Bishop J. Howard Dell collection
Scope and contents
Bishop John Howard Dell was born in Washington County, Georgia on September 29, 1902. He was the eldest son of six children born to Mr. Henry Dell and Mrs. Maggie Dell. Bishop Dell began preaching and spreading the gospel at the age of 16. At 18, he preached out of his first congregation in Gardner, Georgia. During his life, Bishop Dell founded four other churches: Crisp Street Church, Macon Georgia; First Church of God in Christ, Soperton, Georgia; First Church of God in Christ, Lyons, Georgia; and Christ Temple Church of God in Christ, Atlanta, Georgia. He also started missions in Danville, TerryTom, Alley, and Udila, Georgia. Dell married Della Hunter in 1922; they had seven children before her death in 1961. In 1962 he married Macie Lee Johnson until her death in 1969. He was married to his third wife at the time of his death in 1992, Jean Lewis Dell – they married in 1970.
Bishop Dell was ordained an elder in the Church of God in Christ on August 20, 1924. In 1927, he was appointed to the Office of District Superintendent. As Superintendent he presided over the First Augusta, Cordelle, and Moultrie Districts. He served as Jurisdictional Chairman (1934-1937) and Corresponding Secretary (1940-1947) for the State of Georgia. Dell served as secretary for the National Council of Elders from 1946 to 1972. On April 17, 1948, he was appointed Georgia’s overseer by the late Bishop Charles H. Mason. Bishop Mason consecrated him to the Office of Bishop on October 15, 1954. Bishop Dell was instrumental in the Northern Georgia Jurisdiction having a headquarters being paid for by the congregation. Dell was a member of the Board of Directors (and received an Honorary LLD Degree) at Saints Junior College and served on the Board of Trustees at C.H. Mason Seminary, a Constituent Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center.
Bishop Dell was a pioneer in mass media ministries. He was one of the first Black ministers in Georgia to have a radio ministry beginning in 1941, and the first to preach from a remote radio site in Macon and Columbus, Georgia. He was the first Black minister to have a television ministry in Albany, Georgia beginning in 1958 and one of the first Blacks to telecast Sunday services in Atlanta, Georgia beginning in 1979.
31.00 linear feet (collection containing 1.5 linear feet of manuscripts (3 manuscript boxes and 1 oversized box), and 29.5 linear feet of audiovisual materials (371 audio recordings and 352 video recordings).)
Language of Materials
- Bishop J. Howard Dell collection, 1946-1992
- Finding aid prepared by Jessica Leming, November, 2015
- November, 2015
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note