, Northwest, Washington, D.C. The authenticity and orthodoxy of the Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide can be attested as to its validity; Historically, Experimentally, and Doctrinally.

Bishop Williams was a civic leader and cival rights advocate. He fought for justice ad racial equality. On June 28, 1991 at the age of 84, Bishop Smallwood E. Williams went home to be with the Lord. Audio Recordings of Bishop Smallwood Williams are available in our audio library.

 

 

 Rev. Spenser Leslie Wise

 United Pentecostal Church International

1884 ~ 1963

Reverend Spencer Leslie Wise was born July 15, 1884. In the early years of the the 20th century he moved to Texas, where he worked in sawmills, and at one time, helped operate a pool hall. S.L. Wise, as he was known, received the Holy Ghost in 1913 at Remig, Texas, through the ministry of the late Robert L. LaFleur. He was ordained to preach the gospel on January 1, 1915 at 2:00 a.m. in a watch night service, by Brother LaFleur and Brother A. Fuselier. He was a faithful minister of the true gospel for forty-nine years.

He served as pastor at Browndale, Texas  until the sawmill closed, and then moved to Lake Helen, Florida. From there he went to Alco, Louisiana, and soon moved again to Eros, Louisiana, where he labored in God's work until 1926. He then went to Ansley, Louisiana. At this time, the Lord led him to establish a church at Hodge, eleven miles south of Ansley. But a suitable place could not be secured, so a tent was pitched in Jonesboro, two miles south of hodge. Revival services were held there for one month, and much good was accomplished.

Overcoming vigorous opposition, Brother Wise finally obtained permission to use a tract of land on the outskirts of Hodge. A tent was erected, and a revival was conducted. Later a small tabernacle was built in Hodge, where the group worshipped for about three years. The greatest revival that Hodge had experienced was held in May and June of 1930, with Brother and Sister Hayes as evangelists. Eighty-three were baptized in Jesus' name, and about sixty-five receied the Holy Ghost. In 1931 a nice church was built on the ground where the tabernacle had stood. The Sunday School grew to be the largest of any of the six churches in Hodge.

During his long ministry, S.L. Wise held many offices. In 1932 he was chosen as a General Presbyter in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, and served as Presbyter of the South Central Council of that group for many years. He was also chairman of the South Central Council Publishing House in 1935. He was instrumental in the merger of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ and the Pentecostal Church, Incorporated in 1945, and was elected District Superintendent of the Louisiana District, United Pentecostal Church, in February, 1946.  He faithfully filled this office until ill health forced his retirment in 1953. For the remainder of his life he was an honorary member of the louisiana District Board, and of the General Board.

After his retirement as District Superintendent, he ministered from church to church for six years, teaching Bible lessons as his health would permit. He often said, "I would rather wear out than rust out." During the last four years of his life he was almost completely dependent upon others for physical help, but even in this condition his life was fruitful for the Lord. He spent much of his time in prayer, and many heard him calling the names of  inister, missionaries, officials, and the unsaved. He admonished, advised, and counselled with many who visited him. During his confinement he read the bible through seven times, and a half. S.L. Wise went to be with the Lord on February 18, 1963, but the work that he did lives on. Audio Recordings of Reverend S.L. Wise are available in our audio library.

 

 Rev. William Thomas Witherspoon

United Pentecostal Church International

1880 ~ 1947

 Reverend W.T. Witherspoon was born at Wampum, Pennsylvania, on August 7, 1880. His early years were spent near his birthplace. Later he moved to Pittsburg, where he was employed as a salesman for a large equipment firm. It was in this city that he met Julia Blanche Crane, and they were united in marriage on September 10, 1902. They continued to reside in Pittsburg for more than twelve years.

The Witherspoons were prominent in church work, first in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and then in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. In 1912, W.T. Witherspoon received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Three years later, God revealed to him the truth of the Oneness of the Godhead, and baptism in Jesus' name.

In 1914, he had been tranferred to Columbus, Ohio, and had been made district manager of the firm by which he was  employed. Shortly after this, he received a definite call to the ministry. In 1917, he organized a group of people into a small congregation, known as the Apostolic Gospel Church. Many were the disappointments, heartaches, and trials that accompanied the building of this church, but the efforts of W.T. Witherspoon, and those associated with him throughout the years of his ministry, caused it to grow into one of the largest Oneness assemblies in the world. Pastor Witherspoon continued to work in secular employment for seven years, not wishing to be a burden to the church.

His keen spiritual vision also led to the establishing of five branch churches in Ohio - West Jefferson, London, Ironton, Springfield, and Dayton. W.T. Witherspoon was the first Foreign Missionary Chairman of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. While in this office, he traveled extensively in the United States and Canada, and visited the Hawaiian Islands, Jamaica, Palestine, and many of the principal countries in Europe.

Following this, he was chosen General Chairman of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, serving from 1938 until it merged with the Pentecostal Church, Incorporated in 1945, to form the United Pentecostal Church. He worked hard to bring about the merger of these two organizations. And  at the merger conference, he was elected Assistant General Superintendent, a position he held until his death.

It was in this  same General Conference that he was married to Mrs. Jet Stallones, a well-known minister, teacher, and writer. His first wife had preceded him in death. He died on October 27, 1947. Shortly before his death, when his religious activities had been greatly curtailed, he said, "I am having the time of my life." He meant that, though seriously ill, the Lord had grown even more precious to him. The life and ministry of W.T. Witherspoon has made a lasting contribution to the world, and to Oneness Pentecostal people.

 

Rev. Leonard E. Westberg

United Pentecostal Church International

1925 ~ 2001

L.E. Westberg was born in Turin, Iowa, October 10, 1925. He married Darlyene Oswalt on December 24, 1955, in Houston, Texas.

Brother Westberg served in the United States Navy during World War II. He started pastoring Faith Tabernacle United Pentecostal Church in Junction City, Kansas in June 1971.

He served as General Presbyter of the United Pentecostal Church for 24 years. He was the District Superintendent for the state of Kansas. Aftiring as General Presbyter, he served as an Honorary District Superintendent and General Presbyter.

He preached and taught the gospel in many foreign countries and all over the United States.

While taking an Alaskan cruse (a retirement gift from the Kansas District UPC), he suddenly became ill and had a fatal massive stroke. On September 3, 2001 Elder Westberg was promoted to heaven at the age of 75. Audio recordings of L.E. Westberg are preserved in the audio library of the Apostolic Archives International.