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 grandson of COGIC founder Bishop C H Mason and cousin of the late Presiding Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson
- He practiced law and then became 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