The first pastors meeting of the Global United Fellowship was held last week at the Embassy Suites in Winston Salem, NC as presiding Bishop Neil C. Ellis passionately outlined the overall mission, specific ministerial touchstones; organizational structure and key appointments of the Fellowship – which in only eight months has remarkably amassed more than 300 churches around the world.
“This is a fellowship, not a denomination” was a major point that Bishop Ellis communicated throughout the meeting, while describing one of the Fellowship’s five prongs: Uniting the Body of Christ. “The Body of Christ is now fragmented,” says Bishop Ellis, “therefore, we are not maximizing all that can be done to build and uphold the kingdom of God here on earth. Global United Fellowship is inclusive of pastors and parent church ministries of any denomination that desires to move forward the spiritual mandates of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
GUF’s illustrious group of Vice Presiding Bishops was announced as follows: Bishop Joby Brady (The Potter’s House of North Dallas); Bishop Sheldon McCarter (Greater Cleveland Avenue Christian Church; Winston Salem, N.C.); Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr. (Bethel Baptist Institutional Church; Jacksonville, FL), and Bishop Designate Dr. Carolyn Showell (First Apostolic Faith Church; Baltimore, MD).
In addition to Bishop Designate Dr. Showell, who will oversee operational structure, three additional GUF Bishopric Candidates were announced: Bishop Designate Dr. John E. Guns (St. Paul Church; Jacksonville, FL) who will assume responsibility for Christian Education; Bishop Designate Dr. William H. Murphy Senior (Greater Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church; Detroit, MI) who will serve as the Father of the Fellowship and Chairman of the Shepherds Care Unit; and Bishop Designate Dr. James R. Woodson II (St. James Home of Fresh Start; Greensboro, NC) who will serve as Executive Secretary.
Other key appointments announced during the meeting included Dr. Juanita Bynum (Global Ambassador of Prayer) and Bishop Hezekiah Walker (Bishop Over Music, Worship & The Arts); as well as GUF’s Executive Board & Spiritual Advisors, which include Bishop Rudolph McKissick Senior (Special Assistant to the Presiding Bishop); Bishop Kenneth Ulmer (Apostolic Aide to the Presiding Bishop) and Jackie McCullough (Spiritual Advisor). As the Fellowship begins to shape its leadership, nearly 80 officers were named over the two-day meeting. Further announcements of these officers are forthcoming.
“I believe this team will serve to help get the fellowship off to a strong start as we move towards following the mandate that has been given to us to unite, equip, enhance, resurrect, and build,” says Bishop Ellis.
Resurrecting the discipline of prayer in the body of Christ is another prong of the Global United Fellowship. “The 21st Century Church has replaced prayer with praise, and we have to put prayer back in its rightful place of being the bedrock of our relationship with God. Prayer is to prepare for the praise, and the praise is supposed to lead us into God’s presence,” says Bishop Ellis.
To that end, pastors gathered at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning to pray over the City of Winston-Salem. Later, Mayor Allen Joines issued a proclamation naming March 26th as Global United Fellowship Day of Prayer in the city. “My heart is with Global United Fellowship, and I am excited about Global United Fellowship. Winston-Salem is a city that embraces diversity, and churches are the glue that holds this town together. I thank you for honoring us with your presence, and look forward to your return in July,” said Mayor Joines.
July 15 – 18, GUF’s first conference – The Gathering – will take place at the Benton Convention Centre in Winston Salem. Speakers will include Dr. Jamal Bryant; Bishop Kenneth Ulmer; Bishop I.V. Hilliard; Dr. Jackie McCullough; Bishop John Francis; Bishop Tudor Bismarck and many others. Details about The Gathering can be found here: GUF’s THE GATHERING.
“My hope is that this Fellowship will kill the spirit of class and rank that impedes our growth and arrests our ability to build the kingdom of God in a vibrant, efficient and beneficial way. This is the birth of something fresh in the Body of Christ,” says Bishop Ellis. “I am driven by the revelation that this is a trans-generational move of God and not just another ‘movement’. We are laying the foundation for a Kingdom vehicle through which future generations will literally come into the fullness of Kingdom building.”