- October 2, 1931 - March 6, 2011
- Marriette, Georgia
of Bishop's Passing
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Bishop Chandler David Owens, Sr., was born in Birmingham, Alabama to the union of the late Reverend William Owens and Mrs. Martha Owens. He was the fifth child of eight children four of whom preceded him in death. He was saved as a child at Smithfield Church of God in Christ where Pastor Shepard Skanes was his pastor. He acted as the Junior Pastor of his father's church, Power View Church of God in Christ. During his formative Christian years he served as an adjutant to the founder of this church, the late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason. He was educated in Birmingham Public School System where he was known as one of the smartest students to matriculate. When his parents could not afford to send him to college he educated himself by spending copious amounts of time in the library reading dictionaries, encyclopedias, thesauruses and many books on various subjects. After high school he relocated to Detroit, Michigan and worked at Henry Ford Auto Paint. While preaching in Detroit he met and married the love of his life Shirley Jeanette Hardy. He was appointed by Bishop J. S. Bailey as Pastor of Wells Cathedral Church of God in Christ in Newark, New Jersey. The young couple relocated to Orange, New Jersey and later Newark, New Jersey where to this union God gave three children: Chandra Stephanie, Shirlitah Shirae and Chandler Jr. The apple of his eye, his beautiful daughter Shirlitha, preceded him in death. While pasturing at Wells Cathedral Church of God in Christ he was consecrated Bishop of New Jersey's Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction; and he was also the youngest Bishop ever elected to the General Board. He was so eloquent that he was given the moniker, "Man with the Golden Voice." He was the 5th in Apostolic succession to be elected to the Church's highest office, the Presiding Bishop. Bishop Owens served the church in numerous capacities. He was the International President of The Youth Congress and Chairman of Commission for the Constitution. As an evangelist he traveled extensively throughout the United States as well as India, Europe and the Caribbean Islands. As a Bishop he installed several churches in Seoul, Korea. He was a tireless servant for seven decades. During his long tenure of service he organized the first annual Auxiliary in Ministry (AIM) established The C. H. Mason Theological Bible Institute throughout the Churches of God in Christ. He developed The Whole Truth Newsletter into the first official Whole Truth Magazine. He was a member of the General Board of the Church of God in Christ since 1976. Despite his accomplishments and favor from God he preferred to be known as a dedicated and committed servant of Jesus Christ. He leaves a life of precious memories to his loving and dedicated wife, Mother Shirley Owens; one daughter, Chandra Thames of MD; one son, Chandler Jr. of NJ; six grandchildren; four sisters: Lois Johnson of Detroit, Martha Houston of Philadelphia; Joyce Barkley-Levy of New York; Rebecca Henderson (Leon) of Detroit; two brothers, Elder Ronald Owens (Jeanette) and Elder Mark Anthony Owens (Barbara) of Birmingham, Alabama; a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, Wells Cathedral COGIC, Greater Community COGIC and the entire family of the Churches of God in Christ.