Elder Renardo Ward is the Pastor of the historic Greater Harvest Church of God in Christ Ministries, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee. The spiritual foundation of Greater Harvest Church spans back to 1896 as South Fort Pickering COGIC at 147 W. Dison Street; the first established COGIC church in Memphis. Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, founder of the COGIC, once served as the Pastor.
Ordained an Elder in the Church of God in Christ in 2001, he was installed as Pastor on March 2, 2014. He succeeded his father, COGIC Bishop Lee Ward, who pastored the church for nearly four decades. Pastor Ward is continuing the foundational legacy of leadership and service to the church and the community instilled in him by his parents. The church has a Greater Harvest food pantry which serves nearly 600 families per month; a clothes closet, partnerships with the Neighborhood Christian Center and participates in the Adopt-a-School program, Little League basketball team which mentors young boys, and a child care facility on the church’s campus called Next Generation Learning Center. he also serves as a Superintendent of the Tennessee West Fellowship Global Harvest District, and as an adjutant brother in the International Church of God in Christ.
Elder Renardo Ward is an accomplished international music instructor and former US Department of State/Kennedy Center Jazz Ambassador to West Africa. He has performed with many international jazz artists and recording artists. Pastor Ward also worked as a private and public music educator in Shelby County Tennessee for over 20 years. He is now applying the same passion and discipline used for his God-given talent toward his God ordained calling. With mentors like Bishop Lee Ward (President of Tennessee West Fellowship), Dr. Bartholomew Orr (Pastor of Brown Baptist Church in Southaven, Mississippi) and Dr. James Wade (General Overseer of Church Growth and Development AME Church Worldwide), Pastor Ward is standing with the support of great leadership in the community.
Bishop Lee Ward was born in the small town of Abbeville, Alabama. He is the son of Ammon and Cora Ward. He received his education in the Alabama School System. Bishop Ward attended classes at the Church of God in Christ Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia and Vance Bible Course, 1st Assemblies of God in 20 Palms, California.
Bishop Ward served in the United States Marie Corps for over 26 years. While doing his tour of duty, he served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam Conflict. He served on the staff of Commandant for 9 years. He retired as a Master Gunnery Sergeant. He also accompanied the commandant to meetings with several United States Presidents and many national and foreign leaders. He has traveled extensively throughout all of the U.S. and other continents.
He has served in many capacities in the Church of God in Christ and the Assemblies of God such as: Board of Directors - 1st Assemblies of God, District Superintendent, State Board of Ordination, Chairman of the State Sunday School Department, Board Chairman of Ministry of Godly Men, and served on the Board of Directors at C.H. Mason Bible College.
In the year 1896 on a spot of high ground on a tall hill in the South Fort Pickering Community, a guiding light began to shine. However, the original leader of this church knew this scene had historical significance. This was the scene of the first of our church, Church of God in Christ in Memphis, Tennessee.
Elder Lee Ward was appointed Assistant Pastor to Pastor C. H. Moore in 1969. After the death of Pastor C. H. Moore, Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. appointed him as Pastor of South Fort Pickering Church of God in Christ in 1972 starting with only 18 members. The membership grew so that he had to move to 21 East Rollins in 1975 and the church’s name was officially changed to Greater Harvest Church of God in Christ. Following the vision that God gave Pastor Ward the Lord again added to the congregation. Pastor Ward began to pray to his heavenly Father for direction once more. After much seeking and praying, God gave him this current complex located at 3509 Boxdale Street (at Winchester) in Memphis, Tennessee with a membership of more than 2,000 members.
In March of 2003, Pastor Ward received an honorary Doctorate Degree of Divinity from Jacksonville Theological Seminary in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2013, Pastor Lee Ward relinquished the pastor-ship of Greater Harvest to his son, Elder Renardo Ward. Bishop Lee Ward is now Overseer of the church and founder and president of Tennessee West Fellowship, which was established in 2008.
On November 9, 2014, at the 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 91, Dr. Lee Ward was consecrated as Bishop Lee Ward in the Church of God in Christ.