Bishop from Detroit ascends to Pentecostal leadership

Bishop J. Drew Sheard always seem destined to lead a flock.

Even as a child, the Detroit native’s temperament impressed his parents, including a longtime pastor, enough to convince him he could one day head a congregation. Years after playing “church” with relatives and pretending to become a clergyman, he delivered a sermon at age 19. 

Sheard went on to helm Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ, which under his guidance has become among the most prominent houses of worship in the city.

“I’ve always, since I was a little boy, wanted to be a preacher,” the 62-year-old said.

Bishop J. Drew Sheard sits in the front pew of the nave at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ in Detroit, Michigan on March 25, 2021.  Bishop Sheard was recently elected as the new Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest Pentecostal denomination in the country.

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