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Bishop Clarence L. Sexton is the son of the late Rev. Israel and Mrs. Lethabell Sexton. He was born in Bamberg, SC. His formative years were spent in Bamberg attaining an elementary education in the Bamberg Public School System. Bishop Sexton is the sixteenth child in a family of forty-two brothers and sisters. Possessing an adventurous nature, in his early manhood, he came North, first settling in York, PA, then Buffalo, NY and finally in


NYC. He joined a Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Davis. He served diligently there as a deacon and a member of the Sunday School. His humble beginnings in the work of Christ in Holiness came to fruition under the leadership of Bishop Frank Cook. Accepting an invitation to visit the where(then Elder)Cook pastored at 128 Osborn Street in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. He was enlightened by the word of God, preached by Elder Cook and invited Christ into his life. He was saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost in 1945 and joined the Holy Trinity COGIC under Elder Cook. There he met and married Sister Thelma Alexander in 1948 and to this union was born six children.

Early in his Christian life, Brother Sexton was called to the ministry. God spoke to him saying, " Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest." Heeding the commission, this passage quoted from Joshua 1:9 was the text of his first sermon. He was humble, obedient and faithful. Elder Sexton worked assiduously at 128 Osborn Street and assisted Elder Cook in his second pastorate in SI.

Heeding the urgency of the Spirit, words of encouragement from Bishop F.D. Washington and his pastor, in March 1955 Elder Sexton launched out into the deep and was appointed pastor of the Mount Olive COGIC in Coney Island, NY by Bishop OM Kelly. His wife, Sister Thelma Sexton and their three small children accompanied him. He again remembered his calling to the ministry,(the words of Joshua 1:9) when he was greeted by the membership of two(the late Deacon and Mrs. Jay Robinson) Father Louis Alexander ( Sister Sexton's father) came to play the piano. The late Elder and Sister William Connelly came by to conduct a revival and decided to stay. The Lord blessed the church with additional young people and Elder Sexton continued to preach the word, reprove, rebuke, and exhort with long suffering and doctrine. The Lord continued to add to the church, and the church grew beyond her natural boundaries and was relocated to 1541 Fulton Street and later to 488 Sumner Avenue in Brooklyn. The Lord continued to add to the church. The Urban Renewal Program made it necessary for the congregation to relocate. After prayerfully scanning many sites and with approval for God, his keen foresight and cooperative planning of the various committees and congregation, Elder Sexton and Congregation bought the property now know as Mount Sinai Cathedral, a complex the Lord has richly provided.

Elder Sexton attended Shelton Bible Institute and OM Kelly Bible School of NY. Elder Sexton received the Doctor of Philosophical Theology in 1991. Due to outstanding ministries of Pastor Sexton, BISHOP OM Kelly appointed him superintendent of Brooklyn District #1. After twenty years of dedicated and fruitful pastoral work Elder Clarence Sexton was honored with a Doctor of Divinity Degree from the NY Divinity School of Sacred Theology. He was the recipient of many citations and honors. He has served as co-chairman of the Board of Directors of the OM Kelly Religious Training Institute, Chaplain of the Interboro Hospital's Baptist Medical Center, Superintendent of the Maddie Patton House, Chairman of the Jurisdiction Baptismal Committee. During the tenure of the Late Bishop FD Washington, Elder Sexton chaired the Stewardship Committee, he was the Special Assistant to the Bishop.

Elder Sexton was consecrated as Bishop and appointed Prelate of the Eastern New York Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction in Memphis at the Nation Holy Convocation in 1988.

On the national level, Bishop Sexton had shown courage and conviction in his repeated appeals to the General Assembly. He served as the Vice-chairman of the General council of Pastors and Elders and as the Vice-Chairman of the General Assembly. He served faithfully to this position for 12 years and resigned in 1988.

As a Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop Sexton maintained his personal philosophy to use every opportunity to call for the support of true leadership and the preeminence of the church and it's constitution above the personal ambitions of individuals. His motto" HOLINESS IS RIGHT" is known throughout the church.

Thank God, though Christ and the Holy Spirit, Bishop Sexton was endowed with the qualities that identified him as one of the Greatest leaders of our day. Bishop Sexton was loved by all. His life touched many and through him many ministries have been founded throughout the United States as far reaching as California.

We praise God for the life and legacy of this GREAT MAN OF GOD!

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