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G. A. Mangun
Born Gerald Archie Mangun
March 11, 1919(1919-03-11)
La Paz, Indiana, U.S.
Died June 17, 2010 (aged 91)
Alexandria, Louisiana, U.S.
Cause of death Stroke
Resting place Forest Lawn; Pineville, Louisiana
Education Doctorate, Apostolic Bible Institute
Alma mater Apostolic Bible Institute; St. Paul, Minnesota
Occupation Minister, Pastor
Years active 1942 - 2010
Religion Pentecostal
Spouse Vesta Layne Gibson
Children Anthony (b. 1950)
Parents Walter Mangun (father)
Bertha Birk (mother)

Gerald Archie Mangun (March 11, 1919 – June 17, 2010) better known as G. A. Mangun. He is remembered for building one of the largest churches in the United Pentecostal Church International organization, in the city of Alexandria, Louisiana.[1]


Early life

Mangun was born in La Paz, Indiana to Walter Mangun and Bertha Birk Mangun. He was one of seven children; Woodrow Riddle, Mildred (Mangun) Shock, Gladys (Mangun) Starkweather, Grace (Mangun) Coleman, Dr. Ruth (Mangun) Holland, and Martha (Mangun) Spencer. After graduating from Lincoln High School in Plymouth, Indiana, in 1938, G. A. Mangun attended Apostolic Bible Institute in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was ordained as a minister in 1942.[2]

Early Ministry

After leaving bible college, Mangun traveled south, where he held a Christian revival in Lou-Ann, Arkansas. Occasions to minister began to open in Indiana and Ohio, then in Louisiana and Texas. He preached at many revivals in small towns in Louisiana such as Starks, Clarks, Eros, and Hodge. He next traveled to Diboll, Texas. There he met Vesta Layne Gibson, a preacher's daughter, whom he married on September 10, 1943.[3]

Together, they traveled from state to state for seven years, in places such as St. Louis, Missouri; West Monroe, Provençal, and Camp Eight, Louisiana; Zavalla and Lufkin, Texas; Dequincy, Louisiana, and back to his home state of Indiana in Gary, Plymouth, and Mishawaka; and on to Sunberry, Pennsylvania, where he received a call from Rev. Pardue to hold a revival in his church located in Alexandria, Louisiana.[3]

The Manguns' only child, Anthony, was born in January 1950.

Establishing the Legacy

By June 1950, Mangun was elected Pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church in Alexandria, Louisiana (now known as The Pentecostals of Alexandria). At that time the small church was located at 16th and Day Streets, and was home to a congregation of only 38 adult members.[4] Today, the church campus is situated on Rapides Avenue, and includes a Family Life Center, the G. A. Mangun Center – an auditorium and education building, and the main sanctuary which seats approximately 2,500 people.

From 1951 to 2007 Mangun served as the Presbyter over the United Pentecostal Churches in the Louisiana District's Section 7, comprising approximately 35 churches in the Central Louisiana area. He also served as a member of the District Board of the Louisiana District United Pentecostal Church. He was the longest tenured District Board member in any District in United Pentecostal Church history. Following his retirement he was named as an Honorary Member of that Board.[5] It was about this time that the title of Bishop was bestowed upon him, in recognition of his son Anthony taking over as Senior Pastor of the Alexandria congregation.

He served the United Pentecostal Church International as a member of its Foreign Missions Board beginning in 1982. He also served a single term as an Executive Presbyter of the UPCI General Board during 1986-87.[5]

In September 2004, he was inducted into the United Pentecostal Church International's "Order of the Faith," – a prestigious award honoring him "for outstanding achievement and exemplary service."[5]

During Mangun's almost 60 year tenure as pastor of The Pentecostals of Alexandria, his congregation became most known for its music and the Easter production, Messiah.[6] President Bill Clinton and Hillary attended once while he was governor of Arkansas, and he made a return visit during his presidency.[7] Peter Jennings attended the production while researching the ABC special Peter Jennings Reporting: The Search for Jesus".[8]

Community Service

Over the course of his lifetime in Alexandria, he served as Chaplain for the Louisiana State Police (Troop E), the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Department, and the Civil Air Patrol. He was a member of the Rapides Parish Airport Authority and the Alexandria Port Authority. He also served as a member of the St. Francis Cabrini Hospital’s Advisory Board.[5] He officiated at the first burial in Alexandria Memorial Gardens.

Commemorating Bishop Mangun’s 70th birthday, then City of Alexandria Mayor, Ned Randolph declared March 11, 1989 "G. A. Mangun Day." In 2002, the Louisiana National Guard presented Mangun with a Civilian Service Medal for his service to his community and nation.[5]

Louisiana Senator David Vitter entered into the official Congressional Record of the United States of America a rememberance of G. A Mangun on June 23, 2010 for recognition of his service to his community.[9]

[[File:|center|Bishop G. A. Mangun]]


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