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The Rev. Darrell Cummings gets new leadership role

WHEELING — The Rev. Darrell Cummings, for more than three decades in the Ohio Valley and more than four decades overall, has been a leader in the church community. His leadership role recently grew even larger.

The Ohio District Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Inc. announced Wednesday that Cummings, pastor of the Shiloh Apostolic Faith Assembly in Weirton and the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling, has been named suffragan bishop of the Ohio Valley. He stepped into the role after the previous Suffragan Bishop Roy C. Dawkins was named honorary bishop, an emeritus title.

Cummings will work under Bishop James W. Gaiters of the Ohio District Council.

Cummings will oversee the Ohio District Council’s southeast region, which includes Steubenville, Weirton, Martins Ferry, Bridgeport, East Liverpool, Weirton, Wheeling, Fairmont and Washington, Pa. He said the district has churches in each of those communities.

If a church needs a change in leadership through the death, retirement or removal of a pastor, or if a church wants to merge or separate, those decisions come under Cummings’ purview.

“A bishop has regional meetings,” he said. “I don’t run them, but I am over them and have to give permission for different things to take place in the region.”

This is a role Cummings said he has strived for his entire career, though he was never sure it was something he would achieve. He has been an integral part of the Ohio District Council since he founded the Greater Love Pentecostal Church in Ashtabula in 1980 when he was age 19.

In 1990, he came to the Ohio Valley as pastor of the Bethlehem Apostolic Temple and added the Shiloh Faith Apostolic Assembly to his duties in 2004. His church is well known for its food giveaways at holidays including Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

He also has served as vice chairman of the ODC, an officer in the council’s treasurer’s office and as secretary to the board of directors and Pastor’s Council.

“It’s truly an honor,” he said of his new role. “After 42 years, I wasn’t sure if I would ever be in that position. But I’m very humbled that our organization and its leaders have selected me to do it.”

Cummings also follows in his late father’s footsteps in the role. The late Bishop Claude Cummings served as a suffragan bishop in Cleveland. The lessons Cummings learned from his father and other faith leaders will guide him in this new position, he said.

“We’ve had, in my time, several suffragan bishops (in the ODC) and I’ve worked under them,” he said. “They have been great mentors and teachers. And I believe with the help of the various pastors throughout this community, we’ll be able to do a good job and, if it’s possible, hopefully take it to another level.”

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