CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST (COGIC)
State (Jurisdiction) officials converged upon Huntsville to attend the 64rd Spring Workers’ Conference under the guidance of Bishop O.L. Meadows Prelate of Alabama First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ. Districts from the Northern Region of the Jurisdiction which hosted the event included the Huntsville District (Supt. Dr. Terrell Harris Jr.), the Progressive District (Supt. Herman Freeman), Valley District (Supt. Dr. Reginald Roberts) and the W.R. Morrow District (Supt. Dr. Joe Bankhead). Superintendent Dr. Terrell Harris Jr., Pastor of True Light COGIC, spearheaded organizing the event, along with Conference Coordinator Evangelist Carolyn Boswell, and created an atmosphere that people were served in an awesome way.
Civic Night was Tuesday March 4, 2014, coordinated by Evangelist Sonja Leslie was deemed a time set aside to give homage to our Civil Authorities. Likewise our Civic Leaders recognized the event with salutations of gratitude and resolutions. Among those leaders present: representing the Office of the Mayor, Kenny Anderson and Councilman Richard Showers who both addressed the assembly. Commissioner Bob Harrison was not present and Alabama State Representative Laura Hall was in Legislative Session, both sent regards including many other city leaders.
Conference days began with “Morning Manna” (9am worship) daily which included guest speakers among whom were Mother Mary Strong, Evangelist Betty Walton and Superintendent Terry Ellison. Christian Education Classes commenced 11am daily. Special Presentations on Physical Fitness (Melissa Johnson), Stress Management (Ms Elaine Plank), Financial Planning (Michael and Ardella Vance) and Dietary Management (Dr. John Warber) were made during the afternoons. Conference Speakers included Supt. Jimmy Allen, Supt. Michael Robinson, Jurisdictional Supervisor of Women Mother Mattie Taylor, Bishop Dr. Harold Bennett and Bishop Felton Smith. The conference culminated on Official Day: Saturday March 8, 2014 with Bishop O.L. Meadow’s message to the people. He first conveyed that the messages given by the various speakers were consistent and relevant. He highlighted sermons given by Supt Allen “There’s a Treasure”, Supt Robinson “You Can Handle This” Mother Taylor “Wilt Thou be made Whole” and inspirational speakers Elder A.J. Jefferson “Making a Permanent Decision in a Temporary Situation and Pastor Anthony Wheeler “Jesus started His building program with two pieces of wood: The Cross.”
Bishop Meadow’s exhorted, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink” (John 3:7), and spoke on a variety of social relevant topics that Christians face daily. The next state meeting will be held June 16th – 20th the 2014 Jurisdictional A.I.M. (Auxiliaries in Ministry) Convention in Birmingham AL.
Mortgage Burning & Dedication Celebration
In 2012, Alabama First Jurisdiction COGIC paid off the mortgage on Headquarters (Holy Hill). On October 16, 2013, COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake made mention of Bishop Meadows’ great guidance and stewardship during the dedication and mortgage burning event. The Master of Ceremonies duties were shared by Superintendents W.K. Ellison, Chief Operating Officer of Bishop’s Programs and Dr. Terrell Harris Jr., Fourth Administrative Assistant. A parade of Mayors and a host of dignitaries were also present as Bishop Blake brought a message on Dedication, highlighting from the Bible, the Book of Ruth.
Bishop Blake said, “The story of Ruth is the story of determination and the importance of being associated with great people. Her clinging to Naomi was a result of her being placed on Ruth’s heart. Only by working together in relationship with others can great things be accomplished.” He said, “Alabama you are impacting eternity, Alabama you did it. I believe I am in the presence of some stewards. God will remember you because you put in the work.” Some other remarks Bishop Blake said during the ceremony are, “Unity and having one mind requires commitment, the commitment to make things work whether in marriage, work, church, etc. Be the best person you can. Avoid bitterness, fish can live a life time in salt water yet not be salty. If fish can do it so can we in this world.” The service concluded with the acknowledgement of the deed to the property, the burning of the mortgage and the dedication of Headquarters as the O.L. Meadows Cathedral.
Bishop O.L. Meadows and the Executive Board of Alabama First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ met with Weaver Reality and owners to sign a contract to purchase Holy Hill which contains twenty four houses, located on eighteen acres in the metropolitan area of Bessemer, Alabama in 1993. At this time, realtors gave the asking price of 3 million dollars to Bishop Meadows for this property located on Bessemer Super Highway. After prayer and negotiating with the real estate company and the owners, Bishop Meadows got the price down to $750, 000.00.
The original structure where the sanctuary stands was only a large metal structure with garage doors and no office spaces. Now this area includes a sanctuary that seats approximately 2500, with a choir loft, upstairs chapel, large stage pulpit, wall to wall carpet and air conditioning. The fellowship hall includes a state of the art kitchen and a dining hall that comfortably seats 500. Other areas include an office building, O.L. Meadows School of Ministry facilities, the Bishop’s suite, six offices, a large conference room, a daycare, dormitories and 2 playgrounds.
Superintendent John E. Grayson: Public Relations Coordinator, Alabama 1st Jurisdiction COGIC
Editing: Evangelist Carolyn Boswell
COGIC AL 1st Northern Districts Presents: International COGIC President of the Christian Woman’s Council (CWC) Mother Inez Milhouse
The 35th State Christian Women’s Council (CWC) of the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Alabama, Church of God in Christ (COGIC) was hosted by the Huntsville District COGIC at the True Light COGIC, Supt. Terrell Harris, Jr., October 4-5, 2013.
Friday night service began with brief exhortations that were in order coming first from Huntsville’s District Supervisor of Women Mother Mary Strong and Alabama First Jurisdictional Supervisor of Women, Mother Mattie Taylor. Following was a message on change by superintendent Joe Mack Bankhead of the WR Morrow District, who preached a preliminary message on Change stating, “God reveals himself to man through revelation, inspiration and tribulation.”
International COGIC President of the Christian Woman’s Council (CWC) Mother Inez Milhouse (83 years old), was the keynote speaker. Mother Millhouse added that Change was inevitable and that “ministry and sainthood is all about responding to each other’s needs.” She placed a heavy emphasis on the importance of leadership and having a covering. The mother of six since the age of 29 (1959) from Bessemer, Alabama, was married at age nineteen to the late Deacon Milhouse for 62 years. She travelled the U.S. with her husband as her driver preaching Christ. She stated that she “was never approached in an ungodly manner,” being subject to leadership, having her missions traceable and a record of excellence in ministry, which she stated, “is in your own house.”
She said, “The Church of God in Christ was the greatest church in the world and that we should stay with the foundational framework outlined by COGIC founder Bishop Charles H. Mason, who saw a need to create a Dept. for Women” which was organized by him and Mother Lizzie Robinson.
She said, “the church was designed to take you to heaven from the cradle to the grave” beginning with the toddlers in Sunday School, Cradle-Roll and Sun Beams of the Sunshine Band (ages 0-5) The Sun Rays (ages 6-8) and the Illuminators (ages 9-12) of the Sunshine Band, Purity Class: Jr. Puritans (ages 12-15) and Trailblazers ages (16-19), Young Women’s Christian Council (YWCC) ages 20 – 39, Christian Women’s Council (CWC) (40 & up) and Mothers Board.
She saw the need to keep the name of these ministries as designed because these have been impacted by prayer and retain the spirit of holiness that is clear in the lives of the children as well as adults. These ministries, though broken in age groups are multi-generational and supported by one another, and members should seek to understand and know the functions of these within the Church. As Int’l CWC President, she stated that the department should be a pool of service that leaders can draw from when qualified persons are needed for positions in the church.
“God taught me while I was in the way” and that she felt like “a lump of Gold” (the audience grew quiet); her response was that she had been melted down so many times through afflictions whether by “jealously, envy, or strife; that’s how I feel.” Indeed, Mother is a treasure and her timeless wisdom imparted on Friday night was a treat for all in attendance.