Gilbert Earl Patterson was an American Pentecostal-Holiness leader and minister who served as the international Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. Bishop G. E. Patterson, the presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, the nation’s largest African-American Pentecostal denomination, died Tuesday in Memphis. He was 67 and lived in Memphis, where the church has its headquarters.
The cause was heart failure, his nephew Milton T. Hawkins said.
A son of a bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Patterson was elected leader of the denomination in 2000. Known for his vivid sermons, Bishop Patterson spread the Pentecostal word through regular Sunday services broadcast on the Word Network, the Trinity Broadcasting Network and Black Entertainment Television. His own congregation, Temple of Deliverance, which he founded in 1975, had more than 6,000 active members in 2000.