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Born in Chicago, IL to the late Missionary Mary Louise Payton, Elder Willard Payton was blessed by the Godly influence of the late Elder and Mother Johnie B. Wheeler, where a sanctified home was the source of the sound foundation upon which his life was established.
This early Christian training, along with his formal education in the Chicago Public Schools, the University of Illinois and the Purdue University, where he majored in Chemistry, led to a managerial career in the field of Metallurgy with three major Industrial Corporations, US Steel, Kaiser Aluminum and the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company, which later became National Refractories. While working in corporate America, Elder Payton was a key component in the training and development within his organizations. He was the first African-American to sell, distribute, and train others on specialty refractory products. He managed annual budgets over $2M for Fortune 500 companies. He effectively developed leadership teams and personally contributed approx. $1M of annual sales revenue. In 1991, God lead Elder Payton to retire from a successful corporate career to devote full time into Ministry.
Elder Payton was saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost in 1968, Ordained to the service of Ministry in 1969 and at the death of Pastor Wheeler, in 1991, Elder Pastor was appointed Pastor of the New Birth Church of God in Christ and has successfully and loyally pastored for 23 years.
Elder Payton’s desire to do the will of the Lord has directed his steps in working in many capacities; God’s grace has allowed him to work all with efficiency and with a Spirit of Excellence. Some of the areas of operations are:
Church of God In Christ Leadership
In the year which we celebrate God’s Divine Favor (2014) of our Ministry, the Lord led our Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop Ocie Booker, to recommend Pastor Payton to the Presiding Bishop to be elevated to the office of Auxiliary Bishop in the Church of God In Christ. Bishop Charles Edward Blake and the General Board prayerfully considered, reviewed and unanimously approved the recommendation and on November 9, 2014, Pastor Payton was consecrated to the office of Auxiliary Bishop.
Bishop Willard L. Payton has been married to Missionary Gloria L. Payton for 49 years and together they are the proud parents of 8 children, grandparents of 27 and great grandparents of 6 little miracles.