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Elzie W. Young

Presiding Bishop


ELZIE WILLIAM YOUNG was born October 13, 1913, in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, the son of Levi and Julia White Young Burton. He was educated in Kentucky at Ruddell Elementary School, Dunbar High School, and St. Mary's College. On March 28, 1932, Young married Ruby Edgerson and their union produced nine children: Billie Mae, Elzie, Ruth, Miriam, Thelma, Mark, Julia, Samuel, and Benjamin. After Ruby’s death in 1974, he married Dianna Gray with whom he had two sons, Everard and Ephrim. He was preceded in death by two of his children, Billie Mae and Ephrim.


Before his call to the ministry, Young found employment as a racehorse jockey.  The exciting career proved too difficult for his limited experience, however, and he sought more traditional employment. His spiritual conversion took place at Christ Temple Church in Lexington, Kentucky, under the pastorate of Elder H.T. Moore where he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in 1932. He acknowledged his call to the ministry and evangelized for a number of years before founding Bethlehem Temple Apostolic Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1950. Starting with just four members, his church grew into a vibrant soul saving station with more than 800 members at its peak. 


In 1957, Young joined the newly formed Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith (PCAF) founded by Bishop Samuel N. Hancock. He was elevated to the bishopric at the first national convention in 1958. Upon the death of Bishop Hancock in 1963, he became the assistant presiding bishop and a year later, he became presiding bishop. Noted as a great defender of holiness and the Apostolic doctrine, he made great and lasting impressions throughout his local community and in many places around the world as he carried the gospel to the masses. Bishop Young died December 27, 1989, at the age of 76. He is remembered for his stern, yet warm and caring personality and strong leadership. He was the longest serving presiding bishop in the PCAF with 25 years of service (1964-1989), having been chosen to serve a life term in that role.


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