"Daddy" John Bright
Bishop Aaron Mathews, Sr.
Founder, 1st Bishop of COGBF
Evangelist Nathaniel Scippio
Founder, 1st Executive Secretary of COGBF
Bishop Willie Matthews
2nd Bishop of COGBF
Bishop James E. McKnight, Sr.
Bishop James E. McKnight, Jr.
The Church of God by Faith was established in 1914 when “Daddy” John Bright met Sister Lucretia Scippio Roundtree and her mother, Sister Delia Scippio on a train. They agreed to have a prayer meeting in Jacksonville, Florida and the Church of God by Faith was established. The Founders were, Moderator John Bright, Bishop Aaron Matthews, National Evangelist Nathaniel Scippio and Executive Secretary, Hubert Steadman. These men quickly spread the Gospel starting in the Southern United States and built churches all along the way to Upstate New York. In 1922, these four Founders created a Charter that incorporated The Church of God by Faith, Inc. The Charter became official in 1923 and Elder Aaron Matthews, Sr. was appointed the first bishop.
After Bishop Aaron Matthews’ passing in 1959, his son, Bishop Willie Wilborn Matthews was appointed the second bishop. He served until 1984 and became the bishop emeritus after Bishop James E. McKnight, Sr. was appointed. Bishop McKnight served as presiding bishop from 1984 to 2014. In December of 2014, Bishop James E. McKnight, Jr. was appointed presiding bishop and Bishop James E. McKnight, Sr. became bishop emeritus. Bishop James McKnight, Jr. remains the presiding bishop and chairs the Council of Ruling Elders. The Council of Ruling Elders are: Ruling Elder David C. Rourk (Executive Secretary), Ruling Elder Horace N. Turner, Sr. (Executive Treasurer), Ruling Elder James Ware and Ruling Elder James Williams.
The Church of God by Faith, Inc. has more than 170 churches and missions from Miami, Florida to Buffalo, New York and from San Antonio, Texas to Tacoma, Washington. An international church has also been established in Talcahuano, Chile. The Church of God by Faith was established on faith and by faith, the work of the Lord continues.