MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Church Of God In Christ (COGIC) announces the peaceful transition of Bishop John Henry Sheard, the beloved father of current Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle, Bishop J. Drew Sheard, on Thursday, November 11, 2021.
Bishop Sheard served as the Chairman of the Board of Bishops of COGIC for more than 20 years, providing leadership to more than 500 bishops in the denomination. He became the prelate of the Michigan Southwest First Jurisdiction in 1992 and the pastor of Detroit’s Greater Mitchell Temple Church on January 1, 1982.
Born March 27, 1937, to the late O.S. and Kizziah Sheard, Bishop Sheard’s COGIC roots run deep. His father served as the pastor of the first or mother church of COGIC, founded by Bishop Charles Harrison Mason. After a full, early life in Mississippi, at age 17, he journeyed to Detroit, Michigan to build a better life and future for himself.
In Detroit, he began fellowshipping with Bailey Temple, under the leadership of Bishop John Seth Bailey. He answered the call to preach in 1973 after many years of service as a deacon and ardent worker in the youth department of both the local church and jurisdiction.
Bishop Sheard not only served in the church but was very active in the city of Detroit. He served as a Police Commissioner, a member of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Urban League, and a member of the City of Detroit’s Human Rights Committee. In addition, Bishop Sheard earned both an undergraduate and graduate degree from Wayne State University and was an educator in the Detroit Public Schools for many years.
In August 1956, Bishop Sheard married the love of his life, Willie Mae Gordon, and they enjoyed a wonderful marriage of 64 years until her passing in 2020. Together, they have two sons who are very active in ministry at both the local, state and national levels: Bishop J. Drew Sheard, who currently serves as the Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle of the Church Of God In Christ; and Superintendent Ethan B. Sheard, who serves as the Pastor of Greater Mitchell Temple. Bishop Sheard was also a proud grandfather and great grandfather.
The General Board, Officers and Members of the Church Of God In Christ collectively mourn the passing of our beloved Chairman and father of our Presiding Bishop.
Final arrangements will be communicated on cogic.org once completed.
The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the World and the fourth largest Protestant group in the United States, with 12,000 churches in 120 countries and millions of adherents worldwide.
Robert Coleman, Jr.
Church Of God In Christ, Inc.
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