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

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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

DANCING WITH DEMONS

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Lawrence's last words are memorialized inscribed upon this vessel
Lawrence’s last words are memorialized inscribed upon this vessel

Captain James Lawrence commanded the USS Chesapeake in a single ship action against the British HMS Shannon during the War of 1812. He is probably best known today for his dying command “Don’t give up the ship!” Captain Lawrence, was mortally wounded by small arms fire. He ordered his officers, “Don’t give up the ship. Fight her till she sinks. Men carried him below, and his crew was overwhelmed by a British boarding party shortly afterward. James Lawrence died of his wounds on 4 June 1813[/caption]

Don’t give up the ship

when tangled with demons,

Fight, Fight, Fight!

They never told me the truth

They never gave me a reason.

Who are they?

Are they men?

Are they women?

No not children and not a baby.

Yet in bodies of flesh they perform the will of their Prince.

They want to go abroad into your soul,

that you may manifest evil things.

I ask what, are we drawn to, their sensational flight?

Where ever they go they hurt, they lie.

They know who you are but they can’t promote any good.

Their cowardice is hidden in loud demonstrative upheavals

of tumult and confusion where there’s no peace and much evil.

They need your joy they want your peace.

They appear seemingly harmless in an around about way.

They are simple, but quick with frustrations that enter your day.

They Tap, They Smile, They sing, but never believe they are happy.

They hurl unfounded words at your heart, blaming you, saying your

wrong, your unaccomplished, you are a fool, your lacking you have

no song, They disguise hostility as encouragement and believe only

lies they never enter the truth they can ‘t conceive it in their

minds.

When will they quit?

When you give up the ship.

So fight and fight and fight, still fight even more, soon you’ll soar.

It is written you have already won the war.

TRANSFORMATION TO FREEDOM

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Courtesy of Designs by Reginald Boswell

TRANSFORMATION TO FREEDOM

I would think over a period of time of being incarcerated would rehabilitate the minds of some.  Transforming one’s thoughts to processes that whichs leads to equity.  However, it is shameful to speak of the behavior of many who have been isolated for some time only to perfect the criminal mindset or the mentality that disregards the good fruit of the common good.  Failing to seek after that what is good warps the personality of an incarcerated individual.  In prison it is not fair game as in society many times to remain below the radar and just function normally hoping to flow within the status quo.  No, one must consciously fight for normalcy in a world controlled by demons whose goal is never to release you.  Society rations quotas to fill the vaccuum created to incarcerate people, as every state recieve billions of federal dollars to house inmates.  There is no rehabilitation vaccuum just the prison system.  When youth are selected to enter the revolving door to prison good men seem to vanish in society and breadwinners in certain segments of society become disproportionate by gender.

So where is our hope?  Where can we plough to reap God’s goodness?   I know the answer is within.  I know because the kingdom of God is within.  This is authentic peace.  Outside vultures and vagabonds circle, but I have this certainty.  Jesus lives!  “Because He lives I can face tomorrow, Because He lives all fear is gone.  Because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living because He lives”.  The hope of Christ is a truly transforming hope that gives true peace.  I pray that one day every one who enters the prison system will seek the peace of God.  Then and only then will the recidivism rate decline, when thinking is transformed as people began to put others first.  If this is mandated Department of Correction dollars can be placed in Department of Education coffers and Justice Department Laws will no longer perpetually hook  our youth from behaviors that plague our society.       (February 26 2008)

THE KING

Alone, but with a family . . . I strayed.  Shall my life be spent to the grave?  Here away from the unfamiliar.  Creation is in my palm, but the pieces are in the wind.  Along with the past, I will accept a grant for a new beginning.  My past is full of familiar faces but they’re acting foreign to my future shore.  While living and working in this society I only want to give goodness but I have my joy grasped and swiped at by clawed predators and by those I know best.  They try to make me abdicate my thoughts of, the weak being strong and the poor being rich.  This understanding comes from above.  To relinguish this  is to die one of a thousand deaths, before my end upon the earth.  Yet, I go to begin, once more the struggle and go again to the place where I started to fight.  I am back!  Older, wiser and stronger with the belief that I will become the heir of the land which yields to the persistant (written 7/3/00 revised 8/15/12).

ALTAR CALL FOR THE KILLER

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You once dwelled in unhealthy and unsafe environments, where evil was praised.  You’ve made it out alive, but at the cost of your freedom.  When you are deceived into thinking that to live in bondage is better than death you create a lifestyle through personal choices that place you in situations that compromise your earthly existence.  It is as if you forfeited your own life when you kill someone.  You have voluntarily given your freedom into the hands of others; that brutally abuse their authority and inflict unrighteous burdens upon you, without any regard to your well being.  You now stand, imprisoned, convicted and condemned by the world.  You are at a cross road, while among the steely stares of felons and the greedy glances of cell mates.  You turn side in your spirit and you look to see God reaching His hand out to you as he did for Moses on Mt. Sinai.  At that same moment you also see bunk mates binge at mid-night from the spoils of the weak, while a haunting laugh of a guard turns your stomach after it becomes pitch black.

Through Penitence, God walks into your life, but strangely the crime remains fresh and the punishment remains firm.  After seemingly wrestling with yourself or an angel as Jacob did at Mt. Penuel you are changed and called by another name as your outlook now reflects an essential relationship with God, you now approach a Great Piercing Light that is both frightful and glorious.

If you’ve been sentenced to more than a decade, a score or a century in prison, it benefits one greatly to develop a personal relationship with God.  Developing spiritually is a life-long process for anyone with hope intact and grace abounding.  Many have escaped the snares of a seemingly unfruitful life by building oneself inside-out; spiritually then physically.

It would benefit the convict to change.  You receive no mercy from anyone but God who’s out stretched hand has been there all the time.  The ones you gave your freedom to do not hear your pleas.  Those wretched demons fled leaving you alone as the destroyer, but God knows your situation.

At the time you were not where God wanted you to be, but the act was done indeed.  Your youthful exuberance exacerbates with despair because you have become another person away from your family and far, far away from that memorable day that shattered your future.  Later as time stretches out and the years pass, it become inevitable that you learn that you live better when you treat people better, but things worsen in seasons of great depression and negativity.

Give your life to Jesus!  Being a spiritual force that the powers of darkness have to recognize is your future.  Let God mold you so that you can help others who were weak and ignorant like you were.  Shedding tears can only change a person in prison when they become mixed with clay as if you were being shaped in God’s hand.  This great power is at your fingers and inside your heart.  It is the Righteousness of Jesus.

You are made righteous by The Blood of Jesus, which is complete and needs no improving.  This Righteousness is what God sees and is the final seal of God needed on earth before entering heaven.  Learn to live a life of holiness regardless of those in your old neighborhood that squawk and balk.  They too need to be helped out of spiritual bondage.  Set yourself apart now for God even when facing the power of lightening like that harnessed by the likes of yellow mama already used five times in the 21st century at Holman Prison in Alabama USA.  Let those that pull the switch and the ones watching know that you are a new creature in Christ and that your sin debt is paid by the blood of Jesus that reckons you to be the righteousness of God and soon you’ll be in paradise with Him with all His saints.