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Bishop Neavelle Coles, Emeritus Prelate

Bishop Neavelle Anthony Coles, Sr. - Biography


Bishop Neavelle Anthony Coles, Sr. was born in Roanoke, Virginia to the late District Superintendent Lloyd C. Coles, Sr. and Missionary Cleopatra Coles. He is the sixth youngest of seven children born to this union.

Blessed with a long rich heritage in the Church Of God In Christ, his grandfather, the late Elder William H. Coles, founded and served as the Pastor of Holy Temple Church Of God In Christ in Roanoke, Virginia from 1927 to 1947. His father, Lloyd C. Coles, Sr. served until his death in 1957.


Bishop Coles was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost under his father’s ministry. He was called to the ministry in 1973, and ordained in 1975 under the late Bishop Samuel Kelsey of Washington, D.C.


Bishop Coles’ trademark kindness and God given humility have set him apart for use by God. For many years, he has been a faithful servant and ardent worker in the District of Columbia area, serving in various capacities, including Administrative Assistant to the late Bishop Warren G. Crudup, and Treasurer for the Washington, D. C. Jurisdiction Church Of God In Christ.


In 1986, the Lord directed him to begin Saint Stephen Church Of God In Christ. With a passion for souls, and for ministering God’s word, the church has under gone renovations and the impact of the ministry in the community has been tremendous.


Bishop Neavelle Coles was consecrated and ratified as bishop of the Washington, District of Columbia Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church Of God In Christ on Monday, November 14, 2005 during the Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee.


On December 14, 2005, he was appointed as the Pastor of the New Bethel Church Of God In Christ by Bishop J. Neaul Haynes, General Board Member of the Church Of God In Christ due to the death of the founder of New Bethel, Bishop Sherman Howard. Bishop Coles has been ordained and anointed to pastor both churches.


A graduate of Benjamin Franklin University (George Washington), with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting, he had a successful career in both the private sector and with the Federal government. An entrepreneur, Bishop Coles is making an impact with his own brokerage and real estate companies. He is married to Mother Leona Rogers Coles, and they are the proud parents of three married children.

On March 31, 2024, Bishop Neavelle A. Coles retired as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the Washington, DC Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.  We praise God for his 19 years of leadership to the Jurisdiction and thank him for his untiring and faithful service. 

The Washington, DC Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction is currently under the leadership of the Presiding Bishop of the COGIC, through General Board Member Charles McClelland.


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