Our Pastor: Suffragan Bishop Cecil E. Golder Jr.
Cecil E. Golder Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri on August 5, 1956, the first son of Cecil E. Sr. and Uniastine. He was almost immediately, affectionately given the nickname “Sonny.”
Cecil graduated from Shortridge High School in 1974. He was saved at an early age and grew up in Grace Apostolic Church (GAC) under the pastorate of his uncle, the late Bishop Morris E. Golder. Having a strong desire to be active in the church, he found his niche in playing drums and singing. His passion for playing percussions prompted him to ask if he could play the drums in the church. This was not without opposition because, at that time, drums were not accepted at GAC; however, Cecil was persistent and gained the victory and became the first drummer in GAC. As God continued to bless his ability, he played for such artists as: The Pentecostal Ambassadors, Apostolic Clefs, Indiana Mass choir, Indiana State choir, and all of the choirs at his local church.
In the early seventies, Cecil felt the call of God to preach His Word. But wanting to “fit in” in other places – ran from God’s calling. But thanks be to God - in His mercy, He never let Cecil alone! Cecil eventually found his way back to where God purposed him to be, and preached his first sermon at a young people’s service in 1996, entitled “God Has Been Faithful,” taking his text from Philippians 3:13, 14.
On July 1, 1995, Cecil married Tammorra (Bennett) Golder; they are the proud parents of two sons, Joseph Cecil, and Elisha Michael. In 1998, after approval from his uncle, Bishop Golder and on the recommendation of the then, Elder Larry J. Hunt of Hartford City, Indiana, Cecil was ordained as an Elder by Apostolic Bible Students Association (A.B.S.A.) during a convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. After successfully completing the required classes, he enhanced his education by attending Aenon Bible College, Ivy Tech and Martin University. After a successful career at General Motors, he retired in 2008.
Elder Golder served on many auxiliaries in his home church, including the Bishops Choir, the Sanctuary Choir, the Missionaries, and the Brotherhood of which he was Chairman for eleven years. He also served as Treasurer for the ABSA Brotherhood and is currently the State Brotherhood Chairman, as well as holding and office with the International Men’s Ministry.
In September 2012 Elder Golder was invited to preach for New Bethel Tabernacle in South Bend, Indiana. Immediately upon arriving, he felt a serene sense of belonging and peace. He preached Sunday morning and evening and one week later accepted an invitation to come back and teach Bible Class. After being invited back yet again, he was informed that he was a candidate for the pastorate. Subsequent to two interviews with Diocesan Bishop Charles Sims and the New Bethel Board of Directors, his name was presented to the New Bethel family on October 23, 2012. By a majority vote and God’s sanction, he was selected to become the new pastor, and on October 28, 2012, by the Grace and Order of God, officially arrived as New Bethel Tabernacle’s Pastor.
Pastor Golder is humbled by his appointment and credits this as “The Lords doing” and “it is marvelous in our eyes.” To God be the glory for the things he has done!