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.
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.
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.
For more information about the collection as a whole, please visit the J. Howard Dell Collection Finding Aid.