Pastor Craig S. High, D.R.E.
Dr. High, a native Ohioan was transformed in 1977 while attending Wilberforce University. He received the gift of the Holy Spirit and was baptized in Jesus name. Having an immense thirst for Bible knowledge, Dr. High pursued advanced education with emphasis on the study of Hebrew, Greek and systematic study of the word. He earned Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Theology and a Doctorate in Religious Education.
After traveling extensively throughout the United States as a national evangelist for the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc and as an international evangelist, he served as a missionary pastor in Plymouth, Montserrat, and as an itinerant missionary in the British West Indies. Dr. High has pastored for over 20 years in Texas, South Carolina and Ohio.
Pastor High founded Greater Peace Christian Church in Austin, Texas. It is a thriving inner city ministry whose mission is to bring help to the helpless and hope to the hopeless.
Dr. High is the former pastor of Greater St. James Temple Holiness Church in Inman, South Carolina,The Place of Possibilities. It was during this time that he served the South Carolina State Council as Chairman and a Regional Director.
He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Bethesda Temple Apostolic Church in Dayton, Ohio, The Home of Grace. His lovely wife and partner in ministry and purpose is Evangelist Teresa High. Together they have one daughter, Whitnye Cherise.
Pastor High's philosophy of ministry is that faith in God brings victory in every circumstance. He also encourages the body of Christ to praise God extravagantly, as this is the occupation of all believers everywhere.
Known throughout the country as a dynamic preacher and prolific teacher, Pastor Craig High points people to the Lord Jesus Christ with vigor and encourages them to praise the LORD with all of their might. Being a visionary, he sees the potential of man, and works to improve the lives of those in his community and around the world.
Dr. High leads Bethesda Temple and its numerous ministries with a 21st Century emphasis and a spirit of excellence. He reaches beyond the church walls to present a message to the masses that is relevant, exciting, and life changing. Pastor High is making a difference in the community and around the world through the preached word, in-depth bible studies, and television broadcast.
Suffragan Bishop Craig S. High, is the Assistant General Treasurer
of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc, and an ordained Sufragan Bishop of the PAW, Inc.
Evangelist Teresa High
Evang. Teresa High is the wife of Suffragan Bishop Craig S. High. They are the Pastor and First Lady of Bethesda Temple Apostolic Church in Dayton, Ohio. Suffragan Bishop and First Lady High have one daughter, Whitnye Cherise.
Evang. High was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was saved at the age of 10 under the pastorate of the late Bishop William Abney of Bethel Pentecostal Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She acknowledged her call to the ministry in 1983 under the pastorate of her father, Bishop Richard E. Young, pastor of the Chosen Vessel Cathedral in Fort Worth, Texas.
Before entering full-time ministry, Evang. High worked in office administration, spending her last eight years in the workforce in office management in the mental health field.
God has used Evang. High in various areas of ministry. She has functioned as Local and State Choir Director, Praise and Worship Leader, Dance and Mime Choreographer, Playwright, Poet, Retreat and Conference Speaker, Teacher, and Mentor. Evang. High was the founder of the Selah Women's Retreats that convened in the mountains of Asheville, SC every odd calendar year from 2001 until her relocation to Ohio in 2008. These powerful retreats were life-changing for many of the women of God. The retreats included full-length musical dramas that were written and directed by Evang. High.
God has given Evang. High a very special burden for the "house" of God. Growing up in the church and watching and experiencing church life as a preacher's kid, God has enlightened and given her insight into the testing, purging, and pruning of the people of God. Though admittedly a somewhat shy individual, she exhibits a powerful holy boldness whenever called upon to proclaim the Word of God.
Her life-motivating scripture comes from Isaiah 12:2 - "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."
Bethesda Temple's Creed, Discipline, Rules of Order and Doctrine is the Word of God as taught and revealed by the Holy Ghost. (St. John 14:26; 1st Cor. 2:9-13) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2nd Timothy 3:16-17)
As members of the Body of Christ, which is the true Church (Eph. 1:22-23) the Word of God declares but one way of entrance therein and that is "by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body" and that is a baptism of "Water and Spirit" (1st Cor. 12:12-27; Gal. 3:26-28; Rom. 6:3-4; John 3:5; Acts 2:38).
We believe: The Bible is the inspired infallible Word of God: written by the Holy men of old as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2nd Peter 1:20-21). In one God who is infinite in power, Holy in nature, attributes and purpose; omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. We believe that Jesus was revealed to us, Father in creation, Son in redemption and Holy Spirit in his comforting grace that never leaves those who trust in him. (1st Corinthians 8:6, Eph 4:6, And 2nd Corinthians 5:19, Joel 2:28). That in Jesus Christ dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; for it pleased the Father that in him should all the fullness dwell (Col 1:19 and 2:9).
In the virgin birth, that Jesus was both human and divine. God manifest in the flesh (St. Matt. 1:23; I Tim. 3:16).
In the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. We believe that He ascended on high and has sent His Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which was poured out at Jerusalem over 2000 years ago, and is still filling the hearts of those who diligently seek Him today (Acts 2:14).
We believe in baptism in the water by immersion, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. This constitutes the new birth (Acts 2:4, 38).
What We Believe
Bethesda Temple Church of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, originated in 1918 from discussions of the scriptures between Elder William Abernathy and Elder Albert Allen, who were co-workers at the Otterbein Press Company. They began with prayer and Bible readings conducted by Elder Abernathy in the different saints’ homes to help them know and understand the Word of God.
Approximately a year later, in the spring of 1919, nine saints met in the home of Elder Allen, 98 Pontiac Street and The First Apostolic Mission was organized. The nine members were Elder William and Sister Geneva Abernathy, Elder Albert and Sister Anna Allen, Brother Harry and Sister Thomas, Sister Belle Pleasant, Sister Lottie Jones and Sister Barber. Regular meetings were held from house to house. At this time, they had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The knowledge of water baptism in the Name of Jesus came in late 1919 because of the teachings of Bishop G. T. Haywood of Indianapolis, Indiana. The mission was obedient to the Word of God and each member was baptized in the Name of Jesus in the Great Miami River under the east side of the Fifth Street Bridge in Dayton, Ohio.
There were street meetings when the weather permitted on Fifth, Dunbar and Dakota Streets and other various locations in an effort to get the public interested in the Word of God and salvation. As the Lord blessed with an increase in membership, it was necessary to find a suitable place for worship. In the spring of 1920, one evening after a street meeting, a few of the saints were walking home and noticed an old vacant Fire Engine House at the corner of Fifth and Mound Streets. It was open and they went in to look around. Through the influence of Brother Avery Wright, The Apostolic Mission leased the Fire Engine House from the City of Dayton. The Engine House saints were integrated. Brother Leech and family were remembered for teaching German Sunday School songs. In the fall of 1921 some of the Caucasian saints, under the leadership of Brother Avery Wright began to worship at Second and Jefferson Streets, nevertheless fellowship continued.
A successful tent revival was conducted on West Fifth Street, a few blocks from the Engine House Mission. This tent revival lasted through the summer of 1922 and on into the fall. During that time, there were many prominent speakers, which included Elder Elmer Akers. After the tent meeting, Elder Elmer Akers of Brooklyn, New York, became the pastor of the Engine House Mission. Subsequently, Brother Raymond Dandridge, a former slave, provided a vacant lot on Sprague Street. The congregation erected a church and parsonage at 137 Sprague Street at the cost of approximately $7,000.00. Elder Akers, Elder Otis Brooks, Elder A. J. Allen, Brother Samuel Ligon, Brother Wade, Brother Lockley and others, including sisters, dug out the foundation manually. They used picks, shovels, a mule and a wagon.
On April 11, 1923, the church was incorporated and became The First Pentecostal Church of Dayton, Ohio. Under the leadership of Elder Akers, several hundred were baptized in Jesus Name and filled with the Holy Ghost. Elder Akers served as the General Secretary of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) in 1932. He was later elevated to the office of Bishop in 1934. The pastorate of Bishop Akers was from 1922 to 1936. The First Pentecostal Church became known as Bethesda Temple.
In 1936, Elder Ralph Bass, then of Springfield, Ohio was called to be the pastor of Bethesda Temple. His assistant at the time was Elder William Davis. In 1937, Elder George Smith was named as the assistant pastor. A concerted drive was begun to pay off the mortgage of $14,500.00. This drive was initiated under the leadership of Elder E. Moorman. The drive was successfully concluded in June 1944. Under the capable and prayerful leadership of our beloved pastor, Elder Bass, and his ever faithful and dedicated assistant, Bethesda made remarkable progress in all phases. Through the good times and bad times, Bethesda held on with the example of dependability, steadfastness and faithfulness. Many auxiliaries were formed, namely: The Church Aide (formerly, the Pastors Aide), Missionary Auxiliary, Prayer Band, Usher Boards #1 and #2, Uplifters, Brotherhood, Bethesda Chorus, Gospel Chorus, Bethesda Temple Young Peoples Union, Sunday School, Templeites (Is templeites spelled correctoy?) and Bethesda Choraliers. As the Lord blessed, the church was remodeled with an addition of the new annex consisting of Sunday school rooms, dining room and kitchen. The dedication was held on April 18, 1966. Elder Bass was elevated to the office of Bishop in 1959 and served many years as the Chairman of the Ohio District Council. The Bethesda Temple Radio Broadcast was instituted at this time. Bishop Bass departed this life on June 24, 1972 and Elder George Smith was appointed as the interim pastor.
In October 1973, District Elder Henry Jones became our pastor and Elder George Smith continued as our assistant pastor. Elder Jones was saved under the pastorate of Bishop Bass and later called to the ministry. He pastored in Xenia, Ohio for thirteen years. He was a son of Bethesda coming home. The flock increased to the point where chairs had to be set up in the aisles for most of the Sunday services, showing a definite need for a larger facility. As God increased the congregation, they were presented with the excellent opportunity to purchase the Salem Avenue Church of God for the sum of $800,000.00 in 1977.
This opportunity resulted in the forming of a Building Fund Committee with representatives from each auxiliary and from the congregation at large. The committee with the support of the church initiated many programs. There theme for this project was “For the people had a mind to work”. On September 13, 1981, Bethesda moved into the Salem Avenue Church without a bank mortgage. The facility at 3701 Salem Avenue gave Bethesda additional space of over thirty classrooms for the Christian Education Department; other activities were instituted such as the Learning Center, Pantry, Nurses Station and the establishing of the Library to mention a few.
District Elder Jones' health became a factor and he departed this life on March 15, 1986.
After the death of District Elder Jones, our beloved and faithful assistant Pastor, Elder George Smith was named as Acting Pastor and much to the sorrow of the entire Bethesda Temple Family, he unexpectedly departed this life on July 23, 1986. Elder Smith was known for visiting those who were sick in the hospitals. It was not unusual for him to be at the hospital praying at 6:00A.M. He truly loved Gods People.
District Elder J. Thomas Jones of London, Ohio became the pastor of Bethesda Temple in 1986. Bethesda was and still is referred to as the Mother Apostolic Faith Church in Dayton, Ohio.
In 1992, District Elder Jones was elevated to Suffragan Bishop. Properties on the left of the church became available for purchase; a unit with many shops called Heritage Square was purchased. A shelter was built to give the church family a place for outside activities. The Van Kirk properties at 3761, 3763 adjacent to the church were purchased. The Uplifters, seniors and Mini Academy computer classes moved to this building. The Multi-purpose Center was built for the church family and dedicated on May 4, 2002 and was named The Lighthouse. The Lighthouse was designed for Bethesda’s Church Family; young people and seniors. During this time the Camp for Kids was instituted and proved to be very successful. Suffragan Bishop Jones instituted the Marriage Retreat. This was a weekend celebration for married couples and was enjoyed by those attending. A feeding program was instituted for the homeless, with services involving praying, singing, testimonies, teaching, preaching and meals were provided twice a week. Suffragan Bishop Jones' health began to fail and in December 2006, a grand banquet was held at the downtown Dayton Schuster Center in honor of his retirement.
Let us not be weary in well doing: For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9
IT’S A NEW SEASON, IT’S A NEW DAY
On December 28, 2007, Dr. Craig S. High of Inman, South Carolina was elected pastor of Bethesda Temple. Pastor High acknowledged and yielded to the Will of God to take Bethesda to another level. He has come with a philosophy of “No more church as usual, but unusual.”
On January 2, 2008, Pastor High felt a need to immediately begin his work in Dayton, Ohio. Suffragan Bishop Craig S. High was installed as the Pastor of Bethesda Temple Apostolic Church with Evangelist Teresa High by his side on February 24, 2008 by Bishop Paul A. Bowers, Diocesan of the Ohio District Council. Since his coming to Bethesda, numerous people have rededicated their lives to Christ and many have accepted the call to salvation. Suffragan Bishop High has encouraged love, faith, forgiveness and knowing your spiritual gifts through his Body Building Bible Classes. His philosophy of ministry is that “Faith in God Brings Victory in Every Circumstance.” He also encourages the body of Christ to praise God to the highest; as the psalmist records, “I Will bless the LORD at all times: his praises shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalms 34:1) This is the occupation of all believers everywhere.