UNIFIED MEDIA COMMUCATIONS – The Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A, with headquarters in Jackson, MS recently announced that Folsom, LA resident Elder Leroy Divinity has been named the Presiding Prelate of the Southwestern Diocese. Divinity was elected Bishop by the COCHUSA General Body during the movement’s national convention held in July. As Presiding Prelate, Divinity will provide administrative and oversight to licensed and ordained clergy, missionaries, laypersons, congregations and districts across Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
Bishop Divinity succeeds Bishop Vernon E. Kennebrew who has retired as Presiding Prelate of the Southwestern Diocese to serve as the Senior Bishop of COCHUSA and its Auxiliaries.
In 1988, Bishop Divinity earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Loyola University New Orleans and was recognized with the Bailey Award for Top Male Graduate. He then received a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Bishop Divinity also completed extended graduate studies at Tulane University where he studied Psychological Foundations of Education, Human Development & Personality, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior, and Categorical Data Analysis. Presently, Bishop Divinity is working toward a doctorate degree in Urban Affairs at the University of New Orleans.
A native of Marrero, LA, Bishop Divinity accepted his call to the preaching ministry in 1989. After completing his graduate studies in public policy at the Harvard University School of Government, he returned to his home church, New Salem COCHUSA in Marrero to serve as youth minister.
In 1993, he began his first pastorate at the Christ Temple COCHUSA in the New Orleans 9th Ward. In 1998, Divinity was appointed to serve as pastor of Midway COCHUSA in Folsom, LA where he currently resides.
In 2008, Presiding Prelate Bishop Vernon E. Kennebrew appointed Pastor Divinity as District Chairman of the Fifth District of the Southwestern Diocese. As District Chairman, he assisted the Presiding Prelate by providing oversight to COCHUSA congregations in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and East Baton Rouge Parishes.
In 2011, Bishop Divinity launched a Southwestern Diocese satellite campus of the Christ Missionary & Industrial College (CM&I) located in Jackson, MS. CM&I is the denomination’s K-12 private school and an accredited Bible College which confers associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. Since 2011, over 55 students have taken courses through the satellite campus and have received bachelor’s degrees. Divinity’s ministry statement is to “shepherd people to and through transformative life changes to bring them to God’s personal best.”
No stranger to hard work, Bishop Divinity has served on many capacities within COCHUSA, including: COCHUSA National Correspondence Secretary, Coordinator of the National Church Health Initiative or “COCHUSA @ ITS BEST”, National Brotherhood Ministries Program Coordinator, COCHUSA National Recording Secretary National Sunday School & HYM, Program Coordinator, District 5 Sunday School and HYM President, District 5 Brotherhood Men’s Ministry President.
In addition to his ministry work, Bishop Divinity is President and Founder of Paraclete Consulting Group Inc. (PCG). PCG is a consulting firm which serves nonprofit organizations. Divinity demonstrates a particular expertise with faith-based and emerging organizations in the social and community development sectors. He assists nonprofits of various sizes in developing strategic plans, accessing funds through grant writing, assessing organizational structure, and evaluating programs. He also provides trainings to boards in key roles and responsibilities. Pastor Divinity is the former Director of Programs for the Mirabeau Family Learning Center and played a major role in its development as a startup nonprofit.
Bishop Divinity is married to Mrs. Pamella Burkhalter Divinity. Together, they have four children: Israel, Leroy III “Trey,” Antonia “Toni,” and Deborah.
About the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A.
Founded by Charles Price Jones in 1897, the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. commonly referred to as COCHUSA shares a common early history with the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). A predominantly African-American denomination with headquarters in Jackson, Miss., COCHUSA is under the leadership of Senior Bishop Vernon E. Kennebrew and National President Bishop Lindsay E. Jones. .
The Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. is divided into eight dioceses – Eastern, North Central, Northern, Pacific Northwest, South Central, Southeastern, Southwestern, and Western. Currently, there are approximately 15,000 members in more than 165 congregations and missions across the United States, the Caribbean and Africa.