CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST (COGIC)
COGIC History Clip
Narration, Informative & Interesting
By Reginald Boswell
7 Bishops of COGIC
A Historical Background from 1907-2016
C.H. MASON ERA
- COGIC Founder Charles Harrison Mason was born in 1864 on the Prior Farm near Memphis Tenn. to Jerry and Eliza Mason.
- At age 29 (1893) He accepted his call to the ministry and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, at the Azusa Revival in 1906 (age 42).
- Years earlier at age 33 while in Little Rock, AR, Mason believed that God had given him the name the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).
- Mason thought the name given was divinely revealed and biblically inspired, taken from I Thessalonians 2:14.
- Steadfast in business Mason believed God promised him, “If you take the name that I give you, they would never build a building that would hold all those who would come.”
- God used Mason to lay the groundwork for the Church of God in Christ as we know today.
- His life and testimony exemplify the words YES LORD and Yes Lord Yes to Your will and to your way.
- On Nov. 17, 1961, Presiding Bishop Charles H. Mason died at 95 years old and was entombed at Mason Temple in COGIC World Headquarters in Memphis, after seeing much of his dream of Holiness Covering the Earth realized.
O.T. JONES ERA
- Our founder’s role in the church proved to be peerless.
- After mourning the death of Mason for a year in Dec. 1961 Ozro Thurston Jones,
The last survivor of the first five bishops was elected Senior Bishop by the General Assembly.
- Much Church Reorganization took place during his tenure in February 1968. During a Court ordered convention; the General Assembly elected the first General Board and replaced the Office of Senior Bishop with the office of a Presiding Bishop with an elected term of 4 years (pause).
- There was noted civil unrest during his time in the 60’s
- During his tenure, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his last speech at Mason Temple.
- The COGIC O. T. Jones Institute named in his honor and had been the only major training ministry for the Holy Convocation for the past thirty-five years.
J.O. PATTERSON ERA
- In November 1968, James O. Patterson, Sr., was elected Presiding Bishop.
- He was the son-in-law of COGIC Founder CH Mason (married to Bishop Mason’s daughter, Deborah Mason Patterson). JO Patterson, Sr., was the uncle of the late Presiding Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson
- He was active in state and local political life as a State Representative, State Senator, Memphis City Councilman and briefly as interim Mayor of Memphis
- Under his leadership and guidance, the creation of a well defined and organized ecclesiastical organism was institutionalized; establishing worship protocols, policy, practice, and procedure with a new constitution and official manual completed in 1973.
- COGIC became one of the fastest growing and largest religious groups in the US. His initiatives allowed Church Growth to exceed 4 million in the 50 states and 47 foreign countries and 10,000 churches. He was elected four times uncontested during his 21 years until his death in 1989; our current Presiding Bishop Charles E Blake officiated his funeral.
L.H. FORD ERA
- #4 COGIC Leader Bishop Louis Henry Ford became the first … 1st Assistant to a Presiding Bishop.
- In 1990, Louis Henry Ford was elected Presiding Bishop and dedicated himself to returning COGIC to its Emphasis on Basic Holiness.
- He devoted his efforts to reminding the saints of the sacrifices of the pioneers of COGIC and challenged us to remain faithful to our spiritual foundation (pause).
- Bishop Ford was a strong advocate for social justice. He gave the eulogy for Emmett Till at Robert’s Temple COGIC whose brutal murder sparked the Civil Rights Movement in 1955.
- Bishop Ford’s wisdom was valued by several mayors in Chicago as well as on the world stage.
- In 1994, Bishop Ford was re-elected to the office of Presiding Bishop but died in 1995.
- Bishop Ford was successor Bishop Chandler D. Owens, is credited with systematically restructuring COGIC Departments and Ministries.
- A noted evangelist, known for his eloquent and extensive vocabulary, his diplomacy resulted in expanding the church in Asia, primarily India and the Philippines.
- Owens led COGIC in its centennial celebration in 1997 and outlined a progressive plan to position the COGIC for ministry in the 21st Century known as Vision 2000 and Beyond.
- In 2000, at the 93 International Holy Convocation, the General Assembly voted Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson as the new Presiding Bishop of COGIC making an unprecedented move of removing a current Presiding Bishop from office through the electoral process.
- Bishop Owens continued to serve as a Jurisdictional Bishop and member of the General Board until his death in 2011 (pause).
- Shepherded a mega-church and was a world renowned Tele-Evangelist credited with bridging denominational barriers by working with various denominations toward common goals.
- He encouraged the church to remember its spiritual foundation of the past but also to embrace a Holistic Ministry for the future.
- A humanitarian and philanthropist, he established COGIC Charities, which has provided thousands of dollars in college scholarships, and physical and financial assistance in Hurricane Katrina and Rita and other national disasters.
- On March 28, 2007, the Senate of the United States of America passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Barack Obama celebrating the life of Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson.
C.E. BLAKE ERA
- A progressive and visionary leader, Bishop Blake is leading COGIC boldly in the 21st century.
- His focus positioned COGIC to become a greater global ministry in Africa, Latin America, Japan and Haiti while at the same time investing in the inner city where many COGIC congregations are.
- Under his leadership, COGIC held its first Holy Convocation in St. Louis in 2010.
- Blake initiated new PR strategies that fostered a united front and offered relief and prayer for the inhabitants of the many areas in the 63 countries where COGIC exists.
- Today, under the leadership of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., COGIC serves as a premier training ground for Christians on the Earth, becoming a watershed for believers who hunger for a personal manifestation of God in their lives.
III. A brief history from a leadership perspective of the Church of God in Christ Inc. Thank you
Jehovah-Jireh (My Provider)
Jehovah-Provider (The Lord Is My Banner)
Jehovah Rapha, (God my Healer)
Jehovah-Nissi (My Banner)
Jehovah-Shalom (My Peace)
Jehovah-Tsidkenu (My Righteousness)
Jehovah-Rohi (The Lord My Shepherd)
Jehovah-Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
Jehovah-Shammah (The Lord is There)
WOW! These are some awesome testimonies as you will see. God directed me to choose the precise person needed for each name of Jehovah for their circumstances. I got chills just reading and typing these powerful words!!! Dr. Carolyn Boswell
Jehovah-Jireh (My Provider)
“I must say I have been through a lot in my 52 years and the Lord has been there every step of the way. One main thing I want to share about the Lord being my Provider, is that in June, 2012, I was almost homeless and the Lord stepped in just on time. I’m living on subsidized housing and was about to be put out because the amount I needed to provide for my portion of rent went up suddenly, and I didn’t have it and didn’t see any way of getting it. I went down to the C.O.G.I.C. Jurisdictional Auxiliaries in Ministry Convention in Mobile, AL and the Lord spoke a word into my spirit from one of the messages preached and encouraged me and said “I got this.” Back here in Huntsville at my local church during our Wednesday night Bible Study, the Lord put an evangelist on my heart to speak with her about helping me to find a job. I didn’t really know her, so I didn’t say anything to her. On that Sunday morning, the Lord put her on my heart again, so I finally built up the nerve to say something to her. I asked her if she could assist me in finding a job and told her of some of my physical shortcomings. She asked me to get a resume to her and I did the next day. In the meantime, I had to have outpatient surgery on my arm (Tuesday morning). When I saw her at Bible Study that Wednesday night, she asked me how I was during and what happened. I reluctantly told her, because it was another physical handicap for me. She said, ‘you told me that you work hard, but I didn’t know you meant that hard’ and then laughed. Then she said, ‘anyway, I have something for you. If you think you can handle it, I want you to come and work for me in my office as my office manager; not sure how long it will last, but until the money runs out.’ I told her, I feel like running around this church. You just don’t know how much I need this. So, I went to work and the job lasted long enough for me to have enough money to get another place and better for me and my daughter, who was also living with me. The Lord provided for me and he keeps on providing and proving himself to me in so many miraculous ways. Praise God!”
Jehovah-Rapha (My Healer)
“My name is Mother Chair and the subject that I was asked to give testament to is Jehovah Rapha, God my healer. This is not a hard subject for me because God is my healer. In July, 2003, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but God healed & delivered me. I made my declaration that I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord (Psalms 118:17). February, 2015, I went to have a biopsy under my right arm to rule out cancer. Well, God did it; no cancer, but the enemy did not like that….while in recovery I died, not once but twice. Jehovah Rapha my healer spoke and said LIVE!!! I believe that while I was dead, the prayers of the saints went to the throne of Grace to deliver me. James 5:16b, “The effectual, fervent prayers of the righteous (men & women) availeth much” on my behalf. God did it again! I am alive and I am ready to do the work of the Lord!!! I just believe that I have purpose and it is time for me to fulfill my God given destiny. Glory to God!”
Jehovah-Nissi (My Banner)
“The Lord Is My Banner. A banner or a flag is the sign of Victory in battle. I’m so glad that I have grown to trust God as my banner. To allow him to fight my battles in times of trouble, when the enemy rages war against me, I have learned to pray and claim victory in the midst of trials. As I look back over my life, I realize that God has been fighting for me all the way. Just 6 months in my mother’s womb, she was in a car wreck that broke her leg.
God spared my life. At 2 years old the doctors said I would never walk, but my mother refused to accept defeat and took it to the Lord in prayer, and I started to walk one day and been walking ever since. As a young child I was molested but God did not allow the enemy to rape me. Yes, God is my banner! So many times along the way dangers faced me, but God was my banner. He didn’t allow the enemy to destroy my mind. Yes, I got wounded in battle but God was protecting me and preparing me for His purpose. Being a human of imperfections, I did not always go in the right ways but yes I can say that God has taken me and made something beautiful out of my life. When I raise my hands in Praise, I’m holding up my banner, I’m praising God for the victories on my life. In the book of Exodus 17: 15 we see where Moses declared the LORD is my Banner after the battle with the Amalekites. We see that prayer is essential and most important but it is not a substitute for action. When Moses raised his arms the Israelites prevailed. When he lowered his arms the armies of the Amalekites grew stronger. Aaron and Hur held up Moses tired arms and Israel won the battle. We can pray but I’ve learned that there comes a time when God calls us to fight and we must fight by fervent prayer and hands and hearts lifted high as a sign that truly Jesus is our banner. Yes, God is my Banner!”
Jehovah-Shalom (My Peace)
“In 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare skin cancer. When my doctor first gave me the news, yes at first I was a little distraught, and in shock. I found myself on my knees and also laying in my bedroom floor seeking after God. The Lord gave me peace in my spirit, in my soul, in my mind, and in my body. I began to declare and speak over my life and my body that I was the healed of God. I continued to have my doctor visits and it seemed nothing was changing, but I still declared, “I was the healed of God.” On Nov. 26, 2012, I was scheduled for a six hour surgery that was supposed to keep me in the hospital for 6 to 7 days. The surgery was performed, but in the midst of the surgery, the doctor realized that the cancer was gone and he could not find it anywhere! That’s why it’s important to remain calm in life and to keep the Peace of God with you. He remains My Jehovah Shalom!”
Jehovah-Tsidkenu (My Righteousness)
“I thank the Lord that one day many years ago, I became the ‘Righteousness of God’. It was affected by my works and faith. I learned that Jesus is the standard to live by. My faith became my righteousness. I thank the Lord I am in Christ, always wanting to do the things pleasing to Him. Philippians 3:12-14, “…But we must understand that holiness to God is perfection, yet we will never be perfect, rather we are in the process of being perfected.”
The Lord is my righteousness; he provides through the cross everything I need to set me free from sin and brought me into a right relationship with Him. The same grace that saved me is the same grace that will sustain and keep you. Let our lives be based on right, belief and conviction. Stay loyal, keep busy for the Lord. I am the Righteousness of God!”
Jehovah-Rohi (My Shepherd)
“Since the beginning of time our creator, God has been our shepherd. Psalms 23:1 declares that, “The Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.” A shepherd’s purpose is to care for the sheep. The sheep are His children that follow his leading. Since the beginning of time our creator, God has been our shepherd. Psalms 100:3, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” I recognize that without me being led by God, I would not be where I am today. Even during my times of going astray, He has been there to steer be back to the place where I am supposed to be. The Lord is My Shepherd!”
Jehovah-Sabaoth (The Lord of Hosts)
“The Lord has shown Himself to me in many ways throughout my life, but as a Lord of Host, He actually manifested His power. In fact, God has shown Himself to me in that way quite a number of times throughout my life starting at a young age.
I can recall a time when I was in the 11th grade and I had to walk quite a distance to get to my High school. I grew up in the city of Philadelphia and the neighborhoods that I had to walk through weren’t safe, even back then.
There was a man that drove a red sports car that would literally follow me every day. I would see him at every corner as I walked and then by my school. This went on for months. One morning as I walked along, I noticed that I didn’t see his car. When I got near my school, his car was actually parked on the sidewalk and he was sitting in the driver’s seat. There was no way for me to cross the street because of heavy traffic, so I had to walk around his car. I remember such a fear hitting me. When I got right next to his car, he was looking at me and masturbating. I started to walk faster for fear that if I ran, he would either get out of his car and chase me or hit me with his car since he was on the sidewalk. When I got to the corner and turned around, the man was standing outside of his car, looking my way, standing stiff as a board, with absolute terror on his face. I never saw him again. It was not until I became an adult that the Lord revealed to me that He had dispatched a host of Angels to stand between He and I and that He had allowed that man to see them. On that day, as a Lord of a Host of Angels, He showed Himself mighty in my life.
The second experience I had with Him as a Lord of Hosts was when I was 20 years old. My first child had been murdered a year earlier. I had since enlisted in the Marine Corps and now the trial for my son’s murderer was taking place. I came back from California (where I was stationed at the time) as a state’s witness to testify in court. I had no one in the court with me, but the man that killed my son had half the courtroom filled with his family and friends. By this point, he had changed his story, lied and said that I had killed my son and talked him into taking the blame. With that, his family and friends were very aggressive towards me. Here I am, by myself on one side of the court and on the other side of the court are all of these people that wanted to hurt me. The case lasted about 10 days, but I didn’t have to testify until day 6. Until then, the Prosecutor just wanted me to be there, just in case they wanted me on the stand earlier. Every morning of the trial, I would go to the courthouse and sit outside of the courtroom alone and wait until they opened the doors. All the while, his family and friends were there threatening and harassing me. The day the coroner had to testify, the Judge did not want me in the courtroom so I had to wait on the bench in the hallway outside of the courtroom. Some of his family stayed outside of the courtroom as well and talked loudly about what they were going to do to me from the other side of the hallway. As the day progressed, I needed to go to the bathroom. I took the elevator one floor down, found a bathroom and went into the stall. The next thing I heard was people coming into the bathroom and the door locking. I opened the stall door and there stood 5 or 6 women prepared to jump me. I knew I was going to get hurt, but I decided I was not going down without a fight, so I braced myself. When I stepped out of the stall, they all stepped back and began staring. It took me a moment to realize that they were not staring at me, but behind me and they were all scared. I literally walked passed each one of them and out of that bathroom with them still staring in the direction of the stall. Again, it was years later that the Lord revealed to me that He had dispatched an Angel to protect me and allowed them to see it. Needless to say, the next day and for the rest of the trial, none of his family and friends came to the courthouse. There have been countless times throughout my life that God has revealed His nature through one of His wonderful names, but I will never forget when I got to see firsthand that He is the Lord of a Host of Angels that He dispatches on our behalf in times of need. He IS Jehovah-Sabaoth!!”
Jehovah-Shammah (He is There)
“Praise the Lord! I am overjoyed with the concept of proclaiming truly that God is Jehovah-Shammah in my life. No matter what transpires, I know that God is in every situation. When I am up or down, I can find God operating on my behalf. Good or Bad God, is yet in control. Physical or Mental, I find God yet performing for my good. The Word itself declares in Psalms 139:8 that, “if I ascend into Heaven, thou art there, if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.” Knowing that no matter where I am God is there, I trust that God is in control of my life, and that He is where ever I find myself.
I have had some good days and some bad days and for sure, knowing that God is there does NOT stop the pain of the bad days but it does make it bearable. I know that if a situation feels too heavy or too hard to bear, that God is carrying me to a higher place in Him. I trust God and the Word of God, therefore, I find myself Praising God no matter what it looks or feels like because I KNOW that God is there handling the situation for me. Jehovah-Shammah is there because He is God and God alone. I know that everything that comes to me had to go to Heaven and be weighed by God and then designed just for me. I know that EVERY thing that happens in my life is meant for my good and that God is not only allowing things to transpire but that God is in EVERY situation blessing me. God is Jehovah-Shammah of my life.”
Interviews and Research and Written by Dr. Carolyn Boswell
The impact of five individuals in American History
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”
The title of this synopsis is Lateral Links of Greatness: the impact of five individuals in American History A BLACK HISTORY PRESENTATION
God has poured out his Spirit in the lives of great men and women during the history of our great nation. During the last three centuries even pre-dating America as a nation, African Americans led the charge in the preparation of Christ’s return. The Church played an instrumental part in representing the plight of African-Americans. Whether an Apostle, a Prophet, a Pastor, a Teacher, or an Evangelist, in conditions of severe inequality, having experienced the chains of slavery, unrelenting racism or just life: The Joy of the Lord, lifted five individuals while facing great adversity:
And He gave some Apostles: Richard Allen born 1760 wanted to worship unburdened from white preferential treatment.
Therefore, he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1794, the first independent black denomination in the United States. Sara Allen his wife, a great support to him also worked taking care of runaway slaves; including feeding and clothing them and helping organize men and women. The Allen’s’ took on social welfare issues for church members and the community and now the AME church exists on five continents in 39 countries
And He gave some Evangelist: Jarena Lee (Born 1783) was a woman filled with the spirit of God who spoke at times while in attendance in Allen’s congregation. She traveled to Philadelphia from her New Jersey home in Cape May, to worship. She was given to evangelism; Allen recognized her ministry and approved her to preach. She became an itinerant preacher and was the first black woman to publish an autobiography in America in 1836. (quote)“ I had preached 138 sermons, and traveled between 27 and 28 hundred miles. Returned from Brooklyn, and attended a quarterly meeting at Flushing. . . . Saturday evening I gave an exhortation, and preached Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, the Lord accompanied the word … I arrive safe at home, found my son and friends all well, and then heard the truth of his conversion, for which I yet give glory to God.
And He gave some Pastors: Lucy Farrow was the Pastor of a Holiness church in Houston she was also the niece of Frederick Douglas and worked as a governess to Reverend Charles Parham an early proponent of speaking in tongues and who coined the phrase glossalia: (speaking in other tongues) she left William J. Seymour, at the helm of her congregation when her job transferred her to Topeka, Kansas where Rev. Parham taught training classes on conviction, repentance, sanctification, healing and the work of the Holy Spirit.
And He gave some teachers:
William J. Seymour gleaned foundational teaching on the Holy Spirit. Due to racism he was not even permitted to pray with the others while seeking the baptism of the Holy Spirit under Rev. Parham. Nonetheless, Seymour hungered for more of God and was determined to learn. Parham later noted that Seymour could recite word-for-word the teaching he learned while sitting at the door while Parham taught white ministers. He later became Pastor of the famed Azusa Street Mission which gave rise to the Pentecostal Movement upon the Earth.
And He gave some prophets: Charles Harrison Mason: founder of the Churches of God in Christ received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1906 at the Azusa Conference conducted by William Seymour. In 1897, while in Little Rock, AR, Mason believed that God had given him the name the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). He believed God promised him, “If you take the name that I give you, they would never build a building that would hold all those who would come.” In 1907 COGIC was incorporated. Mason Temple was constructed during WWII while construction materials were in high demand. This was a miracle! This task was completed for less than $400,000 making it the largest, black-owned convention hall in America. Mason dedicated the nearly 5000 seat auditorium in 1945 visualizing the culmination of his dream. From this efficis Dr. King, gave his final sermon on April 3, 1968.
From 1760 to 1960 FIVE magnanimous individuals are linked to progressively reveal the mandate of Christ until His return AMEN