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Bishop Dr. Iona E. Locke was born in Pittsburgh, PA, and is one of nine siblings. At an early age, she came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, and according to Acts 2:4, she was baptized with the Holy Spirit. She began her education in the Pittsburgh School System, and later attended Harty’s Bible School. Bishop Locke was commissioned by the Lord to further her Christian training. In so doing, she continued on to complete her doctorate in Theology and Divinity Programs in July 1994. It is of greater knowledge to couple education with experience.

God has afforded Bishop Locke, throughout the years, the opportunity to train under noted leaders such as: Bishop F.M. Thomas of Pittsburgh, PA, the late Bishop Robert McMurray of Los Angeles, CA and Elder John Lloyd of Bridgeport, CT. Additional training has also come from her father in the gospel, Bishop Norman L. Wagner, former Presiding Prelate of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., Youngstown, Ohio. Having a divine calling from God to preach to all nations, Bishop Locke has extensively traveled the length of these contiguous United States, as well as Antigua, British West Indies, Canada, Italy, West Germany, London, England, the Bahamian Islands, South Africa, Amsterdam, Ireland, Israel and Holland.

The anointing to preach the gospel was recognized by the music industry through Intersound Records in 1993. In June, Bishop Locke recorded two compact disc messages released on the Intersound Label. The recordings include What Kind of Fool Are You?, and Let’s Get It On! These releases have marked Bishop Locke as the first Pentecostal preacher to have the spoken Word distributed on compact disc. Rave reviews in great demands have and continue to follow the recordings of these sermons. In 1994, after much prayer and fasting, Bishop Dr. Iona E. Locke heeded the call from the Lord, to the office of Pastorate. On August 17, 1994, Abyssinia Christ Centered Ministries was birthed. Her Mission Statement includes. To love our brothers and sisters, to give of ourselves, to do all to obey God, to be priestly through Godly relationship. She aims to accomplish with all diligence the wholeness of man, with these commandments and commitments to God and man. She is indeed a vessel called of God to destroy the enemy through the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Iona E. Locke was consecrated as bishop on August 23rd 2000, as presiding prelate of Christ Centered Ministries. Discography Former Vice President of International Young People’s Union of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Former Assistant Pastor of Greater Bethany Community Church, Los Angeles, CA Former Director of Ecclesiastical Affairs – Mount Calvary Pentecostal Church, Youngstown, OH Administrative Assistant Emeritus – Perfecting Church, Detroit, MI Board Member of E.C. Reems International Women’s Ministry, Oakland, CA CEO – Christ Centered Ministries, Southfield, MI CEO – Empire Community Development Center, Southfield, MI.

Bishop Locke is submitted under the apostolic counsel of Bishop Mark Chironna, Bishop Sammy Smith and Bishop Liston Paige, Sr.

Poised to Emerge: The Power to Become

Called into the ministry at an early age, Iona E. Locke, D.D., Th.D., though gifted, anointed and with an obvious love for the Lord, suffered at the hands of men who would teach, preach and practice that even women with her enormous gifts were limited by their gender and not expected to succeed in what is still perceived as a man's world. After becoming a world-renowned evangelist, she served other leaders in various churches until 1994 when God called her to found and pastor, Abyssinia Christ Centered Ministries. In obedience to the call of God, Dr. Locke stepped out on faith to birth the ecclesiastical alliance, Christ Centered Ministries Assembly, over which she was consecrated bishop in 2001. Her elevation to pastor and then to the bishopric was not met with a chorus of approval. Many who applauded her gifting as an evangelist could not receive her as a pastor and fewer, even, as bishop.

Poised To Emerge, originally the title of Bishop Locke’s doctoral dissertation, offers insight to the struggle over gender apartheid from a perspective of those who were held hostage by tradition and institutionalized sexism, which yet have strongholds over religious practices today. It will provide inspiration to those going through the process of evolution from fear to freedom and it will inform others who stand watching the struggle that any system that holds a group of people to less than their capacity for full involvement and contribution, holds the entire body at less than its ability to produce.

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