- About Us
On March 17, 1938, in the small town of Frierson, LA, Cuffy Giles and Uneeda Wiggins welcomed a baby boy into the world, they named him Elbert. Little did they know that his gifted life would have international impact. Elbert was raised by his grandmother, Mary Emma Wiggins on a forty eight acre farm. It was there where he became fascinated by Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley’s ability to perform with the guitar. He discovered that he could sell garden seeds and secure a guitar as his prize, and he began to teach himself to play. Soon, he was performing on talent shows for his peers at Second Ward H.S. In his senior year, he relocated to live with his mother in Shreveport, and graduated from Booker T. Washington H. S. in 1958.
Elbert Giles accepted Christ as his savior at an early age at the Bethel B. C., and was baptized. He later joined the Lakeside B.C., where he served as choir president, guitarist, deacon, and was licensed and ordained in ministry by the late Rev. Amos Terrell. Having received his mandate from God, he answered the ministerial call in 1989, and was licensed by the late Dr. Amos Terrell at the Lakeside M.B.C. He was awarded the bachelor of theology degree in 1996 from United Theological Seminary and Bible College in Monroe, LA., and the Doctor of Ministry degree in 2002 from Inter-Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Giles faithfully fulfilled his calling as the Senior Pastor of the Salem Missionary Baptist Church since 1993. He had a tremendous passion for God’s word coupled with a deep love for God’s people. Under his leadership, the church family relocated to a new edifice in 2008.
In 2007, he became a proud member of the Praise Temple FGBC, under the leadership of Bishop Lawrence Brandon, where he experienced love and support of his ministry.
In addition to his pastoral career, he also served as the Program and Music Director at Radio Station KOKA, where he had been employed for the ‘same station and same call letters’ for forty-five years. This tenure earned him the distinctive record of being in a field by himself, for he held the longest consistent tenure in this country, according to the Gospel Music Workshop of America Gospel Announcers Guild, and the Stellar college. Under his guidance, KOKA was awarded ‘Station of the Year for listenership of 500,000 or less, by the Stellar Awards for 2012. He was fondly referred to as the ‘Radio Pastor’, and had hosted the highest rated gospel radio show, according to Arbitron, for twenty five years consecutively in the local and surrounding market. He retired from Alpha Media on August 1, 2018, ending a fruitful career in broadcasting. He was also a vested agent of John Hancock Insurance Agency.
Dr. Giles held international acclaim for his music recorded in the secular market during the sixties. His compositions are chronicled in the Smithsonian Institute, and have been performed at music festivals in the UK and re-recorded by international bands in Japan and Australia. For over two decades, symposiums were held entitled ‘Southern Soul according to Giles’. His recording ‘Losing Boy’ ranked number one on Billboard. His music is vintage, and still available on music markets throughout the world.
Dr. Giles is the founder of the National Angels of the Air Ways Connection, and former Assistant Board Chairman of the National Singing Quartet Convention of America. He was the first African American to serve as a board member of Local 116 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Municipal Auditorium, and numerous others. He previously held membership in the GMWA Gospel Announcers Guild for twenty years, and National Singing Quartet of America, where he served as assistance board chairman.
Dr. Giles was a founding member of the Pastors on Patrol Chaplains of the Shreveport Police Department.
In 1999, Dr. Giles founded the Northwest Louisiana women of the Gospel. He created a ministry where he could teach the women protocol, and how to perfect Gods calling on their lives.
On February 14, 1982, he took the hand of the love of his life to become his wife, nee Brenda McDuffey. They blended their seven children in their union of oneness, and seventeen months later, welcomed a son, Breonne, who made eight. Thirty seven years of unity, love and joy followed, loving their family, serving God and man, leading souls to the Lord. Together they started a non-profit in 2010, The Shepherd’s Farm CDLC, to provide quality programs to inner city youth, and help offset destructive behavior by offering healthier alternatives. Dr. Giles was a lover of children and a giver at heart.
Tuesday, February 5, 2019, God called his servant from labor to reward. Those who are left to cherish his beautiful memory are: His wife, Evangelist Brenda M. Giles; three daughters, LaShanda Wells, JoAunne Walker, SeDonna Mays; five sons, Zachary Carter (LeTricia), Garland, Tx; Elbert Davis (Pondersheneva); Eric Wesley, Dallas, TX; Jason Walker (Keirra); Breonne Giles. Twenty-seven grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren; five sisters, Florence Bates, Dallas, Tx; Lillie Giles, Frierson, LA, Bonnie Giles, Frierson, LA, Virgie G. Benz, Fiddletown, Ca., Patricia Jones; four brothers, Cuffy Giles, Jr.(Frankie), Dallas, TX; Rev. Willie Wiggins (Shirley), Waco, TX; David Robinson (Shirley); Elijah Robinson; special cousins Willie Giles, Doris Gilyard, Dallas, TX, and Clara Johnson, nieces, nephews, great and great, great, Salem Missionary B.C. Family, Praise Temple FGBC, the community at large.
There's still time to send flowers to the Funeral Service at the Praise Temple Full Gospel Baptist Cathedral at 1:00 PM on February 16, 2019.
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