» Who is Bishop Patrick L. Wooden, Sr.

Bishop Patrick L. Wooden, Sr. is a soul stirring gospel preacher and a prolific visionary leader who is dedicated to excellence and holiness. He has been saved and serving the Lord for nearly 40 years. He has been in the pastoral ministry for 34 years. He accepted Christ at the age of 16 and his life has been an example of what God can do when you give Him your whole heart at an early age. He attributes his success to God’s grace, mercy, unmerited favor and good leadership. He has been married to Pamela McNeil Wooden, who has served faithfully by his side for thirty six years. They have two adult children, Crystal (John), and Patrick Jr. and three grandchildren.

Bishop Wooden is a founder and establisher of churches. In 1982, Bishop Wooden, then Minister Wooden, was sent by his pastor, Supt. James H. Turner, to start a work in the rural town of Candor, North Carolina. He began with a 6 week tent revival in the area. At the conclusion of the revival, he asked if any were interested in standing with him to start a church and 29 people stood to be part of the church that he later named The Lighthouse Church of God in Christ. Many of those who joined were saved during the tent revival. Bishop Wooden pastored in Candor for 9 years and built his first church there in 1983. The experience there was indeed training ground to prepare him and his wife for what the Lord had in store for them in the years to come.

Bishop Wooden is a leader in church growth and development. In 1987, after the death of his pastor, Bishop Wooden was called and appointed to pastor the Upper Room Church of God in Christ. At the time of his appointment, the church had approximately 100 members. They were still in mourning at the death of their pastor and were unsure of the capabilities of “this young preacher from Rockingham.” As a result, some left, but many others decided to stay and give him a chance. It was during this time that his visionary leadership and dedication to hard work began to shine forth and flourish. Consequently, this year Bishop Wooden will celebrate 30 years of pastoring at Upper Room. The membership now exceeds 3,000 and is steadily growing. He has given attention to building strong men, which attributes to approximately 40% of his congregation being male. Under his leadership, in 1992, the church built the first COGIC sanctuary in Raleigh and in 1998, the current sanctuary, a 2,000 seat edifice, was built. In addition, many new ministries and auxiliaries have been established to serve and meet the needs of the congregants, the sick, suffering, under-privileged and lost souls throughout the city and surrounding areas.

Bishop Wooden is a distinguished leader in the Church of God in Christ. He served as Superintendent of the Greater Central District for 20 years making him the first Superintendent appointed in the State Capital. He served as Administrative Assistant to Bishop Leroy J. Woolard in the Greater North Carolina Jurisdiction for 10 years. Then in 2010 Bishop Woolard distinguished him as the First Administrative Assistant and ultimately Executive Administrative Assistant after being the first to be consecrated as Auxiliary Bishop in 2014. During Bishop Wooden’s 40 year tenure in the Greater North Carolina Jurisdiction he served in many other capacities providing him a well-rounded knowledge of the operations of a jurisdiction. As the will
of God would have it, on May 18, 2017, Bishop Wooden received written communication from the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ assigning him to serve as Interim Jurisdictional Bishop of North Carolina Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. On August 3, 2017 Bishop Wooden was appointed as the Jurisdictional Prelate of North Carolina Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction after a unanimous vote in his favor by the pastors. Bishop Wooden will continue to carry out the task of making full proof of his ministry, providing spiritual guidance, congregational renewal and jurisdiction advancement to the glory of God.

Bishop Wooden is well-known and respected in the Body of Christ and the community. He is a renowned national speaker, known for boldly and uncompromisingly preaching and teaching about issues that adversely affect today’s society. The message that God has given him transcends cultural and denominational barriers. He is the founder and president of Our Own Company Fellowship which is an association designed to be a refuge and safe place for Pastors, Ministry Leaders and their Spouses who are looking for a place of relationship, support, strength and renewal as they fight the good fight of faith. In the community Bishop Wooden and the Upper Room COGIC can be found at an abortion clinic and in the public square praying and pleading for the lives of the unborn. Additionally, they host food for the needy initiatives that feed hundreds of people weekly. His leadership and involvement was essential in the success of adding constitutional protection to the definition of marriage in North Carolina.

Bishop Wooden is the founder and builder of a Christian school. Early in the ministry the Lord commissioned Bishop Wooden to build a Christian school where children could receive a high quality education in an environment that was Christ-centered, safe and conducive for learning, without the barrage of the world’s humanistic ideologies. They would be taught to know the God of the Bible and the Glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. That vision became a reality in August 2001, which marked the completion of the James H. Turner Educational Facility, a 66,000 square feet facility that housed the Upper Room Christian Academy and Preschool on the 26 acre campus of the Upper Room COGIC. It was the first dually accredited, African American owned, Christian school in Wake County; employed 60+ people and served children from preschool through 12h grade at varying times for 18 years; and served on average nearly 500 children and youth annually. URCAP currently operates as a preschool with enrollment averaging 130 children from ages 18 months to 5 years old.

Bishop Wooden has received national notoriety for his work and efforts. The North Carolina College of Theology recognized the work of Dr. Wooden and afforded him the opportunity to use some of his years of experience as credits in his pursuit of a Doctorate of Theology, which he received in June 2007. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for his continuous efforts to support people and the community. His allegiance to Christianity esteems him as a great Christian apologist and places him on the frontline of religious battles, where he continues to promote Jesus Christ in all spectrums of society. His involvement in societal issues, such as: protecting biblical marriage; fighting the homosexual agenda; and spearheading the “Keeping Christ in Christmas” Campaign, has catapulted him into mainstream media. He has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, TCT, WRAL, and The O’Reilly Factor. He has also
been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Al-Jazeera, Associated Press, Huffington Post, Charisma, Whole Truth and a host of local and national media outlets.

Bishop Wooden is a CEO and business man. Bishop Wooden is the President and CEO of the Upper Room COGIC, overseeing an annual budget of 5 million dollars. He has led the ministry through three major building projects and in the acquisition of 26 acres of property. Presently, the church and school provides employment for 40 people on a full-time basis and 15 part-time, making Bishop Wooden yet one of the leading African American employers in Raleigh. He has many affiliations with business and civic leaders in the city and he has earned a reputation for being a man of God who does business prudently and ethically. Bishop Wooden and the board of directors made the business decision in 2016 to sell the school while it was profitable, as attendance began to decline in the grade school due to the economic downturn and the increase of charter schools in the area. As a result, the ministry eliminated all of its long-term debt.

Bishop Wooden lives by the principle of GOD FIRST!