Our Father in the gospel
Bishop William F Cramer
History has constantly been influenced by the words and actions of great people. they affect our lives in such a special way that their words and deeds stay with us for years to come. In fact you can always find a great story connected with a great person who puts his trust in God. It is said that God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Today we honor Bishop William F. Cramer, an ordinary man who has done extraordinary things through God.
On August 27, 1926 William Frank Cramer was born to Sarah E and William A Cramer of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. As an only child he was the center of attention to all his relatives. At the early age of two, he had a close call with death. He accidentally ate some green grapes and a terrible sickness followed. He was hospitalized for several weeks. But the Lord spared his life and allowed him to recover. In later year he was hit by a car, involved in a near truck-train collision, almost run over by a train while playing near the tracks, and had to force land a small plane of which he was the pilot. But out of it all, the Lord delivered him.
He was very mischievous and short tempered during his grade school years. Once he was riding his bicycle and fell off. This made him so angry that he got a hatchet and hacked his bike to pieces. At school he would slap people on the backs of their heads with a ruler and dip the girl's pigtail in the inkwells.
By the time he reached junior high another trait in his character was becoming evident. His need for independence. His father and mother worked every day, so he was usually left home alone. He soon grew to like this and took advantage of this. He would take long adventurous rides on his bike. Sometimes he would go to the Wilmington, Delaware Airport to watch the planes take off and land. This was one of his favorite things to do. He joined a neighborhood gang of which he became the leader. It was here that he learned of cigarettes and liquor in which he indulged and enjoyed. He got into many fights and several bee-bee gun wars. He was also seen at all the social and dances in town. When he reached 10th grade he decided to drop out of high school. During that same year he reached a milestone in his life.
He was never a religious man. In fact, he hated going to church and he hated it when his parents got saved. He world always say that he still had a lot of "living to do", and that he was going to get saved when he became an old man. But God had other plans for him. In 1943 there was a revival at his parents' church. To this day if you ask him how he got to the church or why he went, he would tell you that he doesn't know. It was then that he heard the word and was baptized in Jesus' name, and about two months later received the Holy Ghost at his mom and dad's house.
From that point his life changed. He no longer desired to hang with his old friends and was no longer seen at the dances and social events in town. Many of his so called friends told him that he would be back because he liked to party, and have a good time. But having obtained help from God, he continues until this day.
He attended Highway Gospel Mission in West Chester where Elder John A Reed was the pastor. He was an inspiring and eloquent Sunday School teacher and it was quite evident that the young man had an unusual gift to elaborate on the word of God. Then one day the spirit of God moved on him and he knew he had been called to preach. He was no longer just Billy Cramer. Now he was Minister Cramer.
Of course, no story is complete without a woman. In 1946 he met Louise Boyer who was the sister of two of his best buddies, Joe and Bill Boyer. He and Louise both went to Elder Reed's church and were married in 1950. In 1951, their first child Beverly was born. In 1955 Brenda followed, then Kathy in 1957, and Karen in 1964.
In 1965, 12 people formed what is now Emmanuel Temple Church. It was around that time that Minister Cramer was introduced to the Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ Inc. (C.O.O.L.J.C) through his aunt, Missionary Marie R. Whyte, missionary to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, West Indies and became a member of the organization through the late Apostle H.D. Jones. In 1968 at the General Convocation of the C.O.O.L.J.C., Atlanta, Georgia, Minister Cramer was ordained an elder. In 1975 he was appointed by the late Apostle H. D. Jones to be the district elder of the eastern district of the state of Pennsylvania and officiated as state elder upon Apostle Jones' failing health until a state bishop could be appointed.
It was around this time that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor growing on the optic nerve. He was given six months to live and was rapidly losing his eye sight. Being a preacher of faith he chose to trust God, even if it meant losing his life. However, one night during prayer meeting, he asked the saints to gather around him in a circle as he knelt in prayer. Ever since that night, he was delivered from pains in the head that he described as being like fire. The healing was evident as he received his sight back and was able to do things like read and drive for himself. Many people have been touched by his testimony insomuch that a sister with similar diagnosis heard about his miraculous healing, called him for prayer and was healed of her brain tumor over the phone.
Shortly after his healing, the Lord blessed the congregation to grow in leaps and bounds. Many young people were coming and bringing their families to the church. From that group of young people, the Lord raised up elders, deacons, ministers and missionaries that continue to work for the Lord until this day.
Around 1985 Elder Cramer was appointed as Outreach Director in the State of Pennsylvania. Out of that several churches were established.
He decided to complete his high school education and received his GED in 1988. After that he took correspondence courses through the International Seminary in Plymouth, Florida and in 1991 he graduated with a Bachelor in Theology degree and a grade point average of 3.8.
It was around this time that he began taking an interest in the foreign field. He and Mother Cramer visited his aunt, Missionary Marie Whyte in Santo Domingo. There they spent two weeks preaching and teaching and getting acquainted with the saints in Las Minas and La Ramana. Also during this time a tape ministry was established and sent to Ghana, West Africa. Along Along with the tapes, Emmanuel Temple's outreach department sent food and clothing.
Having recently returned from Santo Domingo just three weeks ago, he has become increasingly active in the mission field and enjoys working for the Lord in this capacity.
Affectionately known as "Pop", he has truly become a father to many, many people. Through his ministry many people have received salvation, deliverance and many answered prayers. He lives what he teaches, practices what he preaches and uses his life experiences to help others. It's been said that his teaching is such that a little child can understand it. He teaches the saints how to take the authority over Satan and to use the power of the Holy Ghost within them to accomplish what they desire.
He has always had a heart for the people, a mind to work, and a willingness to serve. Always low key, not boastful nor seeking self recognition, but determined that God would be glorified is what he's all about. He has said on several occasions that no distance is too far, nor any expense too great for one soul. Praising God is first and foremost in his life. He has learned to praise God through the good times and the bad and has made it a part of his benediction, "I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall continually be in my mouth". "And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; "Ephesians 4:11". He is truly God's man for the hour and we are honored that God placed this great pastor and teacher in our midst.