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Givens to become ordained bishop Saturday

Posted: June 13, 2012 5:00 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Saturday morning, Dr. Aurelio D. Givens of Abundant Life Fellowship Church will be ordained as bishop. Hundreds of people are expected to attend including top officials of the city and some national officials.

During the consecration for Givens, there will be a series of questions and pageantry. After a response from the people and church, he will take an oath and sign a declaration publicly inducting him into the College of Bishops.

“As bishop, you must have the proof to be able to manage the Lord’s church,” Givens said. “I should be able to be the voice of authority to make sure we’re going in the direction to bring honor and glory to God. As bishop, I should be able to propel the church to greater heights.”

It has been a long journey for Givens, but he has kept the same determination that allowed him to reach this place. He started with a plan and mindset to always represent God while accepting the challenges along the way.

 “Everything may be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a struggle. The journey has been interesting and I’m grateful for it,” Givens said.

In 1998, on an act of faith, Givens came to Camden and started Abundant Life Fellowship Church with only 20 members.

Givens said they trusted in God to expand and build something bigger. Over the years, it has grown into a church of 200 active members. He has had the honor of teaching other ministers that have gone on to pastor their own churches. Abundant Life has now joined with Sounds of Praise Penocostal Fellowship Ministries.

Givens has created a special way to interact with his church members that keeps the congregation engaged. He said education, not only biblical teachings, remains a priority in the church. There are several students who attend and Givens has made sure to give the opportunity for scholarships every year.

“The more people learn, the more they can grow and be productive citizens. We strongly believe it’s our responsibility to maintain high integrity as we’re preserving the integrity of the gospel,” Givens said.
Givens not only teaches in the church, but also in the classroom. He has taught sociology and world religion courses at Strayer University and Francis Marion University.

“Teaching is my heart and I bring that to my ministry. I love teaching and developing people,” Givens said.
This spring, Givens is preparing to launch “The Life Institute” right next to the Abundant Life. The school will train and develop clergy and anyone who wants to work in ministry. Within three years, Givens hopes to partner with a technical college and gain the ability to award degrees.

Kershaw County isn’t the only community that Givens has been serving for the last 14 years. NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., The Order of the Eastern Stars, title of Master Mason, Project Men, and Concerned Clergy of Kershaw County are just a few of Givens’ memberships and contributions. But out of all the organizations that Givens takes part in, he is most proud of the growth of Abundant Life.

“For a church to start with nothing and discover identity and purpose, and to maintain their identity and their purpose, has been very breathtaking for me,” Givens said. “We didn’t have a model or heritage to follow. All we had was each other but with prayer, fasting, and obedience to God’s will, we’ve been able to get some things done.”

After the ordination, Givens will be entering the executive seat as the Assistant General Secretary with management of more than 70 churches in the United States and 120 churches around the world. With a new list of responsibilities, Givens remains humble and focused on his continuous journey.

“With the loving support of my family and my Abundant Life family, it’s doable. I’m humbled that the Sounds of Praise sees something in me,” Givens said.

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