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The General Board

Welcome from the General Board

“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” Psalm 20:16

Welcome to the home page of the General Board of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. The men selected to lead the Church were chosen by God and the membership of the Church Of God In Christ. We hope you enjoy learning more about the Church leadership and the important role they have in leading God’s people.

The Role of the General Board

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he has chosen for his own inheritance.” (Psalms 33:12) KJV

The General Board of the Church of God in Christ, Inc (COGIC) is responsible for establishing and executing policies for the membership, as well as sustaining and perpetuating spiritual order within the Church. These twelve bishops, chosen from the Board of Bishops, are voted into office by the General Assembly for a term of four years. Executive decisions made by the General Board are final unless revoked or modified by the General Assembly.  The General Board convenes three times a year for official meetings in the months of April, November and at the time the presiding bishop deems necessary.

The Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God In Christ is Bishop Charles E. Blake, pastor of West Angeles Church Of God In Christ in Los Angeles, CA.  Through his leadership the board has continued its vision which is based on Titus 1:5, in which the Apostle Paul appointed Titus to lead the people of Crete as an elder. Bishop P.A. Brooks, 1st Assistant Presiding Bishop and Bishop Jerry W. Macklin, 2nd Assistant Presiding Bishop serve as Presiding Bishop Blake’s special aides on the General Board.

As the spiritual leadership of 6.5 million members worldwide, the Church Of God In Christ General Board has a Pentecostal vision to carry out a message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Members of the General Board




The Right Reverend
Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Presiding Bishop
Los Angeles, California




The Right Reverend
Phillip Aquilla Brooks, II
First Assistant Presiding Bishop
Prelate, Michigan Northeast
Detroit, Michigan




The Right Reverend
Jerry Wayne Macklin
Second Assistant Presiding Bishop
Prelate, NorCal Metropolitan
Hayward, California




The Right Reverend
Roy Lawrence Hailey Winbush
Assistant Secretary to the General Board
Prelate, Louisiana First
Lafayette, Louisiana


The Right Reverend
George Dallas McKinney
Prelate, California Southern Second
San Diego, CA


The Right Reverend
Nathaniel Wyoming Wells
Prelate, Michigan Western
Benton Harbor, Michigan


The Right Reverend
Sedgwick Daniels
Prelate, Wisconsin Southeast First
Milwaukee, Wisconsin


The Right Reverend
Frank O. White
Prelate, New York Eastern Third
New York, New York


The Right Reverend
J. Drew Sheard
Prelate, North Central
Detroit, Michigan



The Right Reverend
Brandon B. Porter
Prelate, Tennessee Central
Memphis, Tennessee


The Right Reverend
Ted G. Thomas, Sr.
Prelate, Virgina First
Portsmouth, Virginia


The Right Reverend
Lawrence M. Wooten, Sr.
Prelate, Eastern Missouri Western Illinois
St. Louis, Missouri

Emeritus General Board Members

Bishop Wilbur Wyatt Hamilton Bishop Samuel L. Green, Jr.
Bishop J. Neaul Haynes


The Constitutional General Board (1922)

The Late Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, Founder, Senior Bishop and First Apostle

Overseer R.R. Booker Overseer D. Bostic
Overseer E.R. Driver Overseer J. Bowe
Overseer William Curtis Overseer R. H. I. Clark
Overseer D. J. Young Overseer E. M. Page
Overseer C. C. Frederick Overseer Mack E. Jonas
Overseer V. M. Barker  

Former General Board Members – (1968 – 2009)

The Late Bishop A.B. McEwen, Sr The Late Bishop Frederick Douglas Washington
The Late Bishop D. Lawrence Williams, Sr The Late Bishop John Dale Husband
The Late Bishop Clarence E. Bennett The Late Bishop Ithiel Conrad Clemmons
The Late Bishop Wyoming Wells The Late Bishop Cleveland Landis Anderson, Jr
The Late Bishop Samuel Martin Crouch The Late Bishop William Morgan James
The Late Bishop Otha Miema Kelly The Late Bishop Harold Jenkins Bell
The Late Bishop John Seth Bailey The Late Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones, Jr
The Late Bishop Junious Augustus Blake, Sr The Late Bishop Leroy Robert Anderson
The Late Bishop John Walter White The Late Bishop Levi Edward Willis, Sr
The Late Bishop Willie Lee Porter Bishop Jacob Cohen
Bishop DeWitt Arthur Burton Bishop Earl Jerome Wright, Sr
The Late Presiding Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson, Sr., The Late Presiding Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson
The Late Presiding Bishop Louis Henry Ford The Late Presiding Bishop Chandler David Owens


Evangelism Department Ministers to a Community in Need

By Dr Elijah Hankerson, President of the International Department of Evangelism

Thank you for all of your prayers and support, regarding the recent crisis in Ferguson, MO! We would like to give you a short report, specifically on the areas of evangelism, outreach and soul winning.

At the start of the chaos, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., commissioned the International Department of Evangelism to proceed into the area strictly to (1) share the Good News of Jesus Christ and (2) witness to lost souls!

All three jurisdictional bishops in the area have been 100% supportive of these outreach efforts: General Board member Bishop L. M. Wooten (Missouri Eastern, Western Illinois), Bishop R. J. Ward (Missouri Eastern First) and Bishop W. L. Scott (Illinois Southeast). These leaders have supplied workers from the area and workers have even joined in from other states and jurisdictions.

We are ecstatic to report that over 300 souls have given their life to the Lord Jesus, around 3,000 Gospel tracts have been disseminated to the public and hundreds of people have received prayer! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

We are grateful for all of the soul winners who literally risked their lives every day! The saints have dodged bullets, inhaled tear gas, walked for many miles every night endured brutal heat and even a violent thunder storm; all for the sake of lost souls! The “troops” completed their mission on Friday night, August 22, 2014 with the Glory Train! We started with the “Glory Train” and ended with it!

What is the “Glory Train?” It is an 18 wheeler flatbed with a trailer. The saints ride on the flatbed and the “live band” is on the trailer. It is literally a “mobile revival!” This clever soul winning tool is the brainchild of our Coordinator of Special Projects for IDOE: Lady Shirley Wooten. Lady Wooten is the wife of Bishop L. M. Wooten, who serves on our General Board.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., will also be in the city of St. Louis on Friday, September 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm. He will share a message of salvation, hope and restoration! The Presiding Bishop is ensuring that the ministry of the Church Of God In Christ ministers to this “deeply distressed and troubled” community at this time!

The International Department of Evangelism thanks for your support of soul winning!

C.H. Mason Heritage Symposium & Celebration – COGIC & AG Honor Bishop Mason

The first night of the C.H. Mason Heritage Symposium & Celebration was met with anticipation as members of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. and the Assemblies of God (USA) joined together in worship. The International Music Department sang songs to honor Bishop C.H. Mason’s love for gospel hymns in a Live Recording commemorating his life, leadership and legacy.

We were honored to have General Superintendent, Dr. George O. Wood, of the Assemblies of God (USA) preach an awesome message about the need for unity within the body of Christ, encouraged the Saints that God is doing the “immeasurable more”, and reminded us of the importance of keeping Jesus in the Church. There was a shared sense of reverence by all who attended, acknowledging Bishop C.H. Mason’s integral role laying the foundation of holiness and sanctification for our denominations.

After the service, a reception was held celebrating the 150th Birthday of Bishop C.H. Mason. Everyone enjoyed a time of food, fun and fellowship – a testament to the fact that it truly is “good and pleasant for brethren to deal together in unity.”

COGIC to Host AOG Leader


Assemblies of God General Superintendent Dr. George O. Wood 

Tribute to COGIC Women – Int’l Women’s Day

In observance of International Women's Day, we would like to take some time and honor all of the COGIC Women who have made this Great Church what it is today, as well as all of the women who continue the work of the Lord. We thank God for the virtuous, praying women that God has graced this church with, including:

  • Our Very Own General Supervisor of the Department of Women, Mother Willie Mae Rivers
  • Our First Lady, Lady Mae Lawrence Blake
  • Our First General Mother, Mother Lizzie Robinson
  • Our Second General Mother, Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey
  • Our Third General Mother, Mother Annie L. Bailey
  • Our Fourth General Mother, Mother Mattie McGlothen
  • Our Fifth General Mother, Mother Emma F. Crouch
  • Dr. Arenia C. Mallory, President – Saints Jr. College

Although we cannot list all of the great women who have impacted the Church of God in Christ, Inc. and have played a significant role in the Kingdom of God, our churches and our individual lives – we want to say "THANK YOU" for giving of yourselves and being an example to follow. We salute each and every Mighty Women of God today!

If these women, or any other women, have made a difference in your life, please feel free to post a tribute below!

Bishop Jacob Cohen Retires After 42 Years as Jurisdictional Prelate

After 42 years of service as a bishop in the Church of God in Christ, Inc. (COGIC) and the Prelate of the Eastern Florida Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, the Right Reverend Jacob Cohen is retiring, but is sure to continue serving the Lord for the fulfillment of his days.

The Right Reverend Jacob Cohen was consecrated Jurisdictional Prelate of Eastern Florida in 1971. Under his leadership, the jurisdiction grew to over 114 churches. Additionally, Bishop Cohen served on the General Board of the Church of God in Christ for 12 years with four of them as the Board’s secretary where he made notable accomplishments in the organization’s administration.

“We applaud Bishop Cohen’s lifetime commitment to the Church of God in Christ, his 42 years tenure as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the Eastern Florida Jurisdiction, his 12 years as a member of the General Board of the Church of God in Christ, and his service to the National Church in many capacities. Bishop Cohen has a respected heritage and imprint on the history and fabric of the Church of God in Christ. It is also noteworthy that for more than 50 years he continues to serve the Miami community as pastor of the historic A. M. Cohen Temple Church of God in Christ, continuing the legacy of his father, the late Bishop Amaziah Melvin Cohen,” says Bishop Brandon Porter, Interim Prelate, Eastern Florida Jurisdiction and General Board Member of the Church of God in Christ, Inc.

Bishop Jacob Cohen, the Church of God in Christ, Inc. would like to send our heartfelt appreciation for all of your years of faithful service. Please take some time to leave your comments of appreciation to Bishop Cohen below.

Happy Birthday, Mother Rivers!

The Church of God in Christ, Inc. (COGIC) would like to wish Mother Willie Mae Rivers, International Supervisor of Women, a very Happy & Blessed Birthday!

About Mother Willie Mae Rivers

Willie Mae Smalls Rivers has touched and continues to touch the lives of many people throughout this world. It was stated that she was born “…to be different…” on February 20, 1926 to the late Robert and Anna Mitchell Smalls. As a child, Willie Mae exemplified great promise that she would one day contribute greatly to mankind. “Willie Ray” (as she was affectionately called by her loving father) was and still is concerned about the welfare of others.

Mother Rivers received her formal education in the Berkeley and Charleston County School Systems.

Her Christian experience began as a child. She attended the Mt. Zion AME Church Sunday School. Because of her interest and dedication, she represented her church as a delegate to many conventions. The presiding Elder remarked “…this child will one day be a great leader… she has a mark on her life.” At the age of fifteen, June 26, 1941, the very lovely Willie Mae Smalls was united in holy matrimony to Mr. David Rivers. Their marriage lasted just short of 56 years until his demise May 15, 1997. This union was blessed with twelve children; two sons and daughters. In 1946, Mother Rivers attended a revival one night and after hearing the gospel preached (by the husband and wife team, Supt. Jacob C. & Missionary Francena Dantzler) she believed and was baptized in the Holy Ghost.

Mother Rivers became a member of the Calvary Church of God in Christ. She was appointed Church Mother at the age of twenty (20). She continues to serve in that capacity. Because of her dedication, Mother Rivers was chosen to serve as District Missionary and later Assistant Supervisor to the late Mother Alice Marie Saunders. In 1968, she was appointed and is presently the Supervisor of the Department of Women for the South Carolina Jurisdiction. Her loyal dedication to God and her leaders is exemplified throughout the Church of God in Christ, Inc.

Mother Rivers has served on the National level in the following capacities:

  • International Marshal – Women’s Convention
  • Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors
  • Member, Executive Board
  • Member, Screening Committee
  • Member, Program Committee – General Church
  • Coordinator – Leadership Conference
  • Instructor – District Missionaries Class
  • Member, Steering Committee – Women’s Convention
  • Chairperson – Exhibits – Women’s Convention
  • Third Assistant General Supervisor
  • Second Assistant General Supervisor
  • First Assistant General Supervisor

Mother Rivers was appointed and installed as the International General Supervisor in April 1997. Since her appointment as General Supervisor, Mother Rivers has been featured in the May 1999 edition of Charisma and on February 3, 2000, she had her first appearance on the 700 Club. She made a special guest appearance on TBN in May of 2005. She continues to minister to the needs of individuals in her community. Mother Rivers has sponsored and spread the Gospel for several years through the “Evangelist Speaks” ministry on WTUA 106.1 FM (St. Stephens, SC) and WBBP 1480 AM (Memphis, TN) radio stations. The Evangelist Speaks radio ministry recently joined WJNI 106.3 FM (North Charleston, SC). Mother Rivers is also the founder and president of the Community Christian Women & Men Fellowship, which was organized to reach people in all walks of life. Giving all praises to God, this fellowship has been a blessing to many souls through spiritual enrichment. Aid is provided for those less fortunate and the bereaved receive love and comfort during their time of sorrow.


Mother Rivers is a true servant of God and she touched the life of her sons, the late Robert Lee Rivers and Samuel Rivers. She continues to touch the lives of her ten daughters, twenty grandchildren, thirty-six great-grandchildren, three great-great grand, three sisters, uncles, aunts, many cousins, her community and the Grand Ole Church of God in Christ Family.

Black History Month: Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey, affectionately known as a young girl as "Little Lillian", was a dreamer and a woman with a great vision. When she was just a small child, her grandfather invited Bishop Mason into their home. When Bishop Mason started his church in Memphis, she and other neighborhood children would attend Sunday School and services held in a tent across the street from where she lived.

One Sunday morning Bishop Mason taught the children about Jesus and the Lord touched and saved "Little Lillian" beginning her life in church under Bishop Mason. As she grew older, Bishop Mason continued to influence her life. She read the bible through once every year, a practice she continued even after reading it eleven times.

Mother Coffey traveled with Bishop Mason reading and singing while he preached. When her parents died, he became her father. She worked as secretary in his office for twenty-one years and as assistant financial secretary until her appointment to General Supervisor in 1945. She said this of Bishop Mason:

Mother Coffey was one of the greatest leaders and organizers that ever lived. She continued to build the existing auxiliary programs and began to organize the units and helps for the Department of Women. She was the founder of the Lillian Brooks Coffey Rest Home in Detroit, Michigan. Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey is best remembered for her work in 1951, when she organized the Women’s International Convention held in Los Angeles, California hosted by Mother L.O. Hale and Bishop S.M. Crouch. The Women's International Convention was born through a dream she had of a better way to support missions. Her heart was burdened over the condition of suffering foreign Missionaries and their various fields. One hundred women who paid $100.00 each, the cost of the Red Card registration, rode the Coffey train to the convention in 1951, carrying their money, $10,000, in a brown paper bag. She presided over 14 conventions, 1951-1964.

Mother Coffey still lives with us. “Methods change, but principles remain the same.” Please Click Here to read the entire article on the COGIC Women's Department Site.

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