Morris Golder

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Morris Ellis Golder (1913~2000)

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Bishop Morris Golder was born on January 20, 1913, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His parents were Earl and Margaret Golder. His birthplace was 2309 W. Morris Street for which he received his name. Morris was the eldest of eleven children. Growing up, the Golder family lived at 1432 South Kappas Street in West Indianapolis. His father worked as a postal carrier for around 46 years, and was the stablizing force in the Golder home. His mother worked as a house wife raising their children.

Morris attended public school at Manuel Training High School and Crispus Attuks. Although he dropped out of High School in Indianapolis, it was not until 1946, while living in St. Louis, that he received credit for graduating. The Golder family attended Apostolic Faith Assembly in Indianapolis, pastored by Elder G.T. Haywood. In 1915, Earl and Margaret Golder were re-baptized in Fall Creek located near the church in the name of Jesus Christ. They were part of the first group of 456 members of the church that accepted the restored Apostolic formula.

As a small boy it was apparent to his family that Morris was going to be mightily used of God. As he would play church with his siblings, his family could see that a special anointing would come upon him even as he played church. Growing up, Morris was much like any other young boy. He loved to play with building blocks, and passed the time away doing things to excercise his mind and body.

Originaly, his desire in life was to be an “Orchestra Leader” but at the age of 17, he committed his life to Jesus Christ. On January 20th, 1930, Morris walked into Christ Temple in Indianapolis, and sat on the back row. At the close of the invitation he walked down the isle; repented, and was baptized in Jesus’ name for the remission of his sins, and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, all within just a few minites. A few months later he felt the call to preach. He attended every Bible class he could, and intently listened to every sermon that Bishop Haywood delivered. Morris was trying to soak up as much “word” as he possibly could in a short time. Little did he know that Bishop Haywood’s time would be cut short.

After Bishop Haywood passed away in 1930, his successor was the late great Elder Robert F. Tobin. Tobin was a no-nonsense person. He was a word preacher who stayed as close as possible to the teachings of Bishop Haywood. For five years Elder Golder was tutored by Elder Tobin, and received the majority of his ministerial training under the influence of this godly man.

In 1935, Elder Golder moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and pastored Bethesda Temple for 12 and 1/2 years. He took the small store-front church from a small number, and built it up to artound 150 members. Elder Tobin passed away in 1947, and Christ Temple then called for Elder Golder to return to Indianapolis and become his successor. He served Christ Temple from 1948 until 1953. After encountering some personel problems relative to his pastorate at Christ Temple, Elder Golder resigned from leadership of the church. Afterwards in 1953, he started Grace Apostolic Church also located in Indianapolis. With about 30 charter members, mostly relatives, and a few supporters, Elder Golder built Grace Church into a monument for the name of Jesus. Under his administration, Grace grew over the years to reach over 2000 members.

Upon returning to Indianapolis in 1948, Elder Golder began attending Butler University. He went on to earn several academic degrees, including a BA, MA, BD, and DD. In 1972 the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World elevated him to the bishopric, and placed him as the Diocesan over the 11th Episcopal District of Tennessee and Kentucky. In 1971 his first wife, Elizabeth, passed away. In 1986 his second wife, Betty also passed away. In 1990, Bishop Golder dedicated a new sanctuary with building costs of several million dollars.

Several years before his passing, Bishop Golder suffered with a bad knee, and could barely walk. This would eventually bring him to walk with a cane. Afterward, he would be confined to a wheel-chair. Never in the history of modern Pentecost has a man been more revered than Bishop Golder. He was loved by almost everyone. Although he was never a civil rights advocate as some, he fought hard for the equality of all men. He crossed organizational and color lines, fellowshipping with whites, blacks, and hispanics. Bishop Golder held credentials with the PAW throughout his illustrous ministry but never allowed that to hinder him from building bridges of hope.

Bishop M.E. Golder was a word preacher, and Bible teacher par-excellence. After a short illness, on July 22, 2000, Bishop Golder went home to be with the Lord. His memorial service was on July, 29, 2000. Some of his final words were exhortations to those close to him as he encouraged, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for my yoke is easy, and my burdens are light.” After nearly 70 years of serving his generation, Bishop Golder fell on sleep at the age of 87.