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901 Dueber Ave. SW, Canton, Ohio 330.453.7758
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Our Church History

Founding Pastor F. Joe Ellis, along with his wife Rose and their three young children (Angela, Joe, and Tom), held their inaugural service on Sunday July 13, 1980. They started in a small building located at 2000 Navarre Road on the southwest side of the city.

In October of 1993, God gave the church a miracle! The church was given ownership of a 17,200 square foot building (appraised at that time for $720,000) in a debt free, even exchange for their 5,500 square foot building (appraised at $48,000)!

In February of 1994 Canton College of Ministries (now Purpose Institute) was born. The school’s purpose was to provide leadership training and ministry development for those unable to attend Bible College in a traditional setting. Like the church, the school had a very small and modest beginning. It’s growth has been exponential and its reach has been global. To God be the Glory!

In 1997, to facilitate the world-training vision of the church along with the expansion of Purpose Institute, Shaun M. Eller, who was currently serving as the youth pastor, was promoted to Lead Pastor and Pastor Ellis was promoted to the office of Bishop. This transition enabled Bishop Ellis to travel globally as needed without jeopardizing the spiritual health and care of its members. Pastor Eller, along with his wife Angela (one of the five charter members) pastored the church for twelve years.  Feeling that his time as Pastor was coming to a close, and that God was redirecting his ministry, Pastor Eller resigned in February 2009.

Pastor Eric Foster, who was already serving as Co-Pastor with Pastor Eller, was promoted to Senior Pastor. Pastor Foster (a member since 1995) along with his wife Lamonica (a member since 1983) has served the church in many different capacities through the years. They wear the shepherd’s mantel of AOC with integrity and distinction and are greatly loved by the people.

In keeping with its vision and mission, two daughter congregations have been planted in Watauga, Texas and Dover, Ohio and are pastored by couples who were trained and sent out from AOC.  In addition AOC has also come along side several pastors and congregations (both stateside and abroad), providing much needed help, individuals, finance, and oversight. The overarching vision and spiritual DNA of AOC remains global in scope, and only God can measure the far-reaching impact of the ministry of The Apostolics of Canton.