The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) General Assembly, the legislative body of the denomination, has voted Bishop J. Drew Sheard of Detroit, Michigan as the leader of the worldwide organization, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country.
Presiding Bishop Sheard says, "I am humbled and incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve this extraordinary organization, the Church of God in Christ, as its new leader and presiding bishop."
He adds, "To be elected to serve as the presiding bishop for the church in which I was born, raised, and have learned and served all my life, is a dream and desire that can only be fulfilled by God's loving grace and guidance. The opportunity to serve such an extraordinary organization at our highest recognized level of priesthood is beyond humbling. I am so grateful for the unparalleled support of my loving wife, Karen, who has served diligently alongside me in ministry, and for my children. I could never adequately honor or appreciate my parents for demonstrating holiness by sheer example. With complete excitement and joy, I look forward to serving the Lord's people."
Former Presiding Bishop Charles Edward Blake Sr. announced in October 2020 that he would not seek reelection. He continues as pastor of the West Angeles Church in Los Angeles, California.
Presiding Bishop J. Drew Sheard was born on Jan. 1, 1959, in Detroit, Michigan, to Bishop and Mrs. John Henry Sheard. After graduating from high school, he matriculated to Wayne State University, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in education and a Master of Education degree in mathematics. Bishop Sheard is a former mathematics teacher and has served as senior pastor of the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ in Detroit, Michigan, since 1988. He is the prelate of the Michigan North Central Jurisdiction, was a former Auxiliary In Ministries (AIM) Convention chairman and International Youth Department president for COGIC. Since 2012, he has served as a member of the General Board. Sheard is married to Mrs. Karen Clark-Sheard, a member of the legendary Grammy Award-winning group The Clark Sisters, and is the father of Kierra and J. Drew II. He has two grandchildren: Jacob and Kallie Drew.
For the General Board—the 12 bishops who serve as the board of directors of the church— the following persons have been elected:
—Bishop J. Drew Sheard, Michigan.
— Bishop Jerry W. Macklin, California.
—Bishop Sedgwick Daniels, Wisconsin.
—Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten Sr., Missouri.
—Bishop Brandon B. Porter, Tennessee.
—Bishop Darrel L. Hines Sr., Wisconsin.
—Bishop Michael E. Hill Sr., Michigan.
—Bishop Prince E. Bryant Sr. Texas.
—Bishop David A. Hall, Sr., Tennessee.
—Bishop Loran E. Mann, Delaware.
—Bishop Malcolm Coby, Oklahoma.
—Bishop Charles H. McClelland, Wisconsin.
Presiding Bishop Sheard has chosen Bishop Jerry W. Macklin and Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten Sr. as his first and second assistant presiding bishops, respectively.
The installation for the presiding bishop, General Board members and general officers will be held at a later date.
Founded in 1907 by Bishop Charles Harrison Mason and headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the World and the fourth largest Protestant group in the United States with 10,000 churches in over 112 countries worldwide and millions of adherents.
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