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Bishop D. Rayford Bell

was born on July 9, 1923 in LeFlore County, Mississippi. In 1938, after living briefly in Morley, Missouri he returned to Mississippi where he met and married Darlene Griffin, on July 20, 1942. To this union were born two sons: Harvey and Curtis. After a long illness, Darlene was called home to be with the Lord in August 1990. Bishop and Mother Bell were tremendously blessed to have been married 48 years.

At the age of 26, Dennis R. Bell heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached, he repented of his sins and was baptized in the name of Jesus Christ on April 1, 1949. Bishop Bell came up through the ranks of Christ Temple.
 

He has served in such positions as Sunday school teacher, assistant and later superintendent of the Sunday school, Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Youth Department, Trustee,Assistant Pastor and finally Pastor in 1958. He became a licensed Elder in 1955 of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (P.A.W.) and was ordained Elder in 1957 as a member of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith Association, Incorporated (P.C.A.F.). The Lord elevated him to the office of a District Elder in 1961 and later to the rank of Bishop. He was elected Assistant Presiding Bishop of the P.C.A.F. in 1970. He served in the position as the assistant to his best friend, the late Bishop Elzie W. Young, for nineteen years. Bishop Bell was elevated to the Presiding Prelate of the P.C.A.F. in January 1990. At which time, he completed the tenure of the late Bishop Young and then was elected for two consecutive terms. He concluded his tenure as Presiding Prelate on July 28, 2000. Bishop Bell now holds the title of Former Presiding Bishop of the P.C.A.F., Assn., Inc.

The Lord has blessed Bishop Bell to Pastor Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois for 43 years. Bishop Bell is also the founder of Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Church in Joliet, Illinois, where Bishop J.E. Moore is the Pastor. The favor of the Lord has been mighty in Bishop Bell's life. He is also the founder and President of Midwest Apostolic Bible College in Chicago, Illinois.

A firm believer that education is the road to true freedom and success, Bishop Bell completed high school in Chicago. He earned a Bachelor's degree with honors from Southwestern College and was a straight "A" student, while studying for his Master's of Theology and Philosophy at the American Bible College. The Toledo Bible College and Seminary conferred Doctorates of Theology and Philosophy upon Bishop Bell in August 1979. This achievement caused him to be the first person in that school's history to earn two doctorate degrees in one year.
 

1990 was a lonely time for Bishop Bell, having lost his best friend and wife during the same year. Thus, the Lord saw fit to send a ray of sunshine into his life, in the form of Jacqueline Collins, from Cincinnati, Ohio. The two were joined in holy matrimony in April 1991.

As an Apostolic preacher, Bishop Bell has spent a great portion of his life serving his church and the City of Chicago; where he serves as a Chaplain for the Chicago Police Department. He has spread the Gospel from the street corners of Chicago to forty-nine states, thirty-seven countries on five continents to the Isles of the Sea.

The power of our almighty God has certainly been manifested through a poor Mississippi farm boy, who was elevated to the office of the Presiding Bishop of the P.C.A.F and now Former Presiding Bishop. His primary joy is to share the life and saving grace of Jesus Christ with others.

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