Bishop Harris’ Biography

On November 12, 1938, in the city of Leslie, Georgia, Charlie Henry Harris, one of seven children was born to the late Bishop Johnnie Lee Harris, Sr. and the late Shepherd Mother Ruthie Florence Harris. He spent his formative years in St. Petersburg, Florida and moved with his family to New York, where he graduated from the High School of Commerce in 1956. He then enrolled at Pace College, majoring in accounting. The size of his family made it extremely difficult for him to pay the cost of tuition. Therefore, in January 1957, Bishop Harris enlisted in the US Air Force to continue his education.

His life-changing Christian experience began in 1953 at New Jerusalem Holy Church (Apostolic), New York City. As part of his growth, development and preparation, he served as an usher, president of a 40-voice choir, youth leader, altar worker and Sunday School superintendent and teacher.

During his tenure in the United States Air Force, Bishop Harris carried the message of Jesus Christ throughout the United States and to foreign lands. In addition to being the Postmaster of the largest military post office in Taiwan, he served on the Assembly of God’s (AG) advisory board in Taipei, Taiwan, and the Women’s Aglow (AG) Board of Long Island, New York. In 1973 he returned to New York, where he became an associate minister of the New Jerusalem Holy Church. In 1975 Morning Star Baptist Church (now Morning Star Full Gospel Assembly) requested that the (then) minister and evangelist come and pastor their church. In November of that year, he became the pastor of this local assembly. In August 1977, he was ordained by the Greater Emmanuel Apostolic Faith Tabernacle, Inc., and received his Bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University in 1978.

Because of his love for the Lord and the urgency of the call to full-time pastoring, in February 1979, he forfeited a lucrative 30-year retirement benefit plan to devote himself fully to his congregation of 50. He retired from the Air Force after 22 years of distinguished service, including seventeen years of various supervisory duties and many commendations and medals for meritorious service. After three years of full-time study at Long Island Bible Institute in New York, he graduated as valedictorian with a diploma in theological studies in May 1983. He subsequently enrolled in Bellevue Hospital Clinical Pastoral Education Program where he served as an associate chaplain. He also served as Protestant Chaplain at JATC Riker’s Island Correctional Facility, from 1990-1992 concurrently pastoring a growing church of 300. It was because of this growth that he resigned as chaplain at Riker’s.

To date, Morning Star Full Gospel Assembly has over 600 active members, and is a catalyst for 18 Sunday School classes as well as over 15 in-house and outreach ministries. In August 2001, this local assembly completed a million-dollar-plus expansion project, adding a three-story annex to the edifice at 464 East Tremont Avenue. To further demonstrate his commitment to the Lord, Bishop Harris sold his Long Island home of 23 years and loaned the church $206,000 to complete the Annex; by May 2006, to further beautify our church Bishop Harris has initiated and completed over $200,000 of renovations both inside and outside of our sanctuary.

Bishop Harris was consecrated to the Bishopric on August 16, 1998. His proven leadership ability, integrity, and commitment to excellence have been validated by Apostle Jim Di Palma in his book, The Last Hour Church, and by Dr. Michael A. Battle, Sr., editor of the book entitled The African-American Church At Work.

He married his lovely wife, Pastor Doris E. Harris, on July 28, 1957 in New York City. They have four children, thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchid.