Samuel Nathan Hancock (1883~1963)
Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith
Samuel Nathan Hancock was born November 9, 1883 in Adair County, Kentucky. His parents were John Wyatt Hancock and Lottie Winston Wheat. To this union was born six children. The Hancock family was happy but poverty stricken. In 1888 John moved his family from Kentucky to the small town of Norwood, Indiana to seek better working conditions. It was not long after the move to Indiana that Sam’s father left the family home.
Because of the broken home, at the tender age of 13, Sam was compelled to drop out of school in the 7th grade and go to work with the railroad in order to help his mother support the family. Sam alway’s credited his mother, rather than his father with being the source from which he built his Christian life. In 1900 at the age of 17, Sam yeilded his heart to God while attending Penick Chapel, an interdenominational church.
Being a musically inclined person, Sam found himself neing drawn to the music world. He joined a band in which he played the trombone. In 1908, he married Bertha Valentine, and to this marriage two children were born; a son, Norlen, and a daughter, Geraldine. In 1913, before either child reached their 19th birthday, their mother passed away. Three years later Sam married Anna Wilks.
In the meantime, Sam’s mother and sister were filled with the Holy Ghost under the leadership of G.T. Haywood. Having the zeal for God and while striving to seek God’s favor, Sam also begn attending the Apostolic Faith Assembly pastored by elder Haywood. After hearing the Word of God concerning the Apostolic faith, Sam was baptized in Jesus’ name, and subsequently was filled with the Holy Ghost on September 5, 1914. His wife Anna was saved a short time later.
Two years after his conversion, Sam was called into the ministry. Anna proved to be a faithful and helpful companion to him in this new endeavor. Elder Hancock preached on the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana for several years. In 1917 , he became the assistant pastor to Elder G.T. Haywood. He was ordained in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and for a period of time served as district elder over the state of Indiana while residing in Indianapolis.
In 1921, Elder Hancock became the pastor over a small group pf people in Detroit, Michigam. As a result of his consecration the church began to grow, and by 1929 the membership had grown to well over two thousand. The move from Christ Temple in Indianapolis to Detroit would mark the beginning of one of the worlds greatest ministries. In 1927 Elder Hancock was elevated to the bishopric in the PAW.
In 1957, the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith was established by a group of men who pronounced Elder S.N. Hancock as their Presiding Bishop. After Anna passed away, Bishop Hancock married Bishop Haywood’s widow, Sister Ida Haywood. After a short illness Bishop Hancock passed away on Sunday, August 18, 1963.