Bishop Samuel N. Hancock, Bishop Willie Lee, Bishop Heardie Leaston, Elder David Collins
These names appeared on the articles of incorporation, of the PCAF dated November 20, 1957.
Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock along with others founded the Pentecostal Church of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. (PCAF) in 1963. The PCAF has grown into a flourishing organization. Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock was born in 1883 in Adair, Kentucky. He was baptized in Jesus name and received the Holy Ghost in 1912 , under the ministry of Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood in Indianapolis Indiana. Bishop Hancock was called to the ministry in 1914. In 1917 he was ordained and he served as Assistant Pastor with Bishop Haywood at Apostolic Faith Assembly, located at the corner of Eleventh and Senate Street in Indianapolis. From there he moved to Detroit, Michigan, and became the Pastor of a small mission that had been under the supervision of Elder Levi Miles.
In 1957, Bishop Hancock and the Bishop Willie Lee, who at the time was Pastor of Christ Temple Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, left the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Along with other ministers, they organized the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith. Bishop Hancock served as the presiding of the organization until his demise in 1963. Many miracles , signs and wonders were witnessed during Bishop Hancock’s fearless, faith-filled 42 years of divine leadership. Bishop Hancock beseeched us through all his endeavors, his message and demonstrations by his own life to be saved and to walk circumspectly before God in love.
The PCAF is the continuation of the great revival that began in Jerusalem, on the Day of Pentecost, AD 33. This organization has as its foundation the doctrine of the Apostles and Prophets, and we claim Jesus Christ Himself as the Chief Cornerstone of our faith. Apostolic history reveals that in 1901 in the state of Kansas a revival broke forth in a dynamic way and moved south to Texas, and then moving to Los Angeles, California in 1906. This revival manifested itself by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost which spread throughout the whole earth, entering into nearly every nation under heaven, penetrating even into the heathen darkness of many parts of the world. This revival was the fulfillment of the great commission of our Lord and also proclaimed the soon coming of the Lord.
Since its inception in 1957 the PCAF has grown to 14 state and regional councils of which the Atlantic States Council is part.
The Atlantic States Council was established in September 1983, under the direction of the PCAF, Inc. Many were instrumental in initiating the forming of this council. The Eastern & Southern States Council was asked to give up the states of SC and NC, with the exception of Praise Temple Apostolic Church in Raleigh, NC. The South Eastern District Council was asked to give up the states of Georgia and Florida. Consequently, the Atlantic States Council was birth then at Lively Stone Temple Apostolic Faith Church, Inc. in Islandton, SC with seven (7) churches. Those churches were:
- Lively Stone Temple Apostolic Faith Church, Islandton, SC
- El Bethel Apostolic Faith Church, Waynesboro, GA
- Greater Bethlehem Temple of Atlanta, Fayetteville, GA
- Calvary Apostolic Faith Church, Tampa, FL
- Bethel Christ Temple, Keysville, GA
- Bethlehem Apostolic Church, Midville, GA;
- Glory Apostolic Church, Gretna, FL
The first officers appointed at that first meeting were as follows:
- Bishop Robert L. Little, Diocesan Bishop
- Elder Fred Porter, Council Chairman
- Elder Raul C. Bradley, Assistant Chairman
- Sister Eva Mae Capers, Council Secretary
- Sister Ethel Pete, Assistant Secretary
- Elder Vernon Heath, Treasurer
- Mother Annie Mays, Missionary Chairlady
- Elder Paul M. Capers, Sunday School Superintendent
- Deacon Talmadge L. Wiggins, Youth Department Chairman.
Since that initial meeting the ASC has grown from the original 7 churches to currently 19 churches in the states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. After the late Bishop Little’s tenure as diocesan bishop of the ASC the late Bishop Jester Purnell of Terre Haute, IN and the late Bishop Nemiah Smith of Detroit, MI also served as diocesan bishop until his death in June, 2007. The current diocesan bishop, Bishop Fred Porter. became diocesan August, 2007.
We currently have 3 episcopal bishops:
- Bishop Fred Porter, FL
- Bishop Paul M. Capers, SC
- Bishop Barry S. Mitchell, GA
3 jurisdictional bishops:
- Juris. Bishop Hollis Orsborn, GA
- Juris. Bishop Jake Burgess, FL
- Juris. Bishop James Mack, SC
1 Honorary Bishop:
- Honorary Bishop Reynard Pulliam, GA
6 District Elders:
- District Elder Ivan Gordon
- District Elder Robert Lynch
- District Elder- elect Mark Pulliam
- District Elder Talmage L. Wiggins
- District Elder Joseph Woods
- District Elder Phillip Porter
At the the PCAF National Youth Conventions several trophies have been won by the ASC Youth Department under Elder T.L. Wiggins’. Several ASC youth have received scholarships from the PCAF Sunday School and Youth Department. Elder Paul M. Capers and Deacon Talmadge Wiggins started the ASC Youth and Sunday School Convention. Under the direction of Evang. Judy Adedun the Atlantic States Council Missionary Convention was also started.
On June 27, 2003, the ASC had a celebration banquet commemorating 20 years. This grand affair was held at the Holiday Inn, Columbia, SC under the leadership of then chairman Bishop Paul M. Capers. To celebrate the 25th Silver Anniversary of the ASC yet another celebratory banquet was held at the Lively Stone Temple of the Apostolic Faith Fellowship Hall, Islandton, SC, under the leadership of chairman District Elder T.L. Wiggins . This too was a grand occasion.
On January 2015, the ASSC was born.
We have seen the mighty move of God in our midst and expect Jesus to continue do “exceeding, abundantly, above what we could ask or think according to the power that worketh in us”. Our expectation is that God will bless us as we bless Him and allow his Spirit to move upon us.
Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock, Founder (Tenure 1957-1963) was born November 9, 1883 in Adair County, Kentucky. Married five times, he outlived all but one of his wives; (Bertha Valentine Hancock, mother of his two children; Anna Williams Hancock, Ida Haywood Hancock, Anna Bell Douglas Hancock, and Bertha Jackson Hancock). He received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1914 under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana. After serving as assistant pastor to Haywood for four years, he moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1921 to pastor Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, declaring “I will do a great thing in Detroit, Michigan.” Under his pastorate, the membership grew to more than 3,000 parishioners. Elevated to the office of bishop by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, he served in that organization until 1957 when he founded the PCAF, serving as presiding bishop until his death on August 18, 1963 at the age of 79.
Bishop Willie Lee (Tenure 1963-1964) was born February 16, 1901 in Starkville, Mississippi. Moving to Indianapolis, Indiana at a young age, he was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood. Later, moving to Detroit, Michigan, he became assistant pastor to Bishop Samuel Hancock at Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple, and assisted Hancock in organizing the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith in 1957. He served as assistant presiding bishop, and upon Hancock’s death in 1963, became presiding bishop, of which he resigned after a brief tenure. Bishop Lee was married to Maggie Taylor Lee and they had one son. Returning to Indianapolis in 1954, he accepted the pastorate of Christ Temple where he served until his death on June 19, 1969 at age 68.
Bishop Elzie William Young (Tenure 1964-1989) was born October 13, 1913 in Lexington, Kentucky. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1932 under the pastorate of Elder H.T. Moore, Young acknowledged his call to the ministry and evangelized all over the country for a number of years before founding Greater Bethlehem Temple Apostolic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. Married to Ruby Edgerson Young for more than 40 years until her passing, their union produced nine children. He later married Dianna Gray Young with whom he had two sons and whom he preceded in death. Noted for a steady, faithful input into God’s work, Bishop Young (who was the only presider to serve a life term in that role), remained in office as presiding bishop until his death on December 27, 1989 at the age of 76.
Bishop Dennis Rayford Bell (Tenure 1990-2000) was born July 9, 1923 in LeFlore County, Mississippi. He was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1949 and rose through the ranks as a minister, founding Christ Temple Apostolic Church in Joliet, Illinois, and Midwest Apostolic Bible College (Now Bell Apostolic Bible College) in Chicago. A charter member of the PCAF, he became pastor of Christ Temple Apostolic Church in Chicago in 1958, where he is now senior bishop. Bishop Bell holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies, a Master’s degree in Theology, and Doctoral degrees in Theology and Philosophy. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Darlene Griffin Bell with whom he has two sons. He and his wife, Jacqueline Collins Bell are active members and participants of the affairs and events of the PCAF.
IN LOVING MEMORY: JULY 9, 1923 – SEPTEMBER 29, 2013
Bishop Alfred Singleton (Tenure 2000-2008) was born October 18, 1928 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1949 and readily engaged himself in the quest for apostolic knowledge. He is a charter member of the PCAF and served four years as assistant pastor to Bishop Hancock. Later moving to California, he founded several churches there before moving to Lansing, Michigan, in 1972 to pastor Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, and of which he is now senior bishop. He is the founder of the S. N. Hancock Educational Institution which houses PCAF history and artifacts. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth Hawkins-Singleton with whom he has 12 children. He remains an active PCAF member and participant with his wife, Antoinette Halton Singleton.
Bishop J.E. Moore (Tenure 2008-2016) was born May 24, 1939, in Galena, Kansas, and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1961. On October 8, 1965, Bishop D. Rayford Bell founded Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith in Joliet, Illinois, and placed Bishop Moore as its pastor. Embarking on a fervent study in his newfound responsibility, Moore has received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees over the years, from several colleges, institutes, and seminaries. He is married to Tecola Williams Moore and they have five children. In addition to serving as presiding bishop, he continues in his role as senior pastor of Christ Temple Church in Joliet. The ministry of Bishop Moore reaches far and beyond, touching the lives of those in his church, community, and around the country.
Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr. (Tenure 2016-present) was born in Detroit, Michigan and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1970 at the age of 11. His ministerial career began in 1975 when he preached his first sermon, and upon his ministerial ordination in 1984, was appointed assistant pastor at Greater Apostolic Faith Temple in Detroit. He was elevated to the office of bishop by the PCAF in 1996 and currently serves as diocesan of the Indiana State Conference. Bishop Gates is senior pastor of Greater Apostolic Faith Temple in Detroit, Michigan (Since 2007) and Mt. Zion Apostolic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana (Since 1988). Described as a “prophet-sharing” program, his distinction as one pastor in two locations attests to the call on his life for expansive ministry. He is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God and is a nationally known speaker whose ministry is in constant demand. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and is a former high school English teacher, a position he held for several years before answering God’s call to the pastorate. In 2016, Bishop Gates was unanimously elected as the presiding bishop of the PCAF. He is married to Nancy Franklin Gates and they have two sons.