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COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. Declares December 14th
“Black Lives Matter Sunday”
Memphis, TN (December 5, 2014) The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is hosting “Black Lives Matter Sunday,” to remind the nation how important the lives of African Americans are.
Sunday, December 14, 2014, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) will sponsor a day of prayer throughout its 12,000 congregations around the world, in honor of the two recent cases of African American men, Michael Brown and Eric Garner, killed by police.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “I watched, as did most of America, first the video of the incident, then the report of the Grand Jury in the Eric Garner case. I am saddened by the decision of the Staten Island Grand Jury to not indict New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo. With no indictment in two national cases in less than a two week period, and to hear and see Eric Garner, a father and grandfather, placed in a banned choke hold and repeatedly say ‘I can’t breathe,’ takes us back years in the struggle for equal justice.”
Bishop Blake added, “We must find a way, through God’s help, to continue the work of emphatically telling everyone that will listen that, “Black Lives Matter!”
COGIC is asking its pastors and members to wear black on the second Sunday in December to show solidarity. A special prayer will be given for all of the men present in the service on that day.
About the Church of God in Christ:
The Church of God in Christ is the fifth largest Protestant religious denomination and the largest African American church in the United States, with churches in 63 countries worldwide and an estimated membership of nearly 6.5 million members.
A Pastoral Statement on the Crisis in Ferguson:
Where Do We Go from Here?
The Right Reverend Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Church of God in Christ
November 08, 2014
We in the church are called to stand with the widow and the orphan, with the poor and the suffering as our Lord Jesus Christ did. For “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27). We therefore seek to encourage the people of Ferguson in their steadfast protest for justice following the tragic death of Michael Brown. More important, we will continue to pray for the people, their leaders and the authorities of the area. We will seek God’s blessing especially for those dealing with systematic racial injustice.
The residents of Ferguson have suffered enormous pain as a result of the heartbreaking death of Michael Brown on August 9. The anguish of a life cut short was exacerbated by the egregious disrespect for Michael Brown’s body and family displayed by law enforcement agencies. The exposure of the community, including very young children, to the scene of violence was extremely injurious. The pseudo-military overreaction by the police to the initially peaceful protest was even more harmful. The injustice that even now the apparent perpetrator has not even been indicted rankles.
Sadly, the incident that took Michael Brown’s life was not the first instance of racialized behavior on the part of the police force in Ferguson. Prior to August the Justice Department was already investigating the force. In addition, there is a clear case of racial imbalance: out of fifty three officers only three were black at the time of the shooting. The racial injustice in Ferguson extends far beyond the police to structural issues. The budget of the city relies heavily on fees and traffic fines apparently issued disproportionately to blacks. And the black residents of Ferguson, who make up sixty-seven percent of city’s population, are grossly under-represented in the local legislature. And it is reported that in several of these areas Ferguson is not the exception in St. Louis County.
The grand jury will undoubtedly release its verdict in this case very soon. Given the current laws governing the use of deadly force Officer Darren Wilson may not be indicted. With this in mind, we call on all involved to continue to work for the greater good of the people of Ferguson. We call on the leadership of the city and the police force to reject a militarized response to the situation. They must deal justly with any peaceful protest. And they must judiciously put an end to any acts of violence.
We call on community to express its response the Grand Jury’s decision in peaceful ways. We encourage the youth leaders to continue to work for remedies to structural racial injustice in Ferguson and St. Louis County. We support the expansion of voter registration efforts. We urge every registered voter to make his or her voice heard in each election, especially those for local officials.
We call on the Justice Department to oversee the restructuring of the Ferguson police department, with special attention to the grievous lack of representation of blacks on the force. And we encourage the DOJ to continue its investigation into possible civil rights violations in the Michael Brown case.
We call on local clergy to continue to minister to the needs of the community. The church must become more involved in championing their cause. We urge pastors to begin to minister, mentor and monitor youth involved in or at risk for violent behavior.
Finally, we call on the business community and philanthropists to support the creation of jobs for young black men and women in Ferguson and throughout St. Louis County and city. They should support the efforts of clergy working with the youth from the poorest neighborhoods in the area.
Under God’s providence this tragedy can become a door of opportunity. Thus, what was intended for evil can become a source of blessing.
November 13, 2014
The Honorable Jay Nixon
Governor of Missouri
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, Missouri 63103
Dear Governor Nixon:
The tragic shooting of Michael Brown is extremely troubling to us. As an organization that has invested over $ 140 million dollars in the St. Louis regional economy over the past four years, with the likelihood of investing an additional $150 million dollars over the next four years, we feel especially obligated to urge that steps be taken to ensure that there will be justice in the Michael Brown shooting and that necessary systemic changes will be made that reduce the likelihood of situations like those listed below happening again:
An understanding of your plans to ensure justice is achieved and to make needed systemic changes will be helpful in our deliberations. We await your expeditious reply.
Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Presiding Bishop and the General Board
The Seventh in Succession
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, INC.
Senator Claire McCaskill
The Honorable Francis G. Slay
Mayor, City of Saint Louis
The Honorable James Knowles, III
Mayor, City of Ferguson
Mr. Charlie A. Dooley, County Executive
St. Louis County, Missouri
Ms. Kathleen M. Ratcliffe, President
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission
Mr. Thomas J. Irwin, Executive Director
The General Board
Church of God in ChristStatement on Video Airing From 107th Holy Convocation
We believe that we should reflect the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do. We do not in any way compromise our biblical position against same sex unions or in favor of biblical teaching on matters of sexual conduct. At the same time we expect that our clergy and laity will be civil and considerate as they speak to men and women regarding issues related to our Christian faith. We love all people, regardless of their faith or moral standards. When we fail to express ourselves with love and humility we contradict our witness to the world.
During the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, MO, November 3-11, 2014, many tremendous things occurred that demonstrated the church’s love for community and for the whole man.
Through a number of COGIC Cares initiatives, the St. Louis and metro east communities were helped in some of the following ways:
Since 2010, when the Church of God in Christ Holy Convocation moved from Memphis, TN to St. Louis, the economic impact to the bi-state, metropolitan area has been over $120 million.
As a Pentecostal, Bible-believing organization, our goal is to edify and care for the entire individual, both naturally and spiritually. Thus, during the convocation:
A video, which is now viral, of a young man stating his deliverance from a particular lifestyle does not, in any capacity, speak to all of the remarkable things that transpired during this great church convention.
Furthermore, the Church of God in Christ wholly condemns acts of violence against and the subjugation of any person to verbal or physical harassment on the basis of their sexual stance. Such actions violate entirely the Christian’s obligation to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST SENDS MEDICAL SUPPLIES AND AN AMBULANCE TO WEST AFRICA TO HELP FIGHT EBOLA VIRUS
Memphis, TN (October 28, 2014) The Church of God in Christ, the largest Pentecostal denomination in the Unites States sent aid to families in Liberia.
Help is on the way to Liberia from the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) to fight the spread of the Ebola virus. COGIC is responding to the crisis with (US)$120,000 worth of medical supplies to aid in the fight.
The Church of God in Christ sent a 40-foot container filled with medical supplies that include a medical ambulance fully stocked with oxygen, gurneys, gloves and masks.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “According to NBC News, Liberia has recorded over 2,000 deaths. The Church of God in Christ has 50 churches in Liberia alone, and we must help the people of Western Africa to combat this deadly disease. The supplies include personal protective equipment (PPEs), face masks, hand gloves, gowns, hand sanitizer and other supplies.”
The medical supplies delivered also include simple hand washing systems, such as a bucket with a flip spigot, soap and bleach, which can save countless lives.
The battle is far from over and according to The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ebola virus will affect nearly two million people by January 2015.
The World Health Organization recommends washing your hands with soap and running water. As the public health system in Western Africa has been overwhelmed by the Ebola crisis, hand washing, has become more important than ever.
During its largest convention this November, the Church of God in Christ, through its benevolent arm COGIC Charities, will launch its “Hand Washing” challenge. For just $15, convention delegates can purchase a hand washing system that will assist efforts in Liberia to control and eradicate the Ebola virus outbreak.
About the Church of God in Christ.
The Church of God in Christ is the fifth largest Protestant religious denomination and the largest Pentecostal church in the United States, with churches in 63 countries worldwide and an estimated membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.
Our Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. will visit St Louis this week in honor of our International Department of Evangelism President, Pastor Elijah Hankerson and Lady Rachel Hankerson. See the flyer below for more details.