Bishop Lawson Porter Continue
There were few jobs for blacks in the early sixties. In 1965, in pursuit of a better life, Lawson migrated to Detroit, Michigan to live with his aunt. Soon after he got a job working at the Lynch Road Chrysler Plant. In addition Lawson became an entrepreneur of his own carpet and upholstery cleaning business. This was the start of a new life and new beginnings, Lawson’s steps were being ordered by the Lord.
On April 30, 1966.], Lawson married his childhood sweetheart, Clara Clark, in Chicago, Illinois. After their wedding, Lawson and his bride returned to Detroit, Michigan where they made their abode. After three years of marriage, it was determined by medical professionals that Lawson and his wife would not be able to have children. During this trying time while working at the Chrysler Plant, Lawson met Brother Larry Nichols who introduced him to Christ. Brother Nichols informed him that he must be born again and God was able to make the “impossible, possible”. In 1968, Lawson was baptized in the name of Jesus, and a few weeks later, God filled him with the gift of the Holy Ghost. Two months later, his wife was also baptized and filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost.
In 1969, their first child was bor. After the birth of their first child, doctors warned them of future high risks of having more children; possibly resulting in deaths. Prayer and faith in God proved the abnormalities. All fifteen children are now filled with the Holy Ghost.
During a special prayer and fasting service at the church in 1972, Lawson was called into the ministry. The call was witnessed by the entire congregation and the pastor. Lawson, being unaware of the written word, God miraculously used him to preach in part, scripture formation of Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound…”
Elder Porter was man of action with a vision. He began to perform many ministerial duties in the church by doing whatever his hands could find to do. He became skillful in the word by searching and studying of the scriptures daily. He also acquired treasured Biblical knowledge and spiritual understanding being taught by two great leaders: The former and late pastors, Bishop David L. Collins and Bishop Kaster Jackson. Some of his ministerial duties and community services included the following: Chairman of the Leadership Council, Sunday School Teacher for the Minister’s Class, Visiting and Praying for the Sick, Church Bus Commuter, established and instructor for Pre-Marriage Classes, established the newly Saved Ministry, established the first Women’s and Men’s conference in 2002, established the first “Getting to Know You” Community Program in 2002, initiated the Thanksgiving theme: “Thinking and Thanking”, established the annual Minister’s Farm Retreat for training, instrumental in conducting annual “old fashion” Tent Revivals, Police Chapin for the Royal Oak, Michigan Police Department, guest speaker for local and national Marriage Retreats, where Elder and sister Porter taught many marriage seminars as a husband and wife team. Elder Porter served as an Evangelist, Preacher, Teacher, Counselor, Leader and many other involvements.
In 1977, at the request of the late and former pastor, Bishop David Collins, Elder Porter was appointed as full-time second assistant pastor of Clinton Street Grater Bethlehem Church. During this time Bishop Kaster Jackson was serving as the first assistant pastor. Elder Porter became the youngest assistant pastor ever to serve at the C.S.G.B.T. Church at the age of thirty-two.
In 1982 Bishop Kaster Jackson was appointed as pastor of C.S.G.B.T. Church, at which time Elder Porter was elevated to first assistant pastor. The Lord blessed Elder Porter as he began to climb the ministerial ladder of success in a short while. In 1985, Elder Porter was ordained as District Elder of the Churches of the Apostolic Faith Inc. (T.C.A.F.). He also served on the Board of Directors.
On June 28, 2002, District Elder Porter was appointed as Pastor of Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple Church after the passing of former pastor Bishop Kaster Jackson. August 18, 2002 District Elder Porter was officially installed as the fourth pastor of C.S.G.B.T. Church. Friday, October 18, 2002, Pastor Lawson Porter was elevated to the office of Bishop, while attending a conference of the United Apostolic Fellowship (U.A.F.), in Kississimee, Florida. He was a faithful, dedicated, committed servant, with a genuine love for the people of God.
Bishop Porter’s last Bible Class to the general assembly was entitled “Life on Earth, as a Temporary Dwelling Place.” His last message to the church was on November 17, 2002 entitled “A General Cleaning” exhorting the church to be sure not to cover up sin.
Bishop Porter never had the privilege of knowing the late Bishop Samuel N. Hancock, yet with humility he embraced his great Legacy and endeavored to uphold and maintain the Sprit of Unity in the bond of peace. He felt blessed just to be numbered among those who were sanctified. Others have continued to build there upon; and the Legacy continues. Some have planted, and others have watered; but God give the increase.
Ironically, there were discovered similarities in their “predestined journey through life and death. After moving to the new C.S.G.B.T. Church in March of 1963, Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock pastured the people of God for five months, departing in August of 1963. After the death of Bishop Kaster Jackson in June 2002, Bishop Lawson Porter pastured the people of God for five months. He departed this life on November 30, 2001. Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock died on August 18, 1963. Bishop Lawson Porter was officially installed as pastor on August 18, 2002. God alone knows the end from the beginning, the times, seasons, and purpose of our lives.
After thirty-six years of marriage, father of fifteen children, twenty-six grandchildren, thirty-four years saved, twenty-five years as assistant pastor, and five months as a pastor. Bishop Lawson Porter served his generation and fell asleep on his knees in prayer November 30, 2002. Ephesians 4: 11-12 says, “and he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…”
“Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13
“O Give thanks Unto the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy endureth forever.” Psalms 107:1
A Tribute in Loving Memory of Bishop Lawson Porter