CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST (COGIC)

HISTORY of Holy Temple COGIC Choir, TomsRiver NJ (Composed 1993)

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Holy Temple COGIC, Choral Ensemble, Sept. 1992

The Ministry of music in Holy Temple Church of God in Christ, has gone through many stages of development in its brief history.  In the late seventies, under the pastorship of Pastor David C. Graham, the onset of the choir consisted mostly of children and teenagers.  Sister Zarita Mattox labored in the ministry of music as choir directress and taught songs which were sung acappella.

As visiting musicians came and went, there was a strong desire in the heart of Pastor Graham to have God send musicians to carry on the ministry of music to “Higher Heights.”

In 1987, the Holy Temple Hymnal Choir was formed.  The need for a standard church choir became evident.  The hymnal choir was started in response to Evangelist Shirley J. Graham’s inspiration to have God’s music ministered to the hearts of men, women, boys and girls.  It was these spiritual hymns as “Saved By His Power Divine”, “How Great Thou Art”, “Love Lifted Me” and “Glory To His Name” were sung with meaning and anointing, As the choir began to expand, the anointing level escalated and the choir branched out to begin singing gospel music.

In 1989, Sister Bernadette Baldwin of Deliverance Jesus is Coming, Irvington, New Jersey became Holy Temple’s part-time organist with the consent of her pastor, Pastor James Everett.  After concentrated prayer for a permanent musician, the person of Sister Audrey Hodge from Savannah, Georgia was sent to this ministry.  She became a member and began to share the ministry of music with Sister Baldwin.  After a few months, the need for Sister Baldwin being present in her own church became of great demand.  Sister Hodge then became Holy Temple’s first full-time musician.

Because of he vast vision for the church and the Nazirite calling, Pastor Graham inquired of God for an anointed leader to further the music ministry.  His choice, Evangelist Regina Gainer.  Her 28 years of singing and music involvement was significant at this time.  Her spirituality and stability gave understanding and revelationof what the choir should be and could be.  It has been through the key element (“prayer”) and this music ministry is successful.  Our goals consist of an orchestra, a male chorus, the writing and production of songs, a GREATER ANOINTING and “More To Come In Music”.

To God Be The Glory!

Written by: Brother Reginald Boswell

Edited by: Evangelist Regina Gainer

FROM A GIN HOUSE The Early Years of COGIC

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Charles Harrison Mason 1866–1961
Founder of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African-American Pentecostal denomination of the twentieth century.

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also” (Acts 17:6b) must have been the headline in Jackson, Mississippi in June 1896.  The common interest and associative traits of Charles Harrison Mason, J.A. Jeter and W. S. Pleasant, led these men to diverge into Jackson to conduct a holiness revival at Mt. Helm Baptist Church where Charles Price Jones was the host.  The doctrine of Sanctification was the main theme.  They preached with fervency and dedication.  Baptist Churches responded by disallowing them to preach from their pulpits and expelled Pastor Jones and the others from the Jackson Baptist Association.  Nevertheless, a firm resolve held them to preach holiness which became the impetus that led to the birth of the Church of God in Christ.    The 1896 Jackson Revival was a part of an awakening in the atmosphere that led people to want to hear more of the Gospel of Grace through Sanctification.  The following year in Jackson with as many naysayers as supporters, Mason preached at the south-side entrance of the Jackson Courthouse.  The next day, a local resident John Lee, provided the living room of his home as a meeting place.  Soon, so many were flocking to hear holiness preached at the Lee House, the owner of an abandoned cotton gin, sixty three miles north of Jackson in Lexington, MS,  who gave Mason consent to hold meetings there.  This became the St. Paul Church in Lexington, MS, established by C.H. Mason, the first and oldest COGIC congregation in the world.

C.P. Jones changed the name of his church to the Church of Christ.  Many other holiness groups were forming and using similar names; Mason sought a name that would be ‘set apart’ from others.  In 1897, while in Little Rock, AR, Mason believed that God had given him the name the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).  Mason believed it was divinely revealed and biblically inspired taken from I Thessalonians 2:14, 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.” The movement adopted the name, and COGIC began to grow throughout the south and Mason and the other leaders were given oversight of specific regions.

This group became intensely narrower when C.H. Mason, D.J. Young and J.A. Jeter returned from the famed Azusa Revival in 1906.  There Mason received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  Later Jeter and Jones disagreed with Mason’s report, saying ‘speaking in other tongues, as the Spirit gave utterance’ was the indication that one had received the baptism of the Holy Ghost.  They removed Mason from their fellowship the same year.  Mason contended to keep the name COGIC, he would not relent, knowing that the abundant perpetuity of COGIC somehow rested upon him retaining the name Church of God in Christ.  After years over the use of the name by Jones and Mason; Mason was awarded the original charter, making COGIC the first legally chartered Pentecostal body incorporated in the United States.

         

 SOURCES:

THE FOUNDER AND CHURCH HISTORY, COGIC.ORG

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ARKANSAS HISTORY & CULTURE/CHARLES HARRISON MASON

TRANSPORTATION WITH GOD: Huntsville, AL (June 2009)

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MOTHER WILLIE MAE DRAPER at Hughes Wedding Reception
is usually the first person in church and the last to leave. She made sure I was in church she gave me a ride to church when I had no way, and modeled holiness in maturity.

I am a firm believer that a person should not stop going church or avoid church altogether because of a lack of finances, clothes; or because of not being delivered from bad habits.

Despite not having a car I was able to make it to church every Sunday.  I can go to church with no hindrance days and nights including Wednesday night service every week.   I thank God.  Despite being over 5 miles from church and having no buses that ran on Sunday, I was able to make it on time for Sunday School every Sunday (one of my favorite parts of service because I have always loved to learn and the interaction with others concerning the things of God is incomparable).  Many negative voices may come and say things like, “stay home you don’t have any gas money or an offering,” or say, “stop calling them to pick up they are tired of getting you.”   Nevertheless, when I make it to church God always blesses me, in a great way, and I am always glad that I did not miss out.  I believe that even though I did not have a permanent job, that God would provide and He did.  This is my covenant with God: If I do what I am supposed to do, He will take care of me.   

POSITIONED BY GOD

I serve God in spirit, soul and body with praise, in worship and with my time and substance.   I render all to Christ and abide obediently under the leadership of our local assembly.  My prayer for my Pastor is that, God give him strength to lead his flock in adverse times and seasons of lack into more prosperous times and away from our enemy.  Satan has been bound concerning the souls that belong to Christ and the Spirit of Increase being released into our lives.  Saints are given true promotion, but along with that came persecution.

Be released – Be released – Be released.   Satan the blood of Jesus against you repay exponentially of that which you destroyed.  With praise in my spirit, I pray continually for the next thing to break like the wind that rushed in at Pentecost or like the bursting forth of great waters causing breakthroughs deliverance is imminent.  I won’t complain but will thank God for dispatching His angels of war, to bring everything that enemy to my feet and all he has taken: until relationships, credit, rank, place, seed, fruit, provision, resources, stamina and strength restored.    Restoration is now in season in the name of Jesus.  It was all a setting up for my season of restoration.  So as God judges the quick and the dead let us render our selves fellow laborers to one another with this one thing in mind God is going to save his people.  “Fret not yourself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity . . . trust in the Lord, and do good . . . . And verily thou shall be fed,” you can make it.

Dedicated to Ma Draper and everyone who ever gave me a ride to or from church?

Thanks Brother Reggie

cc:DD,WM,WD,KL,BT.KS,SS,KS,RP,RH,EH,B