Books by Dr. Bernie L. Wade Does God Have a Name? Baptism According to Matthew 28:19 The Next Wave â€“ Restoration of the Charismata I Was the Ugly Duckling History of Apostolic Reformation The Biblical Marriage Manual How to Be a Christian Without Going to Church IS CHRISTMASs CHRISTIAN? The Israel of God - A Destiny Enjoyed History of the Apostolic Faith Church of God The Original Pentecostal Assemblies of the World History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ
Books by Other Authors
I AM – By Dr. John Roberts CHURCH GOVERNMENT – By Dr. Barney Phillips The Church – Dr. Robert Straube Foundational Discipling Principles – Dr. Robert Straube
Foundational Discipling Principles Dr. Robert Straube Ephesians 4:11-14 "And He Himself gave some [to be] apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ"
Foundational Discipling Principles is now on sale on Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/Foundational-Discipling-Principles-RobertStraube/dp/1615799354/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273604574&sr=1-1
â€œDoctrine is truth lifted from Scripture and dedicated to purpose.â€?
Apostolic Faith Church of God ÂŠ2012 Dr. Bernie L. Wade
Published by Truth, Liberty and Freedom Press (T.L.F.P.). PO. Box 72 Sulphur, KY 40070 Printed in the United States of America
Dedicated to Bishop Sanford L. and Georgia A. Wade (my Mother and Father), Bishop George A. and Lois E. Wade (my Grandfather and Grandmother) and the many saints of the Apostolic Faith Church of God then and now. I owe an immeasurable debt of gratitude to the path paved before us by those who have already gone to their eternal home. Only eternity can know the impact of their sacrifice. Special thanks to my father who worked with me on the content of this book both in pictures and text. Special thanks to Sister Frieda Thompson, Elder Bernie Tucker and to others who contributed to this work.
APOSTOLIC FAITH CHURCH OF GOD
Apostolic Faith Church of God 1956 Adult Sunday school. Front Row (L to R) Elder Jesse and Sister Miner, Volie and Bishop Milton Green. Bishop Ray and Sister Ruth Cornell. Sister Lois and Bishop George A. Wade, Sister and Bishop Author Leslie. Second row: Marge Anderson, not sure, Sister Joan Nemeth, Sister Thelma Murphy, Sister Lillian Pazdernick, Mother Pollack, Sister Householder, Sister Betty Cornell, Sister Ethel Olsen. Third row: Bro. Hallberg, Bishop Lecil Pollack, Delcie Pollack, Sister Mae Boyce, Sister Peggy Nemeth, not sure, Sister Yvonne Victor and son Ronnie, Sister Staten, Sister Tucker, Sister Ruth Shoppe. Fourth Row: Bishop David Cornell, Sister Coleman, Sister Peggy, not sure, Sister Bobby Cooper, Sister Jean McDaniel, Sister Mildred Bailey, Bro. Joe, Bro. Coleman. Back Row (L to R) Bernie Tucker, Bishop France Thompson, Bro. Bill Nemath, not sure, Bro. Amos McDaniel, Bro. Bill Carmichael, Bro. Don David, Bro. Harold Anderson.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of the Apostolic Faith Church of God (AFCOG). The Church was located at 2050 W. 55th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. My family was intimately involved in this ministry. Church and ministry were part of my life from the beginning and AFCOG was our church home. The pastor and founder of Apostolic Faith Church of God was the late Bishop Ray Oscar along with his wife Sister Ruth Cornell. It was here at AFCOG that I heard my first gospel song, my first sermon, and the first time I saw someone shout and dance in the Spirit. The first time I heard someone speak with other tongues as the Spirit Bishop Ray O. Cornell and gave utterance and a plethora of things that have impacted Bishop George A. Wade my entire life. Here I first felt conviction, first prayed at an altar and first realized my need for a savior. Here at AFCOG I sang my first song with my Brother Brian. We sang a song written by Joe Hatfield, “Old Time Preacher Man”. In my mind, I can still see the old church, hear the people and even smell the unique smell that I associated with the basement. I think it was some kind of disinfectant! I remember vividly the basement walls where my talented maternal Aunt, Jane Kisner, painted the scene from Noah‟s ark in huge lifelike characters in a continual mural all around the basement. Noah‟s ark was real to me and when I think of Noah‟s ark I think of that mural. The stories of the old church and the people who fellowshipped there would fill volumes. This is just one of those volumes. Organized in the 1930‟s, this church by the time of my arrival was a sizeable congregation and was the mother church for a number of other Cleveland Ohio area congregations. I saw recently a Cleveland area church claiming to be the mother church for all Pentecostal churches in Cleveland. History revision is alive and well, for not even Bishop Cornell could claim his Apostolic Faith Church of God was the first Pentecostal Church in Cleveland, but it certainly was older than almost all the others. Even Brother Hungerford‟s East Side Church (which Bishop Cornell had been part of when first coming to Azusa Street Mission Cleveland) probably wasn‟t the „mother church‟. The Apostolic Faith movement had begun at the turn of the Century in Topeka, Kansas. It was from this Apostolic Faith group that our church developed.
The catalyst for the growth and expansion of what would later be called the Pentecostal Movement came from the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles California. The Pentecostal Movement in general and in particular Bishop William Seymour‟s group the Apostolic Faith Church of God came out of Apostolic Faith movement championed by Charles F. Parham. “The Apostolic Faith Churches of God traces its history to 1909 when William J. Seymour, under whose leadership the original Pentecostal revival in Los Angeles, California, visited Washington, D.C. From the mission on Azusa Street in Los Angeles which Seymour pastored, the Pentecostal Movement spread around the United States. Accompanying Seymour on his visit was Charles H. Mason, founder of the Church of God in Christ.”1 Bishop Cornell was part of that historic “Apostolic Faith” group. He knew the history of the Apostolic Faith movement and the subsequent Pentecostal Movement. The words Apostolic Faith Church were older than Azusa Street as this was also the name that Charles F. Parham called his church in 1901. In naming the church Apostolic Faith Church of God, Bishop Cornell and the saints of the church were giving honor to those who had hazarded their lives, fortunes and sacred honor for the gospel a generation before. They were making it clear that Bishop G. B. Rowe they identified with a movement that sought to restore the church to the original Apostles doctrine. There were many of these Apostolic Faith Churches around the country that were loosely connected with the original group in Los Angeles2, which itself was a daughter work from the original Apostolic Faith group of Charles Parham. After his conversion in 1930, my paternal Grandfather (I call him Pappaw) the late Bishop George A. Wade, Sr., would serve on the Elder Board of AFCOG and served as the Assistant pastor for many years. From its early days Bishop Cornell realized to pastor effectively he needed help and input. From this came the Board of Elders. To this end, AFCOG was directed by this Board of Elders. Key men who were full of the Holy Ghost much like the early church in the Book of Acts. My father, Bishop Sanford L. Wade also served on the Board of Elders. Others who served on the Elder Board included: Pastor France Thompson, Elder Bernie Tucker, Elder Lecil Pollack, Elder
Black Pentecostals. http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/ear_01/ear_01_00080.html Black Pentecostals. Among the people affected by their new teachings of Pentecostalism was Charles W. Lowe of Handsom, Virginia, who in turn founded the Apostolic Faith Church of God, which was loosely affiliated with Seymour's organization in Los Angeles. 2
Pogue, Sr., Elder Harold Anderson, Pastor Milton Green, Pastor David Cornell and more. The beginning for what would become Apostolic Faith Church of God (AFCOG) in Cleveland, Ohio was in the early 1930‟s when Bishop Ray Cornell, his wife Ruth and their family, moved from Mishawaka Indiana to work in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cornell‟s were from Greater Midway Gospel Tabernacle (later Apostolic Temple) in Mishawaka, Indiana where the late Bishop Glen Beecher (G. B.) Rowe3 was pastor. Bishop G. B. Rowe was a contemporary of the leaders of the early Pentecostal movement and a th Bishop and Sister Cornell in 1957 at the 25 fixture in the original Pentecostal Assemblies of the Anniversary of AFCOG World (PAW) at the time of other legendary figures such as Bishop G. T. Haywood. From this original PAW came such groups as the PAJC, UPC, Reorganized PAW (the PAW as it is today), ALJC, ACOJC, ICOF and many others.
Bishop G. T. Haywood
The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) began in 1906 and took a prominent position due to a doctrinal separation from Pentecostal conflicts in the years 1913-1919, and matured as a collection of ministers regardless of race, creed or color. Unfortunately, first by the departure of white brethren over racism (circa 1924) and then later (after a merger and subsequent reorganization) the PAW migrated from being multicultural to being segregated into primarily a black Pentecostal denomination.
In the days of Bishops Rowe and Haywood the PAW was totally integrated. Bishop G. B. Rowe was selected as one of the five original Bishops of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW).4 Bishop G. B. Rowe (Bishop Cornell‟s pastor) was another of these original five. It was from this historic church and family in the Pentecostal movement that Bishop Cornell and his family migrated to Cleveland. Bishop Ray Oscar Cornell, this son in the gospel to Bishop G. B. Rowe had come to Cleveland for a purpose. There they would continue the legacy.
http://apostolictemplechurch.com/content/view/43/113/ In the year of 1918, the late Bishop G.B. Rowe and his wife founded the Midway Gospel Tabernacle, now known as the Apostolic Temple Church, Inc. 4 Apostolic Archives. Bishop Glen Beacher Rowe. http://www.apostolicarchives.com/whoswho_r.html
In the 1930‟s, the Cornell‟s came to Cleveland. Bishop Cornell worked for the Westinghouse Corporation. There the Cornell‟s attended Brother Hungerford‟s church which was on the East Side of Cleveland. Brother Hungerford was a dedicated man of God, had vision and felt a burden for the entire Cleveland area. Of particular note to him was the West Side of Cleveland. He realized that there were many souls on the West Side of the city that were not being reached and to get them to come to his assembly on the east side was a difficult task at best especially in the financially troubled times of the Great Depression. He encouraged Brother Cornell to take his family and start a work on the West Side to meet that need. That work began in a storefront building near or at the corner of 58th and Madison, in the shadow of a large Catholic church, St. Stephens. The first service was held on January 1, 1932. The church remained at that location until 1936.5
Apostolic Faith Church of God Convention
In typical Pentecostal fashion, powerful services were held in that church storefront and the work of God began to grow. People were being born of the water and of the Spirit. The depression Era was fertile ground to sow hope, healing and help. The Word of God offered all of that and more. Cleveland was a booming city where there was work and many were coming from surrounding states (primarily, Kentucky, Pennsylvania,
Ohio and Tennessee) looking for employment. The Pentecostal Church, AFCOG on the West Side of the city was not well received by all. Some of the predominately Catholic population of that community didn‟t appreciate this Christian sect, these Pentecostal who were making so much noise (both literally and figuratively) in their neighborhood. One of my favorite stories from the old church showed the demonstration and power of the Holy Ghost. Of course I am too young to have been there but I remember hearing my grandfather and my father recount how one night while Bishop Cornell was preaching, some men, a small mob, came into the church and physically drug Bishop Cornell from the pulpit and into the street. They were quite unhappy with the presence of the Pentecostal Church and this preaching and they were making it publicly known. Once they had finished dragging Bishop Cornell to the street they, and more of their mob, proceeded to pummel him with bricks. When it was over Bishop Cornell was either dead or near dead. In either case, the 5
saints of the Church gathered around their pastor, began to pray and in a little while Bishop Cornell not only got up but he returned to the pulpit and finished his message.
It was in the old building at 58th and Madison in an almost forgotten part of the city of Cleveland that our connection with this destiny began. My grandfather had moved from the Knoxville Tennessee area to Cleveland looking for work. The Great Depression was in full swing and jobs were scarce. Our family on Pappaw‟s side had been Baptists as long as anyone could remember. Since the Civil War had divided Baptist believers based on the North and South struggle Papaw (L to R) Elder Jesse Minor, Sister Esther Hallberg, had been raised Southern Baptist. As a child Sister Ethel Olsen, Sister Bessie Carter, Sister Mae growing up he had not just gone to church but had Boyce, Carol Green (Farber) and others at AFCOG been impacted by the message of Christ. Unfortunately, he had long before lost his way and living for God and church were near the last things on his mind. In the struggle for self Pap paw had become like so many of the masses; just another man working in the factories trying to make a living for his family the best he knew how.
Pappaw‟s Baptist family was devout in their Christian faith and was fixtures in their East Tennessee (Blaine) community. My great grandfather was a college educated man and Papaw remembered him as a man of prayer. Papaw said his father would go down by the woodshed and pray. There Papaw would later realize that what he had observed of his father‟s prayer sessions was that his father often spoke in other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance. This was something most people didn‟t know much about and you certainly didn‟t talk about in the Southern Baptist tradition, especially in the early 1900‟s. Although in many ways you still don‟t talk about speaking in tongues if you are a Southern Baptist. Pappaw in the late 1920‟s had come to Cleveland in search of employment to provide for his small family. What he found would be so much more! Pappaw said that the “Picture Show” as he called it, which was the movies, cost a dime. Even a dime was often a lot in the 1920‟s so one didn‟t waste the opportunity. One night when scheduled to go with some friends to the Picture Show, the friends suggested they go down and
see the „Holy Rollers‟ instead. Holy Rollers was a slang term that has often been associated with religious groups or movements that are very demonstrative 6. Thus, the Pentecostals had acquired the title. So, Pap paw and his friends agreed to go down to the little Pentecostal storefront pastored by Bishop Ray Cornell primarily to watch and make fun of the people as a form of entertainment. They were enamored with how people there would jump and shout in demonstrative worship. The Pentecostal people would clap and raise their hands and sometimes (if there was room) run the isles of the building. My Great Aunt Nora, Mammaw‟s sister had received the Holy Ghost at AFCOG and often invited my grandparents to church, but that didn‟t prompt them to action. Pappaw would later recount, “The show at the Pentecostal church was better than the picture show, and it was free!” So Pappaw kept going back for the „free show‟ at the Pentecostal Church. Soon, he became aware that there was a hunger in his soul that was not being filled by his employment, family or friends. This hunger had first manifested in his life as a child in the Baptist church back home in Tennessee. As a child, my grandfather had felt conviction and realized his need for Salvation. He would go to the old „mourner‟s bench‟ at his Baptist church and cry and weep. When he went to the preacher at the Baptist church and asked to be baptized they told him they would baptize him in the spring of the year. In that old Baptist church they didn‟t have a baptistery so they relied on the river to do baptisms. Which was fine except Pap paw fell under conviction in the A Mourners Bench like the one Pappaw used winter and they needed to wait for the river to thaw so they could do baptisms. Waiting till spring for baptism for a boy seemed like a long time especially when your father had just died and mother was not well. By spring, that initial conviction was gone. However, Pappaw was baptized anyway. Later he would recall the event and respond with this, “I just went down (to baptism) a dry devil and came up a wet one”. Now, Pappaw, after so long a time had found his way back to church. Certainly not for the right reasons, but none the less, he was back. The old church building had posts in it as part of the structure. As Pappaw would feel the conviction coming from the Holy Ghost on the man of God he would position himself so that he had one of those posts 6
between him and the speaker. It didn‟t help. At first Pappaw got mad at the preacher. How dare he say those things! He went home one night and said to my grandmother, “Mama (he always called her Mama) do we have a bible around here? “ I often think of this when reaching out to the lost. Do they even have a copy of the word of God? How can they read the Word if they don‟t have a bible? As it turned out they did have a Bible. My grandmother‟s sister, Nora, had given my grandmother a bible. Thank God for Great Aunt Nora! Papaw had taken time on his latest visit to the Pentecostals to write down the Scriptures that the preacher had read. So, he looked them up and read them for himself. I remember Pappaw saying, “Well, I found out that the preacher was telling the truth. It was right there in the bible. I was mad at the preacher but I might as well get mad at God.” AFCOG announced a revival service would begin and Pappaw made sure he was there every night to hear the minister, one Brother William Thomas (W. T.) Witherspoon. Brother W. T. Witherspoon pastored Apostolic Gospel Church in Columbus, Ohio later served as Chairman of the PAJC and Asst. General Superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church (UPC). Bishop Cornell also served with the PAJC as a District Elder from Cleveland Ohio7. When Pappaw heard people speaking with tongues as the Spirit gave utterance he realized, “that was what my daddy had; this Holy Ghost”. He remembered his father would speak in tongues down by the old wood shed during his prayer time!” By the end Sister and Pastor W. T. Witherspoon of the Witherspoon revival Pappaw was captivated and under heavy conviction. He wanted whatever these people had that made them so happy and filled them with such love. Happiness in the great depression was in short supply and Pappaw knew that what these people had was genuine. It was usual for the Pentecostals of this era to talk about the happiness and great love that people had one for another. Pappaw followed the revival services across town to the next place Brother W. T. Witherspoon was preaching. In those days the churches worked together rather than fighting for the pre-eminence. It didn‟t‟ seem to matter what fellowship card you had or organization you belonged to as long as you believed in Jesus! No one thought anything of folks going to another church to hear the preaching, worship or enjoy the 7
The Pentecostal Outlook. Volume 7. No. 12. December 1938. Pg. 4.
presence of the Lord. And thank God they didn‟t, because there in that next revival service, George A. Wade, my grandfather gave his life to Jesus Christ and was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins. In exchange, the Lord graciously filled him with His Holy Spirit and the destiny of our family was forever altered. Bishop Cornell was a good bible teacher, patient and nurturing. These are certainly qualities of a fine pastor. Once Pappaw was filled the Holy Ghost (we used the King James Bible and always referred to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Ghost), he never looked back. There was no in and out for him. There were certainly ups and downs and trials and tests but Pap paw was sold out for Jesus! Like the lyrics of the song, “I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS, NO TURNING BACK, NO TURNING BACK!” “In 1935, the church was incorporated and named The Apostolic Faith Church of God. Then we purchased an old foundry and factory building which was in a very dilapidated condition at 2050 West 55th Street and started working. All of the labor of repairing and remodeling was done by the brethren of the church. Our pastor laid bricks, did carpenter work and acted as overseer of the work, toiling every evening after he finished his day‟s work at the Westinghouse Mfg. Co. and all day on Saturdays from 7 A.M. until 11 Bishop G. A. Wade and Brother Freddy P.M. Many of the brethren in the church labored faithfully with Elder Cornell in this huge new task which took nearly a year as a new floor had to be laid, new roof put on, living quarters built, and many loads of dirt hauled away. The total cost of the property and repairing amounted to $11,470.00.”8 We moved into our new place of worship on April 8, 1936. Meanwhile my Grandmother, Lois Wade, who I called Mammaw, was having none of it. She was quite content to let Papaw go out with the Holy Rollers but she didn‟t need any of that religion stuff. Mammaw had seen her fair share of hypocrites growing up and she didn‟t have room in her life for any more. Her people were from Missouri and they don‟t call it the “Show Me” State for nothing. She enjoyed going to the picture show and that was where she would go when Papaw went to church. This was an escape for her. One night Papaw went to church and Mammaw went to the movies as usual. During the movie there was a scene of a house burning. Mammaw later recounted, “I heard a voice as clear as day say, „Your house if on fire!” Mammaw ran from the movie theater, down the street and all the way home. When she
burst through the door of the house her oldest son, George, said, “Mom, you look like you have seen a ghost!”
Apostolic Faith Church of God Convention May 1944 – three day meeting to celebrate paying off the church mortgage. Pappaw is on the left hand side holding my Dad.
We know now what she didn‟t know then. The Holy Spirit was talking to her and yes, her house was certainly on fire. She was going to have an encounter with a ghost, the Holy Ghost! There was a fire ragging in her that if the course was unaltered she would end in the Lake of Fire. Papaw had long quit asking her to join him to go to church. One night right after the theater incident, when Papaw was getting ready he noticed Mammaw getting ready also. Pappaw said to her, “Where are you going?” Mammaw replied, “To Church with you.” And that was that. Later Mammaw also received the glorious baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. She was also buried in baptism in the glorious name of Jesus Christ to rise and walk in newness of life. Praise the name of Jesus! Mammaw sold out to Jesus! She never looked back. She would become a
fixture in that church and later others. She was a Godly woman who was an example of the believer. She would live to be over 100 years old. Her life was a testament of a Godly woman, a Christian lady and a leader, committed to Jesus Christ every day of her life. When she was late in life she needed full time nursing help. These nurses generally would come every day for a week or so, but near the end of her life we noticed that they were changing nurses every day. Mammaw was witnessing to these ladies about Jesus and they were under conviction. Right up to the end Mammaw was conducting own Revival. At her 99th Birthday Party I asked her, “Mammaw, what do you learn in 100 years of living?” She said, “Oh, Honey, you learn to be sweet and humble.” So I am trying to become sweet and humble, it is taking some effort. Mammaw joined right into the work of AFCOG. Whatever Bishop Cornell needed done my grandparents were right there working with him and Sister Cornell. Mammaw starting helping in the kitchen and soon they were looking to her as head cook. Someone had to take the lead for the huge conventions that the church had and Mammaw was willing to help. This first building was rented as the fledgling church could not afford to purchase a place of worship. By 1935 the church had gotten a reputation for being quite noisy. According to the owners, people in the neighborhood, primarily those who were members of the Catholic Church were unhappy about the noise. Thus, after three years, the owners refused to continue renting the building to the Church and asked them to vacate. Bishop Cornell told them AFCOG would find a new place. He also told them that after the church vacated they would never see another use for the site. Sometime after the church moved out the building burned to the ground and for some seven decades the site was an empty lot. The power of the Prophet leading God‟s people had certainly come to Cleveland. In 1935 the Lord blessed the AFCOG with a new building. Well, to be honest a very old building. It had been an old foundry. It was beside a brewery. If you have never been in a foundry just know this, they are extremely dirty. How the men of the church ever remodeled such a nasty old building into a place of worship is a testimony and my Pappaw was one of those who labored to bring life to the old building. God honored the labor. They needed to acquire permits to remodel the old foundry building. Getting these permits from the city to remodel the building proved to be elusive. After several attempts to get the City of Cleveland to issue permits to Bishop Cornell was walking through the City Hall building when a man said, “Hey, who are you?”
Bishop Cornell said, “I am a preacher. I am down here in yet another attempt to get building permits to remodel an old factory building we bought. We want to remodel it for a church.” The man said, “Come with me. Bishop Cornell followed him. Turned out he was State of Ohio building inspector. Bishop Cornell went with him to his office where he issued Bishop Cornell State permits to remodel 2050 W. 55th Street, Cleveland, Ohio. God had uniquely intervened to help the congregation of Apostolic Faith Church of God. Pappaw used to recount this story to us. It was some three years since he had been born again of the water and of the Spirit and he was committed to reading his bible and studying to show himself approved (something he would do till the day he went to be with Jesus). Papaw approached Bishop Cornell to ask him a question.
Front Row (L to R) Sister and Brother Coleman, Bishop Patterson, Sister and Bishop Cornell. 2 Row (L to R) unknown, Mammaw, Sister Staten behind her, Sister Householder, Sisters Marge Anderson, Ruth Shoppe and Sister Smith (Smity). Unknown, Mother Nemath and Sister Gene and Brother Amos McDaniel (Mammaw’s brother-in-law). Back Row (R to L) Pappaw, Bishop Pogue, Elder Leonard Kohler, Brother Al Sacid, and Elder Harold Anderson.
Pappaw, “Bishop Cornell, did you know that Jesus Christ is the mighty God?” Bishop Cornell (Somewhat surprised and delighted), “Yes, Brother Wade, I did. That is what I have been trying for three years to get you to understand.”
Pappaw often recounted those early year by talking about sitting in bible class with men such as Bishop G. T. Haywood, Bishop G. B. Rowe, Bishop Hancock, Brother Coot and other legendary preachers of that era. He would ask my father, “Do you remember when we sat in bible class with Bishop G. T. Haywood teaching? Dad would say, “No Dad, I don‟t remember those days. Bishop Haywood died before I was born” (Bishop G. T. Haywood died April 12, 1931). Pappaw would say, “Oh, yes I forgot”. But Pappaw remembered those old Elders from the days before the white brethren pulled out of their fellowship with the black brethren. Some say it was that early division that caused Bishop Haywood to die. They say he died of a broken heart. Those were formative years in Pappaw‟s life. They made such an impact on him that he wanted to share those Bible truths with others. At AFCOG they continued fellowshipping black brethren as always. This is a note from the 1940‟s, “In May, we held a three-day convention and dedicated it unto the Lord. On December 23, 1944, the mortgage on the church was paid in full without any outside help except the free-will offerings of our congregation. In the summer of 1947 the entire church was redecorated, one new furnace installed, the other two furnaces repaired, and an asphalt driveway put in at a cost of $3,100.00. We borrowed $1,600.00 and paid the balance in cash. A special two week meeting was held at that time and the church was rededicated.”9 I once asked my father, “What is different about the church today verses back then?” Dad said, “Back then they lots of people came to church who had not been born of the water and of the Spirit. There was no attempt to preach clothes line messages or to preach so hard you would run them off. The people came and the saints had church, prayer, and invited the Spirit of the Lord. When the conviction would fall that would cause the unsaved to change their ways.
Today, we run them off if they don‟t line up to our „Standards‟ right away and that is usually all we see of them. So the difference is that back then about half of the people were not spirit filled but came anyway. Today, we have decided we only want the half that is Spirit filled. Back then we had opportunity every service for someone to get saved because there were already sinners present.” Bishop and Sister Cornell lived a good life. They were modest in the way they conducted themselves. He taught his people this simple way to pattern your life, “Don’t be anywhere; don’t be doing anything or saying anything that you wouldn’t want to be when the Lord returns.” When Bishop Cornell had revival services they were seldom short. The old timers tell of a time when Bishop Cornell, Dad, Glen McDaniel, Denny McDaniel with Sunday they went 19 weeks in revival School Teacher Al Sacid without a night off! God can do marvelous things if we let him. In 1943 Bro. Romine and his family from Indianapolis came to Apostolic Faith Church of God. They held over a month of revival during which, “one was baptized and four received the Holy Ghost.”10 One unique weekly event was Bishop Cornell held Saturday night bible study at his home. Here usually young ministers and those interested in learning more than the average about the word of God would gather for instruction.
Pastor Ray Cornell. Pentecostal Outlook. Volume 12. No. 6. June 1943. Page 9.
SISTER LOIS WADE
I remember Mammaw so fondly. She prayed whenever she needed and wherever. Most often she was in the kitchen. Back in the 1930‟s when she had come to the Lord she had come from rough country people and from a worldly life. She would be working in the church kitchen and something happen. She would just say, “S_ _T”. One of the other cooks said, “SISTER WADE!” The Cooks (L to R) Sister Snyder, Sister Staten, Mammaw, Sister Pazdernick, Sister Marge Anderson, Brother Herman Snyder, Sister Vollie Green and Sister Kessel circa 1960
Mammaw, “What?” Other cook, “You shouldn‟t speak like that now that you are saved.”
Who knew? Mammaw didn‟t know that is was not something she should say but she was learning. I doubt anyone reading this ever knew the story. I questioned the wisdom of printing it because my Mammaw was held in such high esteem. However, I want people to know that people come to God with lots of baggage. They are far from perfect and our job is not to perfect them in our flesh or have them adhere to a long list of rules and regulations but rather to let the Spirit of the Lord guide them in all truth while we are there as help and encouragement to them in their walk with God. Years later in an early pastorate I had someone come tell me that a new convert was still smoking. I had seen other ministers who would have made a major issue of such. I remembered Mammaw‟s example. I knew that the new convert would be just fine. We prayed with her, encouraged her to continue her Christian journey. I knew that like my Mammaw, she was learning. Pappaw, Brian, Mammaw, Bernie and Mom
Mammaw loved to cook and people loved her Thanksgiving 1969 some of Mammaw’s cooking on the table. cooking! She would often be in the kitchen praying and speaking in tongues. She told me that sometimes they had as good a service in the kitchen of the church (which was downstairs) as they were having upstairs. Now, that was saying something!
Mammaw at 100
Mammaw had six children and was a home maker. Additionally, she worked as caretaker for the Church. She and her family took care of the church facilities. Whenever we had conventions, special services or any event where food was involved, Mammaw was the Head Cook. Lots of work, but Mammaw was up to the task, alongside her were many wonderful saints of God helping to carry the load. Some of those who helped in with the kitchen duties include Sister Margie and Brother Harold Anderson, Mother Nemeth, Sister Lilian Pazdernick, Brother Bernie Tucker, Bishop George Wade, Sister Smith, Sister Bobbie Cooper, Sister Esther Hallberg (Drotleff), Sister Carol Green, Sister Ruth Shopp who usually helped with coffee and many others whose names I do not have.
Mammaw talked of them and their time together in the kitchen most fondly. The people of AFCOG were more than other church members, more than friends, they were her family. Many times people have said to me, “I remember the wonderful meals the ladies at Bishop Cornell‟s would serve.”
Fellowship Hall at Apostolic Faith Church of God circa 1930. Pappaw is standing on the right against the wall
When Mammaw was in her 70‟s; at a Thanksgiving get together with the whole Wade family. Mammaw started praying in her home kitchen and then speaking in tongues and then shouting right into the dining room and through the living room and back into the other door of the kitchen. It was a big loop and all the time she had her eyes closed and had a spoon and mixing bowl in her hands (probably dough for her wonderful cat head
biscuits). Those who were cold in Christ became nervous. The rest of us rejoiced right along with her. Thank God for saints who are sold out to Jesus and don‟t see Church as just something to do. On July 14, Mammaw reached her 100th birthday. At her home that month I asked her, “Mammaw, what do you learn in 100 years?” “Oh honey, that is easy, you learn to be sweet and humble.” So, a life well lived teaches a lesson that it may take a lifetime to master. BE SWEET AND HUMBLE. In October of 2010, Mammaw went home to be with Jesus. I was privileged to have a part in her Home Going Service along with her pastor Bishop Billy McCool and Pastor Mark McCool. I spoke of “Mammaw‟s Kitchen Ministry” and talked about her work as compared to another servant who waited on tables, Apostle Stephen. In our ministry many of the people we have had opportunity to reach were first impacted by someone in our kitchen. What powerful services they had in the old church. What music we had! I still can remember the musicians getting ready for church service. We had wonderful Holy Ghost filled musicians and they were very talented. You might hear every instrument from a 10 string guitar to the spoons. Those were wonderful days when the whole congregation came to worship rather than to be entertained.
Children’s Sunday School (L to R) Adults, Bishop and Sister Cornell. Back Row (L to R) Sister Margie Anderson, Mammaw, Elder France Thompson, Elder Milton Green, Elder George Wade
My Dad fondly recalled a time when a preacher, Elder Plain (of American Indian descent from Canada) came to minister.
He said to Bishop Cornell, “Bishop you have these people so primed to worship God that it doesn‟t even matter what I say. They will simply worship”. Bishop Cornell said, “You really think so?” Elder Plain, “Yes. I could say „cabbage and onions‟ and they would worship.” Bishop Cornell, “Give it a try”.
The next thing, Elder Plain grabbed the microphone and started yelling, “CABBAGE AND ONIONS, CABBAGE AND ONIONS over and over again. You know what? The people just started shouting and praising the Lord!
My Pappaw, Bishop George A. Wade cutting Bishop Ray Cornell’s hair.
Fellowship in those years was readily available and these are some of those in the AFCOG fellowship circle: Brother White (Akron), Brother Maley (Canton), Bishop King (Chagrin Falls), Pastor Shriver later Kearney (Elyria), Brother William Pogue, Elder John Steila (Slavic Village), Bishop C. B. Gillespie (Fairmont/Morgantown, WV), Bishop Lee (Newark), Pastor Simmons (Terra Haute, IN), Sister Betty Quakenbush (Martinsville, IN), Brother Leslie (Wadsworth) and more.
Besides church and fellowship meetings the next thing on the list for most church folks is fellowship at a good restaurant. For AFCOG, one of the favorites was a Chinese restaurant on the east side of Cleveland. Pappaw‟s favorite dish was Subgum. My father usually ordered Green Pepper Steak. Dad took Mom there on a date and encouraged her not to order American food. Mom ordered a New York Strip. It was not well prepared, so she helped Dad with his delicious Green Pepper Steak. Around 1956, Bishop Cornell and then Elder Sanford Wade built a beautiful waterfall behind the baptistery at the church. It was made from stones from all over the country. Bishop Cornell gathered these on ministry trips and brought them home. I remember one night a Navy man came to service and received the Holy Ghost. He wanted to be baptized and when he got ready to get in the baptistery, he realized he had left his wallet in his pocket. Bishop Cornell said, “That is all right I want to get all of you baptized!” Pappaw was a hard worker. As a young man he worked at Standard Knitting in Knoxville, Tennessee. That is where he met Mammaw. When he first arrived in Cleveland Ohio he worked for the same company. During the Great Depression he worked for the WPA (Works Progress Administration) working on repairing roads. Later, when he returned from Tennessee he went to work for the Waldock Meat Company headquartered in Sandusky Ohio. Pappaw would get up very early in the
morning to make the more than two hour drive to work in Sandusky. Dad recalls Pappaw up early in the morning praying in the bathroom before he went to work. Pappaw was a barber. I don‟t think that he went to formal barber school, but he cut hair for many of the men in the church. Pappaw was always busy. He would often retort, “There is no rest for the wicked and the righteous don‟t need it!” At some point during this time my grandfather purchased a reel to reel tape recorder and recorded some of the old church services. Most of these have been lost through time but as a young man I remember listening to the events of those old meetings and am very thankful that Pap paw spent the time and effort to record these events. My grandparents had six children and all of them were at one time involved at AFCOG. Two of them would become ministers. On April 8th, 1962, my father Sanford L. Wade, and my Mother the former Georgia Ann Gillespie, were married at Apostolic Faith Church of God. Bishop Ray O. Cornell officiated. There were hundreds in attendance for the wedding. This wedding date marked the 26th Anniversary of the new building (It was the 30th Year for the Church). On that same date April 8th in1936 the congregation had first moved into this building and held the first service. For Mom and Dad‟s it was the beginning of a 50 year journey together. They would go on to raise five children, see their 8 grandchildren, and the first three great grandchildren, Bishop Sanford Lee Wade and Georgia establish churches in several places, release two natural Ann Gillespie on their wedding day, th April 8 , 1962 sons into the ministry, mentor and train a significant number of others many of whom would become musicians, recording artists, song writers, writers, leaders and ministers in various ministries and assemblies around the world. Silly things happened at AFCOG also. One time a preacher about “Moreover the Dog”.
came and preached
He said, “Moreover, is the only dog named in the bible.” Of course this man was simply illiterate. We used to get great laughs out of that misnomer. He had taken the text about the story of Lazarus where it says, “Moreover the dogs came and licked the sores of Lazarus.” Today, we wouldn‟t let a preacher that ignorant in our pulpits. But, guess what? The altars filled up that night with people crying out to God and some got the Holy Ghost! I need to remember that lessen.
Sometimes I forget the power is NOT in me but in the Word of God! God‟s Word is capable no matter how ignorant the preacher! My maternal Aunt, Fern Kessel or Sister Kessel as she was called at church, was actively involved with children. Aunt Fern had been unable to have natural children due to some natural problem that caused her to miscarry several times. But her love for children was undeniable and she spent her life working with children and for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Only heaven had record of the many lives that she touched. I was blessed to be at her Home Going and had the privilege of Christmas Pageant at AFCOG. Brian and I were two of the three giving a few remarks. Kings. Dad wrote several plays for AFCOG
At AFCOG, she did many things but my fondest memory of her is her leading the children‟s band or “The Little Band “as they called it. I don‟t know who originally started it; the Little Band had been part of AFCOG for a long time. My Dad told me he played in The Little Band as a child so it must have gone back to near the beginning of the church. Sister Kessel also worked with children in other capacities such as plays, Sunday School and more. At the time of my childhood Sister Fern Kessel was the leader of The Little Band. The Little Band was made up of small children probably 3-7 year olds. Each would come with their child size tambourine, or pair of sticks, triangle, drum, or some similar simple instrument and she would lead us as we sang children‟s songs and played instruments. Of course, I have taken literary license with the word „played‟! Sister Fern Kessel had the patience of Job! This early experience with „music‟ (we children thought it was music) gave me a lifelong love for music and for the people of God. In the years to come I would be blessed lead my own children‟s choir, and adult choirs, sing in a quartet, duet and solo. I tried a hand at the bass guitar, the piano and organ but never really accomplished much with them. But the tambourine which I began beating in Aunt Fern‟s children‟s band, that is an instrument with which I have learned to keep rhythm. My parents certainly tried to help me with playing a musical instrument. They bought me a guitar when I was a young
AFCOG young people’s group
child to encourage me to be a musician. Dad reminds me that I would lay the guitar on the floor, then stand on it and sing. Well something was working anyway! My singing is not going to earn me any awards but it certainly is better than my musical talent. AFCOG was a praying church. Bishop Cornell put great faith in prayer. When the pastor of one of the daughter works was discovered in sexual sin, and the people didn‟t know how to bring it to light. Bishop Cornell advised them to pray. When after a couple of weeks nothing had changed, Bishop Cornell advised them to be patient and pray. In the end, the Adulterous pastor stood up one service and resigned. No fight, no confusion – Prayer had won the day. Bishop Cornell had a wealth of experience. He had been around people enough to know their ways. In those days they would often go to people homes that had called for prayer and pray for them. Some of us still go to people‟s homes for prayer. Bishop Cornell always instructed the ministers, “Never go to a home alone”. One evening the phone rang at Pappaw and Mammaw‟s house. It was Bishop Cornell. He wanted Pappaw to Bishop Cornell, Bishop King, Pastor ? and Elder Milton Green accompany him to go pray for a lady who had called for prayer. When they arrived at the ladies home, she was nude. She began to cuss and swore at Bishop Cornell, because she had expected him to come alone. Pappaw would often talk about the prayer services in those early days. He said the people would be at the altar 5 or more rows deep, crying out to God! Powerful prayer meetings begat power churches. There were praying ladies who heard from God. Sometimes they would stand in the service and ask Bishop Cornell if they could speak. This would usually start like, “Bishop Cornell I was praying the other day and the Lord showed me…” If you were sinning the Lord just show it to one of these praying ladies in the church. They could start speaking and people would get up and run to the altar. These ladies prayed and God spoke to them. Every body of believers needs intercessors like those. One day, Pappaw observed something quite strange. He saw a man from the church standing at the corner of West 25th and Clark. The man was someone Pappaw knew well. He realized that this man was smoking. This was a serious concern but Pappaw was uncertain what to do, so he prayed about it. Some time passed and one night in
church service one of the praying sisters stood and asked Brother Cornell for permission to speak. She said, “The Lord showed me Brother (name withheld) standing at the corner of West 25th and Clark and he was smoking.” At this moment this brother stood and yelled, “That is a lie”. Pappaw, who was the assistant pastor then stood and told how he had not heard from the Lord on this matter but had actually seen the event. He told how he had been praying for the Lord to help with the situation. At this the brother went to the altar. God had revealed the secret things in open. Sister Frieda Thompson told me that the church in those days was very evangelistic. She had come to Cleveland from Lancaster Ohio where the late Elder S. R. Hanby had pastored for so many years before turning the church there into the capable hands of Elder R. G. Cook. In those days the Cleveland church was active in street meetings. They would just go to an area and have church on the street. People who may never have come to the church were impacted by the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this manner. Dad sat on the Elder Board for a number of years. Bishop Cornell had the foresight to know that you could not run a church on your own. This is a lesson that many either forgot, ignore or just never learn. The Elder Board was approved men, full of the Holy Ghost who worked closely with Bishop Cornell. One day when the Elder Board was meeting they discussed a preacher who had demanded a guarantee of a certain sum before he would come hold revival. Dad, who was the youngest of the Elders, recommended they tell him not to come, and they did. The Church was well able to meet the sum and the sum was much less than what they would have normally paid, but that wasn‟t the point. They wanted people who were committed to Jesus, not worried about money. In 1971, God called our beloved Bishop Ray Oscar Cornell home. I will never forget the funeral service. The cars following the hearse stretched for as far as the eye could see. Bishop Cornell had left no one in charge of the church in spite of a number of attempts by his family and others. It had been no secret that Bishop Cornell was getting up in years and someone needed to lead the church. Bishop Cornell had been in bad health for some time and suffered through some strokes. At one time, my grandfather came back from his retirement in Tennessee in a failed effort by the Cornell children to get Bishop Cornell to turn over the Church to someone younger and in better health. Unfortunately, that just didn‟t happen.
While he was living, Bishop Cornell had made some decisions about the church leadership that did not go well and after his passing there was much disagreement on the Elder Board, different ones were certain that they should be the pastor. When the dust had settled Bishop Milton Green, who had been the Assistant Pastor, became Pastor. Unfortunately for AFCOG this prompted an exodus by some of the leadership and members; leaving the church with a smaller congregation in an inner city area that was itself being decimated because of „White Flight‟.11 With the Church building having been taken by the Pastor James Shriver, Bishop Ray Cornell, Bishop Carl Angle and Bishop George A. Wade State for the new I-90 project, the congregations relocated to a much smaller, but very nice facility on Maple Avenue off West 25th Street. The Church desperately needed an influx of Fresh Oil and New Wine but it never came. Bishop Milton Green would pastor AFCOG until he passed away a few years later. Then, Bishop David Cornell, the son of the late Bishop Ray O. Cornell would pastor the AFCOG. These were difficult years for the Church. Gone were the heydays of the 1940‟s and 50‟s when people were streaming into the West Side of Cleveland to work in booming businesses. The environment in the 1970‟s and 80‟s was the exact opposite. Companies were moving out of the city or closing. The once vibrant steel industry was dying and the people who worked in many those places were moving out of the city. Bishop David Cornell pastored until they was finally closed the doors of AFCOG in Cleveland forever. Thankfully, the life work of Bishop Cornell has continued in the lives of his Spiritual sons. Bishop Cornell was himself a spiritual son of the late Bishop G. B. Rowe and he was blessed to have a number of spiritual sons among them Bishop George A. Wade, Bishop Sanford L. Wade, Bishop Milton Green, Bishop David Cornell, Pastor France Thompson, Pastor Frieda Thompson, Pastor John Pogue, Pastor David Pogue, Bishop William Pogue. I know there are dozens more that came from these ministers but I don‟t have all their names. Today, Apostolic Faith Church of God is gone. The building and property on West 25th Street was taken by the State of Ohio to build I-90. Where the Church building was is now community baseball fields, but the truths that we learned there and the impact on our lives will live forever. 11
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Bernie Wade has dedicated his entire life to working in ministry. As a child he helped his parents pioneer a number of church plants. As a young man he served as an evangelist, assistant pastor, pastor and more. Today, he fills his busy schedule writing, teaching, preaching and traveling around the world ministering the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a focused on the restoration or reformation of the Church to the tenets that were taught by the New Testament Church and the original Apostles of Jesus Christ. Toward this end most of his writing focuses on those essential biblical doctrines. He is committed to teaching and focusing other church leaders to return to our Biblical foundation. He serves as President to the global ministry of International Circle of Faith (ICOF). ICOF is a global network of ministers, churches, ministries and more. ICOF‟s global network has more than 40,000 ministers and some 20 million adherents, with representation in nearly every country in the world. For more information visit: http://www.icof.net International Circle of Faith Colleges Seminaries and Universities (ICOF CSU) is a global network of Christian schools of higher learning and represents ICOF‟s leaders collective commitment to quality Christian education. Dr. Bernie Wade sees the current spiritual climate as another great wave of the Holy Spirit similar to the wave of the Spirit that swept the world after the Wales and Azusa Street revivals a century ago.
Bishop Daniel Joseph, Bishop Joseph Rankin and Bishop Wade with many other ministers at an ICOF Leadership Summit in Ghana West Africa.
With this wave of the Holy Spirit in mind, Dr. Wade is instructing leaders to position themselves and their followers to get ready for The Next Wave. In this light a magazine was launched appropriately called, “The Next Wave”. To learn more about The Next Wave Magazine visit: http://www.icof.net/index.php/thenextwave Welcome to The Next Wave!
A history of the Apostolic Faith movement church, Apostolic Faith Church of God in Cleveland Ohio. This church was founded by Bishop Ray Os...