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i.f.i. Bishops

Dr. Roger Christopher
i.f.i. Founder and Presiding Bishop
Emmanuel The Word Church
Millington, TN

When it comes to the Word of God, Bishop Christopher is one of God’s unmistakable giants and great living experts of scripture who is never lost when it comes to ANY biblical topic, he is comfortable flowing in many styles of teaching, whether it is Expository, Individual Subjects, Individual Books, Topical, etc.   

It would be an understatement to say that he has a deep abiding love for the independent houses of God that are strewn throughout the world, and he takes great pride in bringing together those who love unity.   

Bishop Christopher was given a divine directive to establish i.f.i. (Independent Fellowship International), a movement that offers thousands of independent churches and ministers an opportunity to identify with something and celebrate strength & unity among themselves that has not been tapped into until now.
Over the past 35 years Bishop Christopher has taught, trained, nurtured and ordained a vast number of ministers and equipped them to go into the highways and hedges to do the work of the kingdom.  Bishop is ready, willing, and able to be the “tie that binds.”

“I see hope about the size of a man’s hand, and surely that must be the sound of an abundance of rain for Independents Fellowship International."  Bishop Roger Christopher



Bishop Carlton E. MeBane II

i.f.i. Assistant Presiding Bishop, Northeast Region

Abundant Life Christian Outreach Center

Lexington Park, MD

Bishop Carlton E. MeBane II was born in Brooklyn NY as the middle child of Carlton and Ava MeBane. Being a MasterInstructor in the martial arts, a frontline leader in the United States Navy, mentor, educator and manager, he has always had the propensity to lead.  

Bishop MeBane came to Christ aboard the USS Sierra in 1989 and has been on fire for the Kingdom ever since.  He served faithfully in a local church in Naples, Italy  where he and his wife became Youth Pastors and he was licensed as a minister of the gospel in 1997.  His travels with the US Navy then took him to New Jersey and later to Millington, TN where he would be molded into the man of God he is today,  serving at Emmanuel Global Ministries under the leadership of  Bishop Roger and Dr. Laura B. Christopher.

 He began pastoring in Sicily, Italy in 2003 and later founded Abundant Life Christian Outreach Center in Lexington Park, MD.  Bishop MeBane has been in ministry for over 19 years, is an internationally licensed and ordained pastor and holds an honorary doctorate degree from Northwestern Christian University. 

Bishop MeBane has been married to First Lady & Co-Pastor Tamera MeBane for 24 years and they have two sons, Carlton and Joshua.


Bishop Ronald O. Cobbs, Sr.
i.f.i. Bishop, West Coast Region
Blessed Trinity Christian Fellowship
San Diego, CA

Bishop Cobbs graduated from Woodstock High School, Millington, Tennessee and entered Memphis State University where he studied religion and humanities. Following his sophomore year at MSU, he entered the United States Army where he served honorably until discharged in 1974. He received his B.S. Degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude), National Univ.; Associates Degree in Business Administration, San Diego Evening College; Associates Degree Supply Chain Management, San Diego Evening College. Certificate of Community Economic Development, San Diego State University.

Bishop Ronald O. Cobbs, Sr. is the organizer and Pastor of Blessed Trinity Christian Fellowship located in San Diego, California.

In addition to his responsibilities for i.f.i., Bishop Cobbs currently serves as the President of the Baptist Ministers Association of San Diego, California and as a Board Member of the United African American Ministerial Action Council of San Diego, California.

Bishop Cobbs is a native of Millington Tennessee and is married to Corinne Patricia Buntyn, the daughter of famed choir director Johnny Ray Buntyn.


Bishop Kenneth E. Buntyn
i.f.i. Bishop, Greater Memphis
Blessed Trinity Church
Memphis, TN

Bishop Buntyn was born in Memphis, TN to the late Mr. & Mrs. John R. Buntyn, Sr. He attended Larose Elementary School, Westwood Jr. High School and graduated from Westwood High School in 1974. He extended his education at Shelby State Jr. College, where he studied Music Appreciation.

Bishop Buntyn became a member of the Greater White Stone Missionary Baptist Church at a young age and later served as Choir Director and Sunday School Superintendent before accepting a calling into the gospel ministry.  He later united with Blessed Trinity Baptist Church, under the leadership of Bishop John R. Buntyn, Jr. where he served as Associate Pastor.  Bishop Buntyn was later elected Pastor of Blessed Trinity Church, where he has served for 27 years.

Bishop Buntyn received his Bachelor of Religious Education and Doctor of Divinity from Arkansas Institute of Biblical Studies. Before entering into the pastorate full-time, he was employed with the State of Tennessee and the Mark Lutrell Reception Center where he held the position of Correctional Officer for 28 years.

Bishop Buntyn has been married for 34 years to Dannary A. Thomas Buntyn and is the father of one daughter, Britney.


Bishop Jessie M. Gilmore

i.f.i. Bishop, North Mississippi Region

Emmanuel Gospel of Grace Community Church

Tupelo/Verona MS

Bishop Jessie M. Gilmore was born the 4th of eight daughters to the late Andrew & Daisy Mae Baker.

She is currently serving her third term as an Alderwoman for the city of Verona, Mississippi and is the first female and first African-American to serve her area in the office of elected officials with a completion of Advance Studies presented by the Mississippi Municipal League.   She is a retired part-time teacher at Verona Elementary School, where she still serves as the Character Education Director.

Bishop Gilmore graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors Degree in Theology from Andersonville Theological Seminary.  She has been an anointed preacher of the Gospel, Bible teacher, and presenter/coordinator of conferences, workshops & retreats for over 25 years.  She is the Founder and Pastor of Emmanuel Gospel of Grace Community Church in Verona, Mississippi and is the first female to be elevated to the office of Bishop within i.f.i.

Bishop Gilmore is a dedicated servant of her Lord & Savior Jesus Christ and a lover of people. She wears many hats, but yet she is a simple and humble woman. She is a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother who loves her family (especially her grandchildren), loves to read, loves Bible study, and loves being outdoors.


Bishop Robert Burnett
Living For Christ Church & Restoration House Ministries
Memphis, TN

Bishop Robert Burnett entered into the gospel ministry in February, 1974 and was called to pastor his first church in 1976.  Since that time, he has been over-seer of three congregations, the latest being Living For Christ Church, which he founded in August of 1981.

Bishop Burnett then founded the LFC Restoration House Homeless Ministry in November 1998.  After the first location was destroyed by fire in June 2004, God blessed the LFC Restoration House to keep its doors open in another location.

In January 2008, LFC moved into its current location, which can house up to 40 men and 20 women. Also, in 2008, Rev. Barbara Jones, the sister of Bishop Burnett, was elevated to the role of Pastor of Living For Christ Church.



Bishop Benjamin Poindexter

VISIOSchool of Biblical Training

Memphis, TN

Elder Poindexter graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and after high school, attended Lemoyne Owen College.  In 1958, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and trained both in the U.S. and in foreign countries, such as the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Okinawa.

He continued his learning through the Yale University Institute of Far Eastern Languages and graduated with honors as a Chinese Language Specialist.  After 7 years in the military, Elder Poindexter concluded his education at the University of Memphis earning a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 1972 and a Master of Education in 1975.

He was licensed as a minister in 1984 and ordained an Elder in 1987. God led Elder Poindexter to join with Bishop Kenneth Buntyn at Blessed Trinity MBC where he has served as Associate Pastor for approximately 18 years. It remains Elder Poindexter’s soul desire to re-introduce the God of the Bible to many who have fallen away from the faith through disbelief.  He believes God has plucked him from the jaws of death on several occasions over the past few years tcontinue this mission and he humbly accepts this charge.





Bishop Robert McBee

Praise of Zion Ministries

Memphis, TN