A native of western Pennsylvania, Pastor Edwin Bass is the 8th of ten children born to the late Bishop Joseph E. Bass, Sr. and Missionary Mary V. Bass. Along with Pastor Bass, his wife, maternal grandfather, father, mother, four brothers, one sister and two nephews comprise a historical ministerial lineage with over 300 years of combined service to the Church of God in Christ.
Pastor Bass is an alumnus of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Also, as a foreign exchange student, he attended Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. Additionally, he pursued graduate studies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In the secular world, he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Blue Cross Blue Shield.
As the visionary founder and pastor of The Empowered Church COGIC in St. Louis, Pastor Bass works closely with his Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop R. J. Ward of the Eastern Missouri First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction serving as one of his Special Assistants. The Empowered Church is a beacon of hope within the Spanish Lake community of St. Louis, where this progressive ministry continues to grow and flourish.
With an enduring commitment to establishing community, Pastor Bass has served tirelessly on the boards of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Transitional Hope House, Lindenwood University, Grace Hill Economic Development Corporation, the Urban League of St. Louis, the U.S. Justice Department’s Operation Weed and Seed, the Christian Hospital Ethics Committee and the Colgate University Alumni Corporation.
Among numerous honors and awards, Pastor Bass was featured in Speaking of People in Ebony Magazine. He is nationally known for coining the phrase, “I Won’t Be Silent Anymore!” and for authoring a book by that name.
However, the greatest asset to his professional and personal life is his beloved wife of 37 years, Missionary Jessie Miller Bass. As young children, they had the prophetic experience of being saved in the same revival service. They are the blessed parents of Sean, Craig, and Courtney and proud grandparents of Kyng Cleveland. Seven years ago they lost their eldest son, Sean Edwin, through a random and heinous act of violence. From the pain and scars of this family tragedy, Pastor and Missionary Bass have emerged with tremendous insight and empathy into the hurts and wounds of others, and have thereby enlarged their capacity for ministry.
Pastor Bass is especially energized by the opportunity to serve as President of Urban Initiatives because he is dedicated to building the Kingdom of God through the Church that he has cherished and participated in for a lifetime. In his words, “This is an opportunity to bring a lifetime of learning and experience to bear on behalf of the Church I love and under the direction of an awesome, visionary leader, Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.”
Those who know Pastor Bass well can attest to his intellectual and leadership competencies, but they are more profoundly impressed by his deep sense of loyalty, integrity, humility and fervor for the things of God.