Apostle Robert L. Sanders, B.R.E., M.TH., D.H.L., D.MIN.
Vice Presider of Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ
Business leader, philanthropist, and pastor, Bishop Robert L. Sanders Sr. began fulfilling his call to the ministry by serving as pastor of Greater Refuge Temple of Christ, Inc., in Buffalo, NY.
More than 37 years later, he pastors what many call one of Western New York’s fastest growing churches. The Greater Refuge Temple of Christ, a multi-cultural, Pentecostal Apostolic church with 25 active outreach ministries, has dominated church growth records. In only a few years the church has grown tremendously.
Bishop Sanders was born September 10, 1941 in South Carolina. His parents, business owners and entrepreneurs, the Late John and Mary Sanders, were charitable contributors in their community and to whom he credits for his own integrity, discipline and self-reliance.
Bishop Sanders has produced several major conferences such as "The Power of Pentecost Conference," and "Males Committed to Manhood & Family Conference", annually. He is also the Executive Producer of his Television Program "Rays of Hope" viewed weekly by thousands.
In an effort to remedy social and economic voids in Buffalo, Bishop Sanders founded "The Refuge Temple Education & Cultural Center and the Refuge Temple Community Development Corporation". These nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporations have sponsored home ownership conferences and youth mentorship programs.
These corporations also developed a job placement center, a skills training center, a small business counseling unit and a housing development unit that include affordable homes for senior citizens, single-parent families and those in need of emergency housing.
A renowned religious author with several books to his credit; Bishop Sanders’ works have been featured at many conventions and conferences. Some of his most recent writings are: "The Blood" and "How to live Under an Open Heaven".
He is periodically interviewed by journalist and he contributes too many periodicals and newspapers. He has been a guest on religious programs as a source of spiritual advice. Presidents and statesmen have frequently asked for his wisdom and counsel. He received invitations to the White House during the administration to President George W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton as well as the recipient of many presidential award and honors.
Bishop Robert L. Sanders, Senior Pastor of the Greater Refuge Temple of Christ located at 943 Jefferson Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14204, enjoys serving the people of his community. Bishop Sanders is an anointed preacher and teacher of God’s word. The ministry of Bishop Sanders is to reach the "total person." Under the dynamic leadership of Bishop Sanders, many positive and encouraging changes have been made at Greater Refuge Temple and the surrounding community.
In addition to building the beautiful new worship and praise center, other monumental accomplishments include:
- The Family Life Center which provides a positive atmosphere and brings families together in a supportive and safe environment.
- The Christian Academy that is housed at the Greater Refuge Temple Complex.
- God’s Little Children Child Development Center. This center is not just another daycare but a learning center.
- Greater Refuge Temple Plaza. The following businesses are currently opened and operating from the plaza: Peaches Hair and Nails, Donnie’s Smokehouse & Catering, Ross’s Wash N’ Shine, Career Genesis, Lioness Boutique, Mr. Kone’s Ice Cream Parlor and Mr. Bones Restaurant.
- The Greater Refuge Temple Transition House. This facility provides residential services as well as programs for homeless individuals, persons released from correctional institutions and Housing for person with A.I.D.S.
As you can see, Bishop Sanders is concerned about and involved in the community. In addition to the above community services, he also provides: a food pantry to those in need of food, free clothing give-away and an annual thanksgiving dinner for Senior Citizens.
Up and down Jefferson Avenue, the street is adorned with blue and white banners that say GRT – The Village. You can also see street signs from North St. to Virginia St. indicating that this route has been designated as Bishop Sanders Boulevard.
He is the recipient of many awards and a member of many boards. Some his other accomplishments are:
- Founder/Advisor of the Pentecostal Apostolic Ministerial Alliance of Buffalo and Vicinity,
- Founder and Executive Director of the Greater Refuge Temple Bible Institute
- President of the Interdenominational Religious Confederation
- Regional Apostle of the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ (Region 2)
- Vice-Presider of the Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
- Vice President of the Jeremiah Collaboration
- Honorary Doctorate, Jesus the Liberator Seminary,
- NAACP Award for Community Service,
- SCLC Outstanding Community Service Award, Western New York Frontier Spirit Vision Award
- President’s Call to Service Award
In addition, Bishop Sanders is a veteran of the United States Army. He served his country from 1960-1963 touring in Munich Germany.
Bishop is married to the Lovely Janice Sanders and they have 3 sons and 3 daughters-in-law (Robert and Anitris, Mark and Danielle, Timothy and April) and 8 grandchildren (Robert III, Kala, Deja, Mark, Dominique, Zoe, Timothy and Jadon).
His motto is to "Pursue Excellence until Excellence is achieved". To God Be the Glory!