Our Senior Pastor Ricardo D. Welch, is a native Floridian and currently resides in the Tampa Bay area with his wife of 26 years, Darlene Butler-Welch. They are blessed with four wonderful children – son, James ”Anthony” Corbett (Nadia) and three daughters - the late La'Mour Welch, India Welch and Tehira Welch.  In addition, they have five grandchildren - Amanda Corbett, Janiyah Spratley, Jemil Spratley, Jaiel Spratley, and Gabrielle Corbett. Pastor Ricardo Welch is the son of the late Superintendent (Elder) Clarence Welch and Marilyn Welch. He is also the brother of Sharon Welch. Pastor Ricardo Welch graduated from Lakewood High School where he excelled in sports and academics holding records in track and field that are still unbroken today. He attended St. Petersburg College and obtained his Certification in Architectural Drafting and Carpentry from PTEC. He was employed by Progress Energy for over 23 years as a linesman and electrical engineer. He is currently employed by the Pinellas County School Board.  Pastor Welch is an anointed musician and began playing the piano at an early age. The Spirit of God revealed to the late Elder Emanuel Kirksey that Pastor Welch would be the next church musician.

As a result of this revelation, prophecy was manifested two years later at the age of nine. Pastor Welch is well known throughout the state of Florida and beyond for his anointed musicianship. In addition, he served as the Minister of Music at Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ for 43 years, and Youth Minister since 2005. Currently, he is a musician for the Bartow District Choirs and has accompanied countless artists from around the country. His affiliations within the local and global community are inclusive but not limited to; Vice President of  Bam Bam Recording Studios & Productions, Seven-by-Seven, Joyce Carelock Global Healing Ministry Inc., Annual MLK Inaugural Festival, and Pinellas County Electrical Board. 

Pastor Welch's unselfish passion to mentor young musicians to use their gifting to praise and worship God. In addition, he has assisted many congregations in the music ministry inclusive but not limited to, Mt. Tabor Missionary Baptist Church (Tampa, Florida), Bethel Community (St. Petersburg, Florida) and Bethel Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church (St. Petersburg, Florida).  Pastor Ricardo Welch, affectionately known as “Brother Ricky” realized there was a higher calling on his life beyond the music ministry. He was ordained as an Elder in the Eastern Florida Jurisdiction of the Churches of God in Christ October 23, 2004.  After the passing of Superintendent (Elder) Clarence Welch, he continues the legacy of his father. On May 28, 2013, Prayer Tower Family chose Elder Ricardo Welch as the next pastor. His favorite scripture is II Chronicles 7:14 which says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Today we celebrate the legacy of Superintendent (Elder) Clarence Welch who has gone before him, with a new beginning and legacy that his son will create in years to come;

as the new Sr. Pastor of Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ.


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