Our Pastor & First Lady


A car ran over me when I was five years old and I survived…
Back in the early 50’s, cars were built differently.  They were made of steel and adorned with chrome. Dad was late for work that day and in a rush.  I ran out of the house and slide under his car. He never saw me. He ran over my leg, stomach, arm breaking all of my bones!  He was dragging me but managed to stop just before running over my head. They pulled me out and I had big stripe marks all over me.  My dad was out of it but my mother prayed. Within an hour, I was up playing in the backyard. I never even went to the hospital.
At eight years of age I had an encounter with God that changed my life…
Our house was a long rambler.  I was the only one in the house when I saw a ball of light 2-3 feet in diameter appear out of nowhere.  I was scared. I started walking to my room. Amazingly, the light followed me. I stopped. It stopped. An audible voice spoke to me from the light.  It was calling me to be a servant and minister of Jesus Christ!
My first call to serve was as the church janitor…
My first service in ministry was to hold the position as the church janitor at Evangel which was then called Evangel Temple.  I held this position for five years. I worked diligently and served faithfully in this position until the Lord called me to serve as a common laborer for three years in the field of construction.  During this time, I developed construction-related technical skills and learned various phases of building while helping to construct Evangel Temple’s edifice at 610 Rhode Island Avenue NE, Washington, DC.  During this eight-year period, I experienced not only God’s hand upon my life, but also God’s breaking as I received a revelation of submission, spiritual authority, and God’s mantle that rested upon my father and mentor in the faith, Bishop John L. Meares.
Today, Bishop Don Meares, known for his great character, integrity and wisdom, is an international speaker, apostle, prophet, teacher, author and successful entrepreneur.  His life-changing messages have encouraged and inspired thousands to pursue their purpose and destiny in God. He began working in the ministry at Evangel in 1968. He was ordained as the Senior Pastor in 1989 and later as Bishop in 1997.
Bishop Don is a purpose-driven man.  If there is anyone that has an understanding of the call of God and possesses a drive to fulfill that call, it is Bishop Don D. Meares.  He puts a tremendous value on hearing the voice of God and executing what he has heard. The Evangel Cathedral church family has learned to place a tremendous value on the gifts and callings that God places in each of us by observing Bishop Don operate in his unique calling.  As an Apostle and Prophet, Bishop Don has taught us that there are two types of works – Good Works (Ephesians 2:10) and Dead Works (Hebrews 6). We as individuals are operating in one of these two types of works. The essence of life is to find the purpose for which God has placed you here on planet earth and to fulfill it.  Most people never understand the extreme importance of knowing what their purpose is. It is a blessing to the Body of Christ that Bishop Don is a man who clearly has found his purpose and is consumed with a call to help others do the same.
Known as a pastor’s pastor, Bishop Don has been a spiritual father and covering to hundreds of pastors throughout the United States and aboard.  He is highly regarded for his visionary insight into pastoral ministry and is sought after for his grasp of church government and structure. He has traveled extensively for more than 45 years ministering throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, South America, South Korea, the Middle East and the Caribbean Islands.  As the founder of Don Meares Ministries, he is the author of several publications and numerous audio and video teaching series. His spiritual insight of corporate destiny in the local church, tithing, living a life without lack, and corporate worship has been hailed as power-packed and life-changing.
Bishop Don has laid out for Evangel Cathedral the progressive vision of God, and an understanding that revelation in the scriptures is progressive, hence, so is the vision.  We go from faith to faith and from glory to glory. Each degree of purpose opens doors to other degrees of purpose and progressive stages that God takes us through to get to the place to which he has called us.  It has been Bishop Don’s responsibility as the Shepherd of this House to heed that call and administer the practical applications of the vision to fulfill God’s purpose.
Bishop Don founded the International Congress of Local Churches (ICLC) and served as its president for 18 years.  At its inception, this first of its kind conference, was attended by over 800 senior pastors. The heart of the conference being its 100 or more workshops taught by pastors in their area of strength, not the size of their church! This pioneering concept ministered to the specific needs that pastors had within their local church.  The objective of the ICLC was in the heart of Bishop Don to have a conference for pastors by pastors, to build platforms for new and fresh voices in the Body of Christ as well as established ones. In the history of conferences, what Bishop did was quite unique from any conference ever held. It was attended not only by black church leaders, but by white and Hispanic church leaders as well.   Bishop Don is never about status quo. He always exhorts the Evangel Cathedral church family to continue to strive toward the next level in its pursuit of excellence. Therefore, our mission at Evangel Cathedral is to pioneer, mentor and model in a spirit of excellence. We can never become complacent with where we are. We must always continue to climb, achieve and pursue the next level of glory in our individual and corporate destinies.  It all boils down to fulfilling the mandate that God has given us. One mandate which has been given to us through Bishop Don is to pioneer. Evangel Cathedral has been called to blaze a trail, to take the church into areas that it has never gone before, to do and try things that have never been done, to understand the times, and to minister to the needs of people in unique ways.
To some people, Don Meares is Bishop, to others he is apostle and prophet, to others a father and mentor.  He is a dynamic preacher, a great businessman, a skilled and dedicated leader and entrepreneur. But, it is the grace of God that is the enabler that affords Bishop Meares the elasticity to reach beyond limitations into the rich resources of accomplished horizons.  -+Bishop Meares is a true servant of God.
Bishop Don and his wife, First Lady Marion, have three adult sons, Bryan, Justin and Erik, who are active in ministry.


First Lady Marion asks God to let her life count…
Many years ago, I asked God to let my life count.  I opened my Bible to Psalms 32:8, which reads, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye.” From that time on, I had perfect peace in the knowledge that God would use me to heal the broken lives of the people around me.  He has been faithful to His Word.
First Lady crossed the bridge from Virginia into DC…
It wasn’t long after that experience that someone I met invited me repeatedly to visit an African American Church in Washington, DC.  Born and raised in Virginia, this was a new experience for me. I finally gave in and crossed the bridge from Virginia to Washington, DC.  I attended services at what was then called the National Evangelistic Center on Georgia Avenue with John L. Meares. That night changed my life forever.  Something touched me deeply as Pastor John Meares spoke. God used that word to do a deep work in my heart. I knew from that moment that Evangel was where I belonged.  I transferred my membership to Evangel which was then located on Georgia Avenue.
Drove through riot torn areas of DC…
Even though Evangel was an African American church with a white pastor, which was a social taboo, I still felt at peace being there from the very beginning.  I knew this was where God would have me to be. Shortly after I joined Evangel, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. Riots ensued in D.C. Racial tension was high.  Even amidst the racial turmoil, I still faithfully drove through the inner city to Evangel three times a week to attend services.
God was faithful.  In the midst of it all, I prospered.  I was in God’s will. God had a plan for my life.  In 1973, I became the wife of Donald Meares, the future Bishop, and I the future First Lady of Evangel Cathedral.
First Lady Meares has served tirelessly in ministry at Evangel Cathedral, alongside her husband, Bishop Don Meares.  Her commitment and unwavering dedication to serve the Body of Christ has touched the lives and hearts of so many people.
First Lady Marion is an elder at Evangel Cathedral. Her commitment to helping others and empowering women is evident through her lifestyle of service.  She established the Evangel Cathedral Women’s Ministry, hosting conferences, seminars, Bible studies and programs fashioned with the purpose to inspire, uplift and encourage women.  Her love for children inspired her to begin an AWANA Club at Evangel Cathedral. AWANA Clubs are designed to reach kids, equip leaders and change the world for God. She is the overseer for the Children’s Education Ministry, raising up leaders and training hundreds of children in how to grow and develop in the Lord.  She also created the Evangel Café Connect, where members can gather after Sunday services to have coffee and fellowship. She has founded 13 Evangel Cathedral Home Groups; conducted a Healing School; a School of Prayer, and a School of Faith.
First Lady Marion has traveled the world with her husband, Bishop Don Meares.  She has taken the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to South Africa’s Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban; Rome, Italy and Argentina.  Her outstanding achievements have blessed our members, community and friends around the world.