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J. Delano Ellis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jesse Delano Ellis II
Jesse Ellis Los Angeles.jpg
Personal details
Birth nameJesse Delano Ellis
Born (1944-12-11) December 11, 1944 (age 75)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
ResidenceCleveland, Ohio
Sabrina Joyce (m. 1982)
OccupationPastor, author

Jesse Delano Ellis II, known as J. Delano Ellis, is a leader in African-American Pentecostalism in the United States and is the founding President/Chairman and Archbishop Metropolitan of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops.[1]

He was the senior pastor of the Pentecostal Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio,[2] a ministry to which he was called on May 14, 1989. His wife, Dr Sabrina Ellis, currently serves as co-pastor with him.

Ellis is also the founder and former presiding prelate of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ[3] and presiding prelate of Pentecostal Churches of Christ.[4]

Ellis is being widely known as a progenitor of unity among African-American Pentecostals. He has worked to introduce order, identity, and an appreciation of Christian history among Pentecostal churches.[5][6] As a promoter of ecumenism, Ellis has put the Pentecostal movement, as it is manifested among African Americans, in conversation with the broader Christian community around the world.[7]

J. Delano Ellis began as a clergyman in the Church of God in Christ before being asked to lead a local congregation outside that denomination.

Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops

In the introduction to his landmark treatise, The Bishopric: A Handbook on Creating Episcopacy in the African-American Pentecostal Church,[8] Bishop J. Delano Ellis writes:

When this College was ordered by the Lord and it was made clear that Episcopal-styled training was to become the curriculum by which we would be governed, the Co-Founders trusted the Lord to give us a person who would mentor us and bring honor to the Name of Jesus Christ and particular Glory to His Church in our times. It became needful for us to adopt a Code of Dress and habit that would set us apart from congregationalism. We found the need to re-think the theology of the Pentecostal fathers and forge a witness that included the entire Baptized Body of Jesus Christ everywhere.

Our message had to be clear and unadulterated by the modernists. Our theology had to be cleansed of the separatist preaching which, for more than a century, kept Christians estranged from each other.

As such, the founders (J. Delano Ellis, Wilbert Sterling McKinley, Roy Edward Brown, and Paul S. Morton) of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops expressed a desire to offer "assistance and training for the proliferated Episcopacy within the African-American Pentecostal Church" (Ellis, 17).

THE MISSION STATEMENT of the Joint College, credited to David Michael Copeland of San Antonio, TX, is as follows:

The Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops exists to train and educate newly appointed Bishops with a strong emphasis on healthy family development.

The College will accomplish this goal by providing Seminars, Workshops, and opportunities for fellowship and spiritual covering for those who desire a standard of excellence in Ministry.

Through a disciplined and structured environment, which promotes Biblical knowledge, spirituality, physical and emotional health, and prosperity, the College provides leadership and guidance and simplified answers to important ministerial issues, all in an effort to Preserve, Protect, and Promote the Testaments, Teachings and Traditions of the Church.

Apostolic succession

In an Appendix to his book The Bishopric – a handbook on creating episcopacy in the African-American Pentecostal Church, Ellis claims both western and eastern streams of "apostolic succession" for himself and for United Pentecostal Churches of Christ, as summarized below.

Western stream

Ellis claims this succession via the Church of England, John Wesley, Thomas Coke, Francis Asbury, the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Church of God in Christ. The link from the Methodist Episcopal church is stated as being via three Church of God in Christ bishops (David Charles Williams, Carl Edward Williams and Reuben Timothy Jones), all of whom held "Holy Orders" from the Methodist Episcopal Church.

NOTE 1: In his book, Ellis makes no claim or comment at all as to whether the line of succession via Wesley, Coke, Asbury and the Methodist Episcopal Church carries un-broken episcopal succession as distinct from presbyteral succession only. The question as to whether there can be an episcopal succession via Wesley is a moot point. Wesley was a Church of England clergyman but he was not a Church of England bishop. Some[who?] believe that Wesley was secretly consecrated bishop by Greek Orthodox bishop Erasmus of Arcadia in 1763. For more information, see the wikipage for John Wesley.
NOTE 2: Ellis does not indicate that Williams, Williams and Jones possessed episcopal consecration from the Methodist Episcopal Church, nor does he cite any episcopal apostolic lineage for their status as bishops of the Church of God in Christ.

Ellis also notes that in 1964 he had been ordained presbyter by Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones of the Church of God in Christ, and he notes his episcopal consecration in 1970 by Bishop Brumfield Johnson of the Mount Calvary Holy Church of America Incorporated of Boston (Dorchester), Massachusetts, with other Mount Calvary bishops assisting. His book cites no episcopal apostolic lineage for this 1970 consecration.

Eastern stream

This succession is traced from the Syro-Chaldean church in the East, via Archbishop Bertram S. Schlossbereg (Mar Uzziah), archbishop-metropolitan of the Syro-Chaldean Church of North America, now known as the Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America.[9]

In 1995, Ellis states, the Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America entered into collegial fellowship with the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ. At a Holy Convocation of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ, Bishop Robert Woodward Burgess II (representing Archbishop Schlossberg, who was living in Jerusalem) assisted at the consecration of a number of additional bishops.

Archbishop Schlossberg and Bishop Burgess possess lineages from the Bishops Prazsky[10] (Slavonic Orthodox lineage), and from Bishop Gaines[11] (Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox lineage) converge in Schlossberg and Burgess, as well as numerous lineages deriving via Hugh George de Willmott Newman (Mar Georgius).[12]

In his book, Ellis mentions the Slavonic and Russian/Ukrainian lineages via the Prazskys and Gaines, but the only one of Newman's many lineages that he cites is the Syro-Chaldean.

Archbishop Agama (elevation of)

In October 2013, when Bishop Doyé Agama was elevated to the status of archbishop, J Delano Ellis provided a "Consecration Mandate" and he sent an episcopal delegation (comprising Bishop Darryl Woodson and Bishop Benjamin Douglass) to London, England where they took the principal part in the ceremony of consecration/elevation, at Southwark Cathedral.[13] Archbishop Agama is a member of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops and of the House of Bishops of Pentecostal Churches of Christ. He is presiding prelate of Apostolic Pastoral Congress.

External links


  1. ^ Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops
  2. ^ Pentecostal Church of Christ in Cleveland
  3. ^ "Blake formally elected head of Church of God in Christ", Christian Century, 124 (November 2007).
  4. ^ Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2012, edited by Eileen W Lander, published by National Association of Churches of Christ in USA.
  5. ^ Banks, Adelle (1995)"Pentecostals dress like Catholic bishops", National Catholic Reporter, 31 (17)
  6. ^ (1995) "Blacks Discover High Church", Christianity Today, 39 (5)
  7. ^ (2000) "Signs of the Times", America, 182 (6)
  8. ^ Ellis, J. Delano. The Bishopric: A Handbook on Creating Episcopacy in the African-American Pentecostal Church. Victoria, BC: Trafford, 2003
  9. ^ The website of Evangelical Apostolic Church of North America may be viewed at
  10. ^ William Andrew Prazsky and Anthony Prazsky
  11. ^ Bishop James Andrew Gaines (Mar Jacobus)
  12. ^ See Ecumenical apostolic succession
  13. ^ The APC's 2013 Ordinal booklet refers.
This page was last edited on 12 February 2020, at 17:59
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