Bishop S. Hancock Continue
It was during the early years of her marriage that Lottie was converted and became a member of the Second Christian Church of Indianapolis, Indiana. John Wyatt, Sr. was made deacon in the same church. It was in 1915 that Lottie visited the church on Eleventh and Senate where the late G.T. Haywood was the pastor. She was baptized in Jesus’ Name and in the same year she was filled with the Precious gift of the Holy Ghost. Lottie couldn’t keep the Good News to herself. She began telling her children who were grown at that time. Following in her footsteps was her daughter, Sallie, who too, went down in the Mighty Name of Jesus and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. Not very long after that, in the same year (1915), her eldest son, Samuel Nathan, along with his wife, Ann Williams-Hancock, received the same Gift from God, after having had their sins washed away in water in the name of Jesus.
In 1908, before Samuel Hancock was saved, he met, and soon after married Bertha Valentine, who died in 1913. To this union was born their two children, Norlin Winifred (born August 8, 1908 and died June 20, 1964), and Geraldine, who died many years before Norlin. Needing help with his two children, Samuel met and later married Anna Williams. After the death of Mother Anna Hancock, he married Mother Ida Haywood. Upon her death, he later married Mother Anna Bea Douglas of Los Angeles, California. At the time of his death, Bishop Hancock was married to Mother Bertha Jackson.
As a young man, prior to his New Birth experience, Samuel Hancock learned to smoke cigarettes. It became a habit he found impossible to break. According to his testimony, he continued to smoke after having received the Holy Ghost. Wanting to please God more than anything, Brother Hancock petitioned the Lord and said to Him, “Lord, if you can take these cigarettes from me, I’ll believe you can do anything.” He said that God did just that. His end testimony was, “From that day to this I’ve never smoked another cigarette and I have trusted God for everything: money, healing, whatever was needed.” Those of us who knew Him can possibly remember the many miraculous events that happened through this great man of God that supported his claim to faith. Very shortly after having received the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord called Brother Hancock to the ministry. Thus began his Spiritual Journey into the everlasting Will of God.
He began preaching and teaching the undiluted Word of God. He held services in the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana. He was hungry for the souls of lost and dying men, women, boys and girls. Though he was marked for Excellence, he was a faithful, obedient follower to his pastor, Bishop G.T. Haywood. It was because if his devoted faithfulness to God, that he was ordained Assistant Pastor to Bishop Haywood in 1917. As he continued steadfastly in the Apostles Doctrine, his works of God, and his love for God’s people gave way to being ordained to District Elder of the State of Indiana with Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1927. It would later be his testimony, in the 1950’s during a special meeting that he called to speak to the preacher and missionaries, that he had never asked to be considered for an office and he never asked anyone to let him preach for them. It was his conviction that if one would prove to be faithful to God, the gift of the ministry would make room for that person. (Listen to the audiotape entitled, “The Purpose God Has in You”).
It was while Elder Hancock was faithfully serving God in Indianapolis that, unbeknownst to him, a group of hungry, helpless souls in Detroit, Michigan were petitioning God for a permanent, God obeying and an ordained leader. When approached with the possibility of his leaving Indianapolis and assuming leadership of the souls in Detroit, he carefully sought his pastor’s advice and God’s direction. Only after God had made His Will known
and Bishop Haywood had given his blessings did Elder Hancock set his sights and heart on relocating to begin a work for the building of the Kingdom of God in Detroit, Michigan. He moved in 1921. It was December 16, 1921, at the assembly in Detroit that it was reported that he vowed to “do a great thing in Detroit.”
In 1927, the Bishop Board of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. made the decision that the time had come for Elder Hancock to be ordained “Bishop” Samuel N. Hancock. Although this was a great blessing, he never once did allow the title to become larger than himself or the God in him. Rather than let the titled position make him, he, through the love and power of the Almighty God, made the titled position. He went from a handful of souls (about seven), to having been the father of pastors all over the country. And today, we should all say, “To God Be the Glory” for it was never about Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock, but it was about Him with whom we have to obey.
Many miracles, signs, and wonders were witnessed during Bishop Hancock’s fearless, faith-filled 42 years of divine leadership. He was never concerned or dissuaded by the negative comments made regarding his Godly convictions. When mistreated, he reviled not again, but prayed for the offender and loved him/her. In one of his messages, probably the one previously referred to, he recalled an incident when someone had written him a letter accusing him of something that he had not done. He said that he took the letter and opened it to the Lord and told the Lord how false the accusation was. He went on to say that the Lord had answered his concern and said to him, “The only lie you’ll have to worry about is the one that I believe.” Bishop said that he went to sleep, “still sitting up.” “I didn’t fall over to the side or to the floor. I slept like a baby.”
In all his endeavors, his messages, his demonstrations by his own life, Bishop Hancock beseeched us all to be saved, walk circumspectly before Him in love. Yes, many, even today say that he was “unnecessarily strict,” that “it don’t take all that.” He was only persuaded by, “What does the Bible say?” He taught that we are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world, that we are not to touch the unclean thing, that we are to come out from among them and be separate from them, and that we are to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. He taught as did Apostle Paul, that we are to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14)
Bishop Hancock believed that praise is comely for the saints, but not over sin. He strongly believed and taught that repentance and confession must be a part of our walk with God. Praying and fasting, singing, and shouting is what we should be doing, but now leaving behind the message from the former prophets and apostles. (Zechariah 7:4-7 and Galations 1:8-9)
Bishop Samuel Nathan Hancock, to the devastation of some, and deep, deep sadness to others, died August 18, 1963 after a 10-day illness. It would have been better if God had allowed Sister Mattie B. Poole to pray for him and have Christ raise him from the dead, one might think. Certainly, we needed him, but God in His own wise counsel, said otherwise. Now it is incumbent upon all who sat under him to demonstrate the impact and influence in knowing him has had on each of us individually and live the Word that has been preached, regardless to the opinion of the general populace.