Bishop Joel Harley Lyles, Jr.
Jurisdictional Prelate - Greater Maryland First Jurisdiction
General Secretary - Church of God in Christ
Bishop Joel Harley Lyles, Jr., a third generation member of the Church Of God In Christ, is the son of Joel H. Lyles, Sr. and Mother Gladys Johnson Lyles (deceased). The grandson of Deacon Ulysses and Mother Minnie Johnson (deceased), pioneers of the Church Of God In Christ in Maryland, Bishop Lyles was born, raised and educated in the city of Baltimore. Graduating from Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Religion, Bishop Lyles' professional career includes more than thirty (30) years of administrative, supervisory, marketing and managerial experience.
Having received his initial spiritual training in the Sunday School and YPWW departments, at a young age, Bishop Lyles accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, was baptized and filled with the Holy Ghost. Subsequent to acknowledging the call of God, he was licensed to preach by Bishop Frank J. Ellis (deceased) and ordained an Elder in the Church Of God In Christ by Bishop David W. Spann, Sr. (deceased) Prelate, Greater Maryland First Jurisdiction Church Of God In Christ.
For twenty (20) years Bishop Lyles has served as Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Ministries. The ministry which he organized with seven (7) members in an inner city storefront now sits on a 4.5 acre campus on the Baltimore City/ Baltimore County border. Numerous educational, social and economic ministries are operated from the 11,000 sq. ft. edifice/office complex.
In addition to pastoral duties, Bishop Lyles has served the Church Of God In Christ in numerous capacities on the District, Jurisdictional and National levels, including:
· Secretary - Northeastern District-Greater Maryland First Jurisdiction - 1987-2007
· Administrative Assistant & Member Executive Committee-General Assembly - 1989-Present
· Member AIM Executive Staff - 1997-Present
· Overseer, National Adjutancy-Church Of God In Christ, Inc. - 2000-Present
. Assistant General Secretary/Administration - 2000-2007
· Assistant Jurisdictional Secretary/Jurisdictional Secretary-Greater MD First Jurisdiction - 2001-2007
· Assistant Coordinator/Secretary, Constitutional Convention - 2002-2003
· Chairman-AIM 2003 Local Committee-2002-2003
· Chief of Staff/Executive Administrative Assistant-Greater Maryland First Jurisdiction-2006-2007
Jurisdictional Prelate-Designee, Greater Maryland First Jurisdiction – December 3, 2007 – Present
During the February 2007 National Celebration of Life for the Elder A. Z. Hall, Jr., (General Secretary 2000-2007), then, Elder Lyles was appointed by the General Board to serve as General Secretary (Interim). In April 2007, subsequent to the motion made by the General Board and elected by the General Assembly, Bishop Lyles became the ninth General Secretary of the Church Of God In Christ. In December 2007, after the death of Bishop David Washington Spann, Sr., Bishop Lyles was selected to succeed the late Bishop Spann as prelate of the Greater Maryland First Jurisdiction.
Bishop Lyles has distinguished himself as an astute administrator, adept organizer and dedicated churchman. With a keen awareness of eternal values, Bishop Lyles is always cognizant of his calling and remains uncompromisingly faithful to the preaching of the gospel and to the foundational principles of the Church Of God In Christ.
Co-laboring with him in ministry is his wife Vell Melissa Hayes Lyles. They are the proud parents of one (1) daughter; Ashley Deborah Melissa Lyles.
CONTACT BISHOP LYLES