Bishop Gerald A. Beals “The Good Bishop” Bishop Gerald Albert Beals was born on September 13, 1943 in Newark, NJ to the late James and Bernice Beals. He was the youngest of 12 children.
Bishop Beals received his formal education at the Charlton Street School in Newark, NJ. Public school #22 and Lincoln High School in Jersey City, NJ. He joined the U.S army after Graduating High School. He move up in rank to Sargent during the height of the Vietnam War in which he served. A time he rather not talk about. However the Sargent in him would often show up when working with others. After service in the Vietnam War he returned home and began working as a letter carrier for the United States Post Office where he retired.
Born and raised in a large family Bishop Beals attended New Antioch Church in Newark where he sang with the family group known as “The Joy Harmonizers” founded by his parents. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost in the late 1960’s at the Lighthouse Temple church during revival run by the late Bishop Lymus Johnson. He joined the House of prayer church under the leadership of the late Bishop Carl Ellis Sr. where he held many roles. He served as Assistant Pastor, Sunday school super intendent, Pastor Aid president and Brotherhood President. He also served as Cooljc New Jersey State Sunday school super intendent, The Metropolitan Diocese Sunday School Super Intendant, Executive secretary and district Elder prior to becoming Diocesan Bishop of the Metropolitan Diocese in 2010. From the time Bishop received the gift of the Holy Ghost he was a faithful and active member of COOJC.
Bishop Beals married Lorraine Little, whom he referred to as honey Lorraine on April 18. 1970(ironically at the original TET church). From this union were born 4 children. Gerald jr. (Gee), Barbara (Bump), Katherine (Kat) and Lauren (Missy Missy). Bishop Beals was also known as the community father to his many nieces and nephews. He was a hands on Dad who would jump rope with his daughters or throw around footballs with his son. He was a jack of all trades and we all know if he put his hands on it, it would forever be known as an “Uncle Gerald Special”. He cherished family vacations and getaways with his Honey Lorraine whenever possible. Although he was dedicated to the Lord first He was dedicated to Honey Lorraine for over 50 years and never let anyone forget how much he loved her. He would often tell stories while preaching of how he won her over and how he told her she would be his wife. He raised all his children in the church and would often bring along many of his nieces and nephews. Being known as such a hard task master and disciplinarian they began to call him uncle Lump. He was also know by many other affectionate names such as POPPOP to his grandchildren, Unc, Uncle Bishop, Jerry to his co-workers of the United State Post Office and Rev to the community.
Bishop Beals was appointed Pastor of the First Way of the Cross church in 1995. He immediately began to work his vision for the community. Bishop Beals along with the late Mo. Willie Wilson, Deacon C. McCoy, Barbara and Deborah Beals started the feeding program where they would often feed and minster to a hundred plus people in the community. He assisted the community with clothing and monetary needs when possible. He would often be seen ministering in front of the church to all who would stop by. He later in 1997 founded First Way Community Services to continue the work in the community. His vision was to provide safe haven for those in need while ministering and bringing souls to Christ. Part of his vision was to help provide shelter for battered women. Having graduated with a Bachelors in Theology he was working towards bringing this vision to pass. Bishop gave of himself more and more to see the work of the Lord continue. He personally dedicated his finances, time and energy to rebuilding and running the church. After two devastating fires he employed members of the community to assist with rebuilding, all while continuing to minister and bring souls to Christ. Because of God the church stands today. Because of God, many souls have been bought to Christ under the leadership of this man of God. Bishop stood by what he believed, if you called him friend you indeed had a friend in him. He often stated “I’m doing the best that I can with what I got”. This was indeed true, as he did his best at whatever the task. Even lost a few fingers in the process. He was a praying man and true scholar of the word. He taught with passion and if he did not know the answer he would not rest until he sought it out. Bishop Beals was truly one of a kind and will be missed by all who knew him. To GOD be the glory, for the life of Bishop Gerald A. Beals sr. His living was not in vain. If he could help somebody along the way, he did exactly that.
Bishop Beals is preceded in death by his parents James and Bernice Beals, his son Gerald A. Beals Jr., his daughter Barbara N. Beals, his brother James Beals Jr., Gilford Beals Sr., Lillie Beals, Edward Beals, Thomas Beals and twin sister Geraldine Looper. He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife Lorraine of 50 years, his daughters Katherine and Lauren, grandson/son Tremaine (Parminder), daughter in law Tanya, Grandchildren Michael and Tia, great grandson Zion, Nephew/Son Edward (Buddy- his right hand man) and Angela. Adoptive daughter Royana Jno Charles. Sisters Y.C. Patterson of Union NJ, E.R. Thompson of Newark, NJ and M.P. Dunbar of Jackson S.C, Sisters in law A.P. Lewis of Iselin NJ, E.M. Godbolt (Joseph) of Jersey City, NJ, Camille Beals of East Orange, NJ, E. M. Beals of West Orange, NJ, a host of nieces and nephews, First Way of the cross and the C.O.O.J.C church family and friends.