About Our Pastor

Bishop Patrick Lane Wooden, Sr. has been saved and serving the Lord for more than 30 years. He has been in the pastoral ministry for more than 25 years. He accepted Christ at the age of 16 and his life has been an example of what God can do when you give Him your whole heart at an early age. He attributes his success to God’s grace, mercy and unmerited favor. He resides in Raleigh, NC with his wife of thirty years, Pamela McNeil Wooden. They have two adult children, a son-in-law and two grandchildren.


Bishop Wooden is a founder and establisher of churches. In 1982, Bishop Wooden, then Minister Wooden, was sent by his pastor, Supt. James H. Turner, to start a work in the rural town of Candor, North Carolina. He began with a 6 week tent revival in the area. At the conclusion of the revival, he asked if any were interested in standing with him to start a church and 29 people stood to be part of the church that he later named The Lighthouse Church of God in Christ. Many of those who joined were saved during the tent revival. Bishop Wooden pastored in Candor for 9 years and built his first church there in 1983. The experience there was indeed training ground to prepare him and his wife for what the Lord had in store for them in the years to come.


Bishop Wooden is a leader in church growth and development. In 1987, after the death of his pastor, Supt. James H. Turner, Bishop Wooden was called and appointed to pastor the Upper Room Church of God in Christ. At the time of his appointment, the church had approximately 150 members. The church was still in mourning at the death of their pastor and some were unsure of the capabilities of “this young preacher from Rockingham”. As a result, some left, but many decided to stay and give him a chance. To date, Bishop Wooden has been the pastor of The Upper Room for more than 23 years. The membership now exceeds 3000 and is steadily growing. He is a builder of strong men which attributes to approximately 40% his congregation being male. Under his leadership, in 1992, they built the first COGIC sanctuary in Raleigh and in 1998, they built their current sanctuary, a 2,000 seat edifice. In addition, many new ministries and auxiliaries have been established to serve and meet the needs of the congregants and the sick, suffering and lost souls throughout the city and surrounding areas.


Bishop Wooden is a founder and builder of a Christian school. Early in the ministry the Lord commissioned Bishop Wooden to build a Christian school where children could receive a high quality education in an environment that would be safe and conducive to learning yet, free of the world’s humanistic ideologies. They would be taught to know the God of the Bible and the Glory of His Son, Jesus Christ. That vision became a reality in August of 2001, which marked the completion of the James H. Turner Educational Facility, a 66,000 square foot school. The Upper Room Christian Academy and Preschool is on the 16 acre campus of the Upper Room COGIC. It serves preschoolers age 2 to 4 years old and school grades K through 8th. It has several spacious classrooms, a media center, a science lab and a state-of-the-art computer lab that is used for technological training and advancement. It also has a fully equipped, NBA regulated gymnasium and a spacious cafeteria with a commercial kitchen. To top it all off, great investments has been made to find and hire highly qualified faculty, staff and administration. This Christ-centered place of excellence provides a full range of educational and extracurricular activities incorporated with the teaching of Biblical principles. The school serves on average more than 500 children and youth annually.


Bishop Wooden is a business man. The church and school provides employment for approximately 75 people on a full-time basis and 15 part-time. He is one of the largest Africa American employers in Raleigh and has many affiliations with business and civic leaders in the city. He had earned a reputation for being a man of God who does business fairly and ethically.


Bishop Wooden has received national notoriety for his work and efforts. The North Carolina College of Theology recognized the work of Bishop Wooden and afforded him the opportunity to use some of his years of experience as credits in his pursuit of a Doctorate of Theology of which he received in June 2007. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for his continuous efforts to support people and the community. His allegiance to Christianity esteems him as a great Christian apologist and places him on the frontlines of religious battle, where he continues to promote Jesus Christ in all spectrums of society. His involvement in societal issues, such as fighting the homosexual agenda, protecting traditional marriage and the Keeping Christ in Christmas Campaign, has flooded him into mainstream media. He has been featured on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, The O’Reilly Factor and a host of local and national radio stations.


Bishop Wooden is a leader in the Church of God in Christ and beyond. He serves as Superintendent of the Greater Central District and First Administrative Assistant to the Bishop Leroy J. Woolard in the Greater North Carolina Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ. Bishop Wooden is well-known and respected through-out the brotherhood. He is a renowned national speaker, known for boldly and uncompromisingly preaching and teaching about issues that affect today’s society. The message that God has given him transcends cultural and denominational barriers. He is the founder and president of Our Own Company Fellowship which is an association designed to be a haven, refuge and safe place for Pastors, Ministry Leaders and their Spouses who are looking for a place of relationship, support, strength and renewal as they fight the good fight of faith.


Bishop Wooden lives by the principle of GOD FIRST!