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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