The National Adjutancy Corps is a team of men and women who are united and organized to help make ministry work. Some of the responsibilities include, but are not limited to: (1) Preparation for the Consecration and Installation of new Bishops; (2) The dignified execution of Homegoing Celebrations for deceased Leaders; (3) Assisting the Presiding Bishop in the orderly conduction of National ceremonial occasions, as well as, (4) Performing any other duty that the Presiding Bishop may assign.
The Church Of God In Christ has made choice of the military terms “Adjutant” or “Adjutancy” to describe this ministry. It is important that the Adjutant and all others know and understand that the National Adjutancy Corps is the property of the Presiding Bishop. The Corps exists to carry out his wishes.
Historically, the Presiding Bishop has charged the National Adjutancy Corps with the sacred task of standardizing the fundamentals of our Ceremonial, Liturgical and Protocol traditions. The Presiding Bishop Joseph Oglethorpe Patterson – as the Church continued to expand organizationally and as he developed its ceremonial pomp and circumstance – had a strong need for men and women who would serve, set up and assist in these ceremonies to fulfill the worship of its organizational denomination – the Church Of God In Christ. This ministry, as we know today, is called the National Adjutancy Corps. The National Adjutancy Corps was developed and did evolve in the home of, then, Military Officer Air Force Colonel Jesse Delano Ellis, as he assisted as an Elder at Pentecostal Temple Institutional Church Of God In Christ of Memphis, Tennessee. Elder Ellis was given permission to gather men and women who would help in this ministry. Therefore, Elder Phillip Aquilla Brooks, of Detroit, Michigan, Elder Walter Emil Bogan of Flint, Michigan, Elder Roy Lawrence Hailey Winbush of Lafayette, Louisiana and Elder Floyd Eugene Perry of Cleveland, Ohio were asked to work and serve on the newly formed National Adjutancy as active members of the Corps.
Their first act as a Corps was to assist the Presiding Bishop in the elevation service of, then, Jurisdictional Secretary – Timothy Titus Scott of Clarksdale, Mississippi, to the Office of Jurisdictional Bishop in Northern Mississippi, after the death of Bishop B. S. Lyles in 1972. Additional brethren were added: Elder Marcus Butler of Jackson, Mississippi and Elder Bufford Terry of Cleveland, Ohio.
The National Adjutancy Corps was established as the mechanism through which these essential traditions could be preserved and enacted. The essence of this servant ministry in the Church Of God In Christ is long-standing. However, the Corps has been under formal organization and appointed leadership since 1976, under the administration and direction of the first elected Presiding Bishop – His Grace, the Honorable Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson, Sr.
Bishop Phillip Aquilla Brooks of Detroit, Michigan, was appointed as the first “Chief Adjutant” of the National Adjutancy in 1976. He served until 1981 and was succeeded by Bishop Floyd Eugene Perry of Cleveland, Ohio. Bishop Perry served in 1988. Dr. J. Delano Ellis of Memphis, Tennessee succeeded Bishop Perry. In 1989, Bishop Harold Jenkins Bell of Nashville, Tennessee succeeded Dr. Ellis. Bishop Bell served well from 1989 until his elevation to the General Board in 2000. It was under the leadership of Bishop Bell that he commissioned the preparation and publication of the first Official Handbook of the National Adjutancy Corps. It was under the leadership of Bishop Bell that the term “Chief Adjutant” was changed to “Adjutant General.” Bishop Barnett Karl Thoroughgood carried the mantle of excellence in service from 2000 until 2005 as the 1st Adjutant General. It was in 2005 that the Presiding Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson made choice of Bishop Matthew Williams of Tampa, Florida to carry the legacy further. In 2016, Bishop Williams was elevated to the General Board by the General Assembly. After the elevation of Bishop Williams, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. made choice of Bishop Robert G. Rudolph, Jr. of Malvern, Arkansas to become the fourth Adjutant General, the Seventh Leader in Succession.