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Transition of Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr., the 112th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the AME Church Transition of Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr., the 112th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the AME Church

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Transition of Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr., the 112th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the AME Church

Posted on Wed, May 16, 2018


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Editor's Note:  Below is the correct statement that was originally received from the Council of Bishops.  We apologize for any inconvenience as you share this information.

Transition of
Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr.
112th Elected and Consecrated
Bishop of the AME Church


“Soldier of Christ, well done!
Praise be thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run
Rest in thy Savior’s joy.”

It is in a spirit of deepest humility and surrender that the Council of Bishops announces that the Right Reverend Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr, 112th Elected and Consecrated Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, transitioned today, May 15, 2018, from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant.

As arrangements are being finalized, please join with us in prayer for Former Ernestine Lee Henning, family members and friends who cherish his life.
Clement W. Fugh
Council of Bishops AME Church

Biography of Bishop Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr.

The Right Reverend Cornal Garnett Henning, Sr. was the 112th Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, elected in 1992 in Orlando, Florida.  He was the son of a parsonage, born in Memphis, Tennessee and educated in the public schools of Mississippi, Louisiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.  He received a B. S. Degree from Wilberforce University, a Master of Divinity from Payne Theological Seminary, and completed course work for the Doctorate of Ministry at Eden Theological Seminary, Webster Groves, Missouri. Bishop Henning served as pastor of congregations in Tennessee, Kansas, California and Missouri.  He has also served as assistant pastor at Greater Allen A.M.E. Church in Dayton, Ohio and First A.M.E. Church in Los Angeles, California. During six years as pastor of St. Peter A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, Missouri (1968-1972), the membership increased by more than six hundred fifty members, Parish Partners, an urban-suburban program designed to provide summer employment for youth in a community different from their own, was founded. Rev. Henning also served as Executive Director of Block Partnership, a multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-cultural program devised to break down barriers to the economic, educational and political empowerment of Blacks. 

While pastor of Ward A.M.E. Church (1972-1980), Bishop Henning served as a member of the Los Angeles Housing Commission (twice as president). Bishop Henning joined with Dr. Henry Mitchell, Bishop Charles Blake and other area ministers in the establishment of The Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies.  He also served in the following positions with SCLC-West; Executive Vice President, President, and Chairman of the Board.  He established the Ward Area Redevelopment Department, Inc. (W.A.R.D.), an umbrella corporation to a number of programs, including The William Grant Still Community Music School. At St. Paul A.M.E. Church in St. Louis, Missouri (1980-1992), Bishop Henning and Dr. William Harrison founded St. Paul Saturdays, a Black male mentoring ministry that provided positive experiences for Black males and encouraged their development into strong Black Men. Bishop Henning was a founding member of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition and chairperson of its Political Action Committee.  He also organized the St. Louis Superintendent-Clergy Committee to assist in the development of a positive relationship between the School Superintendent, the board of education and the Black community to keep the lines of communication open and constructive. 

In 1992, Bishop Henning was elected and consecrated the 112th Bishop of the AME Church and was assigned to the 14th Episcopal District – West Africa, where he served four years. As Bishop of the 14th Episcopal District, he established the C. Garnett Henning, Jr. Memorial High School named in memory of his deceased son and located in Danane’ Cote D'Ivoire. In 1996, in Monrovia, Liberia he founded AME University which has a present enrollment of approximately 4000 students. It is the nation‘s second largest University. He also built Bethel A.M.E. Church in Accra, Ghana at a cost of more than $100,000. In 1996 Bishop Henning was assigned to the 19th Episcopal District – South Africa, where he served until 2000.  In 1998, in Johannesburg, he led in the building of a one and one-half million rand annex to the Bishop Harold Senatle Center. He also renovated the R. R. Wright School of Theology in Evaton, South Africa, purchased an Episcopal residence appraised at $700,000, and worked with Bishop Donald G. K. Ming and Bishop Harold Senatle in reopening Wilberforce Institute which had been closed during the apartheid era. 

In 2000 Bishop Henning was assigned to the Eighth Episcopal District which is comprised of Mississippi and Louisiana.  He reopened the Bonner Campbell School of Religion and retired the debt on the Episcopal Headquarters and Residence in New Orleans, Louisiana. The C. G. Henning Multiplex, was built at the cost of more than a million and a half dollars. In 2005, following Hurricane Katrina, the worst disaster in the history of the United States, Bishop Henning was asked by the church to administrator more than three million dollars, raised by the A.M.E. Church for the restoration of damaged churches, with more than a half million dollars of support going to ministers and members of the district. At the same time, Bishop Henning was appointed to the National Bush-Clinton Katrina fund, by President William “Bill” Clinton, a committee with the responsibility for directing the distribution of more than seventy million dollars to a religious institution in the region. Bishop Henning successfully restored 49 of 51 churches damaged by Katrina and left over one-half million dollars in the Eight District treasury, $350,000 of which was earmarked for the replacement of the Episcopal Headquarters and Residence destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. 

From 2008-2012, Bishop C. Garnett Henning, Sr., was assigned to the Third Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church which comprises Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. He worked to secure money for needed renovations at Payne Theological Seminary and his Wilberforce University.

Bishop Henning was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and received many awards and honors.  Bishop Henning was married to Ernestine Lee Henning and they are the parents of three children, Dr. Carma Love, who resides in California, (Helaine and Garnett, Jr., both deceased), and two grandchildren, Jahbrielle Henning-Rayford and Massiah Garnett Henning. He is the brother of Bishop E. Anne Henning Byfield, the 135th elected and consecrated bishop of the AME Church and Retired Supervisor Yvonne Henning Parks and Mr. Herman Henning.

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The Christian Recorder is the official newspaper of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the oldest continuously produced publication by persons of African descent.  

Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, Chair of the General Board Commission on Publications
Rev. Roderick D. Belin, President/Publisher of the AME Sunday School Union
Mr. John Thomas III, Editor of The Christian Recorder

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