Statement of Faith

We Believe . . .

  • The Holy Bible to be the inspired Word of God
  • In the oneness of God—that there are three manifestations of the one God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost
  • The name by which God is known is Lord Jesus Christ
  • In the virgin birth, death, burial, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
  • In the necessity of baptism in water in Jesus’ name according to Acts 2:38, and the in-filling of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues according to Acts 2:4. This constitutes the new birth spoken of by the Lord Jesus Christ in St. John 3:5
  • In living a holy, consecrated, and sanctified life
  • In the translation of the saints, commonly known as the Rapture (I Thess. 4:13-17)

HISTORY

The Founding Fathers (from left), Bishop Samuel Hancock, Bishop Willie Lee, Bishop Heardie Leaston, and Elder David Collins. These are the names that appear in the Articles of Incorporation, dated November 20, 1957, as the executors of the PCAF.

The Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International, Inc. (PCAF) was founded by Bishop Samuel N. Hancock in 1957 and officially incorporated on November 20, 1957. Those present to execute the incorporation were Bishop Hancock, Bishop Willie Lee, Bishop Heardie Leaston, and Elder David Collins. Established from its inception as a Oneness Pentecostal organization practicing baptism by full water immersion, the group sought to create an organization that stood for the highest standards of holiness. It is one of 12 major organizations born from the womb of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World between 1919 and 1960. Hancock served as the presiding bishop until his death in 1963. Today, with churches across the globe, the PCAF remains committed to its trademark of spiritual excellence and integrity on behalf of the Apostolic faith.

Presiding Bishop: Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr. (Elected 2016) Headquarters: Louisville, Kentucky Official Publication: The Voice in the Wilderness

PREAMBLE

The Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International is the continuation of the great revival that began in Jerusalem, on the Day of Pentecost, AD 33. This organization has as its foundation the doctrine of the Apostles and Prophets, and we claim Jesus Christ Himself as the Chief Cornerstone of our faith. (Acts 2:11-12) (Ephesians 2:19-20). The true followers of Christ have always suffered persecution and near extinction, but God has always sounded a refreshing note that in every age He would have a people who would yield themselves to His Word and His divine plan; and, because of this, God has ordained that the true church should “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). That is to say that we must hold to our biblically based tenets of faith. As the Sons of God, Jesus Christ’s visible representatives in this world, we recognize that God is at work and has manifested Himself in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and the uttermost parts of the world, and has validated His presence through signs, wonders, and many miracles. The advent of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost began on the Day of Pentecost and can be traced back to the days of Tertullian (A.D. 207), Chrysostom (4th Century), Christians of the Thirteenth Century, the early Quakers, Wesley, Whitfield, and Irving. The Church has always manifested the gifts of the spirit as was in evidence during the many revivals that swept over America in the late Eighteenth Century. Apostolic history reveals that in 1901 in the state of Kansas, this revival broke forth in a mighty way and moved southward through Texas, reaching Los Angeles, California in 1906. This revival, manifested by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, spread throughout the whole earth, entering into nearly every nation under heaven, penetrating even into the heathen darkness of India, China, Africa, and the isles of the sea, fulfilling the great commission of our Lord to “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” by proclaiming the soon coming of the Lord (Mark 16:15-20; Matt. 28:18-19; Luke 24:47-49; and Acts 1:4-11). So great was this awakening that in just a few years, many towns and cities, large and small, were witnessing the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Not long afterward, there began to appear in various localities, places of worship designating themselves by such names as The Apostolic Faith Mission, Pentecostal Mission, Apostolic Faith Assembly, Full Gospel Assembly/Mission, and Assembly of God, etc; their one common aim being to contend for and preserve the faith which was taught to the saints in the days of the Apostles, proclaiming the Bible as their Creed, Discipline, Rule of Order, and Charter. It is the primary aim of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ, who alone gave His life upon the cross, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. The Lord Jesus desires that we should show forth His praises, since it was He that called us out of darkness into this marvelous light of salvation. Our Lord requires and expects that we be blameless and harmless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse society. God desires that the light He has placed in us would truly shine outwardly into a world that is groping in spiritual darkness. We are to hold forth the Word of Life in such a way that we can give spiritual understanding “to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,” to guide their feet in the way of peace (Titus 2:1-13; I Peter 2:9; Phil. 2:15 and Luke 1:79). It is our Christian duty to lift the fallen, visit the sick, strengthen the weak, encourage the fainthearted, and comfort the feebleminded. We should further seek to point the lost to the way of salvation and urge all believers to seek a spirit filled life (Eph. 5:18; Acts 19:1-16), and to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (James 1:27; I Thess., 5:4; Mark 16:15-18, Matt. 25:1-13). It is our indispensable duty as partakers of the “Royal Priesthood,” to offer supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for all men: for kings, presidents, governors, magistrates, and all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty (I Tim. 2:1-4; Rom. 13:1-7; I Peter 1:9, Rev. 1:6, 5:10). As saints of the Most High God, we pledge to submit ourselves to every ordinance and law of man, whether that submission be to the governor or a representative of the state that is authorized and carries the powers of the state to punish evil doers, so long as these ordinances do not infringe upon our God-given liberties, which include service toward God according to the dictates of our conscience (I Peter 2:13-17; Titus 3:1-12, Matt. 22:21).

The Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International is the continuation of the great revival that began in Jerusalem, on the Day of Pentecost, AD 33. This organization has as its foundation the doctrine of the Apostles and Prophets, and we claim Jesus Christ Himself as the Chief Cornerstone of our faith. (Acts 2:11-12) (Ephesians 2:19-20). The true followers of Christ have always suffered persecution and near extinction, but God has always sounded a refreshing note that in every age He would have a people who would yield themselves to His Word and His divine plan; and, because of this, God has ordained that the true church should “earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). That is to say that we must hold to our biblically based tenets of faith.

As the Sons of God, Jesus Christ’s visible representatives in this world, we recognize that God is at work and has manifested Himself in the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and the uttermost parts of the world, and has validated His presence through signs, wonders, and many miracles.

The advent of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost began on the Day of Pentecost and can be traced back to the days of Tertullian (A.D. 207), Chrysostom (4th Century), Christians of the Thirteenth Century, the early Quakers, Wesley, Whitfield, and Irving. The Church has always manifested the gifts of the spirit as was in evidence during the many revivals that swept over America in the late Eighteenth Century.

Apostolic history reveals that in 1901 in the state of Kansas, this revival broke forth in a mighty way and moved southward through Texas, reaching Los Angeles, California in 1906. This revival, manifested by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost, spread throughout the whole earth, entering into nearly every nation under heaven, penetrating even into the heathen darkness of India, China, Africa, and the isles of the sea, fulfilling the great commission of our Lord to “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” by proclaiming the soon coming of the Lord (Mark 16:15-20; Matt. 28:18-19; Luke 24:47-49; and Acts 1:4-11).

So great was this awakening that in just a few years, many towns and cities, large and small, were witnessing the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Not long afterward, there began to appear in various localities, places of worship designating themselves by such names as The Apostolic Faith Mission, Pentecostal Mission, Apostolic Faith Assembly, Full Gospel Assembly/Mission, and Assembly of God, etc; their one common aim being to contend for and preserve the faith which was taught to the saints in the days of the Apostles, proclaiming the Bible as their Creed, Discipline, Rule of Order, and Charter.

It is the primary aim of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International to glorify our Savior Jesus Christ, who alone gave His life upon the cross, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. The Lord Jesus desires that we should show forth His praises, since it was He that called us out of darkness into this marvelous light of salvation. Our Lord requires and expects that we be blameless and harmless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse society.

God desires that the light He has placed in us would truly shine outwardly into a world that is groping in spiritual darkness. We are to hold forth the Word of Life in such a way that we can give spiritual understanding “to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,” to guide their feet in the way of peace (Titus 2:1-13; I Peter 2:9; Phil. 2:15 and Luke 1:79).

It is our Christian duty to lift the fallen, visit the sick, strengthen the weak, encourage the fainthearted, and comfort the feebleminded. We should further seek to point the lost to the way of salvation and urge all believers to seek a spirit filled life (Eph. 5:18; Acts 19:1-16), and to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (James 1:27; I Thess., 5:4; Mark 16:15-18, Matt. 25:1-13). It is our indispensable duty as partakers of the “Royal Priesthood,” to offer supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks for all men: for kings, presidents, governors, magistrates, and all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty (I Tim. 2:1-4; Rom. 13:1-7; I Peter 1:9, Rev. 1:6, 5:10).

As saints of the Most High God, we pledge to submit ourselves to every ordinance and law of man, whether that submission be to the governor or a representative of the state that is authorized and carries the powers of the state to punish evil doers, so long as these ordinances do not infringe upon our God-given liberties, which include service toward God according to the dictates of our conscience (I Peter 2:13-17; Titus 3:1-12, Matt. 22:21).

PRESIDING HERITAGE

Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock, Founder (Tenure 1957-1963) was born November 9, 1883 in Adair County, Kentucky. Married five times, he outlived all but one of his wives; (Bertha Valentine Hancock, mother of his two children; Anna Williams Hancock, Ida Haywood Hancock, Anna Bell Douglas Hancock, and Bertha Jackson Hancock). He received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1914 under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana. After serving as assistant pastor to Haywood for four years, he moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1921 to pastor Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, declaring “I will do a great thing in Detroit, Michigan.” Under his pastorate, the membership grew to more than 3,000 parishioners. Elevated to the office of bishop by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, he served in that organization until 1957 when he founded the PCAF, serving as presiding bishop until his death on August 18, 1963 at the age of 79.

Bishop Elzie William Young (Tenure 1964-1989) was born October 13, 1913 in Lexington, Kentucky. Receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1932 under the pastorate of Elder H.T. Moore, Young acknowledged his call to the ministry and evangelized all over the country for a number of years before founding Greater Bethlehem Temple Apostolic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1950. Married to Ruby Edgerson Young for more than 40 years until her passing, their union produced nine children. He later married Dianna Gray Young with whom he had two sons and whom he preceded in death. Noted for a steady, faithful input into God’s work, Bishop Young (who was the only presider to serve a life term in that role), remained in office as presiding bishop until his death on December 27, 1989 at the age of 76.

Bishop Willie Lee (Tenure 1963-1964) was born February 16, 1901 in Starkville, Mississippi. Moving to Indianapolis, Indiana at a young age, he was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood. Later, moving to Detroit, Michigan, he became assistant pastor to Bishop Samuel Hancock at Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple, and assisted Hancock in organizing the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith in 1957. He served as assistant presiding bishop, and upon Hancock’s death in 1963, became presiding bishop, of which he resigned after a brief tenure. Bishop Lee was married to Maggie Taylor Lee and they had one son. Returning to Indianapolis in 1954, he accepted the pastorate of Christ Temple where he served until his death on June 19, 1969 at age 68.

Bishop Willie Lee (Tenure 1963-1964) was born February 16, 1901 in Starkville, Mississippi. Moving to Indianapolis, Indiana at a young age, he was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost at Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly under the pastorate of Bishop Garfield T. Haywood. Later, moving to Detroit, Michigan, he became assistant pastor to Bishop Samuel Hancock at Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple, and assisted Hancock in organizing the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith in 1957. He served as assistant presiding bishop, and upon Hancock’s death in 1963, became presiding bishop, of which he resigned after a brief tenure. Bishop Lee was married to Maggie Taylor Lee and they had one son. Returning to Indianapolis in 1954, he accepted the pastorate of Christ Temple where he served until his death on June 19, 1969 at age 68.

Bishop Alfred Singleton (Tenure 2000-2008) was born October 18, 1928 in Montgomery, Alabama. He was filled with the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1949 and readily engaged himself in the quest for apostolic knowledge. He is a charter member of the PCAF and served four years as assistant pastor to Bishop Hancock. Later moving to California, he founded several churches there before moving to Lansing, Michigan, in 1972 to pastor The Bread House, Bethlehem Temple Church, and of which he is now pastor emeritus. He is the founder of the S. N. Hancock Educational Institution which houses PCAF history and artifacts. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth Hawkins-Singleton with whom he had 12 children. On December 4, 2017 at the age of 89, the Lord called Bishop Singleton home to glory. His wife Antoinette Halton Singleton survives.

Bishop J.E. Moore (Tenure 2008-2016) was born May 24, 1939, in Galena, Kansas, and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1961. On October 8, 1965, Bishop D. Rayford Bell founded Christ Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith in Joliet, Illinois, and placed Bishop Moore as its pastor. Embarking on a fervent study in his newfound responsibility, Moore has received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees over the years, from several colleges, institutes, and seminaries. He is married to Tecola Williams Moore and they have five children. He continues to serve the organization and remains senior pastor of Christ Temple Church in Joliet. The ministry of Bishop Moore reaches far and beyond, touching the lives of those in his church, community, and around the country.

Bishop Lambert W. Gates, Sr. (Tenure 2016-present) was born October 31, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan, and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1970 at the age of 11. He is senior pastor of Greater Apostolic Faith Temple in Detroit, Michigan and Mt. Zion Apostolic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Described as a “prophet-sharing” program, his distinction as one pastor in two locations attests to the call on his life for expansive ministry. Bishop Gates is an outstanding teacher of the Word of God and is a nationally known speaker whose ministry is in constant demand. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and is a former high school English teacher, a position he held for several years before answering God’s call to the pastorate. He is married to Nancy Franklin Gates and they have two sons.