Bishop M. LaVerne Lattimore Ball is known as an anointed, spirit-filled woman of God who was called to the ministry in 1950 at the age of sixteen. She has been preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ for sixty-three years.
Coming from a family tradition of service to God and leadership in the community, Bishop Ball proudly follows in the footsteps of her distinguished father, the late Rev. Ovie E. Lattimore and her brother, the late Rev. Dr. Everett C. Lattimore. Bishop Ball began in ministry under her father, training and learning all areas of Pastoral ministry, and she continued alongside her brother as Assistant Pastor for over twenty-five years. She picked up the torch as Senior Pastor in March of 1991. Bishop Ball spent twenty years in evangelical and missionary work throughout the United States and Mexico.
Led by the Lord to continue her father’s vision and to fulfill her brother’s dream, Bishop Ball successfully shepherded the construction and completion of the new multi-million dollar, Rose of Sharon Community Church located in Plainfield, New Jersey. Truly a community church with a great spiritual and social conscience, Rose of Sharon’s lights burn brightly into the night seven days a week.
Bishop Ball was educated at Jersey City State Teachers College and Northeastern Bible Institute. She is very active in the community having served as a member of the Plainfield Strategic Planning Support Committee. Bishop Ball is a board member of the Plainfield Interfaith Neighborhood Council for Housing (PINCH) and founding member of Youth Entertainment Academy (YEA). Through the national recognition of YEA, Bishop Ball was honored to host President George W. Bush, Acting Governor Donald DiFrancesco, Secretary of State Deforest B. Soaries and other government officials as they toured YEA in April 2001. She is the first woman President of the Concerned Urban Clergy of Plainfield & Vicinity and serviced for ten years. Under her leadership, clergy from all denominations and backgrounds have learned to fellowship together and to become a powerful resource to the city government and surrounding communities. She is currently a member of what is now called the Greater Central Jersey Clergy Association. The Church, under the pastoral leadership of Bishop Ball is the developer of Renaissance I and II, a housing development of 49 homes. Bishop Ball is a member of the Interfaith Council Outreach Program and Fish Hospitality Program. In 1999 she was presented with the William Augustus Muhlenberg Award from the Muhlenberg Foundations, Inc.
Rose of Sharon’s outreach ministry not only covers the homeless, less fortunate and community needs, but every Sunday chapel services are held at Richmond Towers, Plainfield Towers West and the Norwood Terrance Nursing Home and, Thursday chapel service at The Woodlands, Monday chapel services at Sarah Care Adult Day Care and services in Elizabeth, NJ.
Bishop Ball has commissioned, ordained and installed countless Pastors, Elders, Ministers, Deacons, Evangelists and leaders to go into the world and make disciples according to the great commission. Because of the grace of God, she has been elevated to the Holy Office of Bishop on June 1st, 2013 and now serves as Presiding Bishop and Prelate of Grace Ecclesiastical International Circle of Shepherds. A fellowship committed to providing covering, care and connection for today’s Pastors and tomorrows Ministers of the Gospel.
Bishop Ball was blessed with a spirit-filled helpmate, the late William H. Ball, Sr. of Hazlehurst, Mississippi for thirty-six years who served as Chairman of the Trustee Board for several years, and Sound Technician. He could always be found making sure the house of God was in order. Her greatest blessings have been her son, William H. Ball, Jr., his wife, Hazel Dickens-Ball, and their three children, her granddaughters, Mia Elizabeth, Gabrielle Elise LaVerne, Jacqueline Paris, and Alyssa Lattimore.
Charged by God to deliver His message of victory boldly and joyfully, Bishop Ball is a much requested revivalist, guest preacher, workshop leader, lecturer and counselor. Her greatest passion is the nurturing and training of young minds and souls. She never misses an opportunity to speak at youth oriented programs at churches, college campuses or schools.
Her favorite verse is II Corinthians 12:9 “And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”