Watch the National Homegoing Celebration of Bishop Frank Otha White, General Board Emeritus Member and Presiding Prelate of the Eastern New York Third Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.
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Bishop Frank Otha White was born April 1, 1940, in Oakley, South Carolina to the late Jake and Margaret White. In the late 1940′s, the family migrated to Freeport, Long Island, New York. Early in life, Bishop White’s leadership abilities stood out. He assumed a leadership role in his school, his church and in his community. Upon graduating High School he attended Hofstra University, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Following his licensing and subsequent ordination to the Gospel Ministry, he attended the O.M. Kelly Religious Training Institute and received a Master of Religious Education. He furthered his formal education at the New York Theological Seminary and received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the United Christian College.
Bishop White is the principal Architect of the towering Freeport Landmark, the Zion Cathedral Church of God in Christ whose royal structure stands tall across the skyline of Long Island’s South Shore in New York. An enduring commitment to the Church has been the heart of Bishop White’s ministry and life for more than 58 years. He served Zion as Church Treasurer, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and has assumed nameless other roles.
His most cherished position was serving as Assistant Pastor to Bishop O.M. Kelly (Mr. Church of God in Christ). In February 1971, young Frank White undertook Bishop Kelly’s project to build a new church, which stands at 312 Grand Avenue, Freeport. The project was completed in less than 10 months. During the Service of Dedication, Zion’s Pastor, Bishop Kelly, who also served as the Jurisdictional Prelate of Eastern New York and First Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, made a grand announcement. He proudly proclaimed that Elder Frank O. White would become Pastor of this historical church. Oh, how that message warmed the hearts of the members of Little Zion.
Under Elder White’s leadership, innovative programs were instituted which include, but are not limited to, an Outreach Ministry for the relief of the homeless, drug addicted and economically disadvantaged; a Hospital Ministry for the care of the ailing, programs for the elderly and shut-in, a Counseling Unit to service individuals and families with social and emotional problems, and a fully-accredited Bible School to empower those seeking in depth, scriptural knowledge. In addition, the COGIC Little Zion’s mortgage was fully satisfied. The membership has increased from less than seventy-five, to over 2000 adult members, with 7:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m. Sunday Worship Services, Spiritual Empowerment on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Youth Activities on Fridays at 6 p.m.
On July 25, 1988, Dr. Frank O. White was designated by the Presiding Bishop J.O. Patterson and the General Board, as Prelate of the newly created Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern New York, Church of God in Christ, with Episcopal Headquarters in Freeport. He serves the Ways and Means Committee and is a member of the Executive Council of the General Assembly, Church of God in Christ, Inc. The most significant acknowledgment of Bishop White’s devotion to this great church since his consecration to the prelacy was his appointment by Presiding Bishop L.H. Ford to the interim Office of the Financial Secretary of the National Church on December 1, 1993 and subsequent election to this most prestigious office on April 6, 1994.
Bishop White has been the recipient of many Proclamations, Citations and Awards, among which were the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Award from the Freeport Human Relations Committee and the Church of God in Christ’s Highest Tribute, the Bishop Charles Harrison Mason Award, from The Religious Workers Guild, Inc. on July 11, 2003, and the Frederick Douglas Award from the Long Island Council of African Americans. He is also a lifetime member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Bishop White, known for his visionary predisposition for providing opportunities for young people to grow and develop socially, is the Founding Chief Executive Officer of The Cedarmore Corporation, established in 1996; that functions as the social services arm of Zion Cathedral specializing in youth-related educational activities. Building on the success of The Cedarmore Corporation, in 2006 Bishop White founded the Zion Community Development Corporation. It is with this endless dedication for strengthening the fabric of our community that he has become an advocate for affordable housing, commercial development and stimulation of the local economy by cultivating human, social and physical capital.
Bishop White is a true friend of humanity, an advocate of brotherhood and a proletariat of the commonwealth of Freeport and abroad. All of this, however, does not inhibit his cosmopolitan ministry. He was formerly involved in community activities as: First Vice President, Amityville and Vicinity Clergy Council; Assistant Recording Secretary, Nassau County Council of Black Clergy; Chaplain of the Freeport Police Department; Chaplain, Freeport Fire Department and member, Freeport High School Scholarship Committee. His current community involvement entails such activities as: Member, Freeport Interfaith Clergy; Member, Liberty Park Housing Board; Sponsor, Summer Basketball and Drug Counseling; Member of the Governing Board of the Long Island Council of Churches, and Founder and President of the Pentecostal Leadership Alliance of Long Island. Bishop White also has served as a member of Mayor Thompson’s Affordable Housing Coordinating Council, Freeport, New York. In January, 1991, the Freeport Human Rights Commission awarded him the distinguished, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Service. Additionally, he serves as President of the Long Island Conference of Clergy. The scope of service which Bishop White fulfills with distinction touches upon every vital theme of Long Island Life: from his contribution as benefactor of the Freeport High School Scholarship Committee to his sponsorship of the Economic Opportunity Council Summer Basketball Team for Boys, Bishop White’s transparent concern for others is the engineering characteristic which sets him apart as “The People’s Bishop.”
Bishop White has faithfully executed his duties as Pastor of the Zion Cathedral Church of God in Christ for 40 years. In July 1988, he was consecrated Prelate of the Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern New York. On December 1, 1993 he was appointed by the late Presiding Bishop L.H. Ford, to the Office of Interim Financial Secretary and later elected to that office on April 6, 1994, serving for 15 years. The most significant acknowledgment of his devotion to the Church of God in Christ, Inc., was his election to the prestigious General Board of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. On November 11, 2008, one week after the nation’s most historic Presidential Election of Barack Obama, an African American.
Bishop White has been married to his lovely and beautiful wife, Juliet, for 52 years, who is an educator in her own rite. Bishop White’s integral role in society, his widespread community accomplishments and “philosophy of persistence” has contributed greatly to the public success and achievements of their five children: Frank Anthone, National Financial Secretary; the Pastor of the Kings Chapel COGIC, Southampton, New York and Zion Cathedral COGIC, Freeport, New York; Sherri Julienne, Attorney at Law; Otha Miema, graduate Berklee College of Music and Recording Artist; Chakira Onese, graduate of St. John’s University and Project Manager at IBM; Yashima Devendra; graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business, Brand Strategist and Business Owner. He is the proud grandfather of five: Jykolyn, James, III, Margaret, Trinitee and Malachi. He has two sons-in-law, Mr. James E. Tatum, Jr., Attorney at Law, and Emmanuel Azi Love, Sales Executive.
Monday Night Jurisdictional Celebration of Life