Bishop Sherman L. Merritt was born July 9, 1947, in Nashville, Tennessee.
He serves as the council's 6th diocesan. On April 3, 1967, Bishop Merritt married the beautiful and personable Vera E. Smith. Throughout their married life the Lord blessed them with four talented children that they reared and raised well: D'Anbrea, Joselyn D., Sherman L. Jr. (P.A.W. International Minister of Music) and Tenia Miles Merritt.
In 1973 he was appointed Assistant Pastor of Greater Christ Temple Church, Nashville, Tennessee. For 20 years he served faithfully under the pastorate of District Elder W. W. Harris and in July of 1993 he took the helm as pastor of the church.
Although his education began in the Nashville city schools, he furthered it by attending Tennessee State University and majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
Bishop Merritt was ordained in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc. in 1983. Later in 1990 he was appointed District Elder in both Tennessee and Togo, West Africa. He then began traveling to those mission fields imparting the gospel and ministering to the needs of the people of those areas.
In 1992 he was elected Vice Chairman of the First Apostolic Council of Kentucky and Tennessee. After serving two terms he was then elected to serve as Chairman.
In April of 1994, he received a Doctor of Divinity degree from Pentecostal Bible College in Tuskegee, Alabama; yet remained active in the ministry of evangelism and soul winning.
Later in that same year in front of a national audience he was elevated to the office of Suffragan Bishop in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World to serve the F.A.C. His 35 years of productive ministry also includes faithful service as a member of the P.A.W. National Evangelism Team.
Bishop Merritt has always been a people person with a heart for souls. He is a natural diplomat always encouraging a spirit of unity and brotherhood among members of the general body of the First Apostolic Council. His ability to lead has been established and nationally recognized by his colleagues and the general body of the First Apostolic Council. In August of 2003 he was consecrated Bishop with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World during the Summer Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since then he has subsequently been chosen to serve on the P.A.W. Executive Bishops' Council.
As the Diocesan of the First Apostolic Council of Kentucky and Tennessee, Bishop Merritt stands firm on the precious word of God and encourages the whole body to always endeavor to move under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
His work in the Nashville community and surrounding areas includes spreading the gospel by way of radio broadcasts, community tutorial programs and community service outreach projects. If there was a passage of scripture that currently depicts our diocesan's vision and sentiment towards the work of the Lord, it would be 2 Cor. 7:1 (KJV)
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
2 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)
From this powerful passage Bishop Merritt has set forth a new theme for the F.A.C. in 2015 which is: