BISHOP LEO C SMITH, JR
Bishop Smith was born in Newark, NJ. He was educated in the Newark Public School system and graduated from Central High School in 1959. Recognizing the call on his life to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, he took correspondence courses at Moody Bible Institute and was ordained in 1969 by Bishop Thomas Streitferdt. He continued his biblical training while attending the Northern Baptist School of Religion from 1971 to 1973. He then transferred to the Kean College of New Jersey , later graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology in 1986. He has also taken graduate level courses at the Alliance Theological Seminary, Nyack, New York. In 2001 Bishop Smith was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree from the Aenon Bible College (Indianapolis, Indiana).
At the age of eleven, Bishop Smith was baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus at the Emmanuel Church of Christ, Newark, NJ. He later received the gift of the Holy Ghost at The Word of God Temple, under the pastorate of Mother McCrae Williams. At the age of 15 years old Bishop Smith and his sister, Sylvia became members of the Emmanuel Church of Christ under District Elder Joseph Solomon Sanders.
On April 6, 1970, with the consent and blessing of his pastor, District Elder Sanders, Bishop Smith established the Bethlehem Community Church in Irvington, NJ. The church is presently located in East Orange, NJ. As Bishop Smith remained faithful to ministry, God began to elevate his ecclesiastic status. In 1982 he was appointed to the office of District Elder by Bishop Willie Burrell. Shortly after that appointment, he was consecrated to the office of Suffragan Bishop by Bishop Thomas Wesley Weeks. In 1994 he was elevated and consecrated Diocesan of the Eastern Caribbean Council of Nations, the 36th Episcopal Diocese of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. He was installed in the office of Diocesan Bishop by Presiding Bishop Paul A. Bowers that same year. The (ECCN) extends from Puerto Rico southward to Guyana and through the ABC Islands. He further extends his leadership skills as a member of the East Orange Clergy Association and the president of both the Bethlehem Community Development Corporation and the Bethlehem Theological Institute.
Bishop Leo C. Smith, Jr. is a man of vision, purpose and destiny; he teaches and preaches the Word of God with passion and precision. His assignment is to preach holiness, abundant living and unity among all believers.