Bishop Roger H. Phillips, Ph.D., who is the Senior Pastor of Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Daytona Beach, Florida, had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican during his visit to Rome, Italy on Wednesday September 25, 2019.
During the audience, the Holy Father asked Bishop Phillips to pray for him which he did. Bishop Phillips also serves as the Primus Episcopus of The New Covenant Apostolic Order based out of Daytona Beach Shores, Florida. The Organization is a Holy Synod/- College of Bishops dedicated to developing legitimacy and grant Historic Apostolic Succession credentia within the African-American Pentecostal Episcopacy and more importantly, organize and host a series of educational Colloquiums designed to assemble Pentecostal Episcopates and provide Magisterium Praxis amongst “our brethren” in sacred relationships of “new order” among the upper prelature house leadership. In meeting with Vatican officials, Bishop Phillips, desired to acquire more indepth knowledge from the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City, for his book on first hand study of primary source references from; 3rd century, Hippolytus of Rome. Hippolytus was one of the most important 2nd-3rd century Christian theologians, describing the ministry of a Bishop, which is that of the “Spiritum primatus sacerdotii habere potestatem dimittere peccata”: The primate of sacrificial priesthood and the power to forgive sins.
New Covenant Apostolic Order, through their spokesman Vicar General Bishop Michael V Johnson said, “our organizational goals aren’t to compete with any episcopal college now in existence, yet our hopes are to build upon the Africian-American Pentecostal diaspora to labor together to develop Canon Laws on proper induction into the episcopacy, comportment and historic responsibilities of the sacred office of the Bishopric. We are extremely excited over the pilgrimage of our leader and welcome him home armed with a plethora of information in furtherance of our stated goals and purpose.” Bishop Johnson, a Princeton graduate with a doctorate in Philosphy and Theology maintains, “we only intend to contend for our own heritage within the Ancient Pilgrim Church Family as designated by The Apostolic Fathers in the 1st Century. We adhere to the strict belief that Bishops are the direct descendants of the Lord Jesus Christ, through His Apostles.
Bishop Phillips was in Rome also doing research on the second edition of his book, “Bringing The Word From Africa, Cradle of Civilization Birthplace of Christinity.” (McClure Publishing 2014 ISBN 13:978-0-9915335-03). He was granted Dual Apostolic Succession upon his consecration by The Right Reverend Bishop Larry D. Trotter, of Chicago, Illinois who at the time was the Presiding Bishop of New Century Fellowship of Churches and Ministries International, AD 2014; one of the original (12) co-founding Bishops of Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship and Presiding Bishop of United Pentecostal Churches in Christ. Bishop Trotter in 2000, led a delegation of more than 50 Black Pentecostal church leaders from around the nation in an unusual pilgrimage to the Vatican. Senior Bishop Trotter said at the time, “I think we can learn from each other,” Trotter said of Pentecostal-Catholic relations, “We come with a fervor and a fire they may be missing, but they come with an order and structure we may be missing.”