Our History

The First Born Church of the Living God was established in the state of Georgia, County of Ware, City of Waycross on May 12, 1913. The founding fathers were J. Q. Croom, S. P. Croom, A.M. McNair, W.M. Holland, M. H. Hall, L.G. Lockhart, E.M. Goodson, Q.T. Granger and L.O. Golden.

The First Administration was headed by Bishop J. Q. Croom, and there we no legislated laws during this original administration. Consequently, the Senior Bishop and founders governed the church and this administration lasted approximately eight (8) years, from 1913 to 1921. The Second Administration was known as the Introductory Administration, and it was headed by Bishop W.M. Holland. It lasted about three (3) years (1921 – 1924), and the first constition and by-laws were introduced during this administration. However, it ended briefly due to the sudden passing of Bishop Holland, who did not live to see the constitution put into effect. The Third Administration was known as the Legislative Administration with Bishop J. C. Blakely serving as its Chief Executive. During this administration, the constitution and by-laws were ratified and enforced. Other accomplishments include the establishment of the Executive Board and the passage of many new laws, some of which are still in effect today. The Third Administration lasted for approximately sixteen (16) years (1924-1939). The Fourth Administration was known as the Constructive Administration and was headed by Bishop Clinton Miller. This administration was so named because of the extensive building program that was carried on, and the present International Headquarters was constructed during this time. The Fourth Administration lasted for approximately ten (10) years (1939 – 1949).

The Fifth Administration began during the Twenty-Ninth (29th) General Assembly in 1949. Bishop H. J. Echols served as its Chief Executive, and this was known as the Progressive Administration. The Progressive Administration marked the beginning of an era of unprecedented progress in the First Born Church. The church was completely reorganized, and from this the first four Dioceses were formed (Tri-State, South Florida, Central and North-Northwestern), and Diocese Bishops were elected to oversee them. The Fifth Administration lasted nearly thirty (30) years, during which time the church expanded into the Bahamas, Jamaica, Haiti, and England. The First Born Seminary and Training School was also established and a new school buidling was constructed. The Fifith Adminstration ended with the passing of Bishop H.J. Echols on August 4, 1979.        

The Sixth Administration lasted less than a year. It was headed by Sr. Bishop C. L. Smith who succeeded Bishop Echols. During this short tenure, the purchase of the land which a new International Headquarters was to be built was started. The Sixth Administration ended with the passing of Bishop C. L. Smith in May of 1980.

The Seventh Administration, headed by Bishop R. B. Thompson lasted only a few months, from May to August 1980. Due to illness, Bishop Thompson was unable to assume the duties of Senior Bishop, and the Eighth Administration began in August 1980 with Bishop A. Hill as its Chief Executive. This is known as the Holy Administration and was officially launched with the inauguration of Senior Bishop A. Hill during the thirty – seventh (37th) General Assembly in 1981. This Holy Administration was centered around meeting the needs of the people of the church in general, as well as on an individual basis. From this, “The Benevolent Ministry” evolved and it was named the Bishop and Mother A. Hill Benevolent Fund, which was to assist the needy on an individual basis. Under this Administration the sanctuary of the International Headquarters was completely renovated to meet the needs of the people in general. Recognizing the extensive growth and progress of the church, three (3) new diocese were formed to rightly divide the workload and give every man what was reasonable in this Holy Administration. South Florida was divided into two (2) diocese. The southern half of Florida kept the name South Florida, and the northern portion of Florida was named North Florida. Tri – State was divided into two (2) dioceses. The West Florida Diocese and the Mighty Mid-South Diocese. The South Florida Diocese and the Tri-State Diocese were reorganized and Diocese Bishops were appointed to serve.                                                                                      

The Eighth Administration lasted approximately eighteen (18) years. Subsequently, Bishop Hill transitioned from labor to reward in April of 1999. The Ninth Administration began on March 21, 1998, as Bishop W.L. Johnson was inaugurated into the office of Senior Bishop. This administration was known as the Law and Order, Grace and Truth Administration. During this administration, the Executive Board revised the church constitution to protect the organization from civil litigation concerning ecclesiastical decisions and to preserve the integrity of the organization for future generations. Under the leadership, vision and inspiration of Bishop W. L.  Johnson, the organization was restored and revived. This administration lasted approximately 11 years and ended with his resignation in 2008. Upon Bishop Johnson’s resignation, Bishop Joseph Thompson served as Interim Senior Bishop until the 43rd General Assembly in November 2009. During this administration, three new Dioceses were formed: Northeastern/New York (now known as the North-Northwestern), New Millennium, and South Carolina.

The Tenth Administration began on Friday, November 20, 2009 with the installation of Bishop J.C. Howard into the office of Senior Bishop. This administration was known as the Millennium Administration. Bishop Howard deemed this administration as one, of accountability and responsibility. He sent out a clarion call for this administration to focus specifically on evangelism, and during this administration the Northeastern Fellowship Diocese was formed.

The Eleventh Administration headed by Bishop Titus B. Deas, Sr. began in June of 2015 with the sudden passing of Senior Bishop J. C. Howard.  Under this administration, Bishop Deas continued with the initial planning for the construction of the new International Headquarters.  The First Born Seminary and Training School also underwent facility upgrades.  Additionally, the Seminary and Training School also received an internal accreditation.  After serving the unexpired term of Bishop J. C. Howard, Bishop Deas was duly elected as Senior Bishop during the 46th General Assembly in November of 2017.  This promising administration came to an abrupt end with the passing of Senior Bishop Deas on December 29, 2017.