Bishop James E. Tyson & First Lady Dr. Ruth Ann Tyson, Overseers
Bishop James Edison Tyson was born May 25, 1927, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to Annie and Cleophus Tyson. Bishop's life and character were shaped by several key factors including: 1) his parents' persistence that he and his siblings be brought up in a Godly environment; 2) their parents' examples centered around hard work, honesty, and the need to be goal oriented; and, 3) the Great Depression.
At the age of 16, James left Johnstown and ventured to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, while staying with relatives, he worked days in the shipyards while enrolled in radio school at night. James' inventiveness and technical aptitude surfaced during this period of his life. In time, he became one of the top students in his class. It was during this period that his well-known ability to articulate intelligently on just about any subject was developed. This ability came to bear early in his life with his deep yearning to learn and his disciplined reading patterns.
World War II was raging when James turned 17. With vehement discouragement and dissatisfaction, his father relented and signed for James to enlist in the Navy. Bishop has said that even at the last moment his father attempted to dissuade him from enlisting, but "the wisdom" of his youth suggested that his father didn’t know what he was talking about. However, now, Bishop is quick and ready to admit with the shaking of his head, "It was the worst mistake of my life!" While in the Navy, Bishop served as a steward on such ships as the USS Lexington, USS Saratoga, and the APL37. By this time, his family had moved to Youngstown, Ohio. While on leave there, at the end of the war, one of his brothers mentioned the name of a young lady, whose name was Evelyn Haynesworth. However, because he had not accepted Christ at the time, Evelyn insisted that their relationship could not continue unless he accepted the Lord in his life.
In September 1946, James was baptized with the Holy Ghost in Youngstown. Under the pastorate of the late Bishop Raymond L. Robinson, James and Evelyn were united in marriage on June 18, 1948, and to this union five exceptionally gifted children were born: James Laverne, Ira Kathleen, Lawrence Craig, Lisa Anne and Cleophus Shawn.
In 1947, James was called to the ministry. He has had a long and storied career. Beginning with his serving as a lay minister, Bishop moved through the ranks as an assistant pastor under Bishop R.L. Robinson and has pastored five assemblies including his last current charge here at Christ Church until October 2008: Bethel Apostolic Church (Canton, OH); First Pentecostal Church (Leavenworth, KS); Mt. Calvary Pentecostal Church (Youngstown, OH); and Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly (Indianapolis, IN). Bishop was also chosen to serve the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. as Diocesan of the Oklahoma State Council, the Iowa/Nebraska State Council, the Montana and Dakotas Council, and as Diocesan of the Fourth Episcopal District (Indiana).
In 1980, the Christ Church family suffered a great loss when Sis. Evelyn Haynesworth-Tyson was called home to be with the Lord. She is still greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.
In 1981, Bishop Tyson was joined in marriage to the former Betty Jane Showell. As a team, Bishop and Dr. Betty accomplished many great things for kingdom building, including the erection of the new Christ Church $3-million edifice. However, in 1996, the Christ Church family experienced another great loss at the passing of Dr. Betty Showell-Tyson. Dr. Tyson is also greatly missed by her family and all who knew her.
Bishop Tyson has always affirmed that God's people should not only have salvation but also education. And to go with that legacy of being a great preacher of God's Word are just a few of Bishop's educational accomplishments: BA., B.Th., and MA, from Indiana Christian University - Indianapolis; honorary doctorate degree from Aenon Bible College - Indianapolis, IN. He also attended Temple University (Philadelphia, PA), Malone College (Canton, OH) and Youngstown State University (Youngstown, OH).
In 1997, Bishop Tyson married Ruth Ann Johnson Robinson of New York. Her daughter, Rachel, is now their daughter, and a 2001 graduate of Butler University in Indianapolis. Bishop and First Lady Tyson are together working to build God's Kingdom and win souls for Him.
In 1998, God elevated Bishop Tyson and his son in the Gospel, the late Bishop Norman L. Wagner, to serve together as Presider and Assistant Presider of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
Bishop Tyson is renowned as a dynamic preacher, teacher, scholar, great builder, visionary, and lover of mankind. All in all, God has been with this man of destiny… this man of God… this man of triumph!
Lady Ruth Ann Tyson was born in New York City to Cleveland and Caldonia Johnson. She is the second of three siblings. Lady Tyson received the gift of the Holy Ghost at the age of 17 under the anointed ministry of the Honorable Bishop William L. Bonner, Chief Apostle of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., and the pastor of Greater Refuge Temple in New York.
After graduating from high school, she attended Central State University in Xenia, Ohio, for one semester, and then transferred to Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English. After completing her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude, she worked for Redbook magazine as a production editor. She was later recruited by Family Circle magazine, where she began a very successful career. She began as a copy editor and was promoted to assistant managing editor, and later the managing editor.
God was not through with her promotions. On January 4, 1997, Lady Ruth was elevated to a partnership in holy matrimony with the former Assistant Presiding Bishop, the Honorable Bishop James E. Tyson, founder and pastor for over 33 years, and now serving as the founder/overseer of Christ Church Apostolic, Inc., and the Diocesan of the Fourth Episcopal District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc.
Along with Lady Tyson’s career and educational achievements, she has been a faithful and diligent worker in the Kingdom of God. She has served as the Vice President of the Radio Choir at Greater Refuge Temple, as well as the President of the Board of Youth Education, Sunday School teacher, and secretary to Bishop William and Dr. Ethel Mae Bonner.
Ruth Ann Tyson is the former first lady of Christ Church Apostolic, where she is the former director of the Women of Praise, Purpose and Power (WPPP). She is the director of the Department of Publications and editor in chief of The Christian Outlook magazine, the official publication of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., and the President of the Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows Auxiliary of the Apostolic Bible Students Association. She is also the President of the International Ministers’ Wives and Ministers’ Widows Auxiliary of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., and the administrator for Aenon Bible College.
In October 1999, the Aenon Bible College conferred upon her an honorary doctorate degree. In May 2009, Lady Tyson received her Master of Arts in Specialized Ministry from the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is currently pursuing a residency program to become a certified chaplain.