WHERE MULTIPLE DREAMS FLOURISH
Brazil, the 5th largest country in the world has a diverse population of over 3 million people. Historically Brazil became populated by many cultures from various backgrounds and has the largest population of people of color in the western hemisphere. Primed for Pentecostalism Brazil experienced a powerful movement of the Holy Ghost that changed the lives of many former worshippers of voodoo, witchcraft, Orish and compromised Christianity.
FIRST TEN YEARS
The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) hit the ground running there in 1985 with the arrival of Pastor Samuel Moore. Elder Moore conducted a one-week revival preaching holiness and sanctification and by 1986 property was acquired and COGIC was officially established in Brazil. In July 1993 Youth on a Mission (YOAM) arrived and proved to be a potent catalysis in efforts to secure more property implementing plans to build further. That same year Evangelist Lee Van Zant arrived and organized the women’s work in Brazil. By 1995 there were nine churches affiliated with COGIC representing 300 members. After experiencing nearly 100% growth over a period of ten years Pastor Moore was elevated to the office of Bishop and Mother Van Zant to that of Supervisor of Women.
Bishop Terence P. Rhone
Brazil had 29 Churches by 2000. Dr. Terence P. Rhone a board-certified Physician in the disciplines of internal and pulmonary medicine at the request of Bishop Samuel Moore came to Brazil in 2000 to conduct the first Youth Congress for the Jurisdiction. At the time Dr. Rhone was the President of the Southern California First Jurisdiction, Youth Department (1996-2009). In 2004 Dr. Rhone was appointed by Bishop Moore to Auxiliary in Ministry (AIM) Chairman of COGIC Brazil. In 2012 after the demise of Bishop Moore on this earthly plane Chairman Rhone was elevated to the Office of Bishop. Under the direction of Bishop Rhone rapid grow ensued. Currently, COGIC Brazil consists of 80 churches in 12 ecclesiastical districts in three regions within the largest country in South America.
MEDICINE FOR THE SAINTS
From the Bishop’s heart extend tangible results. Dr. Rhone gives his time conducting a Medical Outreach using a medical mobile clinic on wheels to minister health. The clinic has served all of the major areas of Brazil including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and now Bahia. Each year during the Jurisdictional AIM Convention Bishop Rhone leads a US delegation into the inner city to administer medical clinics. He uses his medical expertise to minister to the saints and uses this vehicle as an evangelistic outpost bringing souls into the kingdom. This model of evangelism has since become Bishop Rhone’s standard mode of operation in his travels to different parts of the world. Within the scope of this ministry Supervisor Patricia Lewis, and the Women’s Department distributes eyes glasses to at least 300 people annually.
Dr. Patricia Lewis
Dr. Patricia Lewis currently serves as the Supervisor over the women’s work in the Churches of God in Christ, Brazil Jurisdiction. Since May 2013 she has served under Bishop Terrance Rhone. To maintain the firm foundation laid by Evangelist Lee Van Zant of a holy lifestyle and fearless dedication to the people of God, Dr. Lewis was handed the baton and never looked back. No stranger to danger, Dr. Lewis served as former Supervisor of Women of COGIC Pakistan (2007 – 2013). In a country that is 97% Muslim where strict blasphemy laws against “the Prophet Muhammad” carries a penalty of death by hanging. She said, “God gave me the green light” when waiting to go to Pakistan in 2007. By the hand of God, she evaded kidnappers in Pakistan and accomplished the arduous task of establishing the Department of Evangelism there. In January 2013 Lewis resigned her Pakistan post only later to receive the mantle to continue the women’s work in Brazil organized by Mother Van Zant.
According to Mother Lewis, COGIC Brazil Jurisdiction has the DNA of COGIC and thoroughly reflects the style practice and beliefs of COGIC. However, added to this distinction is the language of people who speak Portuguese and according to Lewis “has the best singing people on this side of Heaven” She serves The International Depart of Evangelism as Assistant Elect Lady and an Itinerate Evangelist and gospel recording artist.
“The mission’s dept is the undeniable evidence that COGIC has made a transformation from a mission field into a jurisdiction that sends missionaries to other countries,” said Bishop Rhone. Two Auxiliary Bishops assist Bishop Rhone in the day to day operations on the ground in Brazil.
In 2016, 120 pastors in Mozambique was organized into a region under COGIC Brazil. Moses Gali is the current Regional Superintendent of Mozambique under Bishop Rhone.
Holiness teaching consistent with COGIC doctrine is now entrenched in the hearts and the minds of the saints in Brazil which has become a launching pad for the Portuguese speaking nations of the world. Portuguese is also the official language of Mozambique.
“Annually, a team sponsored by the Missions Department of the Brazil Jurisdiction leads a delegation of US and Brazilians to Mozambique in Southeast Africa. This team conducts medical clinics and ministry training to over 100 pastors and churches. They are also providing Bibles to many who have never before owned one. Their lives are being impacted by this great ministry are helping to expand the Church of God in Christ in Southeast Africa” according to cogicbrazil.org. Announcing: “Go with us to Mozambique. Help us spread the Gospel in this nation that is hungry for a move from God!”
“The jurisdiction of Brazil currently sponsors 2 rehabilitation centers, the El Shaddai Rehabilitation Center located in Brasília the capital city of Brazil and the New Jerusalem Rehabilitation Center located in the city of Salvador. Both of these facilities are owned and operated by members of the Church of God in Christ. They provide intensive treatment for individuals addicted to drugs and alcohol. The third site for women is currently in development,” said Bishop Rhone.
The C. H. Mason Bible Institute serves to provide biblical, theological and practical training for all laypersons and credential holders within the jurisdiction, regions, districts and local congregations of the Church of God in Christ in Brazil. The academic material provided has been designed to serve persons pursuing licensure, ordination and professional development. The C. H. Mason Bible Institute has been established in the three regions of Brazil to serve the breadth and length of the Jurisdiction.
The CH Mason Bible Institute serves as a Bible Training Institute and has graduated two classes since 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Nevertheless, the much-needed substance to supply this ministry in order to reach the people with the gospel will be accepted.
More information and to minister help contact:
COGIC BRAZIL JURISDICTION
Mt Sinai COGIC
936 West 9th
Pomona CA 91766
909 868 0224
Originally published in The Whole Truth Magazine, March/April 2019.