Bishop Eugene McCrea was born the 13th child to Joe Lee & Mary McCrea in the little town of Kingstree South Carolina. Pastor McCrea consider himself being born out of season his father being 59 years old and his mother 50 years old at his birth. He grew up under the tutoring of many older folks that implanted wisdom and knowledge into him at an early age.
Bishop McCrea received Christ in his early teens having received baptism in Jesus Name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost he pursued a life for God. There would be many things in his life that he would have to go through, but his faith ensures him that God would see him through.
In 1975 Bishop McCrea was join in wedlock to Miss Linda McCrea, “yes she was a McCrea before they got married.” To this union God blessed them with six beautiful children, Michael, Edsel, Avery, Donna, Cheston and Preston that would form the starting blocks for Praise Temple Church.
Bishop McCrea has served faithfully under the leadership of five pastors in his lifetime:
1967 Bishop James Shaw / Nesmith SC
1969 Elder Richard Ford / Nesmith SC
1972 Bishop Joe Gamble / Nesmith SC
1980 Bishop Jeff Gilmore / Columbia SC
1988 Bishop Alphonzo Brooks / Washington DC
In 1967 at the early age of fourteen he attended a service at the Nesmith Way of the Cross Church where he became a member and was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost under his 1st pastor, Elder James Shaw. Pastor McCrea grew very quickly in the Word and spiritually he matured.
Approximately three years later Elder Richard Ford became pastor of the Nesmith church and pastor McCrea served faithfully under him learning how to be meek and humble in all situations.
After Elder Ford’s pasting, Bishop Joe T. Gamble became the pastor of Nesmith in the early 1970, Bishop McCrea served under Bishop Gamble perfecting the art of gospel music and faithfully serving until the Lord directed him to move to Columbia, SC in 1981.
After moving to Columbia SC, Bishop McCrea became a member of the Bible Church of the Lord Jesus Christ where he served under Bishop Jeff Gilmore. At the Bible Church Bishop McCrea went back through basic biblical training mastering the ability of steadfastness in the Word, keeping and standing on biblical truth. In 1982 Bishop McCrea was appointed to the office deacon by Bishop Jeff Gilmore, six months later Bishop McCrea accepted the called to the ministry. He accepted various position during his stay in Columbia; Minister of music, National Youth for Christ President, National Choir Director and Convocation President.
In 1987 the Lord directed Bishop McCrea to move to Washington DC where he went under the leadership of Bishop A. D. Brooks. There he was tutored in business management, Church administration, soul winning and baptism. Hundreds of souls were baptized by Bishop McCrea during his stay at the Way of the Cross Church, Washington DC; there he developed a love for souls. Bishop Brooks built and instilled in him confidence in one’s gifts and talents, teaching to believe in the ability that God has birth in you. Under Bishop A. D. Brooks, the Lord prepared Bishop McCrea for one of most faith testing tasks of his life, the move to Alaska.
In 1993 God revealed to Bishop McCrea by several years of vision and confirmation by his pastor Bishop A. D. Brooks, to start a Work in Anchorage Alaska. Having faith like Abraham, Bishop McCrea didn’t hesitate at the leading of God, but moved from family and loved ones to fulfill his call of God. He resigned from his job, packs up his belonging and moved the family to Anchorage.
The Church was birth on October 9, 1994 with Bishop and Mrs. McCrea and Children as its 1st members, with Bishop A. D. Brooks officiating and many others from the east coast taking part in this service. The Church has since its birth progressively grown.
Bishop McCrea has seen God’s miraculous healing power when in 1998 he was diagnosed with cancer. His doctor advised him that without treatment he might survive three year and with treatment he might last five years. Bishop McCrea testifies of the healing power of God and until this day he still lives by the grace of God.
The Lord in November of 2006 blessed Bishop McCrea and Praise Temple Church Family to purchase their 1st Worship Facility located here at 822 East Loop Road. Also in 2006 Bishop McCrea and Praise Temple Ministries applied for and was granted by the Federal Communication Commission a permit to construct a Gospel Radio Station in Alaska. Bishop McCrea has also obtained permits for 9 other radio stations in several other states.
As the ministry progressed, in 2009 Bishop McCrea began setting up connections in Trivandrum India for the birthing of the Praise Temple International Ministries. After 3 years of planning and working with Bishop Manuel Ahimas in January 2012 Bishop and Mrs. McCrea made their first international trip to India for 28 days of crusade. After several weeks of preaching in southern and central India Bishop McCrea was able by the grace of God to bring into fellowship 72 new churches from India into the Way of the Cross Churches of Christ International. Bishop McCrea now serves as Director of the Foreign Region with 167 churches under his leadership in Africa, India and Haiti. Bishop McCrea is now in progress of starting churches in the Philippines. The Lord has been good to Bishop McCrea and the ministry.
Bishop McCrea is a graduate of Williamsburg Technical College with a degree in All Masonry.
- He held teaching credential for the State of South Carolina and Clemson University;
- General Contractor;
- Ordained Deacon 1981
- License Minister since 1983;
- Graduate of the Apostolic Christian College of Washington DC in 1991.
- Ordained Elder in August 1994
- Founded Praise Temple Way of the Cross Church of Christ International October 9, 1994
- Consecrated Bishop in July 2007
- Director of Christian Education and Evangelism for the Way of the Cross Church of Christ International.
- 2014 received his Doctorate from St. Thomas Christian University in Jacksonville Florida.
- Elevated to the Executive Board of Bishop of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ International 2017
- Director of the Foreign Region of WOTC which includes Alaska, Africa, India and Haiti.
- Evangelistic partner with Light Ministries churches in Hyderabad India
- Initiation a church ministry in Philippines
- Evangelistic partner with Joseph Wainaina Ngugi, churches of Kenya Africa.
- Journeymen mason, carpenter, maintenance mechanic and plaster; Construction Superintendent; maintenance mechanic supervisor; master of the trades;
Time would fail us to tell of all his degrees, accomplishment and accolades. He wants to be known as one that answered the call of God and didn’t waver in unbelief. Bishop McCrea over the last couple of years has seen vision of not just expansion of the ministry throughout the United States but work is already in place for expansion of our international Ministries. Bishop McCrea believes that “NOTHING IN HIS TERRITORY SHALL BE INCOMPLETE”. Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Stay tune for the next chapter.