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.