Bishop John L. Hilton was the third of nine children born to Deacon Joe and Mother Hattie Hilton who raised him in Holiness. He was called into the ministry at the early age of 16. Bishop Hilton was given the pastorate of what is known today as Faith Temple church of God, which included approximately 6 members in October of 1967. At the time, he was still actively enlisted in the United States Armed Forces, so he commuted weekly between Cleveland and Detroit, Michigan.Shortly after his tour of duty in the Army, he and Shirley Frances Smith were united in Holy Matrimony on June 1, 1968. This union was blessed with two children, Sharon (Antonio) and John, Jr. (Carrie) precious grandchildren, Carrion and John III all of whom are actively working alongside their father in ministry.
Bishop Hilton has been faithful in the ministry of shepherding for the past 50 years. Under his leadership, Faith Temple built their first new sanctuary on the corner of 71st and Lexington and burned the mortgage early in 1992. In 1992, Bishop Hilton became one of the Founding Fathers of the United Pentecostal Churches of Christ. It was during this time that he was elevated to the Bishopric and consecrated on Saturday, August 21, 1993.
Young people have always had a special place in Bishop’s heart. He has always nurtured and inspired the youth in ministry encouraging them to do and be all they can in Christ. Likewise, Bishop has had a vision for those less fortunate. Our Evangelism Dept has ministered to and fed two shelters for over fourteen years. Currently, we run a Food Pantry Ministry on the last Saturday of every month serving over 350 families.
Bishop’s vision of another new sanctuary finally came to fruition but only with much obstruction, persecution, perseverance, steadfastness and commitment. We love to show and tell “What the Lord has done for us because it is marvelous in our sight!”
Bishop currently serves the City of Cleveland as a Chaplain and is a community activist with the Church’s ward.
Above all else, he loves God and is sold out to fulfilling God’s Mission…..to Spread the Gospel.