The Urban Initiative Conference under the direction of Bishop Edwin Bass has developed a number of workshops that will aid in development and give tools that will help the attendees in the areas of employment, grant writing, education and community development. This conference will lend to the resources that are needed to enhance our neighborhoods thus our communities. 

Bishop Edwin Bass

pict-bassA native of western Pennsylvania, Bishop Edwin Bass is the 8th of ten children born to the late Supt. Joseph E. Bass, Sr. and Missionary Mary V. Bass.  Along with Bishop Bass, his wife, maternal grandfather, father, mother, four brothers, one sister and two nephews comprise a historical ministerial lineage with over 300 years of combined service to the Church of God in Christ.  Bishop Bass is an alumnus of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.  Also, as a foreign exchange student, he attended Panjab University in Chandigarh, India.  Later he attended Harvard University.  In the secular world, he served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Blue Cross Blue Shield.

As the visionary founder and pastor of The Empowered Church COGIC in St. Louis, Bishop Bass works closely with his Jurisdictional Prelate, Bishop R. J. Ward of the Eastern Missouri First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction serving as Administrative Assistant.  The Empowered Church is a beacon of hope within the Spanish Lake community of St. Louis, where this progressive ministry continues to grow and flourish.  The Descending Dove Community Development Corporation provides programming and other resources to the community at large.

Bishop Bass also serves the International Church in several capacities: President, COGIC Urban Initiatives, chair of the Social Justice & Theology Council, member of the Presiding Bishop’s Executive Committee, member of the Senior Executive Planning Commission, member of the Presiding Bishop’s Voter Initiative Committee, member of the Simul-Conference Committee, White House Liaison, member of the Quality Assurance Team and Mason Street Project Board member. 

He has been privileged to meet with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on several occasions.

With an enduring commitment to establishing community, Bishop Bass has served tirelessly on the boards of the United Way of Greater St. Louis, St. Louis Transitional Hope House, Lindenwood University, Grace Hill Economic Development Corporation, the Urban League of St. Louis, the U.S. Justice Department’s Operation Weed and Seed, the Christian Hospital Ethics Committee and the Colgate University Alumni Corporation.  Among numerous honors and awards, Bishop Bass was featured in Speaking of People in Ebony Magazine.  He is nationally known for coining the phrase, “I Won’t Be Silent Anymore!” and for authoring a book by that name.  During the 2010 Holy Convocation, Bishop Bass was presented ‘The Presiding Bishop’s Medal’ for his work in COGIC Urban Initiatives.

The greatest asset to his professional and personal life is his beloved wife of 41 years, Missionary Jessie Miller Bass.  As young children, they had the prophetic experience of being saved in the same revival service.  They are the blessed parents of Sean, Craig, and Courtney and proud grandparents of Kyng Cleveland, Paige Bass and Hannah Bass.  Ten years ago they lost their eldest son, Sean Edwin, through a random and heinous act of violence.  From the pain and scars of this family tragedy, Pastor and Missionary Bass have emerged with tremendous insight and empathy into the hurts and wounds of others, and have thereby enlarged their capacity for ministry.

Pastor Bass is especially energized by the opportunity to serve as President of COGIC Urban Initiatives because he is dedicated to building the Kingdom of God through the Church that he has cherished and participated in for a lifetime.  In his words, “This is an opportunity to bring a lifetime of learning and experience to bear on behalf of the Church I love and under the direction of an awesome, visionary leader, Bishop Charles Edward Blake, Sr.”

Those who know Bishop Bass well can attest to his intellectual and leadership competencies, but they are more profoundly impressed by his deep sense of loyalty, integrity, humility and fervor for the things of God.