Bishop Archibald Henry White, Sr.
SENIOR BISHOP (1929-1981)
On August 2, 1910, Bishop A.H. White was saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. Mother M.L. Tate, Chief Overseer of the House of God which is the Church of the Living God, was conducting a revival in Waycross, GA. Bishop White went to the revival and heard this great woman preach sanctification and holiness. He was thoroughly convinced that sanctification and holiness was right.
In 1911, God gave him a mission to teach and preach the Gospel of Salvation by faith in the Son of God. Many souls were blessed and saved through his humble way of teaching. By 1914, the late Mother M.L. Tate, the Chief Overseer, commissioned him to a Pastorship in Lumber City, GA. After attaining an exemplary efficiency rating at this mission, he was appointed to pastor in Greenville, AL, while he presided over the State of Mississippi and Alabama. After completing his mission in Greenville, AL, he was appointed to Douglas, GA to pastor and in 1915 built a temple there, which still stands as one of the milestones of his service for the Master. In the same year, the Chief Overseer, Mother Tate, felt that his life, leadership skills and pastoral performances justified his being consecrated to the Bishopric.
Bishop White traveled, preached the Word of God and set up churches under the auspices of the House of God Church of the Living God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth throughout the years. Relocating his family to Philadelphia, PA, he began to pastor in Philadelphia, PA. The church worshipped in a storefront that would accommodate approximately 20 people. The Lord blessed the church to purchase two houses located at 3833-35 Haverford Avenue where the walls were tom out on the first floor to make more space for people. The Lord blessed the congregation to increase from 20 to 200 members in a short period of time. As the work expanded and souls were added, the church sought out another facility at 43rd and Aspen Streets in Philadelphia. That church became known as “Old Jerusalem” Church of the Living God where the saints worshipped for years and served as the “Headquarter” church and place for many Annual and General Assemblies to convene.
By the help of God and the cooperation of the Bishops, Elders, Pastors, Ministers, Mothers and all the saints, the church grew under Bishop A.H. White’s leadership. Local churches were added to the rolls and many church buildings were built, bought and paid for. In the year 1948, the Church of the Living God purchased a “Headquarter” building and sanctuary at 58th & Thompson Streets in West Philadelphia, better known as the “National Temple”. That church served as the “Headquarter” church for many decades. The ministry flourished in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Illinois, Michigan, New York, the West Indies, and Africa. Through all of this, Bishop White gave the credit to God and those who stood with him over the years.
Under the leadership of Bishop A.H. White, other ministries were added, such as the Church of the Living God Publishing House, a Convalescent Home, a school known as the White’s Theological Bible School and Business Institute, and a radio broadcast. In the early 1960’s, the Church was able to purchase a property located at Washington Shores, Lewis Court and Bethune Drive, Orlando, Florida. The building had a seating capacity of 1500 or more and now served as the National Tabernacle of the House of God, Church of the Living God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc. Today it serves as the “National Tabernacle Convention Headquarters” site. The National Tabernacle is utilized for local, state, and national services, as well as conferences.
Under Bishop A. H. White, the work continued to expand both in the Northern and Southern states, as well as the Midwest. He had a great desire for the Gospel to be preached to the entire world and rejoiced when the Lord gave the church its first Foreign Missionary, Rev. Mrs. Pearl Grant. During his lifetime, he supported Foreign Missions and encouraged the establishment of the National Foreign Mission Convention. It was his dream that someday the church would reach many foreign lands through radio, television, and other audiovisual means with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bishop A.H. White remained the Senior Bishop until his demise on January 25, 1981. In the General Assembly in Philadelphia, PA, in October 1981, Bishop James H. Smith was unanimously elected by the General Delegation to be the next Senior Bishop and President General of the House of God, Church of the Living God, Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc.