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Transitions in Leadership


The council's episcopal structure cedes ecclesiastical polity to its Diocesan Bishop, who is selected by the P.A.W.'s international Board of Bishops. However, the district leadership routinely includes elected chairpersons for defined terms of service, to assist in the operation of the district. Among its Diocesans, the legacy of Bishop Grimes remains uniquely powerful as the council founder, international Presiding Bishop, and evangelist/church builder. According to Morris Golder's ''History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World'', Grimes was the driving force in helping save the P.A.W. from extinction following the failed merger of the early 1930s.


Grimes spearheaded the organization's rebuilding and growth in the 30 years to follow, specifically establishing 13 "councils" or episcopal districts in the eastern U.S. The West Virginia & East Tennessee Council was an early one among the 13, and was one that he maintained hands-on supervision of until his health began to failing in the late 1960s

Grimes' hand-picked protege Booker T. Jones was elevated to the office of Bishop at the P.A.W.'s 1965 Jubilee Convention in Indianapolis, along with four others that assumed parts of the eastern conglomerate of councils that Grimes had established. Bishop Jones served as Diocesan of the West Virginia & East Tennessee Council from 1967 until his passing in 1997. He served concurrently as Diocesan of the Virginia State Council until 1994, when District 23 pastor and International Foreign Missions Chairman Clarence E. Moore was selected to serve the Old Dominion churches as its Bishop. During Jones' tenure, he relocated the District 23 office headquarters to his home church in Keystone, WV.

In 1997, the pastor of Grace Temple in Johnson City, TN succeeded Jones as Bishop of the West Virginia & East Tennessee Council. Then-P.A.W. Presiding Bishop Paul Bowers of Cincinnati installed Bishop Aaron H. Redd as Diocesan in sacred ceremony that same year. Bishop Redd, upon ratification by council officials, again relocated the district offices . . . this time to eastern Tennessee. Given the council's incorporation in the state of Tennessee, Johnson City became the district office headquarters. It remained that way until he resigned his post, due to prolonged illness in 2009. Notably during Redd's tenure, he named the first female District Elder in the district's history . . . placing him among the first Bishops in the national organization to do so.

At the P.A.W.'s international convention in Minneapolis in 2010, the organization's Board of Bishops elected and consecrated Samuel R. Moore as Bishop. Named as an infant by council founder Bishop Samuel Grimes as his namesake, Moore was assigned to succeed Bishop Redd as Diocesan of the West Virginia & East Tennessee Council in Minneapolis. He was installed in that post at the district's fall meeting in Lewisburg, WV on October 14, 2010.

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