History of The United Covenant Churches of Christ, Inc. continued…
On August 22, 1992, the First Formal General Assembly of the Church was convened. Bishop J. Delano Ellis has proclaimed the First General Overseer and President of the Reformation.
Provinces were established and the General Overseer appointed the first Overseers for the Episcopal Provinces with the announced intention to publicly “Consecrate” each of them to the “Bishopric” in the Fourth Holy Convocation. There were Bishops (designate) James Ronald Chambers, of Brooklyn, New York, assigned to the Northeastern Province; John Lee Hilton of Akron, Ohio, appointed to the Midwestern Province; Howard Benjamin Hogan of Chicago, Illinois assigned to the Western Province; Carl Halloway Montgomery, II of Baltimore, Maryland, appointed to the Atlantic-Southern Provinces; and Lester Paul Bell, II of Chicago, Illinois, who was given the rank of Auxiliary Bishop and assigned to preside over the National College of Preachers Board of Credentials. Elder Lester Eugene Hilliard, Sr., of Cleveland was assigned the title National Overseer and Special Missioner for the Office of the General Overseer. In January 1993, The General Overseer appointed Bishop (designate) Harold Lloyd Joseph of Brooklyn, New York, and assigned him to the Caribbean Province and scheduled him for “Consecration” in the 1993 Convocation. Thus, with the first six bishops having been appointed and declared by the Primate of the Church, the United Pentecostal Churches continued its organizational work and growth.
In May 1993, the formal draft of the First Constitution of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ was adopted by the House of Bishops at Brooklyn, New York.
Having served the church from its conception, in 2004 the Establishmentarian, President, and General Overseer submitted his resignation from the Office.
A Conclave was called of Bishops and Overseers to convene for the purpose of electing a successor. On June 6, 2006, at the National Church, Cleveland, Ohio, the College of Bishop, by a majority vote, elected The Most Reverend Larry Darnell Trotter of Chicago, Illinois as the successor to the founder as the Second Presiding Bishop of the Church. In Chicago, Illinois, at the Monument of Faith Cathedral, Saturday, December 11, 2006, The Presiding Bishop-elect was formally installed to this office. Appointed to assist the Presiding Bishop was, The Most Reverend Eric Daniel Garnes, of Brooklyn, New York as the First Assistant Presiding Bishop and, The Most Reverend L. Millicent Hall Hunter, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the Second Assistant Presiding Bishop.
During Bishop Trotter’s tenure the church grew spiritually, numerically, and expanded its reach beyond the borders of the United States to the uttermost parts of the world. The Church was committed to prayer, study, and preaching of the Word of God, and fervent worship. The Church, seeing its growth, amended the name from United Pentecostal Churches of Christ to United Covenant Churches of Christ. In the General Assembly, July 2008, the amendment was ratified by a majority vote. Bishop Trotter’s Administration served until the Spring of 2009 when he resigned from office.
The House of Bishops met in Conclave at Baptist Worship Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the purpose of electing a new Presiding Bishop on Monday, June 8, 2009. After a season of prayer and fasting the bishops elected, by a majority vote, The Most Reverend Eric Daniel Garnes as the Third Presiding Bishop in succession from the establishmentarian.
The church made great strides under Bishop Garnes’ leadership. We continued to grow numerically, spiritually, emotionally, and most importantly, as a family in God. This came through change and transition; through testing and trial. We trusted God where we could not trace Him.
The House of Bishops once again met in a Virtual Conclave for the purpose of electing a new Presiding Bishop on Monday, August 31, 2020. After a season of prayer and fasting the bishops elected, by a majority vote, The Most Reverend Glenn E. Livingston as the Fourth Presiding Bishop in succession from the establishmentarian.
United looks forward to a new season of Kingdom advancement under Bishop Livingston’s administration. We will continue to build upon the great legacy we enjoy, as we continue to focus on being relevant and beneficial for pastors, leaders, and churches around the world.