In 1989, Bishop Elton Allen Lawrence was selected and consecrated by Presiding Bishop J.O. Patterson, Sr. and members of the General Board of the Church of God in Christ to serve as Bishop of a new Jurisdiction in Canada. This Jurisdiction was known as Canada #2. This name was not acceptable in Canada due to government rules, and was later changed to the Canada/Michigan Jurisdiction.
Bishop Lawrence was appointed and sent to carry on the work that Bishop Floyd A. Walls, Sr. had begun. His charge was to continue to strengthen and expand the work of the Church of God in Christ in Canada. Mother Ruby Earven was appointed Supervisor of the Department of Women. In 2003, Missionary Jeanette Lattimore was appointed to serve as assistant Supervisor.
Bishop Lawrence was constitutionally mandated to be the representative of the Church of God in Christ in respect to all church matters in his Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. And, he was given general supervisory authority over all departments and churches in his Jurisdiction.
Upon his appointment and consecration, Bishop Lawrence began working with pastors who were affiliated with the Church of God in Christ, and also pastors who were in an “independent” status. In addition to the mandate of St. Mark 16:15, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” he saw that his role was to broaden the mission of the Church by providing positive leadership to pastors. Since the inception of the Jurisdiction he has had an opportunity to fellowship and provide leadership to pastors from many communities. Among them are Windsor, Dresden, Markum, Toronto, Mississauga, York, Brampton and other Canadian cities. He has also had an opportunity to work with pastors in Detroit, Clinton Township, Kalamazoo, Decatur, and Benton Harbor, Michigan.
To expand the presence of the Church in Canada, Superintendents were appointed, and Districts were established in various cities. The Jurisdiction now has Districts and Superintendents in Toronto, Mississauga and Brampton, Ontario, as well as in Detroit and Kalamazoo, Michigan. In order to provide service to this broad constituency, Bishop Lawrence travels extensively to attend and support all District meetings.
Annual Ministers and Workers meetings are traditionally held at Jurisdictional Headquarters in Detroit, Michigan. Annual Holy Convocations have been held in Mississauga, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. During these meetings, Churches from the United States and Canada travel to the host community demonstrating unity and support for the work and the ministry.
In addition to overseeing the churches in Ontario and Michigan, Bishop Lawrence serves as Vice-president and Treasurer of the (Church of God in Christ) Council of Michigan and Canadian Bishops, and he has a well documented history of supporting the National Church.