Complete Obituary of Bishop Andrew James Ford, II

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Bishop Andrew James Ford II, senior pastor of Ford Memorial Temple, Inc., died on Friday, July 19, 2019. He was 66.

He was born on May 3, 1953 in Philadelphia to the late Bishop Andrew J. Ford Sr. and Elrita Coaxum Ford. He was the eldest of four children from there union.

He grew up in West Philly where he matriculated through the Philadelphia public school system, graduating from Overbrook High School in 1970.

He received a bachelor’s degree in computer technology from Temple University in Philadelphia, his master’s degree in theology and Biblical studies from North Carolina College of Theology in Wilmington, North Carolina and was enrolled in the doctoral program.

Ford experienced his spiritual conversion at an early age. He worked in many facets of ministry under his father and mother including playing the bass guitar. Ford also played the trumpet in the All City Junior High and High School orchestras. He joined the Police Athletic League (PAL) Drum and Bugle Corp., where he played the trumpet/bugle and piccolo trumpet. He and his brother, Steven played in the drumline and would march in parades during the holidays.

He loved to sing and performed with the Olney High Gospel Choir with Bruce Hawes, the Savettes and several other community choirs.

While he enjoyed playing different instruments he eventually focused his passion on cultivating the choir sound. He was known as a songwriter and master choir director for the Echoes for Christ, Christian Echoes, Pennsylvania State Choir, National Choir of the Highway Churches of Christ, Temple University’s Gospel Choir and University of Pennsylvania’s Gospel Choir.

In September of 1973, he married the late Lady Jean Carolyn Ford and three children were born to their union.

Ford was the co-founder and executive producer of Sweet Rain Record Company, where he and his co-founders, Calvin Carr and Steven Ford discovered and produced some of America’s gospel notable artists such as Pastor Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir, the Rev. Ernest Davis Jr. and Wilmington/Chester Mass Choir featuring Rev. Daryl Coley and The Southeast Inspirational Choir of Houston, Texas.

During his tenure in the recording industry, he was considered “The Renaissance Man” of gospel, because of his unique ability to oversee live choir recordings. His production company was affectionately known as “The Choir Boys.” This combined effort consisted of Steven Ford, Calvin Carr, Buddy Crosby and the late Lionel Darty.

Ford experienced two unexpected events in 1991 that configured the rest of his life. The first was the sudden passing of his mother, and the second, his call to the preaching ministry.

His initial sermon, “If You’re Out of Business You Need to Take Down Your Sign,” was a bittersweet occasion for Ford. His mother never witnessed this memorable event.

The next two years were a time of intentionally cherishing each moment with his father, because grief struck again when Bishop Andrew J. Ford Sr., passed in 1993.

Ford was ordained and installed as pastor of the Highway Church of Christ of Philadelphia County in September of 1993.

Several fathers of the faith, especially the late Apostle Robert Evans mentored Ford and helped navigate his journey through the pastorate.

In memory of the legacy of the late Bishop Andrew James Ford Sr. and Lady Elrita Ford, the siblings unanimously agreed to officially change the name of the Highway Church of Christ of Philadelphia County to Ford Memorial Temple in 1994.

Ford became bishop and presiding prelate of the Next Generation Fellowship Ministries, Inc., a national fellowship of churches, clergy and church leaders from various ecumenical backgrounds.

He became a member of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops, under the leadership of the Metropolitan Bishop J. Delano Ellis II and an associate member of the Philadelphia Black Clergy.

Professionally, Ford was the production and strategic planner for Owens/Morris Communications, a multi-media marketing company. He managed major production events, concerts and concert tours for corporate clients such as Wrigley’s, McDonald’s and Quaker Oats.

Ford worked with Willie Wilson and the Singsation television program in Chicago, Illinois. He had a long standing business relationship with his friend, Hoyett W. Owens Jr.

Ford was the recipient of numerous awards highlighting his faith-based, professional and community service endeavors. He was the host of a successful local television program and national radio broadcast titled “It’s Our Time.”

Ford served on the advisory board of the Gospel Music Workshop of America. He trained and produced his “How Sweet the Sound” and “TV One/Sony Choir Competition” award-winning church choir – The Anointed Voices of Ford Memorial Temple.

He was known as the “People’s Bishop.”

“He will be remembered for his teaching and preaching from a holistic perspective with precise execution, realizing the severity of meeting every need for God’s people spiritually and naturally,” his family said in a tribute.

He is survived by: his son, Andrew J. Ford III; daughters, Syreeta Lawrence (Timothy) and Shanelle Ford; granddaughter, Britney Ford; great-grandson, Drew Smith; brothers, Dr. Steven Ford (Deborah) and Bishop Eugene Porterfield (Travell); sisters, Overseer Michelle Ford and Deacon Dolores Ford; best friends, Bishop Eric Figueroa, Bishop Darrell Dove, Bishop Richard Pender Sr. and Bishop David Evans and other relatives and friends.

He will lie in state on Aug. 2. The first viewing will be held Aug. 2 from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ford Memorial Temple, 4031 Germantown Ave.

The second viewing will be held Aug. 3 at 8 a.m. at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Ave. Services will follow at 10 a.m.

Turay Funeral Home handled the arrangements.

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13 comments

  1. Coming from a former Ford member (mid 90’s-early 2000’s)- I was devastated to learn of Bishop Fords passing. It was even more devastating to learn of it just two days before his funeral. I am now living abroad, and woulda made accommodations to attend his celebration of life and musical. Oh the familiar faces I would have seen. It would have been a family reunion in Philly. So many great musicians, ministers and people have come through FMT’s doors and this feels like the end of an era. =( REST IN HIM BISHOP FORD SR & JR, AND MOTHER & LADY FORD. <3

    • Is there anything to his church other than the music? Whenever Bishop Ford is being discussed all that’s mentioned is his band and choir. Any souls saved? Did deliverance take place in his church? Or is it all about the entertainment??????????????

  2. RIP Bishop Ford. The kingdom has lost a giant. You now rest amongst Apostle Evans & Bishop Moales. God bless.

  3. Ms. Tonia Fasion

    We weren’t going to comment, but… The daughter (oldest) conveyed somethangs’… That’s all we have to report.

    But, the family of the Renzettis or the Confettis will be in Neiman-Marcus until Easter of ’25 because the resplendent attire worn by the clerics made their cash registers twirl, girl!!! Whew! My grandbaby asked if it was a Royal Wedding. Listen. If we had to pass a Latin test! Anyway, I’m going to fry these chitterlings and warm these french fries…

    But the daughter made sure we knew that SHE was the focus. But I wish they would’ve worn White like the choir. Folks gotta’ do what’s best for them.

    • You know how Ford does! They pull out their best and sometimes whackiest garments Sunday after Sunday. It’s a squalling fashion show *shrugs** was Bishop Fords girlfriend acknowledged at all? Didn’t his children leave the church just as his late wife (R.I.P.) did??

      • Oluvlee, I think the joke was about the “holy garments” all the ministers and visiting Bishops were done up in. The Renzetti family is a clerical garment store in Philly. lol Surely, them members don’t know Latin. The Renzetti family is making a mint off folk who may never go to the Vatican or persuasively be able to explain how the “laying of hands” is the reason for_________. Anyway.
        #whoOwns-someStock

        • Worry about yourself

          Is that not standard civic attire worn by clergy whenever a Bishop or Pastor dies?

          Y’all be worried bout the wrong shit. A man of God has gone home to glory and the best y’all can do is gossip on a blog? The messy church queens know more about Ford than Ford knows about Ford.

          The best has yet to come! #STAYTUNED

          • Whoa! Watch your mouth Sis. I betcha a Queen from the church said it first, girl. You know how we do… We befriend them to get the tea!!! At least the one who left for DC called them what they are and promised to get the whole choir “say down”!!! So leave them be Sis! Let them fill in the blanks. Either way ___________!!!!! #HushUp

  4. Y’all sooooo messy lol. Got the sAINTS on here cussing and carrying on. Y’all gon head now!!!

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