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. Since this was the original administration, there were no legislated laws. Consequently, the Senior Bishop and founders governed the church. The First Administration lasted approximately eight (8) years, from 1913 to 1921. The Second Administration was known as the Introductory Administration. It was headed by Bishop W.M. Holland During this administration the first constitution and by-laws were introduced. The Second Administration lasted about three (3) years (1921 – 1924). It was cut short 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. 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 with the creation of the four dioceses. Diocese Bishops were elected and served as follows:

                                                                                                          Tri – State Diocese -----------------------------        Bishop W. B. Bennett 1949 – 1960

                                                                                                                                                                                  Bishop R. M. Morris 1961 – 1980

                                                                                                          South Florida Diocese -------------------------             Bishop J. H. Miller 1949 – 1961   

                                                                                                                                                                                   Bishop D. W. Shingles 1961 – 1969

                                                                                                                                                                                             Bishop A. Hill 1969 – 1985

                                                                                                                                                                              Bishop C. P. Townsend 1985 – 1994

                                                                                                                                                                                         Bishop Bankston 1994 – 2009

                                                                                                                                                                               Bishop Titus B. Deas Jr. 2009 – 2018

                                                                                                                                                                 Jr. Bishop Lawrence Livingston 2018 - Present 

                                                                                                           Central Diocese -----------------------------------------    Bishop J. A. Potter 1949 – 1964

                                                                                                                                                                                              Jr. Bishop O. Hill 1965 – 1969

                                                                                                                                                                                   Bishop R. B. Thompson 1969 – 1980

                                                                                                                                                                                      Bishop W. L. Johnson 1980 – 1998

                                                                                                                                                                                 Bishop Samuel V. Cohen 1998 – 2018

                                                                                                                                                                               Bishop Michael H. Flynn 2018 - Present

                                                                                                           North-Northwestern Diocese --------------------------     Bishop C L Smith 1949 – 1979

                                                                                                                                                                                    Bishop James T. Potter 1979 – 1995

                                                                                                                                                                                       Bishop Cornell Sweet 1995 – 2008

                                                                                                                 Jr. Bishop Leon Jackson 2008 – 2009 / appointed until General Assembly 2009

                                                                                                                                                                                              Bishop Alton Fain 2010 – 2017

Bishop Charlie C Dericho 2017 - Present

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 building was constructed. The Fifth Administration 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 upon 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, 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. 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 “Benevolent Ministry” evolved the Bishop and Mother A. Hill Benevolent Fund, 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 dioceses 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 diocese, Tri -State, were reorganized and diocese bishops were appointed to serve as follows:

 

North Florida ------------------------------------------- Bishop A Howard 1985 – 1995

Bishop Walter L Smith 1995 – Present

West Florida --------------------------------------- Bishop J. A. Stevenson 1986 – 1997

Bishop Samuel J. Williams 1997 – 2013

Bishop Michael Flynn 2013 – 2018

Bishop

Mid – South ---------------------------------- Bishop Joseph Thompson 1986 – 2016

                                                                   Bishop Alton A. Fain         2016 – 2018

                                                                 Bishop Joseph L. Williams  2018 -Present   

The Eight Administration lasted approximately eighteen (18) years. Subsequently, Bishop Hill transitioned from labor to reward in April 1999.

The Ninth Administration began on March 21, 1998 When Bishop W.L. Johnson was inaugurated into the office of Senior Bishop. This administration was known as the law and order, grace and truth. 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 this resignation in 2008. Upon Bishop Johnson’s resignation, Bishop Joseph Thompson served as Interim Senior Bishop until the 43rd General Assembly in November 2009.

The formation of three new diocese were created during this administration:

Northeastern/New York diocese --------------- Bishop Titus B Deas, Sr 1997 – 1999

Jr Bishop Luke Grant 2000 – 2006

Jr Bishop Dennis Johnson 2006 – 2011

This Diocese was merged back with the North-Northwestern Diocese, June 2011

New Millennium Diocese -----------------------Bishop Titus B Deas Sr 1999 – 2017

                                                                     Bishop Freddie Camon   2017 - Present

South Carolina Diocese -------------------------Bishop C.C. Singleton 1997 – 2003

Bishop Jack Jones Jr 2003 – 2005

Bishop Robert Williams 2005 – Present

Northeastern Fellowship Diocese -----------------------  Added Diocese in the Tenth Administration -------------Bishop Joseph McGauley 2009 - Present

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 is known as the Millennium Administration. Bishop Howard has deemed this administration as one, of accountability and responsibility. He sent out a clarion call for this administration to focus specifically on evangelism.

The First Born Church of The Living God, Inc. is dedicated to the development of the total individual. We hold that the physical, social, economic as well as the spiritual well-being of individuals can best be assured when they commit their lives to Jesus Christ, and aspire to the highest of Christian ideals.  Total commitment, then enables the spirit-filled believer to experience the height of spiritual and temporal fulfillment attainable in this life. This will enable them to become effective witnesses, whereby the unsaved will be brought into the Christian fellowship.  This is indeed the purpose for which the church was established.  The First Born Church of the Living God, Inc. is committed and dedicated to the strengthening and deepening of the spiritual lives of its members.

Today, the First Born Church of the Living God, Inc. has memberships established throughout the United States.