- Our Foundation
From his humble beginnings in a rural town in Mississippi to leadership in the International Church of God In Christ. John Henry Sheard is a born leader, from a family of 19, born to true pioneers of the Church of God in Christ. His father, Superintendent O.S. Sheard, was a COGIC pioneer preacher himself, having pastored the very first Church of God in Christ in Lexington, MS, and later pastoring churches in Greenwood and Greenville, MS for more than 30 years. He also served as Administrative Assistant in the Northern Mississippi Jurisdiction.
Bishop John H. SheardBishop John H. Sheard, although destined to follow in his father’s footsteps, moved to Detroit, MI at a very early age. He never lost his desire to serve, and while under the direct tutelage of the Bishop John Seth Bailey, National General Board Member, Bishop Sheard, moved up through the ranks of the church. He was ordained and Elder and placed as pastor of the Mitchell Street COGIC in January of 1982. After displaying great leadership skills, he moved the constantly growing membership to a larger and more comfortable location. His congregation continued to grow and moved again to its present location called the Greater Mitchell Temple COGIC in Detroit, MI.
Over the years God continued to elevate him to District Superintendent, Jurisdictional President of the Youth Department, and even to the Jurisdiction’s prestigious Executive Board. He continued to serve as he had been trained, and at the demise of Bishop W.L. Harris, he was consecrated Bishop of the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Michigan Southwest by the General Board of the Church of God In Christ, with Bishop L.H. Ford as Presiding Bishop.
Bishop Sheard has now presided over this Jurisdiction for the past 17 years and during this time the Jurisdiction has made tremendous strides.
Click here for detailsNotably, Bailey Cathedral, Jurisdictional Headquarters of the Jurisdiction, is one of the largest historical church buildings in the City of Detroit. Bishop John Seth Bailey, founder of the Michigan Jurisdiction, purchased the building in 1972 and designated it as the Jurisdictional Headquarters for Southwestern Michigan Churches of God in Christ. Bishop Sheard inherited the building which was sorely in need of repair. The estimates seemed to exceeded the value of the property, however, the under the brilliant leadership of Bishop Sheard the Jurisdiction was directed into financial solvency, at which time this great constructional task came to fruition. Recently, Bailey Cathedral has undergone extensive renovations reaching just over $450,000.00. Bishop Sheard has shown his commitment to preserving the heritage of the Church and the Jurisdiction.
Bailey Cathedral has now been gloriously restored including several new additions and it now boasts of cushioned pews, theater lighting, a state-of-the-art sound system, new flooring and carpeting, new kitchen w/appliances, new restrooms, remodeled office space, a carpeted dining area and much more. Bishop Sheard has made this building a gem to the Jurisdiction, the National Church and the City of Detroit.
Bishop Sheard’s notoriety as a man of integrity and great leadership has traveled throughout the country. His piers have twice elected him overwhelmingly as the Chairman of the Board of Bishops for the Church of God In Christ, Inc. He humbly chairs this board of some 200 COGIC Bishops worldwide. More recently, Bishop Sheard was honored by the Ohio Southern Christian Leadership Conference as “Bishop of the Year for 2009”.
When Bishop Sheard came to Detroit, as a 17 year old Mississippian, with high hopes, and the hand of God on his life he was determined to overcome every obstacles. And now he continues to serve as God’s choice for the leadership of our Church. He is quite an example. After having been married for more than 53 years to the Mother Willie Mae Sheard, he also has two sons in ministry, Superintendent J. Drew Sheard, International Chairman of the AIM Convention for the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., and Pastor of the Greater Emmanuel Institutional COGIC in Detroit; and the Elder Ethan B. Sheard, Youth President, 1st Jurisdiction MI-Southwest, and Associate Minister at Greater Mitchell Temple COGIC. Bishop Sheard has also obtained three degrees from Wayne State University and retired after teaching in the Detroit Public Schools for more than 20 years.
Bishops’ Conference Committee
Bishop William H. Watson, Conference Chairman
Bishop T. T. Scott, Vice-Chairman
Bishop Ernest Morris, Co-Vice Chairman
Bishop Albert Galbraith, Jr., Registrar
Bishop Larry L. Shaw, Secretary
Bishop Benjamin P. Collins, Chairman
Bishop E. Bobby Warren, Vice-Chairman
Bishop L.F. Thuston, Chairman
Bishop Joseph C. Gilkey, Sr., Vice-Chairman
Bishop W. H. Bonner, Chairman
Bishop Albert Galbraith Jr., Vice-Chairman
Bishop Ocie Booker, Chairman
Bishop William T. Cahoon, Vice-Chairman
Bishop James C. Austin, Chairman
Bishop O.L. Meadows, Vice-Chairman
Chaplains Corp Committee
Bishop Carruth Hall, Chairman
Bishop Phillip H. Porter, Jr., Vice-Chairman
Policy, Procedures & Ethics Committee
Bishop Aubrey Baker, Chairman
Bishop T.T. Scott, Vice-Chairman
Bishop J. Edward Lee, Chairman
Political Action Committee
Bishop Charles W. Green, Sr., Chairman
Bishop Rufus Kyles, Vice-Chairman
Protocal & Vestment Committee
Bishop Joseph C. Gilkey, Sr., Chairman
Bishop William Scott, Vice-Chairman
Recognition & Awards Committee
Bishop Glenwood H. Young, Chairman
Bishop Marvin C. Pryor, Vice-Chairman
Bishop Robert R. Sanders, Chairman
National Prison Committee
Bishop Lorenzo L. Kelly, Director
Board of Directors – All Saints Bible College
Bishop Malcolm W. Coby, Chairman
Bishop James R. Wright, Chairman
Bishop Howard E. Quillen, Vice-Chairman
Pioneers & Senior Mentoring Committee
Bishop D. A. Burton, Co-Chairman
Bishop Harold Benjamin, Chairman
Episcopal Adjutant Committee
Bishop Felton M. Smith, Jr., Chairman
Parliamentary Procedures Committee
Bishop C.L. Bryant, Co-Chairman
Bishop Paul Fortson, Sr. Vice-Chairman