Friends, family, and members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., attended the Celebration Banquet Honoring Bishop Aletha J. Cushinberry on Sat., Nov. 14 at the Ramada Convention Center in downtown Topeka. The banquet celebrated Cushinberry’s historic elevation to Bishop in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World
This summer, Cushinberry became the first female bishop in the denomination’s 100-year history. Pastor of the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ in Topeka, Cushinberry has served as a pastor in the denomination since 1966 and worked her way up through the ranks.
She previously served as suffragan bishop, an assistant to a diocesan bishop. She was also the first female to serve as general secretary of the denomination.
Cushinberry says she believed that a female would eventually be elevated to Bishop in the denomination, “but I didn’t know it would be in my lifetime,” she said.
As an honorary bishop, Cushinberry does not have authority over a Diocese in the church, but she does have a seat on the church’s powerful executive board.
During the celebration program, friends and members of the church praised the Bishop for her dedication and hard work both in and outside the church. Speakers included Elizabeth Ross, president of the Alpha Iota Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., of which Cushinberry is an active member. Bishop A Glen Brady of the Pentecostal Assemblies also feted the dynamic woman of God.
“This expresses your love to me, so I’m going to soak it up,” Cushinberry told those gathered as the evening drew to a close.
In addition to her work in the church, Cushinberry worked as a professor in Washburn University’s Nursing School. She has a doctorate in education from the University of Kansas and is a Registered Nurse. As an RN, she worked at both St. Francis Health and Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center while she served as pastor of her church.
Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ is located at 2420 S.E. Bellview, Topeka.