Church Of God In Christ

A Pastoral Statement on Police Violence Against Black Men

The death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore is yet another tragic loss in a series of apparent criminal acts perpetrated by certain law enforcement officers against African American men. The Church of God in Christ offers our sincere condolences to the Gray family and to the many families throughout the nation devastated by the loss of loved ones under similar circumstances.

The swift indictment of the six police officers responsible for the death of Freddie Gray is the correct message: that no one is above the law and that the lives of young African American men have value. We are prayerful that the Gray family will ultimately receive the justice that was denied to the families of so many young men who lost their lives at the hands of the police.

Police brutality along with racial inequalities in the criminal justice system have had a negative impact on African Americans since the end of slavery. In the sixties, it was the primary cause of rage among blacks identified by the Kerner Commission Report. Since then it has continued to plague African Americans of every generation provoking outrage, protests and even riots.

Harvard sociologist Bruce Western argues that the riots of the sixties fueled a national backlash and a preoccupation with law and order which was the catalyst for the current epidemic of mass incarceration which is decimating the black community.

We decry the cruel victimization that is prevalent in the inner city and seek to highlight the root causes of the injustice that African Americans across the nation suffer. We urge the immediate adoption and implementation of social policies and laws that will stem the tide of violence unleashed on our citizens by those charged with protecting and serving.

Despite the injustice African Americans face at the hands of society, in general, and law enforcement, in particular, violence and rioting are never justified. Therefore, we condemn such behavior in the strongest terms possible. Violence is antithetical to Christian teaching and counterproductive.

We must continue to follow the example of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and the work of so many other Civil Rights leaders who won an end to segregation through non-violent tactics.

We both urge and support the continuance of peaceful demonstrations which typify our preferred response in Baltimore and where ever the cry for justice needs to be heard.

The Church of God in Christ will continue working in concert with government and civil society to achieve change. We will aggressively advocate for enacting social policies and laws that will ameliorate the current, untenable situation and reverse the militarization of our local police forces while strengthening community policing practices.

The Federal Government’s recent decision to provide funding for body cameras for police forces in small and medium sized cities is an excellent example of policies that can lead to true progress. Research indicates that both police officers and the public are more judicious in their actions when body cameras are used.

We believe the ultimate prescription for our inner cities must give all citizens access to quality education, jobs that pay a living wage, a fair criminal justice system and policies that strengthen the family and promote financial literacy.

With the help of God, we can turn our urban neighborhoods around.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

Presiding Bishop & Chief Apostle

Seventh in Succession

Church of God in Christ

Help COGIC Help Nepal

CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST SENDS HELP TO NEPAL IN WAKE OF EARTHQUAKE

May 4, 2015 (Memphis, TN) The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) International Missions President, Bishop Vincent Mathews, Jr. will take a team to Nepal to assist in the hardest hit areas of the recent earthquake.

The media reports that more than 7,000 people have died and more than 11,000 injured after one of the worst natural disasters to hit Nepal.  Amid continuing aftershocks, people are sleeping outside and are in desperate need of 500,000 tents.

The Church of God in Christ is sending Bishop Vincent Mathews, Jr. to answer the call for much needed medical supplies, water purification tablets, tents and much more.  Bishop Mathews and a Missions delegation will land this week in Kathmandu with a medical doctor to assist in any way they can.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. states, “The Church of God in Christ is sending a team to assist our brothers and sisters in Nepal. Our COGIC congregation and the thousands in the area affected by this disaster are in desperate need of our help.”

Bishop Mathews says, “After seeing the devastation of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. felt it vital that we put some boots on the ground to help the people of Nepal in some of the hardest hit areas.” He further states, “We are going to the outlying areas that are closer to the epicenter and tough to reach places to help those with considerable less resources and aide.”

C.E. Blake Ministries, Inc. is making a Ten Thousand Dollar gift to COGIC Charities to assist in the alleviation of this and other tragedies around the world.  Bishop Blake says, “I want to challenge COGIC members, leaders and churches to give generously to support this effort.”

Your contribution will be used to provide food, water and medical resources to those impacted by this disaster in Nepal and in other places around the world where poverty and disaster have diminished the level and quality of human life.

Help COGIC Help Nepal. Click hereto donate online now.  Your donations are tax deductible and will greatly assist the men and women of Nepal. 

 If you would like to donate by mail, please write to:

Church of God in Christ

“HELP COGIC HELP NEPAL”

World Headquarters

930 Mason Street

Memphis, TN 38126

Please make checks payable to COGIC Charities Disaster Fund.

About the Church of God in Christ:

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States with churches in 63 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Nominations Are Open!

COGIC 150Women rgb

Nominations for COGIC's 150 Influential Women are open from Feb. 15 – apr. 30.

COGIC Pastor Dies

AThouroghgood

The pastor of a large Virginia Beach church died Tuesday in a farm accident.

COGIC PR Selected as Winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards

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CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST SELECTED AS WINNER IN THE 36th ANNUAL TELLY AWARDS

 

Memphis, TN (April 10, 2015) The Telly Awards has named the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Public Relations Department as a winner in the 36th Annual Telly Awards for their show titled Holy Convocation-All Access Pass.   With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

Holy Convocation-All Access Pass is a half-hour show that highlighted the various events of the 107th Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ.  This show was streamed to thousands online and available in hotel rooms throughout the ten-day convention.

“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” says Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards.  “The Church of God in Christ PR department’s accomplishment illustrates their creativity, skill, and dedication to their craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.”

Robert Coleman, COGIC-PR Director says, “This award is incredible recognition to the team that worked so hard on this show. I cannot say thank you enough to Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. for the opportunity, the shows host Lady Shirley Jordan, Mr. Cormac Parker, crew Eric Reinig, Dave Lowther, David George Newsome, Darris Adkins, Will Hampton, Melba Newsome, Robin Smith and the entire PR staff.”

The Telly Awards was founded in 1979 and is the premier award honoring the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films.  Winners represent the best work of the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, television stations, cable operators, and corporate public relation departments in the world.

A prestigious judging panel of over 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition, upholding the historical standard of excellence that Telly represents.

About the Church of God in Christ:

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States with churches in 63 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

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Pilgrimage To Pentecost

On behalf of Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. God has placed it upon his heart to call the Church Of God In Christ annually to a 50 day consecration of fasting and prayer, called the C. H. MASON PILGRIMAGE TO PENTECOST. Our desire is for God to fill His people with the Holy Ghost and to continue the revival that He started on the Day of Pentecost!

Over 2.9 billion people on the face of the Earth have NEVER heard the Gospel preached!
We need the power of the Holy Ghost to reach the world for Christ!

This consecration is NOT a departmental event or activity; this is a call for the ENTIRE CHURCH to seek the LORD.

C. H. MASON PILGRIMAGE TO PENTECOST starts Sunday, April 5, 2015 (Resurrection Sunday) through Sunday May 24, 2015 (Pentecost Sunday).  Attached are the 11 prayer requests that our leader desires for us to focus on during the 50 day consecration; so that we may have some type of unity, structure and strategy in our prayers.

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You are NOT asked to read or recite these; but to catch the heart and spirit of the prayer requests and allow the Lord to use YOU to cover these (or similar) needs in prayer for at least 11 minutes of your prayer time every day for 50 days. This is why the consecration is also called 11/11/50.

You are requested to fast on Tuesdays and Fridays (COGIC’s traditional fast days) from Midnight to at least 12 Noon. Again, this is at the request of our Presiding Bishop and how the Lord is leading him. Your participation would be greatly appreciated!

We need your help:

  1. Please print off this letter and the 11 prayer requests and announce at all of your church, district, jurisdictional and departmental events.
  2. Also, please share this info on your social media, television and radio broadcasts.
  3. Please also resend this email to your distribution list.
  4. Please plan on having a huge Day of Pentecost celebration on Sunday, May 24, 2015!!!

The Presiding Bishop is requesting saints of ALL NATIONS to participate and also believers from other denominations are welcomed to join us, as we seek the face of God.

May God richly bless you as your participate in the mighty move of God!

Resources:

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Ferguson Missouri Statement

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Church Of God In Christ

Statement on Ferguson Police Shooting

We were saddened to hear of the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri.  All around the world, we are praying for their full recovery.   We are also praying for their families and their colleagues.

Law enforcement is absolutely necessary to preserve the peace throughout our nation.  As an organization, we strongly support the many men and women of high integrity who valiantly place their lives on the line each day in an effort to secure the public safety.

As events unfold in Ferguson, we continue to pray for the peace of that city.  Our fervent hope is that ultimately a strong and compassionate community will arise.

About the Church of God in Christ:

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States with churches in 63 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

 

 

 

Missions President Selected

SOUTH AFRICAN BISHOP NAMED NEW COGIC INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS PRESIDENT

February 25, 2015 (Memphis, TN) Bishop Vincent Mathews, Jr. has been chosen to lead the International Missions Department of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).

pict-matthewsPresiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. has, with the approval of the General Board of the Church of God in Christ, selected Bishop Vincent Mathews, Jr. to be the new president of the International Missions Department. Bishop Mathews succeeds Bishop Carlis Moody who served admirably as president for over forty years.

Bishop Mathews is the jurisdictional prelate of the South African First Jurisdiction and the pastor of Tabernacle COGIC in Ivory Park, Johannesburg. 

Presiding Bishop Blake says, “Bishop Vincent Mathews, Jr. has a heart for missions.  His desire to reach those men and women in the countries around the globe where the Church of God in Christ is located, and beyond, will continue our church’s long tradition of empowering people to transform their communities.”

For the past 10 ½ years, Bishop Mathews and his devoted wife, Sharon Mathews, have served as full-time COGIC missionaries in South Africa. They have been married for 21 years and have 10 children.

Bishop Mathews says, “I'm honored that Presiding Bishop Charles E.  Blake, Sr. and the General Board have afforded me the opportunity to serve as International Missions President.  I am confident that thousands of saints of the Church of God in Christ will join me and answer the call to extreme commitment to The Great Commission through radical, relevant and innovative worldwide ministry.” 

Bishop Matthews was born in the United States and left a lucrative career in education to go on the mission field. He received a BA from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, an MA from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and a Doctorate of Theology from North Carolina College of Theology. He has authored six books and loves the ministry of worldwide missions.  

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About the Church of God in Christ:

The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States with churches in 63 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Pentecostal Leaders Summit

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PENTECOSTAL LEADERS REPRESENTING MILLIONS MEET TO DISCUSS CRITICAL TOPICS

February 23, 2015 (Los Angeles, CA) Leaders from six global Pentecostal denominations, representing over 90 million members combined, recently met in Los Angeles to discuss a wide range of international and domestic topics.

The Pentecostal Leaders Summit convened for three days last week in Los Angeles, California to discuss a number of topics including the effects of terrorism, the church’s role in racial harmony, religious freedom, and same-sex issues facing the church just to name a few.

The leaders in attendance included Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ; Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God; Dr. Glenn C. Burris President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent/Presiding Bishop, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Dr. Mark Williams, General Overseer, Church of God; Rev. Randall A. Bach, President, Open Bible Churches and Dr. Jack W. Hayford, Former President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Additional persons in attendance included other elected officials from each organization.

A goal of the summit was to provide an opportunity for each leader to listen and discuss the various national and international crisis-facing Christians around the globe, while also seeking to help bring unity to the Body of Christ globally.

Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “This gathering of Pentecostal leaders has provided each person with a unique opportunity to come to Los Angeles and dialogue with their contemporaries in other denominations, with similar beliefs, about issues that are confronting us all.” He further states, “This summit has shown us what we, as Christian leaders, have said and known for some time now: We are all better when we come together as one.”

Dr. George O. Wood states, “This was truly an historical meeting.  We are all the grandsons and granddaughters of the Azusa Street revival, and in these days, the Holy Spirit is drawing us together in united witness, fulfilling the prayer of Jesus that the world would know us by our love for one another.”

Dr. Glen Burris emphasized, "There is a strong sense that the conversations among us have resonated much like the early church, that experienced a 'one accord' dynamic.  An African proverb says, 'If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.'  Finishing the Great Commission will require all of us.”

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The last discussion topic of the summit was how the six denominations can continue in dialog with one another and provide opportunities to include additional Pentecostal denominations and enlarge the representation from each group.

Bishop Doug Beacham shares, “People are so thankful that we are meeting like this. Whatever steps we take are important for us, for our country and for revival . . .”

Dr. Mark L. Williams declares, “Our shared history along with the collegiality and genuine respect we have for one another holds great promise and unlimited potential for fulfilling the mission for which Jesus died.  Only a united church can reach a divided world.  We must be one.”

Rev. Randall A. Bach explains, “It is always meaningful to gather with leaders of like faith. It is particularly joyful, however, to fellowship and collaborate with leaders of like experience, who love and pursue the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Our family of ministers and churches embrace and value our sister fellowships with love and respect. Unity in the Spirit glorifies the Lord.”

This is the first time in history a conference of this kind, with these leaders representing such a large and diverse membership, has ever taken place.

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Letter from George O. Wood, General Superintendent – Assemlies of God

COGIC History: William J. Seymour

William J. Seymour: #BlackHistory #COGICHistory #OurStory

William J. Seymour relocated from Houston, TX to Los Angeles, California. He began preaching from his base on Azusa Street. Seymour rejected the existing racial barriers in favor of “Unity in Christ” and he also rejected the then almost-universal barriers to women in any form of church leadership. This movement became known as the Azusa Street Revival. This street revival is where our founder, Bishop C.H. Mason, received the Holy Spirit. It is amazing to know that the obedience of one man, William J. Seymour, to start this revival and the obedience of Bishop Mason to attend the revival could change to course of the church as we know it and spurred the movement of Pentecostalism that we know and cherish today.

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