My name is Bishop James Charles Tidwell and I was born in Prescott, Arkansas December 11, 1947 to Ollie Mae and Henry Tidwell. In search of a better opportunity my father relocated our family to Gary, Indiana in 1951 where he took a job at one of the local steel mills.
Gary, Indiana in the 1950’s and 60’s brought about an explosion of musical talents, especially amongst teens. Everywhere you turned, there was a talent show. Music had always been a part of my life and as early as age 4 I knew I had a talent for singing.
As a teenager, I formed a rock group called the Esquires, which later became the Del-Tones. In the tenth grade I reorganized and formed a new group called the El-Juans , which I sang with for nine years. While with the El-Juans, I had the opportunity of singing at talent shows and night clubs with the Jackson Five. My group enjoyed great success while in high school, even beating out the Jackson 5 in some competitions. When graduating from Roosevelt High School in 1968 I was determined to become a professional singer.
The early 1970’s seemed promising and brought about some minor successes. I did work with Denise Williams, known as Denise Chandler back then. In 1972 I had an opportunity to sing with Slim and the Supreme Angels. However; I missed the call to meet with the Supreme Angels while running an errand and another singer Leroy Burke from Houston, TX was picked up instead. Also in 1972, I wrote a song for Albertina Walker called One Wish, which should have come out on a Jewel label; however I never received any credits or royalties for composing it.
The early 70’s seem to have its highs and lows for me; yet nothing could prepare me for what took place in my life next. On March 16, 1973 my whole life changed! On that Friday night, God saved me and filled me with the precious gift of the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. After receiving the Holy Ghost I was baptized in Jesus name for the remission of my sins. Also in 1973 I met and married my wife, now of 38 years Charlotte Levy-Tidwell. Eight months later I began to preach the gospel, and four years later I founded the Temple of God Faith in Jesus Christ church where I still pastor today.
After taking a long break from music, marrying, starting a family and pastoring a church I decided in 1986 to continue my dream of singing professionally but this time as a gospel singer. I wanted my music to reflect my transformation and spiritual conversion. Having my passion for singing and writing fully restored I went to Atlanta, Georgia and cut a master tape of six of my original songs and a prayer. Just when I thought things would finally take off, I experienced more setbacks and took an even longer break from pursuing my dream. I didn’t have a distributor at the time and presently is in need of a good distributor, thus, once again my dream had to be put on hold. Despite not pursuing music as a profession, I continued to write songs as God inspired me.
Just when I thought my dream would only be “a dream” with no real fruit, I received a chance to do what I had desired to do for so long and that is to sing professional. In 2010, I decided to form a new group, with a sound that was different and could speak to people across ages and race. It would still be gospel music with the message of Jesus Christ but it would truly minister to the needs of the people.
To form this new group I inquired the help of my children and church members. On staff we have my daughter Sister Isley Tidwell (singer), my son-in-law Brother Leon Ford (singer), my sons Elder Jamuel (musician & singer) and Minister Jaamal Tidwell (singer), Evangelist Patricia Brown (singer), Deacon David Tubbs (singer), Bro. Daryl McNeil (lead guitar), Bro. Nehemiah Tidwell (percussion), Bro. Benjamin Johnson (keys) and Bro. LeBarron Burton (bass). After careful thought and prayer we came up with our group name Bishop J.C. Tidwell and Exousia (Exousia meaning authority in Greek).
With the help of the Lord, I along with Exusia hope to touch the four corners of the world with the message of the gospel through music. I thank God in advance for opening up doors and giving us that good distributor that we need to help us share our gifts with the world. I would also like to thank my wife for her love and support. I would like to thank my late mother -in -law Mother Willie Mae Sanders, Evangelist Brown and the Temple of God family for their encouragement down through the years.