The third chapter of First Timothy states that a bishop "must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach...." Bishop Aaron H. Redd, Sr. is the venerable embodiment of this scripture. Throughout his nearly four decade career in ministry, he has exemplified the concept of "servant leadership."
Aaron H. Redd, Sr. was born April 24, 1928. His mother and father, the late Viola Shelton and Walter Harrison Redd, formed Grace Temple Church a year earlier. After service in the United States Army during the Korean conflict and receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Education from Aenon Bible College, Bishop invested his energy in the Lord’s work. He would serve in a variety of roles, ranging from usher, Sunday School superintendent to assistant pastor. In 1972, after the passing of his mother and father, Elder Aaron Redd was ordained the pastor of Grace Temple Church. In 1978, he was elevated to District Elder of West Virginia/East Tennessee Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Incorporated (PAW). District Elder Redd was elevated to Suffragan Bishop in 1996, and after the passing of Bishop B.T. Jones in 1997, Suffragan Bishop was elevated to Bishop of the 23rd Diocese of the PAW.
It was during his thirty-five tenure of combined service as pastor and an officer of the West Virginia/East Tennessee Council that Grace Temple saw tremendous growth. The most notable proof of this is the purchase of the former Dunbar Elementary School in 1985. Because of his leadership, the once dilapidated structure now proudly houses Grace Temple Church and is in the center of a vibrant Carver community. Bishop Redd also envisioned and completed the newly developed "Grace and Mercy Complex. " The facility serves as a study for visiting ministers as well as an immediate haven of shelter for those who are displaced as the result of emergencies. For more than three decades, Grace Temple Church-Eternal Life Center has stood as a beacon of hope and symbol of God’s unfailing love. In 2007, Bishop Redd felt led to pass the mantle of leadership; as a result, Elder Mark Redd was installed, and a new chapter in the history of Grace Temple Church began.
It is important to note that Bishop Redd accomplished these spiritual feats while serving as pastor of a sister church in Mountain City, TN and also holding a full-time position at the Veterans Administration. As a result of his occupational and spiritual successes, he has received many accolades from his colleagues as well as the community. As the local community wrestled with the integrating of schools, he was asked to sit on the Mayor’s School Integration Committee to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Also, in 1992 and 1993, he was recognized in the publication "Who’s Who in Religion. " In 2006, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from his alma mater, Aenon Bible College.
Although he has accomplished much, Bishop Redd might say that two of his greatest accomplishments have been his salvation and his marriage to Mrs. Shelby Francis Redd. God blessed their union with six children: Aaron Jr., Wayne, Karl, Terry, Michael, and Mark. Their fifty plus year union has had its share of ups and downs, but publicly as well as privately, they have adhered to the words of the Andre Crouch song: "Through it all, I have learned to trust in Jesus; I put my faith and trust in God. Through it all, I have learned to depend upon His word."
The inherent meaning of word "Aaron" is "Light Bringer". Throughout Bishop Redd’s career, he has been shedding light through his teaching and preaching the Gospel with a sense of truth and conviction. He has been a strong teacher and kind encourager to many, and has been quoted as saying the following to those aspiring to any aspect of ministry: "Study the Word of God, and prepare for hard work. One must be willing to work hard to be successful depicting a servant's attitude."