Nathaniel Wells, Sr.

wells_srIn September, 1937 Elder Nathaniel Wells, Sr. was called by Overseer I.W. Winans from a revival that he was holding in Norfolk, VA. The telegram that Elder Wells received from Overseer Winans urged him to come without delay to take over two mission churches in Muskegon Heights and Grand Rapids, MI. The church in Muskegon Heights had just lost its pastor, the late Elder Lucas and the church in Grand Rapids was vacant because of turbulence within the congregation.

In 1940, Elder Nathaniel Wells, Sr. was asked to transfer his pastorate from Grand Rapids, MI to the City of Benton Harbor, MI to a church of only with 15 members. He and his wife, Mildred moved from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor and from 1940 to 1976, they traveled between the two cities building the ministries of two churches, Community COGIC and Holy Trinity COGIC.

In 1947, the founding father, Bishop Charles H. Mason chose to divide the State of Michigan into two Jurisdictions, the Northeast Jurisdiction under the leadership of the late Bishop C.L. Anderson and Southwest Jurisdiction which was led by the late Bishop John Seth Bailey. At that time, the late bordered by Lake Michigan to the West, South to Niles and North to Muskegon. Later Bishop Bailey divided the District in Western Michigan, but the majority of the churches in Western Michigan directly or indirectly came from the tutelage of the late Bishop Nathaniel Wells, Sr., who never became a Jurisdictional Bishop. However, for his labor and contribution to the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Nathaniel Wells, Sr., was honored by the late Bishop Oglethorpe T. Jones and was appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop.

Papa Wells as he was affectionately called pastured both churches until his health begin to decline and in 1976, he placed his son, Elder Nathaniel Wells, Jr. at Holy Trinity COGIC and he maintained his pastorate at Community COGIC in Benton Harbor until his death in 1983.