Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

Second General Supervisor 1945-1964

Mother Coffey, “Little Lillian” as she was called, was a “Dreamer.” She was a woman with a great vision.

When she was a small child, Bishop Mason was invited to their home by her grandfather who was a Baptist

minister. When Bishop Mason started his church in Memphis, she and other neighborhood children were

carried to Sunday School and services, which were held in a tent across the street from where she lived.

One Sunday morning he came and taught them about Jesus in a child like manner. The Lord touched and

saved little Lillian beginning her life in church under Bishop Mason where she remained until her demise in

1964. As she grew older, Bishop Mason continued to influence her life. She read the bible through once

every year, a practice she continued even after reading it eleven times.


She traveled with him reading and singing while he preached. When her parents died, he became her

father. She worked as secretary in his office for twenty-one years and as assistant financial secretary until

her appointment to General Supervisor in 1945.

Mother Coffey was one of the greatest leaders and organizers that ever lived. She continued to build the

existing auxiliary programs and began to organize the units and helps for the Department of Women. Some

of the units that were organized during her administration: Missionary Circle, Hospitality, Executive

Hospitality, Hulda Club, Wide Awake Band, Minister’s Wives Circle, Deaconess, Deacon’s Wives Circle,

Prayer Warriors, Young Women’s Christian Council, Usher Board, Educational Committee, Boy’s League,

Big Brothers, Cradle Roll, Women’s Chorus, Board of Examiners, Public Relations, News Reporters and

the Burners which was her pet project. During the convention banner march, burners marched with lights

symbolizing that lights were to lighten the darkened world of Africa.


She was the founder of the Lillian Brooks Coffey Rest Home in Detroit, Michigan. Mother Lillian Brooks

Coffey is best remembered for her work in 1951, when she organized the Women’s International

Convention held in Los Angeles, California hosted by Mother L.O. Hale and Bishop S.M. Crouch.

This convention was born through a dream she had of a better way to support missions. Her heart was

burdened over the condition of suffering foreign Missionaries and their various fields. One hundred

women who paid $100.00 each, the cost of the Red Card registration, rode the Coffey train to the

convention in 1951, carrying their money, $10,000, in a brown paper bag. She presided over 14

conventions, 1951-1964.


Mother Coffey still lives with us. “Methods change, but principles remain the same.” And the table

blessing is continually repeated at most meal functions, “We make no excuse for the things, which we

have, for that which we have, the Lord has provided and we are thankful.”

“Methods change, but principles remain the same….”


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