Bishop Fred Willis Washington is a native of Fairbanks, Louisiana, a product of a devout family. His parents, Deacon D. C. Washington and Evangelist Freddie Mae Washington, were very involved in the church.
Bishop Washington was saved at the age of 11. Subsequent to a miraculous healing, he was anointed to preach the Gospel at the age of 18. He received Minister’s license under the late Bishop J. W. White (Louisiana), and became an Ordained Elder in 1970 under the late Bishop Wm. B. Williams (Minnesota). God directed him to “preach out” the New Covenant Church of God in Christ in 1972, he recently passed the baton as Senior Pastor but continues to be active in the ministry. His previous pastorates include Power House Church of God in Christ, Monroe, Louisiana; First Church of God in Christ of Minneapolis; and New Beginning Tabernacle Church of God in Christ in Saint Paul, Emmanuel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, Grace Temple Church of God in Christ, and Greater Saint Paul Church of God in Christ. He served three bishops in Minnesota (Bishop Wm. B. Williams, Bishop S. H. Overton and Bishop S. N. Frazier) in various capacities: 30 years as State Chairman; 21 years as Administrative Assistant, including approximately 11 years as the 1st Administrative Assistant; 19 years as District Superintendent; and 4 years as Secretary to the Bishop. His expansive church experience includes Jurisdictional Secretary, President of the Evangelism Department, and Chairman of the Board of Superintendents, among others.
Bishop Fred Willis Washington was designated as Bishop of the Minnesota Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ, by Presiding Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson during the Jurisdictional Holy Convocation on August 11, 2006. He was consecrated to the sacred office of Jurisdictional Bishop, inducted into the College of Bishop on November 13, 2006 in Memphis, Tennessee. Bishop Washington serves the National Church of God in Christ as a member of the General Assembly Judicial Investigating Council
Honors conferred upon Bishop Washington include a proclamation of “Bishop Fred Willis Washington Day in Minnesota” by the Governor of Minnesota for religious and community services. A biographical novel, “God’s New Covenant: The Man and the Mission,” chronicling his life, was written and published by Dr. Author O. Wright.
Bishop Washington is the first African-American to be elected as President of the Minnesota Council of Churches, representing over two million members. He serves on the Board of Regents of North Central University, the Board of Directors of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, and the Policy Board of His Works United, a collaboration of the Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, and Church of God in Christ. He married Mrs. Barbara Jean Cotton Washington of Minneapolis in 1968. Lady Barbara had a rich Church of God in Christ history, in that she descended from the Late Mother Lizzie Roberson, first National Mother of the Church of God in Christ, and her grandfather was the Late Overseer A. W. Wilson of Minnesota. Three sons, Two daughters, and Fifteen plus grandchildren are the results of their marriage.
Mother Barbara Jean Cotton Washington
Mother Barbara Jean Cotton Washington
She graduated with honors from South High School in Minneapolis in 1960. She was a member of the National Honors Society. She studied Pre-Business while in High School, and her first employment was in Public Relations at Northwestern Life Insurance Company. She later received a Vocational Education Teacher's license from the State of Minnesota. She taught parenting and other community-based educational classes for several years. She retired from Transition Plus School after 30 years of employment with the Minneapolis Special School District. She was included in a book recognizing African Americans in Minneapolis; this book is displayed in the Minneapolis Public Library
Mother and Bishop Washington became acquainted through mail while Bishop was stationed in Vietnam in 1966. They met for the first time in 1967 at the International Sunday School Convention in Shreveport, Louisiana, and became engaged a brief time thereafter. She and Bishop Washington married on April 20, 1968. She was a terrific mother to her children and a loving and caring wife to her husband. They are the parents of two lovely daughters: Debra Kaye and Monica Renee`; and three handsome sons: Bruce Alan, Kevin Charles, and Damon Fredrick. They also have many grandchildren.
Mother Washington exemplified great Christian virtues, and she worked closely with her husband in the ministry. Mother Washington was instrumental in the founding of New Covenant Church of God in Christ, and she was a charter member of the church. She was a devout and devoted woman of God, and served faithfully as First Lady for forty seven (47) years. She served as First Lady of the Power House Church in Monroe, Louisiana for eight (8) years. She and Bishop Washington made a lasting positive impact on the church there.
Mother Washington served the church in several capacities. She served the Minnesota Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction as State President of Ministers' Wives Circle, Minnesota. She served the J. W. Graham/Wm B. Williams Metropolitan District as District President of the Mothers' Board and District President of Ministers' Wives. At New Covenant, she served as Local President of Missions, Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member, Trustee Board Secretary, and many others. In fact, in the infancy of the New Covenant Church, she served, at one time or another, in almost every capacity of the church at the departmental level. She received many plaques, trophies, and certificates in recognition of her outstanding Christian service.
Mother Washington personifies Proverbs 31. Her children arise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. We always remember the legacy and life of Mother Barbara Jean Cotton Washington.