The Home and Foreign Missions Department had its beginning in 1925. The House of Prayer International Home and Foreign Mission Board (of Portland, Oregon) under the leadership of Elder Searcy, became affiliated with the Church of God in Christ. This group remained with the church until June, 1926. When the House of Prayer withdrew the small balance that remained in its treasury was given to Bishop C. H. Mason. He was to take disposition of it in the cause of Foreign Missions.

In 1926, upon the recommendation of Mother Lizzie Roberson, Elder C. G. Brown of Kansas City Missouri, was appointed the first Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Home and Foreign Missions Department by Bishop C. H. Mason. On December 2, 1926, at our headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, the Elders’ Council met and organized the first Missions board of the Church of God in Christ.

This board consisted of five members, namely:

Elder J. R. Anderson, President Milwaukee, WI

Elder V. M. Barker, Vice-President Kansas City, MO

Elder C. G. Brown, Exc. Sec. & Trea Kansas City, MO

Elder C. Pleas, Recording Sec. Kansas City, MO

Elder C. Range, Corresponding Sec. Chester, Pa.

Mother L. M. Cox, Representative Trenton, N.J.

The Missions Board met annually at the National Holy Convocation in Memphis or at the request of the Executive Officer, Elder Brown. In 1927, the call was made for workers to go to serve the Lord in foreign lands. Mrs. Mattie McCaulley of Tulsa, Oklahoma was the first to respond to the call. She was sent to Trinidad, one of the islands of the West Indies. After spending some time there she was then sent to Cristobal, Canal Zone. She also spent some time in Costa Rica, and then returned home. It was during this time while attending the National Convocation that Elder Cornelius Hall, a native of Turks Island, British West Indies, volunteered to return to his homeland to minister to his people. He served faithfully for ten years. He died at sea while on a voyage traveling to reach his people.

After the loss of Elder Hall, the work was carried on by Elder R. E. Handfield who had been assistant to Elder Hall. He served in the Turks Island faithfully until his death in 1949.

In 1929, Miss. Elizabeth White, who had already done three years of service with the Assemblies of God at Cape Palmas, Liberia, became a member of the Church of God In Christ and volunteered to continue her work in Africa under the banner of the Church. She was sent back to Africa by the Mission Board in 1930.

There she worked alone among the natives at the Bonika Mission Station. As a result of her work, a small congregation was started. The work increased until it was necessary to send another Missionary. Mother Roberson recommended Mrs. W. C. Ragland, Columbus, Ga., to the Mission Board to be the assistant to Miss. White. At the close of the Holy Convocation in 1931, Mrs. Ragland was appointed. In the first part of the year of 1932, she sailed to Liberia, West Africa. Here these two women supervised the erection of a stucco church building…….our first in Africa.

After spending four years in the severe heat, Missionary White returned home for a much-needed rest. Missionary Ragland remained in Africa carrying on the work until Missionary White returned in 1935.

In 1937, Miss. Beatrice Lott of Dallas joined the missionaries and a work was begun at Tubake and at Wissikeh. When World War II began and the forces of combat surged around the continent of Africa, the missionaries were called home by the US government to wait until the conflict ended.

While the returned missionaries were busily engaged in ministering in different areas, it was through their inspiring messages that Miss. Dorothy Webster, a teacher in the public schools of Cleveland, Ohio, and Miss. Martha Barber of Chicago, Illinois, felt the call of the Lord to go to the Mission Field. Miss. Webster was led to choose the Republic of Haiti for her field of ministry, while Miss. Barber chose Liberia. Miss. Barber went with Miss. Lott back to Liberia.

Also in 1937, the Board was reorganized and became known as the Department of Home and Foreign Mission of the Church of God in Christ. Bishop Samuel Crouch of Los Angeles, California, was appointed president of the Department. Bishop Crouch visited the foreign work and appointed Bishops over various fields. He set up conferences and held them in several states.

Bishop Crouch was later joined by Bishop Richard L. Fidler of Racine, Wis., who brought together the work of Cuba and much of the Spanish-speaking people of the Americas. Under Bishop Fidler “Mission Outlook” became the official paper of the Department. He served well with Bishop Crouch. In 1968, Bishop S. M. Crouch became the third assistant presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ. Bishop S. R. Martin of Seaside, Ca., was appointed president of the Department of Home and Foreign Missions. Bishop Martin led the Department until 1973 when he was appointed Jurisdictional Bishop of California N. W.

In 1939, Overseer A. B. McEwen was appointed Bishop of the Foreign Fields. He Later succeeded in having Elder Joseph St. Juste, a native minister, appointed overseer of Haiti, with some 96 churches affiliated with the Church of God in Christ.

After the death of Overseer St. Juste, Bishop Courtney was made the Bishop of Haiti. He was succeeded by Elder Lopez Dautruche, a native of Haiti. Elder Dautruche was consecrated Bishop of Haiti in 1947. Under his leadership, the church has continued to grow. We now have some 42 schools, one orphanage, an apartment complex and over 150 churches.

In 1945, Bishop C. Pleas was appointed Bishop of Liberia. He arrived in Monrovia in September, 1948. He formed an acquaintance with some of the government officials, among whom was his excellency President Tubman, the President of the Republic of Liberia. He was treated with every courtesy due a prominent executive of the Church.

There was no church edifice or other group in Monrovia. Bishop Pleas set about with Elder Valentine Brown, a native minister of the Church, and they procured a sight on top of a hill located along Broadway Street to erect a home of worship. In four weeks, the walls were completed and the building was ready for roofing. Bishop Pleas held the first Holy Convocation of the Church of God in Christ in Africa. In the summer of 1949, Elder O. T. Jones, Jr. (now Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr.) of Philadelphia was sent to Monrovia to encourage the work. In the same year, Mrs. Francina Wiggins was sent to Liberia to assist Mother White at the Wissikeh Station. Mother Wiggins later went to the Monalu Station and was instrumental in building a church, a school and a mission complex.

Elder Charles Kennedy and his wife Mary Beth went to Liberia in 1959 to serve at Wissikeh where they served the Lord by being in charge of the Mission Station, conducting a school with both elementary and high school levels, a clinic and other needed ministries until they returned home about five years later.

In 1973, the Department was then placed under the supervision of an interim committee:

Bishop F. D. Washington, Chairman

Bishop J. A. Blake

Bishop C. L. Anderson

Under this committee, Bishop R. L. Fidler became the Executive Secretary. In November, 1975, at the National Holy Convocation in Memphis, TN., with the consent of the General Board, Elder Carlis Moody, Sr. of Evanston, Illinois, was appointed by Bishop J. O. Patterson to be president of the Department of Home and Foreign Missions.

Elder Moody immediately began to reorganize the Mission Department, giving new guidelines. A new mission board was selected.

The officers were:

Elder Carlis Lee Moody, Sr., President

Elder J. W. Denny, Executive Sec.

Mrs. D. M. Patterson, Treasurer

Mr. Oknewa Onwuckewa, Finance Sec.

Elder Benjamin Crouch, Chairman of Finance Committee

Elder W. W. Covington, Vice-Chairman of Finance Committee

Through this board a new organizational structure was established, written, and approved April 6, 1976; then on November 1, 1977, it was amended.

One of Elder Moody’s first tasks was to visit Haiti and reregister all of the Church of God in Christ properties there. President Moody has been busy checking on the progress of the work on the mission field, and encouraging the support of the national church for missions. He has visited the work in Haiti, Canada, Jamaica, Mexico, Belize, Nassau, Germany, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Liberia, Ghana , Nigeria, Panama, England, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Columbia, Trinidad, Malawi, Brazil, South Africa and Barbados. President Moody also added these ministries to the mission Department:

  1. Youth On A Mission (YOAM) – a ministry of young people visiting the mission field to serve each summer.
  2. Student Aid – a ministry of support to foreign students.
  3. Touch a Life – child support ministry
  4. Nurses Aid Ministry Nurses Aid Ministry – nurses taking their skills to the mission field.
  5. Sister Church Support Ministry – a church in the USA giving support to a church on the mission field.
  6. The Voice of Missions – a bimonthly magazine

In 1983, Bishop Moody, with Mother Irene Oakley, the help and support of Mother Mattie McGlothen and the Women’s Department began the reconstruction work on a building in Haiti. It was completed in the summer of 1984. This housing unit has ten finished, furnished apartments.

Bishop Moody took a new challenge to purchase property to house our orphanage in Haiti at the cost of $ 125,000. The orphanage has since been paid for and redecorated. It was dedicated in January, 1996.

The late Bishop J. W. Denny, who was then Elder J. W. Denny the Executive Secretary, worked close by the president’s side. A vote of thanks goes to all of the Mission Board Members. They have been a constant source of encouragement to the president.



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