Bishop Willard E. Saunders Sr., pastor of Christ Temple Apostolic Cathedral in South Baltimore and head of the District of Columbia, Delaware and Maryland Council of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, died Aug. 10 of cancer at his home in Northwest Baltimore. He was 69.
Bishop Saunders was also a member of the Executive Board of Bishops of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
Since 1954, he had headed the Cherry Hill congregation, which was known as the Christ Temple Apostolic Church until a new building was opened May 8. He had built much of the original church building at 827 Cherry Hill Road himself.
Ordained as an elder at the age of 18, he served as an evangelist until he became pastor of the Cherry Hill church. He became a bishop in 1981.
A bus service for his parishioners developed into the S&P Bus Rental Co. that served the religious community from the mid-1960s until the mid-1980s.
The native of Sutherlin, Va., came to Baltimore in 1945 and opened a barbershop at Sterling and Monument streets. The shop was later at North and Fulton avenues. He retired as a barber in 1963.
He completed his high school education in the evenings at Dunbar High School and attended other institutions, including Morgan State University and the Maryland Baptist Center and School of Religion.
His awards included an honorary doctorate from Enon Bible College in Indianapolis.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the cathedral, 701 Cherry Hill Road.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years, the former Mary Jones; two daughters, Barbara J. Saunders-Davis and Camille S. Williams, both of Baltimore; a son, the Rev. Willard E. Saunders Jr. of Randallstown, co-pastor of the cathedral and a district elder; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.