The Whole Truth: A COGIC Building Block

By Bishop David Allen Hall, Sr.

The Whole Truth predates the Church Of God In Christ as a Pentecostal Church. Bishop Charles Harrison Mason founded the newspaper entitled “Truth” in the late 1890’s. Its first publication is not really known. Bishop Mason used the newspaper to inform the fledgling and well scattered following that he and Charles Price Jones developed throughout the south. They were not eager to establish another denomination or create doctrinal and dogmatic statements for public consumption. They merely wanted to inform their membership.

The newspaper became The Whole Truth upon the 1907 split between Mason and Jones over the issue of “speaking in tongues” as the initial evidence of baptism in the Spirit. As simple and straight forward the appeal of Mason’s gospel was, the newspaper became an indispensable tool in the organizational development of the Church Of God In Christ. Bishop Mason was limited in his ability to teach, administer and codify his polity across the organization. He found that he could use the monthly publication theologically, organizationally and socially as a practical way to discipline the Church. Bishop Mason had full license to inspire and regulate the lives of his followers. Should something or someone need support, reprimand or encouragement, the saints could read about it in The Whole Truth. If Bishop Mason printed in the paper that a brother was not to be received as a person in good standing, that brother effectively had doors shut in his face.



The Whole Truth offered testimonies of healing and great revivals, similar to these published in the February 1928 and January 1942 editions respectively:

DES MOINES, IA – The Whole Truth, February 1928, volume IV, page 2

Dear Editor:

Holy greetings in Jesus’ name. I want to thank God for saving my life last Thursday. About 11 o’clock p.m. I started home from service. The streetcar was coming and I ran to catch it and I stepped off into a pit where they drain autos. The pit is about 5 feet deep. I am a woman, 68 years of age. It seemed that everything was against me. Thank God, as I was falling, I said: “Lord, where am I going?” When I hit the bottom, I was helpless, could not move. They helped me out and, oh, how God did come in my soul and quicken my body, thank God.

My pastor came and carried me home in his car, between 3 and 4 miles across town. With the pains of death in my body, I didn’t cease praising God. My pastor, his wife and others held on to God for me, contending there was nothing too hard for Him. They anointed me with oil according to the scriptures. Jesus came in power, touched my body and healed me instantly. I came out of my bed, praising Him, Jesus Christ the Son of God, who saved me from death through the prayers of my beloved pastor, Elder G. W. McGlothan, and other saints.

Pray for me that I may continue to praise the living God.

930 14th St. Place.
ELD. G. W. McGLOTHAN, Pastor

UNION RIDGE, TN – The Whole Truth, January 1942,vol 7, page 2

“For as much then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind, for he that hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sin.” 1 Peter 4:1.

We, the saints of God at Union Ridge send holy greetings in the Name of Jesus. We thank God because we can say of a truth that the Lord has blessed us wonderfully thru the past year under the leadership of Elder Audley King whom we believe to be a man of God laboring untiringly with his dear wife working by his side. We thank God for sending him to us. He has proved to be worthy of all we can do for him. The Lord has increased our spiritual strength and blessed us to finish our church without any indebtedness.

We held our third annual basket dinner meeting in May with great success. Service was held day and night. Several visiting saints from various churches in the district were with us. Elder Wm Ward of Nashville was guest speaker of the evening. A short program was rendered by the young people after Y. P. W. W. service.

A rally for the improvement of our church and our pastor was held Sept. 14th. The Lord blessed us on that day. Elder C. Dereckson, Sister Mary McDowell and saints from Nashville and Shelbyville were with us. Our financial report was one hundred thirty dollars and forty cents ($130.40).

Beginning Oct. 7th the Lord blessed us in a ten-day revival both spiritually and financially. Missionary Mary McDowell and Sister Emma B. Seay of Nashville were with us during this meeting. Sister Seay played the piano and Sister McDowell taught us many encouraging lessons. Our hearts were made to rejoice and the community was stirred. Some of her subjects were: “Seven steps to Christianity”. Acts 11:26. “I am one of them”. Acts 11:26. “Come before Winter”. On Tuesday night of the second week Elder W. A. Patterson of Memphis came to us with the anointing of the Lord upon him and preaching the pure Word of God. Our hearts burned within and sinners came to the altar seeking salvation. Some of his subjects were as follows: “Pray until the things you are praying for knock at your door.” Acts 12:5-13, “An unchanging God in a changing world.” Lev. 19:1-2, Psa. 89:34, Deut. 7:6-7, “The everlasting Gospel”. Rev. 11:6 and “Come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give thee rest.” Matt. 11:28. Five souls were saved and testified to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Three backsliders returned to God. We were blessed to raise eighty dollars and sixty cents ($80.60). We thank the Lord for these dear people coming to us and we pray that they will come to us again soon. Our State Mother Broadnax was with us one night. We are always glad for her. All auxiliaries of the church are progressing. We desire your prayers that the Lord will continue to bless us.

SIS. N. M. SINGLETON, Reporter

The paper featured stories of church openings, our school in Lexington, Mississippi, and of course it shared with its readers the latest news of Bishop Mason’s whereabouts. It was not unusual for the entire local church to gather around and hear the newspaper read from front to back. The name itself meant current, undeniable and indisputable truth. Walter Cronkite of CBS News did not enjoy a higher credibility rating than Bishop Mason and The Whole Truth within the Church Of God In Christ. Over the years, the newspaper’s editors were media darlings who were believed and held accountable for whatever was printed. Mother Elia V. Sparks (the first editor), Bishop James L. Whitehead, Jr. and I know the level of responsibility associated with the position of editor. In 1996, Bishop Chandler David Owens asked me to convert The Whole Truth to a magazine format. The upgrade proved to be effective and stimulated the interest of the current generation in the activities of the Church.

The magazine is well written and features great photos and articles that reflect the life, times and ministries of the organization. Through its pages have been recorded our religious history, the earthquakes in Haiti, the charitable giving of COGIC Charities, the visionary programs and agendas of every administration. The Whole Truth has covered the scope of Bishop J.O. Patterson’s sweeping organizational development; Bishop L.H. Ford’s “Help Week” building projects in Lexington, Mississippi; the financial management drive that Bishop C.D. Owens promoted; the evangelism and media development of Bishop G.E. Patterson, and finally, the revolutionary digital expansion and progressive administration of the Bishop Charles E. Blake era.

I am proud of the accomplishments of the Church Of God In Christ. The Whole Truth remains the official organ of the Church, is serving in an expanded role and has a great legacy. Whatever the vision and focus of the leader, its pages are here to record for current readers and generations to come, what the Church Of God In Christ is doing.

I would hope that every local church and member would subscribe to the magazine. There are new and exciting developments ahead! The Whole Truth is yet the “truth” and “official” record for the Church Of God In Christ.