The Churches of God and True Holiness organization was established by the late Bishop John Wesley Garlington, Sr. in December 1927. Bishop Garlington was a great leader, organizer, and revivalist who had a vision to organize a fellowship that would win souls to Christ, promote the doctrine of the Apostles, and empower to live a lifestyle of Holiness.
The headquarters for the Churches of God and True Holiness was first located in Buffalo, New York. Soon after the start of the organization, churches were set up in Virginia- Norfolk, Waverly, and Fredericksburg; in New York- Rochester and New York City; in North Carolina- Goldsboro, Wilmington, and Beulaville; in Ohio- Cleveland and Cincinnati; in Florida- Winterhaven, in Delaware- Milford, and in South Carolina- Sumter.
Bishop Garlington led this organization until his death in 1943. Then Bishop Thomas Benton of Norfolk, Virginia became the presiding Bishop. Bishop Benton relinquished his pastorate role at the Norfolk church to Elder William B. Church and moved to Buffalo to oversee the organization. After Bishop Benton*s death in 1958, Bishop Frank Jackson of Winterhaven, Florida took over as presiding Bishop.
In 1961, Bishop Joseph Peeler of Buffalo, New York was appointed the presiding Bishop after certain doctrinal issues were resolved. After the death of Bishop Peeler in 1964, Bishop John Kennon was appointed to the office of presiding Bishop. Bishop Kennon later relinquished the position in 1968 to Bishop John W. Garlington, Jr. and Bishop Robert Carr was appointed the Vice-Bishop, and Elder Raymond Worrell became the Executive Secretary.
Due to a fire at the headquarters church in Buffalo, the 47thHoly Convocation in 1974 was held at the church in Rochester, New York where the host pastor was Elder Paul Garlington. In 1975, Bishop John Garlington, Jr. resigned and Bishop Frank Jackson became the new presiding Bishop for the organization. The national headquarters was relocated to the church in Cleveland, Ohio. At that time, Elder Albert E. Dixon, Sr. was the pastor of the church in Cleveland and the national evangelist of the Churches of God and True Holiness.
After the death of Bishop Jackson in 1978, Bishop Albert E. Dixon, Sr. was appointed the Presiding Bishop. In 1977, Bishop spearheaded the international fellowship known as the Alliance of Apostolic Churches of Christ Jesus (AACCJ); originally named The Apostolic Ministerial Alliance. The AACCJ held its first convocation in August 1978, at our headquarters church in Cleveland, OH. True Holiness continues to be a part of this great fellowship.
In June 1996, Bishop Dixon was consecrated as an Apostle. In June 2009, Apostle Dixon was consecrated as Chief Apostle of The Churches of God and True Holiness, Inc. After many years of dedicated service and health issues, Apostle Dixon decided it was time to resign. Apostle Dixon has been the longest Presiding Prelate for The Churches of God and True Holiness and instilled in many that "A Holy Life is the Best Life"!
In June 2008, Apostle James Brant, Jr. was elected as the International Presiding Prelate. Apostle Brant respected Apostle Dixon's vision and during his term, he purposed in his heart to bring the vision to reality. Along with the Executive Board, Apostle Brant was presented with an opportunity to purchase a church in Buffalo, New York; the place where the organization was birthed. In October 2015, during the annual leadership conference, the organization finalized the purchase of the building and Apostle Brant preached the first sermon in the sanctuary entitled "After the Fire".
Also during this 2015 leadership conference in Buffalo, NY, Apostle Brant invited the AACCJ Board Members to join the meeting/services at which time he presented the idea to have both organizations come together for a combined convocation in July 2016. Although unanimously agreed upon and although he was able to oversee the organizing and planning of this great fellowship, Apostle James Brant, Jr. transitioned from this life on Sunday, July 10, 2016, prior to the scheduled convocation.
In July 2016, the combined convocation of The Churches of God and True Holiness and The Alliance of Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ convened. The vision that Apostle Brant had for this fellowship was successful; although his presence was missed and we were still deeply saddened by his unexpected death.
In August 2016, Apostle Raymond Faison, Jr. while serving as 2nd Vice President, was elected to finish out the term of Apostle Brant. In 2017, during the 90th Holy Convocation in Cleveland, Ohio, Apostle Faison was elected to serve as the Presiding Prelate.