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Black Church News in Virginia

Obituary: Bishop Levi E. Willis II, 69 Reflections of A Consecrated Life

Special To The New Journal and Guide

Bishop Levi Edgar Willis II , born August 16, 1953, passed away January 13, 2023, at age 69

He was the third child and only son to the late Bishop Levi E. Willis Sr., and Mother Hortense Jones Willis. At age eight, he was struck by an automobile and landed in the windshield of another car traveling in the opposite direction. The doctors said he would never talk, let alone walk again, and he would be a vegetable. But God had a purpose and a plan! After much consecration and prayer, God’s miraculous healing took place.

Bishop L.E. Willis II was ordained as a licensed minister in 1969 at the age of sixteen. He began his pastoral ministry in December of 1973, when he became co-pastor to his father. In 1978, he was installed as Pastor of the Garden of Prayer Cathedral COGIC in Norfolk, VA. In 1986, Bishop Willis Sr. asked his son to assist him at the State Temple and from there the congregations were merged.

For three years he served at the Garden of Prayer Temple Church of God in Christ, in Portsmouth, VA. In 1989, he founded the Good News Family Worship Center, in Norfolk, VA. He was appointed District Superintendent of the Portsmouth District and in 2004 he was appointed as one of the three Administrative Assistants to the late Bishop Levi E. Willis Sr., Prelate of the Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia Church of God in Christ, and former General Board Member.

He was instrumental in assisting his father in the building of Willis Broadcasting Corporation. The company was renowned for being the first Black Radio Broadcasting Company to achieve a phenomenal success.

In February 2009, after the demise of his father, he was appointed Pastor of the Jurisdiction’s Headquarters, the Garden of Prayer Worship Center COGIC. During the April General Assembly Session, he was appointed by Presiding Bishop Emeritus, Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., as Bishop–Designate and on November 9, 2009, at the 102nd Holy Convocation in Memphis, TN, he was consecrated as the Prelate of the Virginia Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction – The New Frontier – The Next Generation Church of God in Christ.

On January 3, 2010, Bishop Willis united and became shepherd of two powerful ministries, the Garden of Prayer Worship Center, and the Good News Family Worship Center at the 1001 Church Street location.

He announced his retirement on October 2, 2022, and appointed his son, Pastor Jonathan G. Willis Sr., as pastor. A grand celebration, honoring Bishop Willis for fifty years of pastoral ministry, was held on December 9, 2022.

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He is predeceased by his son, Levi E. Willis III, parents, Bishop Levi E. Willis Sr., and Mother Hortense J. Willis.

Bishop Willis leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of forty-nine years, Mother Judith Loretta Washington Willis; children: Daughter-in-law Trelanie R. Johnson-Willis, Superintendent Jasper M. Willis (Lady LaTonya “Cookie”), Administrative Assistant Jonathan G. Willis Sr. (Lady Felicia), and Missionary Tiffani J. Willis; eight grandchildren; three sisters; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives, and friends.

PIC

Bishop L.E. Willis II Photo: Courtesy

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