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Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of New York Inc.




Apostolic Patriarch His Eminence Norris V. Ashton


His Eminence Norris V. Ashton was born in the Eastern Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and migrated to Trinidad and Tobago at an early age.


He was baptized into the Spiritual Baptist Faith in 1956 by the late Leader Hervena Forbes, at the Isaiah Spiritual Baptist Church in Marabella, South Trinidad. He later joined the Shrine of St. Anthony Spiritual Baptist Church in Barataria, under the Leadership of Mother Millicent Joseph where he graduated through the spiritual ranks reaching that of a leader.


Leader Ashton migrated to the United States in 1968 and settled in Brooklyn, New York, but found no Spiritual Baptist Churches for practitioners of the Faith. In 1969, he visited and worshipped at the Sons and Daughters of Zion Pentecostal Church, on Putnam Avenue, in Brooklyn, and met other members of the Spiritual Baptist Faith worshipping there. He remained there in fellowship and was later ordained a Priest under the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Rites.


He can be credited as being the “Chief Architect,” in influencing a change in the Church’s Registration from a Pentecostal Church to a spiritual Baptist Church. Later that year, he became the first person to perform a Spiritual Baptist baptismal rite in the United States.


In the year of the Registration changes, Archbishop Ashton had the honor of baptizing over seventy five (75) persons who surrendered themselves to baptism under the Spiritual Baptist Rites. Later, he officially inducted them as members of the Spiritual Baptist Faith, thereby establishing the first Spiritual Baptist Church on the Continent of North America.


In 1982 he was consecrated a Bishop in a concelebrated ceremony by Archbishop Walter M. Propheta, then Presiding Patriarch, assisted by Archbishop Michael Babre Kristos and Archbishop John A. Christian, all of the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church of America.


He was one of the early pioneers in 1993, to solicit Unity of the Spiritual Baptist Faith in New York, but this first effort failed because of leadership dispute.


He was again one of the organizers in a second attempt of Unity, which later branch Churches throughout the United States and Canada, Ghana, Central America and the Caribbean, under its jurisdiction.


In 1987, he was consecrated and enthroned as an Archbishop on the Spiritual Baptist Faith in a concelebrated ceremony by P. James Balfo, Archbishop Hosford S. Brown and Archbishop Linda Bernett.


In 2005 he was enthroned as the Apostolic Patriarch of the Spiritual Baptist Archdiocese of New York, Inc. The ceremony was attended by over 500 persons including dignitaries local and foreign.


Apostolic Patriarch Ashton is the father of thousands of spiritual children. In 1976, he established the Mt. Moriah spiritual Church inc. located in Brooklyn, New York. This Church was the first Spiritual Baptist Church to have been chosen to broadcast daily morning devotion on WABC Television, among other Faiths.


Apostolic Patriarch Ashton is married to the Sovereign Queen Mother Marjorie Ashton and the father of three daughters.

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