Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr.
One Of Bishop Mason's "Lieutenants" And
 One Of His Closest Confidants For Over 50 Years
Above:  Left to Right - Bishop Moses Cross, Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., Bishop L. M. Driver, Bishop Christopher C. Owens, President of the Religious
Workers Guild, Inc., And Bishop W. L. Porter.
               Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr. is the recipient of the Prestigious                    Bishop Charles Harrison Mason Award For His
Outstanding Accomplishments.  Below, Bishop O. T. Jones is seen to the
right of Bishop C. H. Mason (Center); To Mason's
Left is Bishop Matthew Roberts.
Even though Bishop O. T. Jones had always been Bishop Mason's right hand man for over 50 years,
in the General Assembly it pleased the saints to wait a year after Bishop Mason's death
in 1961, before selecting a successor for the Founding Father of the COGIC.
In the Holy Convocation of 1962, the only surviving Bishop of the original five which
had been consecrated in 1933 was Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones,Sr.
of Philadelphia, Pennysylvania.
Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., at the age of 23, accompanied Bishop Mason on a trip to
Los Angeles, California to attend the first Holy Convocation of E. R. Driver, which lasted for 30 days
in 1916.  Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., was a close confidant of Bishop Mason before many of the
prominant bishops even appeared on the scene.
The picture above was taken during the First Holy Convocation
of E. R. Driver in 1916.
                 You will see E. R. Driver on the bottom row 2nd from the left.  You will see                         Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., immediately to the right of Bishop Mason
on the bottom row.
Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., aside from being the last surviving of the first five Bishops
appointed by Bishop C. H. Mason in 1933, had trained the COGIC youth since 1915.
In addition, he had actually developed the Young People's Willing Workers (YPWW) Topics.
Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., also founded the International Youth Congress of the
Church of God in Christ, and, as a great theologian, he placed the experiences of the saints in words.  As a partner with Bishop Mason, he also helped to codify disciplines and 
doctrines of the denomination.  So then, aside from the the fact that Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr.
assisted in codifying our doctrine, it would be correct to assume that he not only played a major role in formulating our COGIC affirmations concerning ("what we believe"), 
but also the doctrinal truths printed on our Sunday School Booklets; this was to insure 
that these doctrinal truths would be indelibly imprinted in our hearts and minds.
Because Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., was a great theologian himself, he was always an advocate
for a trained clergy.  By virtue of the fact that there was a great deal of unrest
and negative issues brought on by the death of Bishop C. H. Mason on November 17,1961,
Bishop Jones appropriately eulogized Mason on November 25, 1961 using this verse:
"For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God,
fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption."  Acts 13:36.
Following Bishop Mason's death, the COGIC struggled to transcend the ordeals
of transition while certain saints succumed to insubordination and corruption.
Even so, Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., led the church amid great tumult.  Some historians
erroneously described the period between 1961 and 1968 as the
"Wilderness Wandering", referring to the dispute concerning Bishop Mason's
successor (Senior Bishop Ozro  Thurston Jones, Sr.).
According to a well documented  "Constitutional Rights Expose" addressed to
the members of the Church of God in Christ by Bishop Samuel P. Nesbitt concerning
this very issue (pages 2-7), at Bishop Mason's death pursuant to the COGIC
Constitution, the Board of Bishops was in charge of the Church of God in Christ.
The Board of Bishops granted the Commisioners, who had served with Bishop Mason,
the authority to lead the church for one year, during which time they were to
to set the church in order for the election of a new Senior Bishop.
At the end of the year 1962, the election of the new Senior Bishop was scheduled 
to take place during the General Assembly in 1963.  However, on the closing night of 
 the Holy Convocation in 1962, one of the Bishops, who for now will remain nameless,
stood and told of a dream which he had experienced relative to the leadership 
of the church.  Influenced by what they considered to be the significance of the dream,
the General Assembly was moved to elect Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., as the new Senior
Bishop of the Church of God in Christ.
The Associated Press, and all other news media
carried the news to all the world, and the saints everywhere were rejoicing.
 
 
The Documents Which Follow, Refer To The Aforementioned
Decision Which Was Made By The General Assembly
Of The Church Of God In Christ In 1962 And Were Taken From The
Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop Christopher C. Owens Please Take Your Time
And Read These Articles.  You Will Certainly Be Enlightened 

If You Look Above At Section 5 - The Health & Welfare Of Our Ministers And Workers:

You'll See Bishop E. Lenox, And Elder C.C. Owens At Committee Participants

Historic Reflections
Having been without a leader for almost a year, the church was delighted to have
a leader who had walked with Bishop Mason and who had been a great supporter
of Bishop Mason and the doctrines and laws of the Church.  As a
great preacher, he was often called upon to deliver the annual Official message
for Bishop Mason during the Holy Convocation; He was the Leader for whom the people
thought was qualified to help them remain true to the faith.  
Therefore they received him gladly.  
Bishop Jones received congratulatory messages from all over the Church.
The actual telegrams from the respective Bishops are reflected in this Expose'
of Bishop Samuel P. Nesbitt:
Bishop F. D. Washington N. Y., December 8, 1962
Bishop B. H. Dabney, Chairman Of The Board, December 8, 1962
Bishop O. M. Kelly, NYC, December 10, 1962
Shown Below As They Greet The Newly Elected Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones, Sr., Philadelphia:
From Left to Right Second Row:  Bishop D. Lawrence Williams, Norfolk, VA;
Chairman, Board of Bishops:  Bishop John White, New Orleans, LA;
Bishop L. H. Ford, Chicago, IL; Bishop W. G. Shipman, Detroit, Michigan;
Bishop C. E. Bennet, Gary, Indiana; Bishop Wyoming Wells, Greensboro, NC;
Bottom Row Left To Right:
Bishop W. R. Nesbitt, Florida; Bishop J. S. Bailey, Detroit, Michigan;
Bishop Samuel Crouch, Los Angeles, California;
Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., Newly Elected Senior Bishop;
Dr. Lillian Brooks Coffey, National Supervisor, Women's Department;
Bishop A. B. McEwen, Memphis, TN; Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Memphis, TN;
And Bishop J. E. Bryant in Foreground;
Below:  Click On Us To Surf To The Top Or Continue To Scroll Down
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  assembly accepted." 
~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  Bishop] 
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.
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.   
Click On Bishop Christopher Owens Below To Surf To The Top Or Continue To Scroll
Down;  There Are More Very Interesting Facts  And Twists To This Story!!
Below, Click On Bishop C. C. Owens To Surf To The Top Or Continue To Scroll Down
Below, You May Click On Bishop Owens To Surf To The Top, Or Continue To Scroll Down
Below Left To Right:  Bishop Nesbitt, Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.,
Bishop Christopher C. Owens,
Senior Bishop O. T. Jones,  Sr., Bishop Louis Henry Ford 
Soon after the allegations, disagreement over the power and authority of the 
Senior Bishop and the power and authority of the "Executive Board" at the 67th
Convocation in 1964.  Factions developed and controversy engulfed the
fledging organization as administrative and executive decisions were being made by
both the Senior Bishop and the "Executive Board" - often conflicting with one another.
Therefore the Executive Board went about creating new jurisdictions and 
appointing Bishops over them.  It was unconstitutional, but gullible men fell for it.
Considerable confusion was created throughout the Church, especially in the
State of Alabama.  In the Case:  Emmitt Jackson, ET AL (Complainants vs. )
The Executive Board attempted to divide the Stat of Alabama, and create
what was to be called Diocese #2.  Elder J. M. Bailey, Brother of Bishop J. S. Bailey,
member of the Executive Board, was designated as Bishop of said jurisdiction.
Bishop Ashworth, the duly appointed Bishop of the State of Alabama, had contacted
the Senior Bishop to ascertain whether or not the Senior Bishop had authorized
such an action.  The Senior Bishop informed Bishop Ashworth that such an action
had not been authorized or apprpoved.  When an attempt was made by John F. Key,
Pastor of the East Birmingham Church, to transfer the Church from Bishop
Ashworth's Jurisdiction to the newly illegally created Diosece #2, more than
a 2/3 majority of the members and officers desired to remain with Bishop Ashworth.
After appropriate hearings and conferences, Bishop Ashworth declaired the
the pulpit vacant.  When Elder Key refused to vacate the Church,
the officers of the Church petitioned the Court for a restraining order against
Elder John Key and certain members of the Executive Board to prevent them from
taking their Church to the illegally created Diocese # 2.  
A temporary injunction was issued, but a permanent injunction was denied.
At the hearing where the Senior Bishop, and his staff and the Executive Board
were present, it was necessary to establish that Bishop O. T. Jones was the Senior Bishop,
that he was duly elected to said office, that he performed in said office, and, by the 
Constitution, only he had the authority to consecrate and appoint Bishops.
The Attorney for the Church, representing the Senior Bishop, called for a certain Bishop, who was appointed by Senior Bishop O. T. Jones in 1963, to come to the stand (This 
Bishop will remain nameless for now, but later I will disclose pertinent information for
you to personally locate this Expose' by Bishop S. P. Nesbitt, if you are interested).
The Attorney questioned this Bishop as follows:
Was Bishop O. T. Jones elected as Senior Bishop of the Church of God in Christ?
He answered...." No, the Church honored him with that title because of
his many years of service to the Church."
{Mind you, this was the same Bishop who related to the General Assembly the
vision God gave him concerning Bishop O. T. Jones; It was this Bishop's prophetic 
dream that compelled the Assembly to elect Bishop Jones as Senior Bishop in the
first place - a whole year before the election was actually supposed
to take place, no less!}
Question:  Did you sign any credentials or appointments on which Bishop Jones' 
name appeared as Senior Bishop?  He answered "No".
It was noted that Bishop Jones' Committee had sought to obtain copies of credentials
from persons who had been consecrated by Bishop O. T. Jones.
But all of those credentialed Bishops refused to respond (Santan was working overtime);
except Bishop Eurie of Delaware, who got up out of his sick bed and flew to Alabama,
to testify and present his credentials.  The Senior Bishop's Attorney called
Bishop Eurie to the stand, who presented his credentials, that were signed by
Bishop Jones as Senior Bishop, and also witnessed and signed by the same Bishop
who had previously been on the stand (again, this letter reflected this Bishop's very
own signature as Secretary)!  It was now obvious that this Bishop had previously
perjured himself on the witness stand; He was immediately recalled to the witness stand
and required to identify and read an open letter concerning his support of
Senior Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., bearing his signature.  This letter was given to the Court
by Bob Mason, the son of Bishop C. H. Mason, who was a great supporter of Bishop
O. T. Jones (The Letter:  showing who it was addressed to {one of the Commissioners}
and who had written the letter - the same person who had just perjured himself on the witness stand - and this special letter may also be found within the Expose'
written by Samuel P. Nesbitt).  
After this Bishop had finished reading this letter which he had written, there was
a moment of silence in the Court.  A recess was called.  After
returning, the Senior Bishop's Attorney concluded with these words:
"The uncontroverted evidence shows that Bishop____________ was
not telling the truth.  But you can't wipe out the past.  You might
advise him to read Omar The Tent Maker, where he said:  "The moving
finger writes, and having written moves on.  For all your piety nor wit can
lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears to wash out a word of it."
And that's what Bishop_______________ didn't know when he
made that false affirmatiion, that he couldn't wipe out the past." 
Below, Click On Bishop C. C. Owens To Surf To The Top Or Continue To Scroll Down
 
Above:  Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones, Sr.
Considering what previously transpired with the Executive Board, this blatant act of them renouncing their allegiance to the Constitution of
the Church of God in Christ was a violation of the original article
9 (a) (b) of the original Constitution of the Church which was a safeguard
to protect the Articles of our Faith and the Leadership Style of our Church.
You may go to the web site of {reportcogicabuse  /Bishop_Nesbitts_Response_1.pdf}
(www. precedes the beginning and .com is typed after abuse) to discover
missing names and the open letter produced in court.  
You might want to keep a copy of this historical Expose' of Bishop S. P. Nesbitt
in your personal files.
Below is a photo of Bishop S. P. Nesbitt

 
Above we have shown a portrait of Bishop Nesbitt.  You may later surf to
the COGIC Pioneers Navigational Page of this web site; we have
included an artical on Bishop Nesbitt's Defense of 
Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr.
As you can see, through a lengthy process, and despite the inevitable
differences of opinion, however, through much prayer and with the assistance of,
yet another Court - The Chancery Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, the
COGIC rose above the challenges of change.  Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., actually
performed a superb job, having his mind anointed and his steps ordered by God
in maintaining respect, subordination, and order from the clergy while leading
the Church through this trying period.
In 1966 Bishop O. T. Jones was removed from the office of Senior Office, however,
he continued to be honored as the "Senior Bishop" of the COGIC.
In an attempt to regain control of the Church, the pro Jones group led a
failed coup attempt during the 59th Holy Convocation in 1966.
Suits were filed in the Chancery Court of Shelby County, Tennessee to finally
resolve the legitimate authority controversary of the Church of God in Christ.
The Court ordered the Church to convene a Constitutional Convention in 1968.
The COGIC drafted and approved a new constitution that dissolved the office of 
Senior Bishop and the Executive Board, and created the office of the Presiding Bishop
and a General Board, who would be elected every 4 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; I can't ever imagine how they managed to get around
Article 9 of the Church's Constitution which prohibits the General Assembly from
abolishing and replacing original laws and rules, but we shall rest in the will of God 
and know that righteousness will always prevail.
Below is a drawing of Bishop Jones' Church in Philadelphia, PA.
In 1962 Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., was still the International President of the Youth
Department of the Church of God in Christ.
The 27th Yout Congress of the Church of God in Christ was in session
in Detroit, Michigan, June 27 - July 3, 1962.
Even in the midst of all the turmoil within the denomination, the Church of
God in Christ was continuing to march forth with a "Full Hallelujah Praise"
with "full speed"!
Below, Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., D. D. in 1962 was yet the President
of the International Youth Congress
and his wife, Mrs. O. T. Jones, Sr., was the National President of the Bishop's Wives
Below, Their Son, Bishop O. T. Jones, Jr., Was Part Of The Official Congress 
Staff As Of 1962.  His Role Was To Serve As The Administrative Assistant
To His Father, Who Was The International President Of The
International Youth Department Of The Church Of God In Christ
A Brief Timeline Of The Life Of
Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones, Sr.
1914}  Organized Youth Dept. Of The COGIC And Served As The First President
1916}  He Founded And Edited The Y.P.W.W. Quarterly Topics,
Which Received Notoriety As One Of The Largest Pentecostal
Publications In The Nation, A Task He Continued Until 1962.
1920}  Appointed Assistant To The State Overseer In Oklahoma
1926}  Appointed State Overseer For Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
Bishop Jones Watched His Fledging State Grow After His Appointment
From 11 Churches To Over 200.
1928}  Founded The International Youth Congress Of The COGIC
The Youth Congress Not Only Beckoned Youth,
But Became The Spawning Ground For Nearly 30
Various Youth Ministries.
1933}  One Of The First Five Preachers To Be Consecrated
As The COGIC Denomination's First Founding Bishops.
Was The Last Of The Original Five To Enter Eternal Rest.
1952}  In Addition To Being A Trustee Of The Original Corporatiion
Of The Church Of God In Christ, He Was Appointed By Bishop Mason
To A Special Commission Created To Assist Our Founder In His
Waning Years.  With Elder Bryant And Bishop Jones Producing The Manual
Containing Our Doctrine And Constitution.
A Foundational Work By The Late Bishop E. R. Driver, Preceded The Manual 
Produced By Bishop Jones And Elder Bryant.
1962}  The Board Of Bishops Nominated Him To Serve As The New
"Senior Bishop" After The Demise Of Bishop C. H. Mason In 1961.
1965}  Opposition To His Reign Concerning Election Policies
1968}  After Lawsuits Upon Overlapping Lawsuits Initiated By Factions
(Some Later Left The COGIC Organization And Referred To Themselves As The 
Church Of God In Christ, International - They Held On To The
Original COGIC Doctrine But Were Averse To The Election
Policies Within The COGIC Arena.  The Courts And The Convention 
Established Clear Guidelines For The Elections Of Church Leaders, And 
In 1968 Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Was Elected As Presiding The Bishop.
He Was Revered By Many As Being Exemplary To The Authenticity
Attritributed To His Predecessor, Bishop C. H. Mason.  He Is Perhaps
Best Remembered As An Outstanding Bearer Of The Gospel, An Organizer,
An Educator Of Christian Youth, A Family Man (Six Children, All Members
Of The COGIC, A Sainted Character, An Humble, Yet Dignified, Shepherd To
The Whole Flock Of God.
1972}  Bishop Jones' Homegoing Was Celebrated In 1972
 
Click On Bishop Owens Below To Surf To The Top And
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