National Women's Federation





Apostle Orpah R. Francis

 Apostle Orpah R. Francis

 First Female Apostle in Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ


Ordination Services - July 22, 2012 - Morning Session - Atlanta Hilton Airport Hotel





Apostle Orpah Ruth Francis is the second oldest of twelve children born in Gordon, Alabama to the late Mr. Hardy Pelt, Sr. and the late Mrs. Ruby Lee Pelt. The family moved to Fort Pierce, Florida where she later graduated from Lincoln Park Academy. Orpah left Fort Pierce in 1963 to move to Brooklyn, New York.

          In Brooklyn, Orpah continued the affiliation she had developed with Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ since birth. As a lay member she held such positions as Tithe Secretary, School of Wisdom Teacher (teenagers), Youth Department Supervisor (responsible for youth training and scholarships at local, state and district levels), Teacher and Missionary.

          During 1967, she traveled to and from Rochester, New York doing missionary work. There was no Triumph Church established in Rochester at that time. To give the people hope and courage, Rev. Francis gave the first $5, promising that she would return to establish the church. In 1968, she permanently relocated to Rochester, where she and a childhood friend, the late Mrs. Lee Anna Smith, founded the Triumph Church in Rochester. Rev. Francis has been the pastor at that church since 1970. Worship services were held in a storefront located at 112 Bartlett Street on Rochester's west side for the first eight years. Rev. Francis organized and implemented various programs and fund-raisers to purchase a $70,000 church facility in 1977 on Rochester's north side. The mortgage burning ceremony was held just nine years later.

          Rev. Francis has always been dedicated and faithful to God and the church. She is a lifetime member of the Triumph Church and was the first female to be ordained in her church which is an international organization operating in thirty-six states in the United States, Nassau, Bahamas and Monrovia, Liberia, Africa. During her pastorate, Rev. Francis has held such positions as: Presiding Elder of Bronx and Kings Counties, New York, District Treasurer, President and member of the 5th Episcopal District Board and Secretary for the Board of Directors of Triumph's School of Prophets, secretary of the National Board of Trustees and a member of the Constitution Committee of Triumph Church. Currently, Rev. Francis is the chairperson of the National Board of Trustees and Presiding Elder for the State of New York. In July 2010, Rev. Francis was set aside as an Apostle Intern of Triumph the Church and Kingdom of God in Christ, the first female in the organization to hold this high honor. Her ordination is scheduled for July 2012.

          Apostle Francis, since moving to Rochester, has been deeply involved in community activities. She supports many and varied causes, programs and organizations in the Rochester community. She finds her greatest fulfillment in consoling or helping families. She states, "I see the community as sharing and caring for persons who are in dire need. My experience in community, school and church has helped me to understand that human development is crucial in our times. There should be ongoing programs, planning, training and evaluations to help families in the community to develop, physically, mentally, spiritually, socially and financially." Apostle Intern Francis has received numerous awards, certificates and plaques for her unfailing effort in serving the community. In January 2001, First Church Divine and Pastor Lloyd Oldham honored her by having her picture unveiled in the First Church Divine Hall of Fame. She shares this honor with greats like jazz pianist, Duke Ellington; the mother of the Rochester Community, the late Ms. Katherine Terrell; Rochester's own Mayor Bill Johnson; President and CEO of the Rochester Urban League, William Clark; and many, many others.

          Apostle Francis has held the position of Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for the Martin Luther King Community Center. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Community Child Care Center, the Urban League of Rochester, the United Cancer Council and Montgomery Neighborhood Center. She has also served as a member of the Billy Graham Crusade Nominating Committee, the Lead Poison Prevention Committee and the Sickle Cell Awareness Education Committee. She is the founder and past president of the Women's Pastoral Support Group and a member of the board of directors of United Church Ministries. She is also a lifetime member of the National Coalition of Title I/Chapter 1 Parents, a member of the Black Educators Association of Rochester and a member of the Urban League of Rochester.

          Orpah graduated from Monroe Community College with distinctions in Human Services and received a diploma from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Black Church Studies. She has also studied at Nazareth College.

          Apostle Francis retired from the Rochester City School District in June of 2002 after 32 years of service in administration and supervision.  She is the mother of two children, Charlie and Sequetta (Charles) and the grandmother of three, Charles Jerone, Chaz Jerrell and Chase Jeremiah.

          Apostle Francis is very much loved and respected by all who come into contact with her. She is most respected for her tenacity and her ability to keep on ticking, keep on smiling and keep on loving God's people everywhere, no matter the race, religion, age or economic background. She is a true example of what we, at Triumph, believe and teach and what God is calling for in times like these.