Alabama First Jurisdiction
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 elevates Dr. Terrell Harris Jr. to Fourth Administrative Assistant to Prelate OL Meadows of AL 1st Ecc. Jurisdiction
Dr Terrell Harris, Jr., Founder and Pastor of the True Light, Church of God in Christ (COGIC) at 6380 Pulaski Pike Rd, in Huntsville AL was honored at an Inaugural Reception for his appointment as the Fourth Administrative Assistant to Bishop O.L. Meadows, Prelate of Alabama First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ. This event, sponsored by the Huntsville District COGIC, was held Tuesday, May 14, 2013 in the Harris Family Life Center adjacent to True Light, where Dr. Harris has been the Pastor for 35 years.
This auspicious occasion attracted Civic Leaders from the North Alabama Region with special tributes to Dr. Harris. Ms. Jo Miley representing Commissioner Bob Harrison, Mr. Kenneth Anderson, Multicultural Affairs Director, for Mayor Tommy Battle and Councilman
Richard Showers. Also in attendance was former Councilman Sam Pendleton, Florence, AL. State Representative Laura Hall was unable to attend, but was represented with a Resolution from the State House of Representatives. Special Tributes were also given by Supt. William R. Hughes, COGIC First Administrative Assistant; Pastor Dave Draper, Jr., Draper Memorial COGIC, on behalf of the Huntsville District Churches, Mrs. Mary Strong Huntsville District Supervisor of Women, Deacon Doug Taylor on behalf of True Light COGIC and Mrs. Trudy Harris Moore, Daughter of Dr. Harris, on behalf of the Family.
Bishop O.L. Meadows (Birmingham, AL) was the keynote speaker. Commenting on the uncommon unity of the Huntsville District, Churches of God in Christ where Dr. Harris is the Superintendent of nine churches, Bishop Meadows called it the “Ray of Light District” speaking of “the radiant glow” seen as he looked upon the people, the arrangement and overall conduct and manner of the Inaugural Reception. Bishop Meadows exhorted the attendees to “Stand on the Promises of God”. He spoke of Dr. Harris’ extraordinary administrative abilities, even in difficult matters; his ability to administer sound judgment was a strong trait. Bishop Meadows also proclaimed Dr. Harris’s love for God and the Church made him a definitive leader, by answering the question: How does one prove their love for the church? “One does so by having a godly response to fallen humanity.”
Dr. Harris exemplifies this response to the call of God, resounding the spirit of Isaiah saying “Here I am Lord, send me.” The people of Huntsville and its people celebrate one of our city’s most revered leaders, Dr. Terrell Harris, Jr. Congratulations!
written by REB, edited by Evangelist Carolyn Boswell
Also Published in Speaking Out News on May 29, 2013