Detroit Bishop Named Head of Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

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Adrienne S. Gaines

The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World elected
Bishop Charles H. Ellis III as its presiding bishop last week during the
organization’s annual convention in Minneapolis.

Ellis, pastor of 6,000-member Greater Grace Temple in
Detroit, succeeds Bishop Horace Smith, M.D., pastor of Apostolic Faith Church in

“I’m truly humbled and honored to follow in the footsteps of
some legendary clergymen who brought this organization from humble beginnings
to where it is today,” Ellis said in a statement.
“With God’s help, I’ll work to continue in that tradition of excellence as we
reach for higher heights in Kingdom work.”

Ellis previously served two terms as assistant presiding bishop of the
Oneness Pentecostal denomination and oversaw churches in Ghana. He became
pastor of Greater Grace Temple in 1996 after the death of his father, Bishop
David Ellis.

Named Michigan Pastor of the Year by the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference, Ellis is known for his work to revitalize Detroit
through dozens of outreach ministries, including youth sports camps, low-cost
housing units and two charter schools. He recently opened the 120-acre New Rogell Golf Course, which is
believed to be the only golf facility in Michigan owned and operated by

As presiding bishop of the Indianapolis-based denomination,
Ellis said he hopes to reunite some of the Apostolic organizations that have
broken away from the
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW). In addition to healing old divisions, he
said the move would better position the congregations to access grant funding
for community-development initiatives.

With more limited
resources, funding organizations increasingly are looking to support groups
that represent a conglomeration of churches rather than  lone congregations, he said.

I believe
that they’re getting away from entertaining single-church grants, and they want
to see individuals working together because the dollars are so competitive
now,” Ellis told Charisma.

He also plans to focus on outreach to help the church grow. In recent years, membership has dropped from 1.5 million members to
1.3 million today.

Founded in 1906 out of the Azusa Street Revival, the PAW  currently includes 2,000 churches in the
U.S. and 2,200 worldwide.

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