The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is a Pentecostal Holiness Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. With nearly five million members in the United States and 12,000 congregations, it is the largest Pentecostal church and the fifth largest Christian church in the U.S. Internationally, COGIC can be found in more than 60 nations. Its worldwide membership is estimated to be between six and eight million members.There are more than 15,000 COGIC congregations found throughout the world.
- 1 Early History
- 2 Modern History (from the end of the 1960's to present)
The Church of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones(1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961). In the 1890s, Jones and Mason were licensed Baptist ministers in Mississippi who had began teaching the Wesleyan doctrine of Christian perfection or entire sanctification as a second work of grace to their Baptist congregations. Mason was heavily influenced by the testimony of the African-American Methodist evangelist Amanda Berry Smith, one of the most widely respected black holiness evangelists of the nineteenth century. Her life story led many African Americans into the holiness movement, including Mason who testified to receiving sanctification after reading her autobiography.
In June 1897, Jones held a holiness convention at Mt. Helm Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi, attended by Mason and others from several states. During this time, they became the major promoters of the holiness doctrine among black Baptists. However, Wesleyan perfectionism conflicted with the Calvinist theology of the Baptists. Not unlike divisions that occurred within the Methodist Church over sanctification, the holiness conventions, revivals, and periodicals conducted by Mason and Jones caused a major controversy among black Baptist churches in Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The leadership of the National Baptist Convention intervened in 1899 and expelled Jones, Mason, and others who embraced holiness teaching.
When the first convocation was held in 1897, the group was originally known simply as the "Church of God." Many Christian groups forming at the time wanted biblical names such as "Church of God, Church of Christ, or Church of the Living God" and rejected terms such as Baptist, Methodist, or Episcopal as not being scriptural names for the church. However, so many new holiness groups were forming and using the name "Church of God," that Mason sought a name to distinguish this holiness organization from others. Later in 1897, while in Little Rock, Arkansas, Mason believed that God had given him such a name for the group, the "Church of God in Christ". Mason believed that the name taken from 1 Thessalonians 2:14 was divinely revealed and biblically inspired. Mason believed that God said, "If you take the name that I give you, they would never build a building that would hold all those who would come." The group adopted the name and COGIC began to grow throughout the south. Jones was elected the General Overseer, Mason was selected as Overseer of Tennessee, and J.A. Jeter was selected as Overseer of Arkansas. The members of the church referred to themselves as "the Saints," believing that they were set apart for holiness.
In 1906, Mason, Jeter and D.J. Young were appointed as a committee by Jones to investigate reports of a revival in Los Angeles, California, that was being led by an itinerant preacher named William J. Seymour. Mason's visit to the Azusa Street Revivalchanged the direction of the newly formed holiness church. During his visit, Mason received the baptism in the Holy Spirit andspoke in tongues. Upon his return to Memphis, Tennessee, Mason began preaching and teaching the Pentecostal message in COGIC congregations. Not everyone in the church was willing to accept the Pentecostal experience, however. Jones rejected the doctrine that speaking in tongues was the initial evidence of Spirit baptism, and a general assembly was called to resolve the issue. At the 1907 general assembly held in Jackson, the faction led by Jones wanted Mason and his followers to acknowledge other initial evidences of Spirit baptism besides speaking in tongues. Mason would not do this and was expelled from the church. About half of the church's ministers and members followed Mason.
Later that same year, Mason called a meeting in Memphis and reorganized the Church of God in Christ as a Pentecostal-Holiness body. The early pioneers of this newly formed Pentecostal body in 1907 were E. R. Driver, J. Bowe, R. R. Booker, R. E. Hart, W. Welsh, A. A. Blackwell, E. M. Blackwell, E. M. Page, R. H. I. Clark, D. J. Young, James Brewer, Daniel Spearman, and J. H. Boone. These elders became the first Pentecostal General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ. They unanimously chose Mason as General Overseer and Chief Apostle. Mason was given authority to establish doctrine, organize auxiliaries and appoint overseers. The reorganization of the COGIC was part of a larger process that saw Pentecostalism overtake the South's holiness denominations. The Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) and the Pentecostal Holiness Church also adopted Pentecostalism at this time.
After two years of litigation over the use of the COGIC name, Mason's group was awarded the original charter. Thus, the COGIC became the first legally chartered Pentecostal body incorporated in the United States. The Jones faction continued as a Holiness church, changing its name to the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A.
C.H. Mason era (1907–1961)
After moving to Memphis, Tennessee, and establishing the church's headquarters there, Bishop Mason founded and pastored the Temple COGIC. Bishop Mason established the annual gathering of the COGIC that became known as the "International Holy Convocation" to be held in Memphis for twenty days beginning on November 25 and concluding on December 14. That time of the year was chosen because most of the church members at that time were farmers and had to harvest their crops. During the Holy Convocation, the members met for prayer, fasting, preaching, teaching, fellowship and to conduct the business pertaining to the national organization.
Bishop Mason traveled the length and breadth of the country preaching and establishing COGIC churches. The Church of God in Christ began originally in the southern states of Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi. As African Americans migrated north during the Great Migration, converted members spread the church north and west. In addition to his own efforts, Bishop Mason sent dozens of charismatic preachers and evangelists to major cities and urban areas north and west to spread the COGIC, including William Roberts (Chicago), O. M. Kelly (New York), O. T. Jones Sr. (Philadelphia), E. R. Driver (Los Angeles) and Samuel Kelsey (Washington, D.C.) From these major cities, the COGIC spread throughout the country. In 1926, Mason authorized the church's constitution outlining the bylaws, rules, and regulations of the church. In 1933, Bishop Mason set apart five overseers to the office of bishop in the church. These men became the first five bishops of COGIC. Those consecrated were I. S. Stafford (Detroit, Michigan), E. M. Page (Dallas, Texas), W. M. Roberts (Chicago, Illinois), O. T. Jones, Sr. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and R. F. Williams (Cleveland, Ohio).
In the early years of the Pentecostal movement, the COGIC was the only incorporated Pentecostal organization that could secure discounted railroad tickets for its ministers, which made COGIC ordination advantageous for Pentecostal ministers. It was during these formative years that Mason credentialed both white and African American ministers. Under Mason's leadership, the COGIC attempted to create a racially integrated denomination. The first General Secretary of COGIC was a white elder named William B. Holt. Between 1910 and 1913, Mason allowed two groups of white Pentecostal clergy to use the COGIC name. One group was led by H. A. Goss, and the other by Leonard P. Adams. In 1914, the Goss faction left the COGIC to join with other white Pentecostal ministers in forming the Assemblies of God. Overtime, the ministers and churches under Adams' oversight would leave the COGIC for white groups, such as the Assemblies of God, as well. In 1916, new white churches joined the COGIC and were organized into a white branch with Holt as general superintendent. However, the denomination struggled to retain white congregations. By the 1930s, the COGIC's ministry among whites had ended.
The first national tabernacle was built and completed in 1925. However, this tabernacle was destroyed by fire in 1936. In 1945, Mason dedicated Mason Temple in Memphis as the church's national meeting site. Built in the 1940s during World War II, its construction was a benchmark effort by a group of African Americans during that period. When completed, the nearly 5000 seat building became the largest church auditorium of any black religious group in America. After his death, Bishop Mason was entombed in Mason Temple, the only person ever so honored in the city of Memphis. The historic church auditorium is the location of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's final message to the world. He delivered his "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech from the pulpit of Mason Temple on April 3, 1968. Mason Temple remained the site of the International Holy Convocation until the mid 1970s when the number of delegates far exceeded capacity.
In 1951, Mason was nearing 85 years of age. Realizing that he could no longer be as active as he had been, he set up a "special commission" to help with the administration and oversight of the church. On June 5, 1951, Mason selected Bishop A.B. McEwen, Bishop J.S. Bailey, and Bishop O.M. Kelly as his assistants. On May 19, 1952, he added Bishop J.O. Patterson, Sr. to this commission. Also in 1952, Mason revised the constitution to determine the leadership and succession of the church after his demise. Three years later on October 12, 1955, three more bishops were added to this group namely: Bishop U.E. Miller, Bishop S. M. Crouch, and Bishop O.T. Jones, Sr. This group became known officially as the Executive Commission and assumed greater control over church affairs until Mason's death.
The church has experienced phenomenal growth since its inception in 1907 with ten churches. At the time of Mason's death in 1961, the COGIC had spread to every state in the United States and to many foreign countries with a membership of more than 400,000 and more than 4,000 churches.
A "Dark Period" (1962–1968)
The years 1962-1968 have been described as a "Dark Period" in the COGIC's history accompanied by polarization and conflict. Bishop Charles Harrison Mason died on November 17, 1961, at the age of 95 after leading the COGIC for 54 years. As founder, Bishop Mason had absolute power and authority over all matters of church polity. After his death, according to the 1926 church constitution, the control of the church reverted to the board of bishops, but the constitution did not specifically outline a clear successor and the powers granted to the leadership after his death. The General Assembly vested authority in an Executive Board composed of twelve bishops. Bishop A. B. McEwen was elected chairman of the Executive Board, and Bishop O.T. Jones, Sr was elected Senior Bishop by the General Assembly because of his seniority.
Bishop Jones was pastor of the Holy Temple COGIC in Philadelphia and jurisdictional bishop of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jurisdiction. Bishop Jones was the last survivor of the first five original bishops consecrated by Bishop Mason. Bishop Jones, assuming the power of the Senior Bishop was the same as Bishop Mason when he was alive, made decisions and appointments without collaboration and consensus of the Board of Bishops, General Assembly, or the Executive Board. Soon thereafter, disagreement arose over the power and the authority of the Senior Bishop and the power and authority of the Executive Board at the Fifty-Seventh Holy Convocation in 1964. Factions developed and controversy engulfed the organization as executive and administrative decisions were being made by both the Senior Bishop and the Executive Board often conflicting with one another. In 1966, Bishop Jones was removed from the office of Senior Bishop by the General Assembly for misuse of power and misrepresentation of the office of Senior Bishop, however, he continued to be honored as the "senior" bishop of the church.
In an attempt to regain control of the church, the pro-Jones group led a failed coup attempt during the Fifty-Ninth Holy Convocation in 1966. Suits were filed in the Chancery Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, to finally resolve the legitimate authority controversy of COGIC. The court ordered the church to convene a constitutional convention in February 1968. The constitutional convention drafted and approved a new constitution that dissolved the office of the Senior Bishop and the Executive Board. These were replaced by the office of the Presiding Bishop and a General Board who would be elected every four years to preside over the church. The General Assembly would have the supreme authority over the church to decide matters of faith and practice. On November 14, 1968, the General Assembly of the COGIC elected the first General Board and Presiding Bishop of the church.
First General Board 1968–1972
- Bishop J.O. Patterson, Sr - Presiding Bishop
- Bishop J.S. Bailey - First Assistant Presiding Bishop
- Bishop S.M. Crouch - Second Assistant Presiding Bishop
- Bishop W.N. Wells
- Bishop L.H. Ford
- Bishop O.M. Kelly
- Bishop C.E. Bennett
- Bishop J.A. Blake
- Bishop J.W. White
- Bishop D.L. Williams
- Bishop F.D. Washington
- Bishop J.D. Husband
Several bishops disagreed with this new structure and severed ties with the COGIC to start their own organizations. The most notable rift occurred in 1969 when fourteen bishops met in Evanston, Illinois, left the COGIC to form the Church of God in Christ, International because they disagreed with the electoral process in selecting the Presiding Bishop. Jones, however, did not leave the COGIC after losing of his position as Senior Bishop. He remained a jurisdictional bishop until his death in 1972.Despite splits and factions, COGIC continued to grow. In 1973, the church claimed a worldwide membership of nearly three million.
Modern History (from the end of the 1960's to present)
Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson, Sr. was elected as the first Presiding Bishop of the church by the General Assembly at the Sixty-First Holy Convocation of the church in November 1968. Patterson was married to Deborah Indiana Mason and the son-in-law of Bishop Mason. He had served the church previously as a member of the Executive Board and served as the Executive Secretary of the church. Patterson pastored the Pentecostal Temple Institutional COGIC in Memphis and was the presiding prelate of the Tennessee Headquarters Jurisdiction. Patterson institutionalized the international church by establishing protocols of worship, policy, practice, and procedure with a new constitution and official manual completed in 1973. During his tenure, the COGIC became a major force in the collective Black Church and the worldwide Pentecostal movement. COGIC enjoyed tremendous growth and recognition in many areas becoming one of the fastest growing and largest religious groups in the United States.
Patterson's achievements as Presiding Bishop include the establishment of the Charles Harrison Mason Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia; the C. H. Mason System of Bible Colleges; the J. O. Patterson Fine Arts Department; the Historical Museum and Fine Arts Center and organizer of the Charles Harrison Mason Foundation and the Presiding Bishop's Benefit Fund which provides scholarships to deserving youth. Other ministries brought about under his leadership include the COGIC Bookstore and the COGIC Publishing House. In 1982, he led COGIC in its diamond jubilee celebration of the International Holy Convocation. He was the founder and President of the World Fellowship of Black Pentecostal Churches and forged COGIC's membership in the Congress of National Black Churches. His ultimate dream was to establish and international ministry complex known as "Saints Center" and a fully accredited institution known as "All Saints University," but unfortunately they never materialized. His initiatives allowed the church's growth to exceed four million in the United States and 47 foreign countries and 10,000 churches at the time of his death in 1989. Subsequently, he was elected four times uncontested and during his twenty-one year tenure as Presiding Bishop, he consecrated and appointed in excess of 100 bishops.
Bishop Louis Henry Ford of Chicago, Illinois, was elected and assumed leadership of the church after the death of Patterson in 1990. Ford pastored the St. Paul COGIC in Chicago and was the presiding prelate of the Historic Illinois First Jurisdiction. Ford was a strong advocate for social justice. He was first thrust onto the national scene after the horrific death of Emmett Till. Ford officiated the funeral and gave the eulogy for Emmett Till at Robert's Temple COGIC in 1955. Locally in Chicago, he organized voter registration initiatives and protested against lodging segregation in Memphis during the holy convocations during the Civil Rights era. Ford dedicated himself to returning COGIC to its emphasis on basic holiness. He was very critical of the use of high church liturgy, vestments, and modernity that had been introduced to the church by Bishop Patterson. He dedicated his efforts to reminding the saints about the sacrifices of the pioneers of the COGIC and challenged the church to remain true to its spiritual foundation. He reopened Saints Academy and College and constructed the multi-million dollar Deborah Mason Patterson Hall in Lexington, Mississippi, and renovated the national properties in Memphis including Mason Temple. Ford is most notably credited with bringing President Bill Clinton, who was a personal friend and the only U.S. president to ever physically address the COGIC at Mason Temple, during the Eighty-Sixth International Holy Convocation on November 13, 1993.
During the 1990s, America's classical Pentecostal denominations began to take steps to heal the movement's racial divide. This effort culminated in the 1994 Memphis Miracle, which led to the creation of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) was formed after the all-white Pentecostal Fellowship of North America (PFNA) was dissolved. The PCCNA was formed as an inclusive organization including all the major Pentecostal groups in North America regardless of race. Since its creation, the PCCNA has had a co-chair leadership, one of which has always been a COGIC bishop, usually a member of the General Board, and the other from one of the member organizations of the now defunct PFNA. Another sign of racial reconciliation is joint operation of the School of Urban Missions of Oakland, California, by both the COGIC and the predominantly white Assemblies of God.
Bishop Chandler David Owens was elected Presiding Bishop after the death of Bishop Ford in 1995. Owens gained national attention in the church as the President of the Youth Department. Owens was a noted evangelist of the church and pastored several churches including: Bostick Temple in St. Louis, Missouri; Well's Cathedral COGIC in Newark, New Jersey; and Greater Community COGIC in Marietta, Georgia. He also served as the presiding prelate of the New Jersey Garden State Jurisdiction and the Central Georgia Jurisdiction. Owens led the COGIC in its centennial celebration in 1997 with the theme, "Holiness, a Proven Foundation for a Promising Future!' He is credited with systematically restructuring church departments and ministries, expanding the church in Asia primarily India and the Philippines, and placing the COGIC on a firm financial status. Owens had outlined a progressive plan to position the COGIC for ministry in the twenty-first century known as "Vision 2000 and Beyond." In a unique and unusual move however, he became the only sitting leader of the church to be removed from the office of Presiding Bishop through the electoral process. In 2000, at the Ninety-Third International Holy Convocation, the General Assembly elected Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson to replace Owens as Presiding Bishop. Owens continued to serve as a jurisdictional bishop and member of the General Board until his death in 2011.
Bishop Gilbert Earl (G.E.) Patterson re-ignited the presence of the COGIC as the flagship Pentecostal church in the United States. G.E. Patterson was the nephew of J.O. Patterson, Sr. He began his ministerial career as co-pastor of the Holy Temple COGIC with his father, Bishop W.A. Patterson. In 1975, he resigned as co-pastor of the Holy Temple and withdrew his membership in the COGIC because he disagreed with Bishop J.O. Patterson, the presiding bishop at that time, over the bishopric in Memphis. He established the Temple of Deliverance, the Cathedral of Bountiful Blessing, which grew to become the largest Pentecostal church in Memphis. In 1988, after a thirteen-year exodus from COGIC, Bishop G.E. Patterson returned as the founding prelate of the newly formed Tennessee Fourth Jurisdiction. As pastor of a mega-church, the 14,000 Temple of Deliverance COGIC in Memphis and world renowned teleevangelist, he is credited with making the COGIC brand inclusive. Patterson was able to bridge denominational barriers and encourage non-COGIC ministries to work together in ecumenical pursuits. He established COGIC Charities which has provided thousands of dollars in college scholarships and physical and financial assistance in times of disaster such as Hurricane Katrina and Rita.
Recent history (2007-Present)
Bishop Charles E. Blake assumed leadership and was elected Presiding Bishop of the church after the death of Bishop Patterson in March 2007. Blake is the senior pastor of the West Angeles Cathedral COGIC in Los Angeles. For many years, West Angeles has been one of the fastest growing churches in the United States and remains the largest COGIC local congregation with a membership of 25,000. He also served as the presiding prelate of the First Jurisdiction of Southern California. Blake led the COGIC through the death of Patterson, while preparing the church for its 100th Holy Convocation, an important milestone for the church. An estimated 70,000 "saints" convened in Memphis to celebrate the centennial celebration in November 2007. Blake is leading the COGIC to become a greater global ministry primarily in Africa and Latin America while at the same time investing in the inner city where many COGIC congregations are located. He is also known for his aggressive initiative, "Save Africa's Children" which supports hundreds of African children who have been affected by HIV/AIDS in orphanages in several countries in Africa. In 2009, Bishop Blake unveiled an aggressive program known as "Urban Initiatives" to address the plight of America's urban areas. In 2010, Blake led the church in another giant step. For the first time since the establishment of the COGIC, due to its size and growth to more than 50,000 delegates, the 103rd International Holy Convocation met outside of Memphis, Tennessee, in the city of St. Louis, Missouri.
Senior and Presiding Bishops of COGIC
- Bishop Charles Harrison Mason 1907-1961 - Founder and First Senior Bishop
- Bishop Orzo Thurston Jones, Sr. 1962-1968 - Second Senior Bishop
- Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson, Sr. 1968-1989 - First Elected Presiding Bishop (elected six times)
- Bishop Louis Henry Ford 1990-1995 - Second Elected Presiding Bishop (elected twice)
- Bishop Chandler David Owens 1995-2000 - Third Elected Presiding Bishop (elected once)
- Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson 2000-2007 - Fourth Elected Presiding Bishop (elected twice)
- Bishop Charles Edward Blake 2007–Present - Fifth Elected Presiding Bishop (elected twice)
Articles of Religion
The doctrine of the COGIC is more fully articulated in its Articles of Religion, which situate the COGIC within Protestant orthodoxy and classical Pentecostalism. The Articles begin by affirming biblical inspiration and that the Christian Scriptures are the supreme and final authority for determining correct doctrine and practice. The COGIC is trinitarian and teaches that there is one God eternally existent in three persons–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The COGIC teaches the deity of Jesus Christ, his virgin birth, sinless life, physical death, burial, resurrection, ascension and visible return to the earth. He is the only mediator between God and man, and there is no salvation in any other. Christ is the head of the church. The COGIC teaches that the Holy Spirit is alive and active in the world. He is the agent that equips, empowers, leads, and guides the church until the return of Christ.
The COGIC teaches that angels are messengers sent from God who served during the creation, throughout the Old Testament, the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the establishment of the church and the ministry of the apostles, and continue to be at work in the Kingdom of God. They exist primarily in the spiritual realm and are organized according to duty and function. Demons also are believed to be evil or unclean spirits. They are fallen angels who joined Satan in his failed attempt to usurp power in Heaven. They exist today as adversaries to the kingdom, purpose and will of God. As Pentecostals, COGIC believes that demons can be subdued and subjugated through the power of the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus.
The COGIC teaches that man was created perfect and sinless in the image of God as a tripartite being having a body, soul, andspirit. Sin originated in eternity when Satan committed open rebellion against God in heaven. Sin was transmitted to humanity whenAdam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, as a result all men have original sin. The result of sin is the depravity of man, broken communion with God, shame and guilt, and physical and spiritual death. Humanity can only be restored through salvation offered only through Jesus Christ. The human soul is immortal and will spend eternity either in heaven as the redeemed or in hell as the damned.
The COGIC teaches that salvation is the work of redemption to the sinner and his restoration to divine favor and communion with God. Salvation is an operation of the Holy Spirit upon sinners brought about by repentance toward God, which brings aboutconversion, faith, justification, and regeneration. The COGIC teaches that salvation is a work of grace brought about through faith in Jesus Christ; it does not promulgate nor encourage the doctrine of "eternal security," also known as "once saved, always saved."
The COGIC teaches that sanctification is a continuous operation of the Holy Spirit, by which he "delivers the justified sinner from the pollution of sin, renews his whole nature in the image of God and enables him to perform good works". The COGIC teaches that sanctification must precede the baptism with the Holy Spirit. As a Pentecostal church, the COGIC believes that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is an experience subsequent to conversion and sanctification, and it can be experienced by all believers who ask for it. When one is baptized in the Holy Spirit, the COGIC teaches that the believer will speak in tongues by the will of God. It is important to note that the COGIC does not teach that Spirit baptism is the same as salvation. According to the Articles of Religion, "We believe that we are not baptized with the Holy Ghost in order to be saved, but that we are baptized with the Holy Ghost because we are saved". The COGIC also teaches that all the spiritual gifts are for believers today.
The COGIC teaches that the church is the community of Christian believers who have accepted Jesus Christ and submit to his lordship and authority in their lives. It can be spoken of as the individual and the collective, physical and spiritual. It includes not only those who are members of the COGIC, but all believers who have placed their faith in the Jesus Christ. The COGIC teaches that according to the Word of God, there will be final events and conditions that address the end of this present age of the world. These events include physical death, the intermediate state, bodily resurrection, the Second Coming of Christ, the Great Tribulation, the Battle of Armageddon, the Millennial Reign, the Final Judgment, the future of the wicked in hell, and life for the redeemed in heaven.
The COGIC believes in divine healing, however, it does not advocate the exclusion of medical supervision. It believes that the gifts of the spirit are given to believers and are active in the church today. The ordinances of the church are water baptism by immersion, the Lord's Supper and foot washing.
Members of the General Board Quadrennial 2012-2016
- Charles E. Blake -Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle (1988–present)
- Bishop Phillip A. Brooks - First Assistant Presiding Bishop (1984–present)
- Bishop Jerry W. Macklin - Second Assistant Presiding Bishop (2004–present)
- Bishop Roy L. H. Winbush - Secretary of the General Board (1988–present)
- Bishop George D. McKinney - Board Member (2000–present)
- Bishop Nathaniel W. Wells - Board Member (2000–present)
- Bishop Sedgwick Daniels - Board Member (2008–present)
- Bishop Frank O. White - Board Member (2008–present)
- Bishop J. Drew Sheard - Board Member (2012–present)
- Bishop Brandon Porter - Board Member (2012–present)
- Ted G. Thomas, Sr. - Board Member (2012–present)
- Bishop Lawrence Wooten - Board Member (2012–present)