- About COGIC
Theme for the Church Of God In Christ
for the year 2015 A. D.
Christ’s Extreme Sacrifice Calls
for Our Extreme Commitment
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
- 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (KJV) -
Downloadable 2015 Theme Graphics:
(Click image to open in new window, then right-click image and "save image as" to download)
The Church of God in Christ would like to take this time to Thank God for the Extraordinary Life and Awesome Legacy of Pastor Andraé Crouch. He touched many lives with his God-given gifts that he used for God’s Glory. We are praying for his family, his friends and all who mourn the loss of this Gospel Music Legend.
As Christians, it is our nature to want to give, to solve problems and help fulfill the needs of others. Psalm 112: 5 states, “It is well with the man who is gracious and lends,” and I Timothy 6:18 instructs us “to be generous and ready to share.” Who would not want to be benevolent with those biblical promises and directives? With that being said, we must also exercise wisdom in our online giving so that we do not fall victim to scams and frauds. Before making an online donation, you would be well-served to consider the following “Do’s and Don’ts of Online Giving.”
For starters, legitimate ministries will not send you direct messages via social media. Additionally, they do not send emails saying they are in a dire situation and need you to send them money ASAP. If this happens, you can rest assured it is a scam. However, sometimes the scammers are crafty and a bit harder to identify. If a donation was requested on social media, try to ensure that the page is official. There are many people who create fake profiles impersonating leaders in order to solicit funds. A few key indicators of a fake profile is:
If there are no red flags, and you are still considering giving an online donation, find the official website and donate from there.
Legitimate ministries will not ask for personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth or banking information.
It is OK to ask questions about the ministry into which you are considering sowing. What is the official website? Is there a number I can call to speak to someone at the ministry? All of these pieces of information can be easily verified by a quick Google search.
When it comes to online giving, it is always best to start on the official site for the ministry. If a link is shared about a giving opportunity, which takes you to an unfamiliar site, do a bit of research before proceeding. It is so easy to just click and input your credit card information, but a couple of extra minutes can make all the difference.
These four basic protections can ensure you do not fall victim to online fraud. This is not being shared to incite fear or to give you a drawback spirit, but rather, to help ensure we are all being good stewards of the resources God has entrusted us with. There is no doubt that we should give to others as it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. And when we sow seeds into good ground, people will be tremendously blessed and God will receive all the glory!
Remember the time you fell in love with someone? It seemed they were all you could ever think about? You would talk to them every day, even multiple times a day. You did not have to make yourself talk to them. There was no need schedule a time to meet with them and then you have to force yourself to do it. It all just happened naturally, because… Well, you were in love.
There is a song that refers to "Falling in the Love with Jesus." So, we really need to think about this question: Are We in Love with Jesus? Now, I know most of us love Him, but we need to make sure we are In Love with Him! If spending time in The Word (learning about Him) and praying (talking to Him) is a struggle, we may need to fall in Love with Him all over again. The enemy will fight you as you try to read your Bible and pray, because he knows that if you truly fall in love with Jesus it will ignite an unstoppable passion in you. A person truly in love with Jesus can do anything through Him!
In 2015, let us take some time to take stock of where we are in our relationship with Christ. If you realize that you may not be as in love with Him as you should be, do not despair. Resolve to spend time with Him every single day – Once you are in His presence, you can’t help but Fall in Love!
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Church of God in Christ
Pastoral Statement on Police Executions
The brutal execution-style ambush and killing of two New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos is a horrifying tragedy. Our prayers are for their families at this time. We pray also for the vast majority of police officers across this country who risk their lives on a daily basis to defend the public. The injustices suffered by black men can in no way justify this act of insanity. All who are committed to advancing the necessary systemic reforms of police practices and procedures must condemn this murder in no uncertain terms. It is essential to pursue justice for black men in a way that does not create an atmosphere that encourages violence or a disregard for the rule of law. This outrageous murder is sickeningly reminiscent of the avalanche of black-on-black murder that plagues our young men. We must be as determined to address the roots of this violence as we are to correct the injustices visited upon us by others. As Christians we are called to seek peace and pursue justice and to stand in compassion with the grieving families of these brave men who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the community.
Litanies for use on Sunday, December 14, 2014.
ASSEMBLIES OF GOD LEADER SUPPORTS CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST
BLACK LIVES MATTER SUNDAY
Memphis, TN (December 12, 2014) The Assemblies of God, the nation’s largest historically white Pentecostal denomination in the country, is supporting the Church of God in Christ, the largest black Pentecostal denomination’s Black Lives Matter Sunday.
The two largest Pentecostal denominations are standing united in solidarity to support Black Lives Matter Sunday, December 14, 2014.
The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and the Assemblies of God (AG) are unified in the effort that asks churches around the country to set aside the day to pray for African American men, because of the recent controversial grand jury decisions in Staten Island, New York and Ferguson, Missouri not to return indictments against white police officers in the deaths of two black males, Eric Garner and Michael Brown.
Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the AG wrote a letter to all of the AG pastors saying in part, “First and foremost black lives matter. The lives of all people are precious to God, of course, but at the present moment, our black brothers and sisters feel that their lives are not highly valued by white America.”
He further states, “Because black lives matter, and because America needs the Church to heal its lingering racial divisions, I ask that Assemblies of God churches join the Church of God in Christ on Sunday, December 14, 2014, and pray.”
COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “I am grateful for this unprecedented letter and show of support from Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God. Dr. Wood and the AG demonstrate the love and healing power of Christ by standing with the Church of God in Christ to categorically say, black lives matter.”
The Church of God in Christ and the Assemblies of God share a rich heritage. Today, the two church’s leaders also share a great friendship.
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.
The Assemblies of God has announced today that it will unite with the Church of God in Christ, Inc. for “Black Lives Matter” Sunday.
Dial in hear daily inspiration from the Sunshine Band. A perfect idea for morning encouragement as you are taking the kids to school!
The Texas Centennial Jubilee
Commemorating 100 years of God’s overshadowing favor to the Church of God in Christ of Texas!
by Evangelist DeLisa Reed
We’ve come this far by faith leaning on the Lord! Trusting in His Holy Word, He’s never failed us yet! Oh . . . can’t turn around . . . we’ve come this far by faith!
In the year 1914, Woodrow Wilson was U.S. President, Mother’s Day became a national holiday, World War I broke out, and the Church of God in Christ in the Great State of Texas embarked upon what would be the most significant era of its young life. When researching for historical events specifically related to July 8, 1914, the day Texas COGIC received Bishop E. M. Page, it is ironic that it would appear that God specifically set this day aside in history for the birthing of this phenomenal convocation of saints who would blaze the trails of holiness for many, many others to follow.
The Texas Centennial Jubilee Celebration was nothing short of amazing, bringing droves of saints from all over the state to New Life Tabernacle Church of God in Christ for this two-day celebration held August 15-16, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Hand-clapping, foot-stomping, and, yes, tongue-speaking, electrifying praise and worship filled the atmosphere in remembering those long gone, honoring those who yet remain but who have become seasoned with grace, and commemorating and encouraging those left to energetically carry on the work. What an honor, 100 years later, to yet be able to stand and proclaim holiness and righteousness in a chaotic world discombobulated with societal, spiritual, and senseless moral conditions. Yet, and in spite of it all, the founding fathers of this great state would, nonetheless, be quite proud of the accomplishments, in addition to the impact the jurisdictions of Texas have had on this country and particularly within the Church of God in Christ.
Given the charge in achieving this grand celebratory event was Bishop A. Ladell Thomas, jurisdictional prelate of the Texas Southeast Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and chairman of the Texas Inter-Jurisdictional Council of Bishops, along with Bishop William Watson III, jurisdictional prelate of Texas Northwest Jurisdiction and general chairman of the Centennial Commission, as well as Bishop David R. Houston, jurisdictional prelate of Texas Northeast Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and program chairman of the Centennial Jubilee. In addition, included was the Texas Inter-Jurisdictional Council of Bishops representing the 13 jurisdictional bishops of Texas which originated under the leadership of Bishop Emeritus A. Ladell Thomas, Sr., and in whose footsteps his son is currently following. The influence of Bishop Thomas, Sr. has and is permeating Texas COGIC in a phenomenal way. Although retired from leadership, he has set a fine example for Bishop Thomas, Jr. in developing churches, mentoring leaders, and most importantly, modeling a sacrificial life of commitment and passionate service unto God and the people he was chosen to oversee.
Bishop Thomas stated that the event was a culmination of activities that made room for all leadership elements of the Church of God in Christ within Texas. It not only included the clergy, but incorporated the youth and women of the church as well. One of the highlights of the event was the presence of The Right Reverend Nathaniel Wyoming Wells, General Board member and jurisdictional prelate of the Michigan Western Jurisdiction, who shared with the Pastors and Elders Council about the laity report for the national church, and elaborated on ways that churches can invest in and grow their communities.
In addition, on the opening evening of the celebration, a powerful message was delivered by one of the pioneering Bishops of Texas, Bishop T. W. Johnson, jurisdictional prelate of Texas Northeast Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. Bishop Thomas recalled that Bishop Wells, alongside Superintendent Jimmy Glenn, VP of the International Department of Evangelism and superintendent of Texas Northeast’s Fort Worth Central District, was very involved in an old-fashioned altar call service which saw young and old going forth to minister to souls, wanting to be healed, delivered and set free.
On Saturday morning, the Department of Women was blessed by Supervisor Joyce Campbell of Texas Southeast Second who addressed the congregants and celebrated the contributions of pioneering women who were instrumental in the development of the Church of God in Christ of Texas. First Lady Evangelist Tihara Thomas, wife of Bishop A. Ladell Thomas, Jr. was also instrumental in addressing the bishops’ wives and celebrating those women who have labored alongside their husbands in building successful ministries. One of the highlighted celebrants of the day was Mother Alexander, the widow of Bishop J.E. Alexander, one of the original four jurisdictional bishops of Texas, along with Bishop F.L. Haynes, Bishop T.D. Iglehart, and Bishop R.E. Ranger.
On Saturday evening, the Texas Centennial Jubilee Celebration was blessed to have in its culminating service, the Honorable Presiding Bishop & Chief Apostle of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., The Most Reverend Charles Edward Blake, Sr. who electrified the house recalling the rich legacy and contributions of Texas in the national fiber of the Church of God in Christ. Chairman Thomas stated that Bishop Blake was grateful for the contributions of Texas to the national church and that according to Bishop Blake, “The Church of God in Christ would not be what it is if not for the contributions made and that continue to be made by the great state of Texas.”
Chairman Thomas stated that the mission of this celebration was not only to focus on the historical but to also provide for mentoring leadership that can help to sustain the church. After all, many of the national officers of the Church of God in Christ hail from Texas. In addition, known for its innovation and creativity, Texas native Evangelist Glenda Goodson, noted historian for the Church of God in Christ, explained that the formulation of “districts” originated under Bishop E.M. Page who saw a need for the financial undergirding of the Page Normal and Industrial School located in Hearne, TX. This school was established for the children of the church but was inclusive of other children from other reformations as well. Interestingly, Bishop C. H. Mason’s son, Bob, attended this school. So, Texas has been instrumental in laying the foundation for leadership that has propelled the Grand Ole’ Church of God in Christ to heights unknown.
Now, one cannot speak of Texas COGIC history without reflecting upon the contributions made by Dallas’s own, The Right Reverend J. Neaul Haynes, Jurisdictional Prelate of Texas Northeast First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and General Board Member Emeritus. Superintendent James E. Hornsby from the Dallas Mid Cities District recalled the wonderful recognition that was given to Bishop Haynes who is the longest serving Bishop in Texas. Superintendent Hornsby spoke eloquently of the words of expression given by Chairman Thomas who “took out special time to celebrate, appreciate and revere Bishop Haynes for his untiring commitment to the church.” Superintendent Hornsby also stated that the highly revered Bishop Haynes was “notably missed by his peers and others within the State of Texas.” Recognizing that Bishop Haynes is the only General Board member that Texas has ever had, it should be noted that he has served in every facet of the church as a whole, and his influence is etched in the corridors of history within the church for the duration of time.
This year-long celebration will climax in 2015 in Waco, Texas at the convocation grounds, referred to by Bishop Mason as the 2nd Memphis, where it all began in Texas. At this time, a monument will be erected that includes the names of the pioneering bishops of Texas COGIC and the numerous superintendents, pastors, elders, ministers as well as Supervisors, mothers, missionaries, and countless other unsung heroes who have undergirded and invested their time, energy, and resources into the foundational structure of the church.
When Chairman Thomas was asked how he would sum up the celebration as a whole, he stated, “PHENOMENAL! The whole celebration was well organized and unified the family in promoting fun, rekindling old friendships, and bringing about fellowship that unites the Body of Christ. People are still talking about it today. It was a joint effort of all the bishops, supervisors, and the laity as whole in making this event one to remember.” So, from the choir stand to the usher board and all in between, the Spirit of God was experienced by all in commemorating this journey of faith while leaning on the Lord and trusting in His Holy Word. May God continue to bless and get the glory out of the lives of the saints of the Church of God in Christ of TEXAS!