Bishop Charles Bernard Eichelberger, Sr., was born May 21, 1954 in Deland, Florida. He is the oldest child born to the late Ulysses R. and Rosa L. Goggins Eichelberger. At a very early age his family moved from the small town of Pierson, Florida to Jacksonville.
Bishop Eichelberger attended the local schools of Southside Jacksonville: Pine Forest Elementary, Douglas Anderson, Landon High, and is a 1972 graduate of Samuel Wolfson High School.
At a very young age, Bishop Eichelberger’s desire to embrace holiness was influenced by his neighbors, the late Mother Margaret Bradley and her daughter, Missionary Gwendolyn Bradley Stanford. At the request of Mother Bradley, Bishop Eichelberger’s mother would allow he and his sister, Gloria, to attend Sunday School at the Southside Church Of God In Christ. He admired Mother Bradley and her daughter greatly and they became a second family to him.
On January 5, 1966, at the young age of eleven years old, Bishop Eichelberger accepted Christ into his life at the Southside Church Of God In Christ, during a New Year’s revival conducted by Missionary Pauline Bright. His acceptance of Christ at an early age, his training in ministry functions, the opportunities given him in leadership roles, and the teachings he received in the Church of God In Christ have had a profound and lasting effect upon his life. He continually credits the Church Of God In Christ for providing him a strong and firm Christian foundation and a rich church heritage.
Of the many people that have affected Bishop Eichelberger’s life, no one has had more lasting influence over his life than his pastor, the late Bishop Jesse Earl Williams and Missionary Pauline Bright. These two people taught him how to live among men and how to love God.
Bishop Eichelberger was dedicated and committed to his church and was actively involved in the various ministries of the church. At the age of thirteen he acknowledged to his Pastor the call of God on his life to the ministry. In September, 1969, at the age of fifteen, Bishop Eichelberger was licensed by the Church Of God In Christ to preach the Gospel. The Lord opened many doors of opportunity for him to exercise his gift and calling. From ministering in his local church, to preaching and conducting revivals in other denominational churches, preaching on the streets, ministering in prisons and juvenile shelters, preaching on radio and in many cities throughout the United States and Jamaica. He is now the now the spiritual leader of Cathedral of Deliverance, which he founded in 1984. Bishop Eichelberger has touched many lives in a very positive manner.
On October 30, 1976, Bishop Eichelberger and Sister Cynthia DaNita Smothers were united in Holy Matrimony by the late Elder Willie F. Faust, at the Faust Temple Church Of God In Christ. To their union were born three sons: Charles Bernard, Jr., Marcus Anthony and Brian Avery. In 1991 God blessed their family with the addition of a beautiful baby girl named Shekinah Danielle.
In 1977, during the early and formidable years of the ministry of Hope Chapel Christian Assembly, Bishop Eichelberger was instrumental in assisting Dr. Jeannette C. Holmes-Vann in the establishing and structuring of that ministry. For at least seven years he served by her side with dedication and loyalty. It was at Hope Chapel that he became known as Bishop Eichelberger.
On January 21, 2001, the Northeast Florida Council of Bishops, under the guidance of Bishop McCollors, consecrated him to the office of Bishop.
In the early years of his ministry he gained the respect of both young and old as a man of integrity and boldness. Unwavering in his belief and proclamation of the Gospel, he is often considered a hard man; but those who come to know his heart find him to be a fair man. He has been a source of inspiration and a motivator to many. God has given him the ability to encourage and motivate others to accomplish what they thought could not be done.
As a result of his life being touched by Christ, many others have come to know the saving power of Jesus Christ and are members of churches in this area and in many other cities.
In addition to his many other ministerial and pastoral duties, he is also the founder and president of Lion Of Judah Fellowship of Churches and Vice President of Destiny Bible College where he also serves as an instructor.
Bishop Eichelberger is an example of faithfulness and perseverance. He stands as a living testimony that it really doesn’t matter who stands against you if God is on your side. He has endured much and still does. Nevertheless, he has outlasted many of his critics and opposers. He is a man of knowledge and a reservoir of wisdom. He has earned the affectionate title of being called “father” or “dad” by those who come to know his heart. He preaches the Gospel without compromise, but he is also very involved in the day to day needs and concerns of the people around him. God has blessed him and he unselfishly continues to be a blessing to others.