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BISHOP JOHNATHAN ELLIOT ALVARADO
Johnathan E. Alvarado, DMin is a family man, the Pastor of Grace Church International, the Bishop of the Grace Fellowship of Churches International, a Pentecostal theologian, and an educator. He began in ministry as a twelve-year-old preacher at Union Grove Baptist Church in Columbus, Ohio, under the late Dr. Phale D. Hale.
He is a 1990 Morehouse College graduate where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. While matriculating through Morehouse he performed with the Morehouse College Glee Club, serving as accompanist and Student Director under the baton of the late Dr. Wendell P. Whalum.
Bishop Alvarado served as Minister of Music at many churches throughout Atlanta in the late 1980s and early 1990’s. His love for education and music led him into a teaching career. He began as an elementary school music teacher in the DeKalb County School System from 1990-95, then, as a seminary professor. He also served as Music Director for gospel music artist Daryl Coley from 1985-1994.
In 1991 Bishop Alvarado began holding Friday night house to house Bible studies. By June of 1992 with three adults and nine teenagers, he was ordained pastor/teacher and commissioned to establish Total Grace Christian Center (now Grace Church International) by his father in the faith, Apostle LaFayette Scales. Under Bishop Alvarado’s leadership, Grace Church International has grown to nearly 2000 members and over 35 active ministries in DeKalb and Clayton County, Georgia. The church is celebrated for its intimate praise and worship, passionate preaching, commitment to wholesome family, educational emphasis, and ministry to the community.
In 2005, Bishop Alvarado was elected Presiding Bishop of the Grace Fellowship of Churches International and was consecrated to this sacred office in June, 2006. He is a member of the Joint College of African America Pentecostal Bishops where he has served as a faculty member, Chairman of the Advisory Board and Assistant Academic Dean. Bishop Alvarado currently serves by the appointment of Bishop J. Delano Ellis as the Academic Dean of the Joint College of Bishops. In 2016 Bishop Alvarado received an appointment by Bishop Neil C. Ellis to serve as the Episcopal Cathecist for the Global United Fellowship. Bishop Alvarado’s scholarship in the areas of ecclesiology and episcopacy is widely recognized and sought after by many church leaders and reformations.
In addition to his bachelors degree, Bishop Alvarado has earned a Master of Arts in Ministry (2000) Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia, a Master of Divinity Degree (2003) from the Church of God Theological Seminary, in Cleveland, Tennessee, a Doctor of Ministry Degree (2010) in Leadership and Renewal from Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a Master of Theology Degree (2011) Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is writing his Ph.D dissertation, Toward An African-American Pentecostal Theology of Worship. His awards and honors include election into the Morehouse College Board of Preachers (2000), recipient of the prestigious F.J. May Preaching Award (2003), The Divinity Outstanding Doctoral Student Award (2010) and many civic, community and state commendations. Additionally, he is honored to serve as a Chaplain and Leadership Consultant to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office. As a seminary professor, Bishop Alvarado has taught and guest lectured at several seminaries and universities, such as Beulah Heights University (Atlanta, GA) Howard University School of Divinity (Washington, D.C.), McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University (Atlanta, GA), Columbia International University Seminary and School of World Missions (Columbia, SC), Regent University School of Divinity (Virginia Beach, VA), Pentecostal Theological Seminary (Cleveland, TN) and Southeastern University (Lakeland, FL). Currently, he is the President/Professor of Theology of the Greater Atlanta Theological Seminary. He is also a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Society for Pentecostal Studies.
Bishop Alvarado has authored several academic papers, book chapters, and journal articles on the subjects of Ecclesiology, Church/Pastoral Leadership, Holiness, Worship and Liturgics. His writings are being used in colleges, seminaries, universities and academic conferences throughout the country. He coauthored, Let’s Stay Together: Relationship Strategies For Successful Marriages, with his wife Dr. Toni G. Alvarado. His most recent publication, Theological Perspectives on Apostles and Bishops was published in 2016 and is gaining a wide audience with scholars and laity alike.
Bishop and Dr. Toni Alvarado are the proprietors of Targeted Living, LLC a personal, professional development and publishing company. Married for 24 years, they are the proud parents of three children, Johnathan Elliott II, Joshua Elisha, and Ariel Antoinette. He and his wife serve as role models to countless families on how to strike the delicate balance of a healthy life at home, work, and church.