Patterson was born to Bishop William Archie 'W. A.' (1898–1991) and Mary Louise Williams Patterson (1901–1981) in the parsonage next door to the Church of God in Christ in Humboldt, Tennessee and is the youngest of six children. He confessed Christ as his Savior at 11 years old at Holy Temple COGIC in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after, the family moved to Detroit. He answered his call to ministry in 1956 while he was only 16 years old at the church his father pastored. Bishop J. S. Bailey ordained him in 1958 as an elder in the Church of God in Christ. In 1962, Patterson became co-pastor with his father at Holy Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis. Patterson continued his pastorate in 1975 as the founder and pastor of Temple of Deliverance, the Cathedral of the Bountiful Blessings near downtown.