Bishop Cornelius Ellis Anderson, Sr. the son of Superintendent Willie O. Anderson and Missionary Ada Cross Anderson was born on February 12, 1932, in Breckenridge, Texas; he was one of nine children. His formal education was obtained in San Antonio, Texas. He later pursued his Undergraduate Studies at the University of Wisconsin, the University of Alaska, Moody Bible College, Zoe Bible College and Family Bible College. Bishop Anderson received his Doctorate from Liberty Bible College.
In 1955 he married the former Barbara Ann James. The Lord blessed the two of them to have four children, thirteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren
Having been raised in a God-fearing environment, he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior at an early age. After accepting the call to the ministry, he was licensed in March 1955 and ordained in October 1959. He was the founding Pastor of Lighthouse COGIC, San Antonio, Texas; District Superintendent (Texas), 1969; Jurisdictional Secretary (Texas), 1972; National COGIC Board of Trustees, 1972-2004; National COGIC Pulpit Committee, 1973 (participated in the initialization phase); one of the first COGIC Adjutant Overseers for Pulpit Protocol; Pastor Temple COGIC, Wilmington, NC, 1976; Dean of Jurisdictional COGIC Academy (Greater North Carolina Jurisdiction COGIC); District Superintendent, Wilmington District COGIC, 1978; First Administrative Assistant to Bishop LeRoy J. Woolard, 1990; and installed as Jurisdictional Bishop of the North Carolina Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, 1996; Pastor Sherman Memorial 1997-2011.
Possessing the gift of administration, Bishop Anderson knows how to motivate those under his leadership to become all they can be to the glory of God. God has prospered the work that He has invested in the hands of this great man. Since being consecrated into the bishopric, the Jurisdiction has grown from approximately 8 churches to 101.
Birthed through Bishop Anderson’s pastoral leadership are 1 Auxiliary Bishop, 1 Jurisdictional Supervisor of Women, 8 District Superintendents, 21 Pastors, 8 District Missionaries, 1 Jurisdictional Chief Adjutant, 14 new churches and a host of elders, ministers, and missionaries. He has always demanded excellence and encouraged all to live above the level of mediocrity.
Bishop Anderson has faithfully served the community and the nation. He has stood tall in the political arena praying and advising many local politicians and civic groups. He is well respected as an outstanding religious leader, a man to be emulated.
His civic and military affiliations include retiring from the United States Army after 20 years; fought in 2 wars: Korean War, Vietnam War; United Way Board of Directors, 1978 (6 years); President of local NAACP, 1978 (6 years); appointed by Governor James B. Hunt to County Board of Directors for the Department of Social Services, 1982; First Runner-Up for Most Outstanding Public Servant for State of North Carolina-Governor James Martin, 1985; Steering Committee for National Negro College Fund, 1987; and Habitat for Humanity.
Bishop Cornelius Ellis Anderson, Sr. was preceded in death by his mother, Ada Cross Anderson; his father, Superintendent Willie O. Anderson, Sr.; brother, Willie O. Anderson, Jr.; brother, Bishop Leroy R. Anderson; sister, District Missionary Alberta A. Crockett; sister, District Missionary Lois Faye (Ada) Collins; son, Michael Leroy Anderson. He leaves to cherish his memory his devoted wife of 57 years, Mother Barbara Ann (James) Anderson; his children and their spouses: Bishop C. E. Jr., Rosalyn; Superintendent Charles T., Clarann; Superintendent Kenneth A., Tonya; Sister Janice Eason, Harry; Linda Morris, Don; Grandchildren and their spouses: Cornelius, III, Jeania; Kristle, LeDetrick; Jonathan; Danielle; Kristopher “Pee Wee”; Brandon; Kianee; Tiro; Michael "Pappy”; Brandon; Katrina “Lil Mama”, Douglas; Naloni; Destanie; three Great Grandchildren: Kendrick; Jacobi; Cameron; sister, Mrs. Eugene Skinner; brother, Deacon James M. Anderson; four sister-in-laws, Mrs. Helen G. Adams; Mrs. Esther Griffin; Mrs. Viola Payne, Hamilton; Mrs. Anna Rae Davis, Superintendent George W. Davis, Jr.; Twenty-three nieces; Twenty-five nephews; Special Caregivers and CNAs, Wanda McKelevey; Johniece Pope, Minister Abraham Williams; Lamont Paige; Faith Temple COGIC; Sherman Memorial COGIC and the North Carolina Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.
Bishop Anderson was a blessed and anointed man of God! To God be the glory for a life well spent and a race well run; now a deserving rest.