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Preston D. H. Leonard

Bishop Preston D.H. Leonard is the pastor of Christ Gospel Church of St. Petersburg. He has been the pastor since 1957. At present, Bishop Leonard is the only living pastor with the longest tenure as pastor of a single congregation in the St. Petersburg area. He is also the Presiding Bishop of Christ Kingdom International Fellowship and the International Bishop of the Christ Gospel Churches of Jamaica Apostolic, Haiti, and Ghana, Africa.


Bishop Leonard was born in Lloyd (Jefferson County) Florida and at the age of 10, he accepted Christ as his savior and was a member of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Monticello, Florida. Bishop Leonard experienced three extreme life-changing events. In 1953, he received the call from God to Preach the Word, and consequently preached his first sermon in October. In 1954, he married his school days sweetheart, the former Virginia Mosley; and to this union came 7 children, 16 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. He was baptized in Jesus’ Name in March, and ordained later that year.

In 1957, he and his family relocated to St. Petersburg, which was the start of a fiery, yet humble service to God here in the Tampa Bay area. What started as six people worshipping in a living room has grown, today, to a membership of approximately three hundred people in an edifice that is yet expanding. All along the way, Bishop Leonard has preached and continues to preach and teach The Crucified Message.


Bishop Leonard received his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from International University. He attended Florida A&M University, Jack Hyles Pastoral School, and Clyde Narramore Counseling School. Also,  he was a member of the US Navy Medical CORPS in Bainbridge, MD.

Bishop Leonard not only practiced longevity in his ministry, but also made it a part of his life. In May, 2009, Bishop Leonard’s wife of 56 years, Mother Virginia Leonard passed away, but his passion to serve God daily and be obedient to His direction has never wavered. He continuously shares the good news of salvation to all and is an encouragement to others, especially in their times of need. Bishop Leonard loves the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the basis of his life.

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