Bishop Omega serves as the spiritual leader of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, which has approximately 50+ locations throughout the continental United States.
Bishop Omega was born Kenneth N. Thomas on January 26, 1959. Early in his life, it became clear that Kenneth was no ordinary child. His academic aptitude was extraordinary and was noticeable. As a result, he graduated early from high school and began college at the tender age of 16.
Young Kenneth legally became Kenneth Shelton when Bishop S. McDowell Shelton (the Pastor from 1961-1991) adopted him into his family. (Having had no biological children of his own, Bishop Shelton legally adopted individuals from upstanding Apostolic families, training and grooming many for the priesthood.) Bishop Shelton saw Ken’s special gifts and knew that he could be a blessing to the Church. Kenneth Shelton would be the youngest son of Bishop Shelton’s adopted children.
In April 1976, Kenneth Shelton was ordained an Elder at age 17 and given the spiritual name “Elder Omega Yediduth Limmud (which means “beloved disciple” in Hebrew) Shelton”. “Elder Omega” was the name that stuck, mostly because it was the easiest to pronounce.
Elder Omega continued to be a standout in the church community, holding important administrative roles including Elder for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Elder of Oversight for the National Young People’s Department. He was beloved by the church membership at large.
Academically, Kenneth Shelton continued to excel. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1982 from the American College of Switzerland at Leysin. Two years later, he received his Master of Arts degree in the areas of Human Behavior and Political Science. In 1985, he earned an Alliance Français degree from Ecole Schulz in Switzerland, certifying him as an accomplished linguist. In addition to English, he is proficient in French and has a working knowledge of Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese. In 1995, Bishop Omega returned to his alma mater, the American College of Switzerland, where he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for his outstanding accomplishments. He was the Keynote Speaker at that year's graduation ceremonies.
After the death of Bishop S. McDowell Shelton in October 1991, Elder Omega became the spokesman for the Church. He led the Church through one of the most pivotal points in its ninety (90) year history. Showing the strength and leadership the congregation needed, Elder Omega encouraged and comforted the membership, galvanizing the flock and maintaining the church's integrity. Subsequently, on May 24, 1992, Elder Omega became the third Bishop and General Overseer of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith.
As the spiritual leader of the Church, Bishop Omega began to preach the truth of Jesus Christ by expounding on important issues that include, but are not limited to: Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance, and the importance of mankind’s submission to God’s Divine Will.
Bishop Omega commenced to spread the Gospel internationally. “Jesus Christ came that we might be saved--not to condemn” along with “Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us (Luke 9:50)” served as his travel theme. From atop Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, to the Church congregation throughout the continental United States, Bishop Omega has spoken live, proclaiming the Word to all that would hear.
As Ambassador for Jesus Christ, Bishop Omega has met with Kings, Presidents, and Heads of State. While they were still in office, he met with, and presented the International Apostolic Humanitarian Award to King Hussein I, of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Dr. Nelson Mandela, President of the ANC (African National Congress). He has met with Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel, and he privately met with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome. Bishop Omega believes that if he can start with the Kings, Presidents, and Heads of State, then perhaps his message will trickle down. They might say to some of the people they meet, “If you are going to Philadelphia, there’s a Church there where you will find some friendly, civilized people who understand Christ.”
In November 2001, the Honorable Ruth Ann Minner, the Governor of Delaware, presented Bishop Omega with a tribute for nurturing the spiritual health of the people of her state. His Eminence has received commendations from the mayors of New York City, New York; Elizabeth City, North Carolina; and Cape Charles, Virginia.
On Bishop Omega’s 10th Pastoral Anniversary, the President of the United States George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush recognized him in a ceremony held at the local edifice in Washington, DC. In addition to citations for service from President Bush and the Mayor of the District of Columbia, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard presented Bishop Omega with a U.S. flag that had been flown atop the U.S. Capitol in honor of his Pastoral Anniversary in 2002.
Bishop Omega is an accomplished musician and composer as well. He has a dynamic and diverse music ministry that resonates with all ages and fits all genres. He believes that if his music can catch people’s ear, strike their interest, and lead them to hear and understand the Word, thank the Lord! Whatever the style, the Word of God sanctifies the music--not the music the Word.
His music has been receiving national acclaim since the release of his first nationally distributed CD, “If It’s Right…God Has Made It Right,” in September 2001. He and Glorious Hope--the musical chorus that accompanies him in songs of praise and worship--joined Grammy Award winning Christian music artist Fred Hammond for an outdoor gospel summer concert in September 2005 on the church’s 120 acre estate in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Bishop Omega continues to travel throughout the continental United States and abroad, preaching God’s Word as it is written in the Holy Bible. He stresses that, “The work of salvation was done by Jesus Christ alone. One must believe in Him first. Jesus is the Son of God; Jesus is right now sitting in heaven on the right hand of God, and Jesus is serving as a mediator between God and men.”
Bishop Omega’s passion for God’s Word can be seen every time he delivers his sermons and messages.
Bishop Omega Shelton is married to Donna Marie Shelton. Together, they are the proud parents of a son and two daughters.