Bishop James Houston Smith
SENIOR BISHOP (1981-1986)

Bishop James Houston Smith was called to teach and preach the gospel and worked along in the ministry under Mother M.L. Tate since 1918.  He was appointed to pastor in 1920 and was later ordained an Elder, and served in the capacity of State Elder over Mississippi for many years.  In 1928, Bishop Smith began to do the work of a Bishop under the leadership of the late Mother Tate, but was not consecrated to the Bishopric until 1932.  He was known as a gospel preacher and teacher and had the honor of preaching in 20 states, during which he brought 14 churches into the reformation.  Bishop Smith worked along with Bishop A.H. White and served as the Second Vice President General for many years.  After the death of Bishop T. Williams in 1952, he then became Vice President General of the church. He was the Pastor of Smith Holy Temple Church of the Living God in Chicago, IL for 35 years and presided as Bishop of Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, and a portion of Ohio.  He was a person that loved God and always tried to hold his light high so that others may see and follow. He would say repeatedly, “Take your share of sufferings as a good soldier” and “Love one another”.  In 1981, he was elevated to the rank of President General and Senior Bishop after the death of Bishop A.H. White.  He served the Church faithfully until his death on Sunday, February 2, 1986, at 92 years of age.