Pastor Thurman Hargrove was ordained in 1966 under the mentorship of the late Honorable Bishop Robert Purnell at Refuge Temple in Richmond, Virginia. He started a mission in 1966 in Alberta, Virginia, and in 1971 founded Refuge Church in Alberta Virginia. He was appointed as a District Elder in 1976 in the Virginia Southern Diocese under the late Honorable Bishop Floyd Hill, Sr. Pastor Hargrove was appointed by the Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Incorporated as a Bishop in 1988. He was appointed over the Virginia Western Diocese. Currently, Dr. Maurice Carter was consecrated as a Diocesan Bishop in July 2018. The Diocese started with two churches and a mission twenty five years ago. Currently, the Diocese has 16 churches that span over 300 square miles from Rocky Mount to Richmond, Virginia.
Jesus Christ has commissioned the community of faith to proclaim the Good News of salvation to all people, to nurture Christian believers, and to show love to all persons. In order to fulfill this mandate in accordance with biblical apostolic principles, we set forth to describe the relationship and responsibilities of the Virginia Western Diocese which will guide us in our common task.
DIOCESE MISSION STATEMENT
We believe that this Diocese is directly responsible for the facilitating of the work of Jesus Christ. We know that we exist only for the glory of God and the development of the body of Christ. We are committed to success for every person that is a member of our Diocese and will settle for nothing less. To this end, we anticipate the following:
To develop a comprehensive program in an atmosphere of cooperation, sharing, and understanding.
To develop a Diocese-wide program that emphasizes Jesus Christ, church building, problem sharing, decision making; and includes expectations for the operation of a successful Diocese.
To assess needs and devise a program and long term objectives to meet those needs.
To facilitate the work of the total ministry of the body of Christ through the vision and efforts of the Diocese Bishop. This shall be accomplished through Diocese conventions, meetings, classes, seminars, and publications. The Diocese Bishop shall establish committees to carry out its duties as the need arises.