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The Early Years


Bishop Marvin Sanders was born February 5, 1956 in St. Louis, Missouri to the late Deacon Richard and Mrs. Inez Miller Sanders, the 9th of 10 children.  He is 3rd generation Church of God in Christ (COGIC) whose original family church was St. Paul COGIC in Lexington, Mississippi.  As a child, his parents trained and nourished him in the admonition of the Lord and godly principles.  He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the age of 13 and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and remains committed to Christ and the church.


A Family Man


Bishop Sanders has been married to one wife, Angela for over 40 years. They have three sons, David (LaShonda), Anthony  and Stephen (Erica) and three grandsons, (Angelo Elijah, Elijah Caleb, and Micah Lamar), and one granddaughter (Faith).  Pastor Sanders is a compassionate husband, father and grandfather.


Bishop Sanders is the 4th pastor of 5 pastors in his immediate family.  He has four living brothers of which one is an administrative assistant, one is a superintendent and two are faithful Shiloh deacons.  Two brothers, a jurisdictional bishop and administrative assistant respectively, a sister who was an evangelist and first lady, a sister who was a evangelist and business owner and both parents all died in the faith.


A Scholarly Man

Bishop Sanders was educated in the Missouri school systems where he presently holds a life-long state of Missouri Vocational Technical teaching certificate, which is equivalent to a Master of Arts Degree.  He pursued academic studies at Fontbonne University, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Studies.  Additionally, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from the Midwest College of Theology and is working toward the Master’s degree. Throughout his academic and career trail he always put God first.  Pastor Sanders often says “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always be what you’ve always been.”


A Man of Service

Bishop Sanders was a Field Supervisor for McCarthy Construction, a world-wide company for 10 years, specializing in high-rise and heavy highway construction projects.  He led construction on many of the high-rise buildings in downtown St. Louis and several major highway interchanges.  His final project was at the America’s Center, home of the COGIC Holy Convocation since 2010.  He served at the Nelson-Mulligan Carpenters Training Center in various capacities; apprenticeship instructor of 3,000 students for 11 years; curriculum developer, employment and program counselor.  Additionally, he managed the daily operations of the school.


He recently retired from being a Business Representative and an Executive Board member of the Carpenters District Council of Greater St. Louis and vicinity which covers Missouri, Kansas and Southern Illinois.  As an Executive Board member, he negotiated contracts for wages, health and welfare benefits and assists in managing the plans.  He gives vital advice and promotes union consciousness and values and serves as the voice for his community with City and State Government officials. 


He served on the team that negotiates for Minority Participation levels on major construction projects in the states of Missouri and Illinois.  Also, assisted in writing legislation for Minority Participation.  He has a tremendous character, keen insights and vast leadership exposure in helping others succeed.


 A Godly Servant

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”  As a diligent churchman, Bishop Sanders served loyally and faithfully as a member, musician, choir director, teacher, transporter and “whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it.”  God called him to the ministry in his early twenties, and he was ordained as an elder in 1982 in the Church of God in Christ by the late Bishop W. Wesley Sanders, his teacher and mentor.  He served as Assistant Pastor to Bishop W. Wesley Sanders at Shiloh Temple COGIC for 21 years and now celebrates over 50 years of sanctification and over 40 years of preaching ministry.  In 1999 because of his unyielding service, Bishop Sanders appointed then Elder Marvin Sanders as Pastor of Shiloh Temple and Bishop Sanders took the position as Senior Pastor in order to better serve the Eastern Missouri-Western Illinois Jurisdiction.


He has served as the celebrated Pastor of Shiloh Temple COGIC the 2nd largest church in the Jurisdiction for over 20 years.  Bishop Sanders is an anointed preacher of the gospel with an uncompromising character and meets with a God-success in winning souls for the Kingdom. He is totally committed to meeting the needs of the community and the world through Christ-centered outreach ministries of the highest quality.  


Bishop Sanders is an exemplary visionary leader with a heart for the people.  His leadership abilities and business acumen has translated into consistent church growth. The historical edifice where the cornerstone was laid in 1888 has been renovated. A 6300 square foot multi-purpose facility was added.  Additional renovations include a parking lot with ramp access, light fixtures and other improvements at a total cost of $1.5M.


He has served as Administrative Assistant, Superintendent, Chairman of the Pastors’ and Elders’ Council and currently serves as Auxiliary Bishop and Executive Board Member of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Eastern Missouri-Western Illinois. He is also an Executive Board Member of the Church of God in Christ General Council of Pastors and Elders. 


As a pace-setting leader and church builder, Pastor Sanders provides oversight and exemplary leadership for pastors and churches in the Jurisdiction.


Pastor Sanders serves as the Superintendent of the W. Wesley Sanders District.  The District is a spiritual and fiscal supporter of the National, Jurisdictional and local churches. Through, district conventions, training, development and mentoring, he inspires leaders to lead.  Additionally, Pastor Sanders provides support to Pastors in a number of ways, primarily by sending out his Evangelistic team for the purpose of winning souls to those community churches.  The District’s motto is “If we are going to be a model, be a rich model.”


Within the national church, he has served and supported in various capacities working alongside the late Bishop W. Wesley Sanders and now Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten.  In 2010, when the Holy Convocation moved to St. Louis, he served as the liaison between the church and the labor unions.  At his urging, a new contract was negotiated for the America’s Center that allowed for softer union regulation. 

During the Holy Convocations held in St. Louis, Missouri, he was one of the hosts for the foreign delegate dinners for the Missions Department.  He also provides clothing, gifts and exceptional hospitality in a formal dining atmosphere. He oversees the COGIC Exchange and other Holy Convocation initiatives and is a key source for providing workers wherever needed. He built the C. H. Mason Prayer Box for the 2013 Holy Convocation and worked extensively in other diverse areas. 


Bishop and Evangelist Sanders are liberal and consistent in their financial and moral support to the national church i.e. Laity report, Convention Registrations, COGIC Charities.  They undergird the work of the Lord wholeheartedly.   They are committed to God, the leadership and the work of the church.


Beyond the Pulpit

Pastor Marvin Sanders and his brother has coached and assisted in building 4 churches, 3 fellowship halls and other facilities in the St. Louis Metropolitan and Southeastern Missouri areas.  He has been an active member of the Ecumenical Leadership St. Louis Chapter, St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and United Metro Clergy Coalition.  He is also a member of the NAACP. He is a mentor and father of the gospel to many pastors, elders and evangelists.  His most cherished award among myriad honors was the bestowment of “Outstanding Commitment to Workplace Diversity & Community Activism” by the NAACP.