Remembering Apostle Otis L. Carswell


Saturday, Feb. 18 attracted one of the largest post-pandemic crowds seen in any Pittsburgh-area church. Premier and accomplished music directors, Pastors Keith and Deborah Moncrief, Elder Nikki Porter and Maestro Howard “Buddy” Lakins, led the choir and congregation of nearly 1,000 people in a crescendo of worship and praise for Bishop/Apostle Otis L. Carswell.

Apostle Carswell and his wife, Messenger Annette Carswell, birthed Potter’s House Ministries in Mt. Oliver in 1992. Apostles Otis and Annette Carswell established the vision of Potter’s House Ministries: “To see God’s people healed, delivered, set free and to realize their God-given purpose.”

According to the Potter’s House Ministries website, Apostle Otis L. Carswell recognized and accepted the call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 1983. One year later, he received his ministerial license, and was ordained through the Church Of God In Christ in 1985.

MESSENGER ANNETTE CARSWELL, at the funeral for her husband, Bishop Otis L. Carswell, Feb. 18. (Photo by Jacquelyn McDonald)

Messenger Annette Carswell confirmed the passing of her husband via a video on social media, Sunday, Feb. 5. She said that earlier that morning, he had suffered a heart attack while at the church, 430 Cathedral Avenue. She said that before Apostle Otis L. Carswell suffered the heart attack, he said: “Isn’t it good to be in the house of the Lord.”

A number of people at the church began CPR procedures, and 911 was called.

“This was the day that the Lord ushered my husband into glory,” Messenger Annette Carswell said on video. “I’m not going to fight God on this. I’m not going to fight Him…I had 30 wonderful years of marriage, 30 wonderful years of ministry, from a man of God that loved me. You’re looking at a woman that was kept, I was loved, I was cared for…”

She added: “That’s a man who loved me, and he loved many of you all.”

Apostle Otis L. Carswell was 66.


Apostle Otis L. Carswell’s homegoing service was held, Feb. 18, at Pentecostal Temple Church Of God In Christ. All who participated in the service shared the Bishop’s “Tale of a Son, Servant and Steward” as stated on the digital program that was scanned by all. The Honorable Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey spoke and referred to Apostle Otis L. Carswell and his beloved wife as a “power couple” full of genuine community ministry compassion. The mayor stated: “He had a heart and ministry for our youth, every single day,” and demonstrated his commitment to help unify the city’s young people through his Fireborn Youth Ministry established and campused at Potter’s House Ministries.

Apostle Otis L. Carswell’s Kingdom sons and daughters of the local church, who referred to him as a “Kingdom Father and Dad,” offered a steady flow of heartfelt accolades and apostolic declarations to the listening audience. He was, many times, referred to as a “gentle giant.” The Bishop’s sister, Shirley Carswell, shared family history and appreciation.

Notable expressions to represent all clergy were given by Reverend James and Lady Joelle Burwell of Clark Memorial Baptist Church of Homestead and Apostles Donald and Char Fields represented the Global Kingdom Impact. They all concluded saying, “Our Apostle Bishop left his beloved and faithful members of Potter’s House Ministries and Potter’s House Fellowship Alliance, virtual and in person, with a 2023 theme, ‘Dominion: Embracing our Kingdom Promises!’”

Eulogist, Pastor William Curtis of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church of Pittsburgh, stated: “God gave us Apostle Otis Carswell…the strong image of a raised horn in our midst….a symbol of victory and a proclaimer of rescue from oppression…he had a pastoral anointing that was easy to discern.”

The homegoing service was facilitated by Minister Nathaniel Rouse and hosted by Pastor Barbara Mann.

The Potter’s House Ministries, known for their intense Sunday worship and prophetic expression, will continue into its new season in memory of their great leader. 









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