Dr. Ernest Leonard
On September 18th, 1958, Dr. Ernest Leonard was called into ministry and placed into the pastorate of a Baptist church on South 11th St. in Newark, NJ. In 1965, at 27 years of age, Dr. Ernest Leonard founded Victory Temple National Holiness Church in Newark, NJ with a few members. While pastoring, Dr. Leonard graduated from Alma White Bible Seminary in Zarephath, NJ. He later earned his Master’s Degrees in Theology and Business Administration, and Doctorate Degrees in Ministry and Religious Education, from the American Bible College in Pineland, FL. As a result of his leadership and dedication, in 1977 Dr. Leonard was duly elevated into the office of Bishop in Fitchburg, MA.
The Lord used Dr. Leonard in evangelistic crusades throughout the Tri-State area to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, causing thousands to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Dr. Leonard recognized the need for outreach, and used media as evangelistic tools to draw people to Christ who would never set foot within church walls. During this time he began the Believer’s Wake Up Hour, a Radio Ministry that pervaded the NY-NJ-CT and PA Region, awakening a people to the revealed knowledge of their authority in Jesus Christ and their dominion over Satan and his kingdom.
In the early 80’s, Dr. Leonard received instruction from God to begin a television broadcast. As one of the first African-American ministers to grace a television audience, Dr. Leonard exhibited great faith and resoluteness by launching The Hour of Jubilee broadcast (later named The Hour of Restoration). This dynamic program was transmitted through 2 major television markets; Black Entertainment Television (BET), and later on The Word Network. The response he and his ministry received was overwhelming. A true demand was being placed on his anointing, which compelled him to extend his 1 hour program to 2 hours. Since then, the television broadcast had become global – exposing the supernatural teaching ministry of Dr. Ernest Leonard to over 200 countries reaching 3 billion people around the world. The Fellowship began to run over with those whom God was sending to hear the soundness of His Word.
Dr. Leonard’s passion for people knew no age nor ethnic boundaries. In 1986 he opened Victory Christian Academy for children. This school of academic excellence quickly outgrew its founding facility. In 1991 Dr. Leonard reorganized the school in the newly acquired Provision of Promise complex and renamed it the Provision of Promise Academy, serving children from kindergarten through 8th grade. The driving purpose of the academy was to provide a balanced education based on Biblical principles, with emphasis on academic excellence, proper development of physical skills, and growth of moral character. Correspondingly, the School procured the honor of fashioning the sons and daughters of other ministers, educators, city officials, judges and medical doctors. Today many of them are notable leaders and successful business men and women.
In 1981 Dr. Leonard was mandated by the Lord to establish Bible Training Schools to enrich and equip the people of God with Biblical knowledge. These basic Bible classes gave birth to a School of Ministry, the School of the Holy Spirit, as well as the renown International School of the Apostles. These peculiarly powerful institutions have been responsible for the fashioning of thousands of leaders and laypeople who desired an extensive Christian education and an impartation from God’s man of faith and power, the man in whom we today commemorate. The ethics and quality of this center for Christian education is comparable to the country’s most recognized accredited Christian colleges (Dr. Leonard’s position as a Board Director at the distinguished Oral Roberts University, warranted the affiliation and accreditation his schools).
In Washington, D.C. on August 21,1991 Dr. Leonard was publicly affirmed as a five-fold ministry gift Apostle. For many years Dr. Leonard demonstrated the works of this office even before being commissioned in 1991. And establishing churches is just one part of fulfilling that office. Urged by a prophetic word given to him in his early ministry years by the late, Apostle Arturo Skinner, Apostle Leonard expanded his ministry to a multi-location organization. Henceforth, the church has grown to become a world-renowned ministry, where services are held at 6 thriving campuses, spanning 4 states (NJ, NY, PA & GA).
In the winter of 1997, God laid on Apostle Leonard’s heart a vision to establish a network which would allow people of every denomination, and every sector of society to rally together for one purpose - PRAYER for our nation, our region, our communities, and our families. That network became the “Reaching Your Cities for God Prayer Network.” Characteristic of the apostolic grace upon his life, Dr. Leonard extended himself to others through his outreach ministries (conferences, summits and the International School of the Apostles). By 2006 people nationally and internationally began to earnestly request mentoring and covering. The apostolic-breakthrough anointing was manifesting in their lives and churches, following their connection to the Apostle. What was once regional (in the Prayer Network) had become international by way of the Cornelius Connection International Network of Churches & Leaders (CCIN).
A visionary and prolific author, Dr. Leonard authored upwards 20 books on faith, healing, deliverance, prosperity, the Holy Spirit, Apostles and apostolic ministry. “How to Get Your Faith to Work” is a classic book on the operation of faith and its life-changing principles.
Ten months after celebrating his 56th year of ministry, Dr. Leonard transitioned to his heavenly rest on the morning of September 20, 2014; Conferring the Senior Apostleship and Chief Executive authority of ELM (at large), to his beloved son, Apostle Joseph Leonard. Also entrusting the care of ministry to his other sons and daughters whom he has raised - for such a time as this; Prophet Karan Leonard-Jenkins, Apostle Darrin Leonard, Prophet Adrian B. Leonard and many grandchildren.
One of the Great Generals of Our Time - Founding Father & Apostle
Dr. Ernest Leonard
Jul. 8, 1938 - Sep. 20, 2014