Henry Wyatt Hearns was born to Earnest and Birdie Hearns on April 23, 1933, in Byhalia, Mississippi. The first of five siblings, Bishop Hearns was and is a born leader.
The Lord had his hands on him, from a miraculous birth that almost cost his mother’s life as well as his own, to the baseball field at New Halleburton Baptist Church....A deacon heard The Lord’s voice, took young, 12 year-old Henry into the “church house” from off the field and prayed for him to receive Jesus... “The Lord’s got somethin’ for you to do, son...you gon’ do great things.” He began serving as the Superintendent for Sunday school at the age of 13. His God-given leadership was seen by those around him...in the United States Army, his college years at Tennessee A and I State University until he graduated in 1959, and at Greater Community Baptist Church, in Pacoima, California, where he was formally ordained for the Gospel Ministry in 1964. On April 18, 1965, the 31 year-old civil engineer, his wife Essie, and their five children at the time...the last child was born in 1969, pulled up their stakes and relocated to Sun Village, California.
He became the Senior Pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church. Upon his arrival, he became active in the community; he initiated the first commemoration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, which has since grown to an annual celebration throughout the Antelope Valley, he was instrumental in getting street lights and paved roads in the Sun Village area, which was the only town where African-Americans were permitted to buy property at that time.
From 1965 until 2016, Bishop Hearns was and is God’s instrument to bless First Missionary, now Living Stone Cathedral of Worship, and the surrounding communities. Under his leadership, three church edifices were built, which he designed and was heavily involved in the building of each, a charter school was built, which was a beacon of light for many disadvantaged children and youth; many who later went on to attend four year universities, when they were deemed “lost causes” by the public school system. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given as scholarships for high school youths in First Missionary/Living Stone, for over 20 years because of his support. There have been a significant number of Living Stone youth who pursued education and careers in engineering because of his strong influence. Hearns retired in 1989 as the Chief of Environmental Engineering after thirty-two years of service at Edwards Air Force Base.
Hearns was the first African-American to be elected on the Lancaster City Council. After serving eighteen years on the council, with two stints as Mayor, he still serves as Mayor-Emeritus for the city. While serving as Mayor, Bishop Hearns initiated the first Lancaster Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. It continues to grow after twenty-five years!!
Bishop Henry Hearns retired as Senior Pastor in June of 2016, but he has done anything but “step down”...he has stepped up to the next level of glory in his life. Bishop is on numerous executive boards for community and national agencies, such as United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Fatherhood and Families Coalition and the National Alliance of Faith and Justice; the latter sponsors a tutoring program at a local middle school supervised by Living Stone members. He released his first published work, an autobiography entitled, “How Odds Even Through Grace.” Consumers on Amazon, as well as those who purchased at book signings have stated that the book has been a tremendous blessing.
Bishop Hearns continues to preach the Gospel whenever and wherever he is invited. He has also embraced the role as Mentor to younger Pastors and civic leaders. Bishop receives invitations to minister near and far and even outside of the church walls...which include other religious places of faith, but Bishop Hearns emphatically and passionately professes the name of Jesus wherever he goes. He eagerly awaits the next assignment... “I’m just The Lord’s equipment...He can use me anyway He wants and I love it!!”