From the time of his election, December 7, 1962 to April 1963, Bishop Jones
held conferences with Church leaders, and received advice, recommendations
and suggestions for future operations for the Church. After two years
in office, the reports from various parts of the Church were favorable.
Success, Spiritual Growth, and Wonderful Fellowship were Evident Everywhere.
With a desire to secure the Church's real property and to set in place
a functional financial system for the Church, the Senior Bishop called for a report from
the Special Committee which had been set up to study those areas.
Here's where the trouble began, when the committee's recommendations called
for certain changes in the system which seemed to upset certain members
of the Executive Board. The Senior Bishop asked that a further study
would be effected, with modified recommendations to be made subsequently.
From that time the Executive Board appeared to take a negative attitude towards
the Senior Bishop and his team. The Executive Board began a deliberate
campaign to pull the people away from Bishop Jones' leadership. But because
Bishop Jones had a long and outstanding record in the Church, and
those whom he selected to be on his team were persons of outstanding caliber,
the Executive Board's tactics did not work. Bishop Jones was following the Constitution,
but the Executive Board, Which was not in the Constitution claimed to
have the powers to do what Bishop Jones was doing.
According to the Constitution of the COGIC, our Church believed that the office
of Senior Bishop, which is the office of the Chief Apostle were placed in the Church
by the Lord - just as the office of State Bishop or Overseer and Pastor were placed
in our Church by the Lord. This is in our Church's official history:
"The Lord gave Elder C. H. Mason to be Chief Apostle,
to which the whole
~From "History" In The Official Manual Of The Church Of God In Christ, 1957 Ed. p. 9
The Appointive Powers Of The Office Of Senior Bishop:
I) In the Church of God in Christ, the Senior Bishop appoints
State Overseers or State Bishops and heads of National Departments. This is in
accordance with our Constitution - Article 11 par. I
"Said National Officers [of National Departments] to be appointed by Senior Bishop"
Church Constitution - Article 13 par. 10
2) The appointive powers of the office of Senior Bishop are in accord with the
scriptural "pattern" which gives the leader at each level of the Church,
[National, State and Local] the power of appointment.
Scripture: For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set things in
order that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. " Titus 1:5
The Church of God in Christ has been greatly blessed by following its God given "pattern".
Our official history says: "Under his leadership
[that is, the leadership of the first Senior
the Church has witnessed a great triumph and growth."
"History" In the
Official Manual, Church of God in Christ, 1957
God has always made choice of one man to be the chief
leader of His people at any one time and place. In our Church - he is the Senior Bishop.
The chief leader has always been given bt the Lord the authority not given
to any other office, or person or group of persons. The scriptures warn
and denounce any policyc or procedure - undertaken by any person or group,
deliberately or unintentionally - which seeks to subvert or overthrow the
Divinely chosen leader. "For Rebellion is as the sin of Witchcraft". I Samuel 15:23
Our Church Has Covenanted Not To Change Its "Pattern"
1) While it is true that the General Assembly has the authority to make laws for
the Church, it is not true that the General Assembly has the authority to change
the "Pattern" of the Church's leadership. Article 9 of our Church Constitution
restricts the powers of the General Assembly in this regard.
"It (the General Assembly) shall not set aside or change any of our
articles of faith, nor shall it establish any new doctrines contrary to the doctrines
that now exist in the Church.
" (b) The General Assembly shall not abolish our general form of government,
nor the General Superintendency, nor deprive it of any of the authority given
it by the Constitution." If the Church is to be consistent with its own history,
organizational structure and composition, and Constitution, the General Superintendency
not only consists of state Bishops
(who presently compose the Board of Bishops in - 1962); but also the office of Senior Bishop.
For it was by the authority of the Board of Bishops, that the office of Senior Bishop was
filled after the death of the late first Senior Bishop.
The present Bishop was elected to this office by the General Assembly in 1962,
which was an election held by the authority of the Board of Bishops.
The Executive Board alledged that under the Constitution and by-laws of the Church
of God in Christ, there is no provision for a Senior Bishop, after the death of the
late revered C. H. Mason.
The fact is: There is no place in the Constitution which terminates the Office of
Senior Bishop with the death of the Late Bishop C. H. Mason.
The Constitution anticipates and provides for the continuation of the Office of
Senior Bishop in that it expressly sets forth: "The Overseer will be appointed by
the Senior Bishop or by his appointee. COGIC Constitution - Article 11; part 1"
"Said National Officers (Of National Departments) to be appointed by Senior Bishop."
There is nothing in the Constitution which establishes any other appointive authority
for these vital offices and positions in the Church. It seems reasonable to conclude
that the incumbent in the
Office of Senior Bishop would make the appointments,
no matter what his name might be.
NOTE: When Bishop C. H. Mason died, the "Pattern" which God had given for the
Church did not die with him. Nor did God die, and these rules were prayerfully
sought from God!
So, Senior Bishop O. T. Jones made decisions and appointments without
collaboration and consensus of the Board of Bishops, General Assembly, or
the "Executive Board". NOTE: The Supreme Court of Texas in one case,
and the ultimate in the court case of the Chancery Court of Shelby County,
Memphis, Tennessee both ruled that the "Executive Board" had no place in the
COGIC Constitution - Article 7; Part 2 - The Constitution does not mention
"Executive Board", for there was no such creature at that time. And by the
Constitution, there is no such creature at this time.
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