Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson III
Bishop Elijah H. Hankerson III holds a Bachelor of Arts (Evangel University, of the Assemblies of God), a Master of Arts (Assemblies of God Theological Seminary) and a Doctorate of Divinity (Academy of Theology). He also founded the Institute of Ministerial Excellence and Training. He has been mentored under five great leaders: the late Dr. Elijah H. Hankerson I, the late Bishop T. L. Westbrook, the late Bishop E. Harris Moore, Bishop R. J. Ward and Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
He travels extensively, preaching the Gospel and has 22 years of pastoral experience and has been in the ministry for 27 years. He is the Senior Pastor and founder of the Life Center International C.O.G.I.C. of Saint Louis, MO, which has 500 members. Prior to this he pastored the Christ Temple C.O.G.I.C. and later the Timmons Temple C.O.G.I.C., both of Springfield, MO. While serving Timmons Temple, Dr. Hankerson served on the Sherman Avenue Area Project Committee, the Spiritual Life Committee of Evangel University and also founded the Ann Hankerson Community Development Center.
Bishop Hankerson was active in the Missouri Eastern First Jurisdiction (Church Of God In Christ), under Bishop R. J. Ward as a: Special Assistant, Vice Chairman of Superintendents, Chairman of the Public Relations Department and member of the program committee, ordination board, grievance committee and board of directors. He worked as an Administrative Assistant and founding Superintendent of the Robert C. Williams District; overseeing over 40 churches, with missions work to 56 churches on the continent of Africa.
Bishop Hankerson’s district grew so extensively, that with the recommendation of Presiding Bishop Blake and Bishop Ward it, became the Missouri Midwest Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction (MMEJ)! MMEJ passed all vetting of the General Board and the Standards and Extensions Committee. When the vote came before the General Assembly, to establish the new jurisdiction, it was ratified with a (historical) UNANIMOUS vote of over 2,500 delegates! Bishop Hankerson, who had been consecrated as an Auxiliary Bishop, only 12 hour s before, was then duly appointed Jurisdictional Bishop of Missouri Midwest.
Internationally the bishop serves the Church Of God In Christ as: President of the Department of Evangelism, Representative of the General Board to the General Assembly; Coordinator of both the 40 day consecration preceding the International Holy Convocation and also the 50 day Pilgrimage to Pentecost; Board Member of Jubilee Broadcasting Network; Vice Chairman of Vision Week. His past commitments to the Church have been: founding Executive Board member and former Director of Public Relations for COGIC Urban Initiatives, Inc.; member of the Holy Convocation program committee; member of the Tri-Jurisdictional Liaison Committee; Point Person for the Soul Winning Ministry; member of the Constitution Committee of the General Assembly; Deputy to the Commissioner of Technology and Media and member of the Committee to host the Holy Convocation in St Louis, MO. Bishop Hankerson has also had the distinct honor of preaching for Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., on many occasions, at the world renowned West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles, CA; and he also preached as a keynote speaker in both the 104th International Holy Convocation and the 106th International Holy Convocation.
Heavily involved in the community, Bishop Hankerson has the honor of serving as the elected 1st Vice President of the Saint Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition. He is a “Life Member” of the NAACP, member of the distinguished Charmaine Chapman Society and is an active member of both the Northside Neighborhood Action Association and the Police Department’s Sixth District Community Outreach. He has served in times past as a coordinator of the monthly clergy meeting with the mayor of Saint Louis, reelection campaign committee for Mayor Francis Slay; participant of the monthly meeting with the superintendent of St. Louis Public Schools. He has also had the privilege of giving the keynote address, for the citywide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday celebrations, for both the cities of Springfield, Missouri and Saint Louis, Missouri; he has been named an “Honorary Chair” of the annual Saint Louis celebration. He has received numerous awards and honors: including a resolution from the Missouri State Senate, offered by (former state senator) Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr. and two resolutions from the Board of Alderman of the city of Saint Louis. He has also had the privilege of serving in the motorcade for President Barack Obama.
Throughout his years of ministry Bishop Hankerson has had the honor of serving with various ecumenical bodies including: staff member, Joyce Meyer Ministries; “12 priests,” Juanita Bynum Ministries/Midwest Regional Prayer Revival; Co-Chair, Gateway Call/Donnie McClurkin Ministries, board member Anointed Music Ministries and executive board member, Gateway Kingdom Ministries.
Believing in the impact of media ministry, Dr. Hankerson initiated the Life Center Radio Program and the Keys for Life Television Program. He also previously wrote a monthly column in Sparkman Magazine, entitled “Ask the Doctor,” and has been a guest on both the Trinity Broadcasting Network and the Word Network.
Dr. Hankerson has travelled extensively, including: 49 states, and has been blessed to see 9 countries. He has been sent to the nation of Israel on four occasions having the honor to have preached the Gospel in Jerusalem, Israel twice.
The love and inspiration of Dr. Hankerson’s life is his lovely wife, Evangelist Rachel L. Hankerson and their three children: Elijah IV, Raquel and Matthew, who are 5th generation members of the Church Of God In Christ.