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:

 

 

 

      

                                                                          

~

                                  

                                                                             

                                                


 

IIMemorial FoundationBishop C. C. OwensSave The WorldFoundation

 

Welcome To The Bishop Christopher C. Owens Memorial Foundation

 

Faithful And Strategic Positioning To Inspire Hope And To Transform Adversities Into Victories

Mission Statement:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

       

                                 Evangelist Elvie J. Owens,

                          Wife Of The Late Bishop C. C. Owens:

 

                    Please Surf Below The Photographs To Read The Mission Statement

 

 

 

 

 

It is our mission to commit ourselves unto God, trusting to Him in everything and to gird ourselves for the conquest     of evil in men's hearts.  We seek the infilling of the Holy Spirit, the presence and fellowship of God and all victory in our daily lives.  It is our mission to preach the gospel and spread salvation to the lost and the oppressed, to heal and deliver the sick and shackled, and to admonish the world to serve the Lord with all humility of mind and to yield to the wooing of the Holy Spirit.

As God's messengers, we are heralding the gospel   of grace as we encourage repentance everywhere toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.  We pray that the fruits of our labor will live on as the blessings of God upon us flow from the foundation of our ministries and abiding labors  of love.  Truly we are planting and endeavoring to water, but God will give the increase as we write God's love on the tables of the hearts of people everywhere.  We extend blessings to you, our brothers and sisters beloved, our co-laborers in the Lord and our friends as we endeavor to engage in active service for Christ.  God is moving in our day to lead us through treacherous waters of our generation when even the fate of civilization hangs by the slender thread of man's judgment and will.   

 

In summary, we are reaching up to develop a deeper relationship with God, we are reaching in to show the message of faith, hope and love with others, and we are reaching out to share the good news of Jesus Christ and to build the lives of people from inside out.                                                    

                            Click the cross above to surf to the top

 Click the cross above to surf to the Welcome Page   or continue to scroll

                                   downward for the continuation of Historic Reflections

 

Missions

Continuation Of Historic Reflections

 

 

 

 

 

The COGIC'S Women's Department

National Supervisors

 

From Historic Reflections

 

Pictured Below Top Row: 

Bishop Charles Harrison Mason Founder And Chief Apostle Of The COGIC

2nd Row From Top Left To Right: Mother Lizzie Roberson, First International Supervisor Of Women

Mother Annie Bailey, Third International Supervisor Of Women

3rd From Top Left To Right: 

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey, The Second International Supervisor Of Women

Mother Mattie McGlothen, The Fourth International Supervisor Of Women

Mother Emma Francis Crouch, The Fifth International Supervisor Of Women

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table Of Contents:

You May Click On The Highlighted Portion

Of Any Subject Line Below In Order

To Link To That Given Topic;

You Will Have A Linking Photo Situated

Immediately Above And Below Each Topic Section

Which Will Allow You To Surf Back Up

To The Table Of Contents

In Order To Select Yet Another Topic

 

{I}

First National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Lizzie Robinson

 

{II}

Historic Reflections Of COGIC Women ~ Smart Dress Code

(Influenced By Dr. Arenia C. Mallory &

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey's Affiliations With:

AKA Sorority, Social & Political Organizations)

 

{III}

Dr. Arenia C. Mallory, President Of

Saints Industrial School In Lexington, Mississippi

 

{IV}

Second National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

 

{V}

Why Was There A Need For A Women's Department

Within The COGIC?

 

{VI}

Why Was There A Need For A National Women's Conventioon

Within The COGIC?

 

{VII}

The First National Women's Convention ~ 1951

 

{VIII}

Third National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Annie Bailey

 

{IX}

Fourth National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Mattie McGlothen

 

{X}

Fifth National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Emma Francis Crouch

 

{XI}

Sixth National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Willie Mae Rivers

 

{XII}

Matriarchy And Patriarchy Forces Influencing

The Exponential Growth Of The COGIC

 

{XIII}

Missions Department Of The COGIC

Click On Us To Surf To The Table Of Contents Or Continue To Surf Downward

 

~The First National Supervisor 

Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Lizzie Robinson

 

Supervisor Lizzie Robinson (1911 - 1945 = Time she serviced the COGIC)

(Born 1860 Died 1945)

 

Lizzie Woods Robinson was born a slave on April 5, 1860 in Phillips County,

Arkansas, to Mose Smith and Elizabeth Jackson.  At the end of the civil

war, Robinson, her mother, and four siblings were left without a husband and

a father.  Although her mother never learned to read, she sent her children to

the missionary schools, and by the age of eight, Lizzie Robinson was reading

the bible to her mother, who died when Lizzie was 15.  In 1881 she converted to

the Baptist Faith.  Eleven years later, she joined a Baptist Church in Pine Bluff,

Arkansas.

A white missionary, named Joanna More, would come to Lizzie's house and teach

her about motherhood, homemaking and cleanliness and Pentecostalism from a

pamphlet called "Hope".  Lizzie Robinson had little formal education, so Joanna

made arrangements through her pastor to allow Lizzie to take courses at the

Baptist Academy, and upon completion of her classes she was allowed to work

at the Baptist Academy.  Through the powerful teaching of Elder D. W. Welk,

Robinson became attracted to the Church of God In Christ (COGIC), and

in 1911, while Bishop Mason was running a revival, she received the baptism

of the Holy Ghost.  Because she had gotten saved and was filled with the Holy Ghost,

she was fired from her job at the Baptist Academy and was excommunicated

from the Baptist church.  Bishop Mason was impressed with this young

woman's demeanor and knowledge of the scriptures and later that year

during the Holy Convocation of 1911, Bishop Mason established

a Women's Department and appointed Mother Robinson

as the first Supervisor over the women's work in the COGIC.  He wanted to allow the

women the opportunity to exercise the full use of their talents.

She has been described as the "pioneering foremother" of the COGIC.

 

In 1916, Mother Robinson and her husband, Elder Edward D. Robinson, moved to

Omaha, Nebraska, where they and their daughter, Ida, established the first

COGIC church in Nebraska.  The church was eventually named after them:  Robinson

Memorial, and it has been placed in Nebraska's National Register for

Historic Places;  The Robinson Memorial Church still has weekly services.

 

A Young Lizzie Robinson

 

In October of 1918, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an FBI file

on Mother Lizzie Robinson because she was a part of Bishop Mason's

organization that believed in the 14th amendment to the Constitution of the

United States (to not bare arms based upon religion).  She was jailed for her

religious beliefs and for being a leader of the Women's Department of the COGIC

during an era whose Women's Suffrage rights had not been born.

She was imprisoned often for her faith, rotten egged for teaching the word of God

as an African American female pioneer leader of her day.

 

Mother Lizzie Robinson has been described as a strict leader of the women of the COGIC

denomination;  She had a tough dress code, and uncompromising rules governing

female behavior:  No short dress above the knees, no short sleeves, no toe or heel open

on your shoes, no cutting of the hair, no coloring or processing of the

hair - well you get the picture!

Mother Robinson, aside from being a stern leader, was well organized, and

left no stones unturned when it came to straightening out crooked and inappropriate

matters.  The following notice which was sent to the COGIC Bishops and clergy clearly

demonstrates that despite her advanced age and limited mobility, Mother Robinson

kept her fingers on the pulse of activities in the Women's Department, especially

dissenting ones:  "Notice to Bishops, Overseers, Pastors and State Mothers:

I am revoking the license of the following missionaries, because of their following

a split church and will continue to use tour license to get their books from the bureau

to travel over the work.  These women are in the state of Minnesota.  Their names

are as follows:  Mrs. Addie Buress, Mrs. Lillie Vaughn, and Mrs. Annie McConnell.

All are evangelist missionaries and followed a split church.  Please do not accept

these women as they come to your church."  She absolutely meant business!

 

Her ultimate goal was to uplift the African American community which incorporated

raising money to build churches and other institutions.

Her holiness code of ethics was used as a social resistance against the racism, sexism,

and classism that plagued early twentieth- century America.

Many black women who became sanctified Pentecostals during that time, espoused

a pro-black consciousness, had unflinching self respect, and saw the high moral

standards of sanctification as a means for African American improvement.

In order to counter the stereotypes used as rationales for the abuse of black women,

Sanctified women were encouraged to dress as becometh holiness.

Mother Robinson, unlike Dr. Mallory and Mother Lillian Coffey, believed that

women should not engage in politics - stay away from organizations:  her constant

admonition to the women was "to continue in the faith,

 to stay out of lodges, and to stay out of politics."

"To avoid positions and places that reeked of the world!"

Her belief was based in part upon her focus on 19th century racial focus through

respectable homemaking.  She was probably also reflecting on her experiences

of having the FBI following her during World War I.  As you know the FBI not only

followed her, but also followed Bishop Mason during that period because he

was against war and preferred the idea of men being "conscientious objectors",

and the government assumed that Mason was teaching against the government,

and proceeded to place him in jail.  The very things she did treasure, however -

education, families and home life--in time became the avenues of COGIC women's

civic engagement.

 

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

Mother Robinson usually traveled without her husband, despite hardships and risks.

She took extensive trips doing missionary work while her husband

remained in Omaha pastoring the church.  Mother Robinson's daughter,

Ida, and other young church women accompanied her on the mission field;

She coached and trained them to become state mothers and various

church leaders.  Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey as a young evangelist

frequently accompanied Mother Robinson;  Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

eventually succeeded Mother Robinson as National Supervisor of Women.

 

At age 65, Mother Lizzie Robinson visited churches in 40 cities, covering

18 states in less than a year.  It was a constant practice for her to lead

prayer meetings, teach church doctrine, and to help new churches

establish themselves everywhere she traveled.  She organized auxiliaries,

straightened out trouble in local churches, and advised congregations

on matters of doctrine and behavior.

A look at Mother Robinson's annual report of 1925 {at the age of 65},

reveals the following:  She began her visits in Arkansas, where she

spent over a week at Geridge School, which was established by Justus Bowe.

Geridge School, which was founded in the early 20th century by the

COGIC, combined secular and religious education with prayer meetings

being held on the school grounds.

 

According to Dorcas Duffy (who so graciously sent me the following two pictures),

and whose mother was a student at the Geridge School,

below is a picture of the last standing building (the girls dormitory building) of the Geridge School

Campus as it appeared before it was demolished in the 1970's.

 

 

Below is a picture of Justus Bowe (also sent to me by Dorcas Duffy, who, according to their

information received from their mother and grandparents, Elder J. Bowie opened the

school in 1916 and was the original overseer of Arkansas).  We sincerely thank Dorcas Duffy

for sharing this information with us!

 

 

Mother Lizzie Robinson went from Geridge to Little Rock, then back home to Nebraska

at the end of January to spend time with her husband.  She left home

in March to Kansas City, MO, then went on to Kansas City, Kansas

and to other small towns within the state.

From Kansas Mother Robinson traveled to Oklahoma, spending

time in Hot Springs and Tulsa.  From there she traveled to Memphis; 

Then she attended the state convocation in Union City, Tennessee,

and in May she went to St. Louis.  After returning to Kansas City,

she headed west to Denver.  Traveling to California she went to

Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

After traveling to Phoenix, she went north to Minneapolis, and St. Paul,

Minnesota.  She returned to Omaha {her home} for five days, then

left again for Dallas, Oklahoma City, Topeka, Wichita, Kansas City,

and St. Louis.  She continued on to Mound City, Illinois,

and Henderson, Kentucky.  Her journeys also took her to

Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, and Buffalo.

After spending a night in Philadelphia, she went to Norfolk, Virginia.

She returned to Washington, D. C., and then went on to Trenton, New Jersey.

She remained a night in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, then went west to

Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit.  She also stopped in

Ypsilanti, Michigan, and Gary, Indiana.  After returning to Chicago,

she headed for Decatur, Illinois.  She also visited St. Louis before

returning home again for eleven days.  Then she left for Little Rock

to attend her brother's funeral, and stopped at Brinkly, Arkansas,

where she rested before that year's Holy Convocation in Memphis {November}.

 

This demanding pace illustrates the commitment and independence

of early church women as well as their husbands' apparent acceptance of

 prominent roles for their wives within the COGIC denomination.

 

Mother Robinson established the principle that the church mother's

role is to under gird the pastor, establish a strong Women's Department,

and teach the women "things that they should know", including modest

dress, prayer, and respect for the pastor's authority.  She helped to enforce

a strict code of behavior for women that as, previously stated,

prohibited them from wearing shoes that exposed heels or toes.  In

addition to forbidding dresses that exposed their knees, the code also

banned jewelry and feathers.

 

Like the fundamentalists of the 1920's, who strove to hold onto the old landmarks

of the Bible against encroaching modernity and technology, Mother Robinson's

leadership was designed for a different era.  Most of its membership in the early

days of the Women's Department lived in rural areas, relying on farming or

sharecropping to survive.  In the 1930's, however, the demographics of the

COGIC church member had changed.  More urban than rural due to the

great migration, many COGIC women were members of storefront churches

in such urban areas as Chicago, Detroit, New York, Philadelphia and and

Los Angeles.  As a consequence, members came in contact with new beliefs,

practices, and organizations that questioned the sectarian nature of the "saints".

New COGIC members were not only from lower economic levels, but from

the middle class.  Members also had the opportunity to further their

education beyond grade or high school.  Tensions from members whose

experience included a progressive lifestyle was imperceptibly forcing the

Women's Department to move towards a redefining of holiness.

The redefinition and restructuring would come from within the Women's Department

from two members faithful to Mother Robinson:  Lillian Brooks Coffey

and Dr. Arenia Mallory.

 

In 1945 Robinson came to Memphis ill.  She had battled several ailments through

the years, and at 85, it was hard for her to get around.  Having suffered several

strokes, she could move, but spoke slowly.  Mother Robinson arrived in Memphis

very tired.  Out in front of the church burned a neon sign:  Church Of God In Christ,

National Headquarters.  It was a visible sign of Robinson's hard work,

in raising funds, for her

daughter had set up a fund specifically for the purchase of a new sign for the church.

The Mothers, however, did not raise enough money to pay for the $1600 neon sign,

and Robinson finished the remainder out of her personal funds.  It appeared as if

Mother Robinson knew that her days were numbered and that she wouldn't

 make it home.  It was a last walk for a dying matriarch who wanted to survey

the work of her hands one last time.  Far from the days of her relentless travel,

holding services in a chicken coop with her husband, the Temple must have

seemed to Mother Robinson a proof of  God's favor upon the sanctified life.

At the same time, it was a reminder of a future that she would not share.

She sent out a letter to be passed out to the women on the women's night of

the convocation giving strong exhortations concerning their dress and behavior

and non involvement in lodges, politics,  and their continuance in the faith, she

walked through the new edifice, sat in the assembly hall which bears her name,

held a conference with her state mothers, revised her constitution - examining

every phase of it for soundness, sat by her windows, examined the large electrical sign,

allocated the balance of the funds needed to make possible its purchase and paid the

difference.

She turned to her daughter in the Lord, Lillian Brooks Coffey, whom she had trained

from girlhood and who later became her assistant, to courageously lead the women

in the fear of the Lord, to stick to the Bible, and not to depart from the Law of the Lord.

 

In 1945, after raising money to help build the historic Mason Temple, and to

purchase the church's neon - lighted sign (Which is still there today 2010),

Mother Robinson passed away, ending the tenure of one of the greatest

organizers among Christian Women.

 

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

Below, Mother Lizzie Robinson And Bishop C. H. Mason

Attending The Holy Convocation Of

The Church Of God In Christ In 1919

 

Mother Lizzie Woods Robinson, ranked with Bishop Mason in the

esteem in which she was held

by thousands of followers throughout the country, died Wednesday morning

just two days before the official closing of the National Convocation in 1945.

Through her ability to organize, inspire and direct, Mother Robinson left to

the heritage of the church 20,000 missionaries, 100,000 laymen and numerous

divisions to the Women's Department.  She remained clear minded throughout

her 80 years of service.  Mother Robinson's legacy of service to the

Women's Department was evident at the memorial service at the temple.

Her funeral, the ending service of the convocation, was packed, and the

mourners included Mary McLeod Bethune.  With Mother Coffey presiding

over the service, the eulogy was delivered by an ailing Bishop Mason.

To close, Mother Coffey was installed as the 2nd General Mother of the COGIC.

She wore a white habit and a full length pleated gown with a cross around her neck

that was placed there by two state mothers and two bishops.

With the completion of the transfer of power, Mother Lizzie Robinson's body

was delivered via the train back to Omaha, Nebraska for final rites and burial.

 

Below:  Center ~ Mother Lizzie Robinson

From Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop Christopher C. Owens

 

 

 

Below, We See The Cross Necklace Being Placed Around The Neck

Of Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey By State Mothers And Bishops.

 

 

August 21, 1992, Elder Elijah L. Hill obtained the street naming for the first

female to obtain a street change in the state of Nebraska in the city of Omaha

called the "Lizzie Robinson Avenue.

As Seen In The Photo Below:  Elder Elijah Is Seen On The Far Left

 

 

 

Lizzie Robinson:  In 1911 She Founded The Women's All Night Prayer Movement

 

 

use us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward or

 

Click On Us To Surf To The Bible/Church Trivia Page To Answer Questions

Or Continue To Surf Downward

 

Click On Us To Surf To The Table Of Contents Or Continue To Surf Downward

 

~Historic Reflections Of The COGIC Women:

Smart Dress Code Influenced By Affiliations

With Social & Political Organizations

 

Go To www.commercialappeal.com to observe smartly dressed saints from

(the 2007 Holy Convocation!) - Type In 2007 Holy Convocation Look For

Photos In This Section

 

Take A Good Look At God's Beautiful Women!

Look At The Hats, The Gloves, The Hand Bags, The Dresses, The Suits And The Furs!

Many Saints Knock "The Sanctified Dress Code" And The Awesome

"Smart Dress Culture" Which Is An Attire Legacy Handed Down

Through The Over 100 Years Of The Inception Of The

COGIC Denomination - From The 19th Century Into The 20th

And 21st Centuries.

 

After the demise of Mother Lizzie Robinson, the first area for which Mother Lillian

Coffey's direction was immediately felt was in dress.  The attire of holiness that Mother

Robinson espoused, black skirts, white blouses, and simple clothing without adornment,

was not exactly de rigueur (duh ree - gur' = French for genteel, decorous or befitting)

in the circles that Mother Coffey held memberships.  As a

member of the NCNW - National Council Of Negro Women with Dr. Arenia Mallory and

Mary McLeod Bethune, the stylish, up-to-date suits, furs and hats with hosiery that members

wore were not equated with holiness under the COGIC definition.  In order to change that,

Coffey had a novel idea.  She contracted with a woman's foundation

company to sell bras, girdles

and slips to the Women's Department members hoping to "smooth" themselves out.

In other words, women who had not worn foundation and had borne children, lost most

of their shapeliness, and the new fashions that a very petite Coffey wore, would not

look as fashionable on other larger women.  She also took to straightening her hair, another

direct violation of Mother Robinson's rulings on unprocessed hair.

Simply changing the clothes would not be enough to change the definition and modeling

of holiness.  She even managed to convince Bishop Mason to allow her to wear a slightly

opened toe shoe to address her corn problem.  Structural changes helped to alter the look

and attitudes of holiness in the Women's Department.  By adding innovative auxiliaries,

Coffey could offer more opportunities for women to serve, change the status and

attitudes of the women involved, and take the Women's Department into relationship

with like-minded groups of other women outside the confines of COGIC.

 

Mother Coffey's expansion and restructuring of the Women's Department was a direct

response to the changing demographics of the Women's Dept.  The newer generation of

 women joining and interacting with COGIC were younger and from predominantly

urban areas. Many were still engaged in domestic work, but many who worked or served in World

War II were in factories and some had been WAC's. 

Others were educators in local school systems, making their

way into the ranks of the middle class.  Previous field workers and domestics

were now domestics, small business owners, educators and the like.  The rise in male clergy

and their wives presented another challenge for the Women's Dept. Women

who wanted to serve in the Women's Dept. were restricted in the areas

they could serve because of their husbands appointments.  In order to meet these needs,

Coffey added an additional number of units to the Women's Department.

 

All of the previously mentioned situations brought about an increase in the

"smart dress culture of the saints" (hats, gloves, suits, furs, adornments, handbags & shoes)

which was an attire legacy handed down

because of the initial affiliations of Dr. Mallory and Lillian Brooks Coffey

with the educated and upper class AKA sorority, Mary McLeod Bethune,

the National Council Of Negro Women and other organizations !

 

I Will Further Address This Legacy As We Discuss The Role Of

Dr. Arenia Mallory As You Scroll Further Downward!

 

use us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward or

 

Click On Us To Surf To The Bible/Church Trivia Page To Answer Questions

Or Continue To Surf Downward!

Click On Us To Surf To The Table Of Contents Or Continue To Surf Downward

 

~Dr. Arenia C. Mallory - President Of Saints Industrial School

     

DR. Arenia Cornelia Mallory Receiving The C. H. Mason Award

From The Religious Workers Guild, Dr. C. C. Owens

National President

 

Dr. Mallory was born in Jacksonville, Illinois (December 28, 1904 - May 1977)

where she attended local public schools.  She was an advocate for civil rights and

the poor in Holmes County, Mississippi.  She received a bachelor's degree

from Simmons College of Kentucky (1927), a master's degree from Jackson State

University, a master's degree from University of Illinois at  Urbana, Champaign (1950),

and a doctorate of law from Bethune - Cookman College (1951).  Mallory was best known

as the head of the Saints Industrial and Literary School, a private secondary school

for students grades 1 - 12 in Lexington, Mississippi.  The school was renamed and is currently

called the Saints Academy.  She was president of the school from 1926 - 1983

(with a brief intermission of two years)!  In 1975 she was the only black college

president. The school was actually founded by the COGIC, and it is yet

 run under the Church Of God In Christ.  Mallory was an active member of the church

and participated in the Women's Department and was a leader in the national church.

From 1952 to 1955 she was on the board of directors of the Regional Council Of

Negro Leadership, a pro-self help civil rights organization led by T. R. M. Howard

of Mound Bayou, Mississippi. 

 

 

Notice Dr. Mallory's Elegant And Sophisticated Attire Here And On

Various Pictures Above & Below On This Page

 

She was also an advocate for the provision of health and welfare for sharecroppers

in Holmes County, Mississippi.  She was also instrumental in orchestrating

several programs in the county to raise money, books and clothing for her students.

  In 1934, Mallory hosted the sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Health Project.  The sorority consisted

of rural teachers in neighboring counties.  Additionally, she was an advocate for black

and women's rights.  She was a member of the National Council Of Negro Women.

She served as the Vice President of this group from 1953 - 1957.  She was a consultant

for the United Department Of Labor (1963) and the first woman and the first

African American elected to the Holmes County Board Of Education.

Mallory has two facilities named after her:  The Arenia C. Mallory Community

Health Center in Lexington, Mississippi, and the Arenia C. Mallory School

Of Religion in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Mallory had a middle-class upbringing, and because her parents desired for her to

become a concert musician, her mother encouraged her to take piano lessons.  That

dream of becoming a concert pianist never came to fruition,

 for Arenia Mallory was converted to Pentecostalism at

a Pentecostal tent revival, became mission-minded, and decided that she would

like to help those people who were less fortunate.

 

Bishop Mason met Arenia  at a meeting in St. Louis, MO of COGIC ministers and workers

of western Missouri and Nebraska and was very impressed with her musical ability.

Bishop Mason had hoped that she would fill in for and eventually replace James Courts,

who was quite ill and couldn't carry out his duties as principle of the Saints Industrial

School.  She eventually did replace him, but met opposition from some leaders of the

COGIC denomination because she was considered to be an outsider from up North

coming to the South. 

 

Whatever children attended the Saints Industrial School,

were pulled out of school on a regular basis to help

bring in the crops at harvest time.  The conditions of the school were in a sorry state

indeed.  The boys and girl's privies were so far away from the school that

the boy's toilets were called Memphis and the girl's toilets were called Durant

after cities in Memphis and Mississippi.  Water was carried in pots to boil for bathing,

and a hand pump was the water source at the school.  To compound the

situation, within a month of Mallory's arrival, the previous teacher in

charge (Mr. Courts) died.  She took on both administrative and teaching duties.

For a short while she worked, but then, her personal life and work collided

in dramatic fashion.

Her first few years at Saints School were difficult, and to make

bad matters worse, she fell in love and married a man who was a COGIC elder;  It was

then discovered that she had been married before to a non - COGIC member

and had not divorced her first husband.

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

The story played out in the December 10th and 11th (1928) Convocation minutes.

Mallory had been married to a non COGIC member:  J. Pullam;

After being released from that liaison, Mallory married Clemmons a COGIC elder

who left her with child and went to California to marry someone else.

It was this situation that was being addressed in the minutes.  By having

this double marriage (presumably double marriage - meaning that her ex-husband

was still alive? - her biographer gave the impression that she had divorced the first

husband? - either that or the church ruling that you don't remarry unless the

ex-spouse is deceased?), Mallory had put herself in a position of being

disciplined and stripped of her position at the Saints Industrial School.

As a result, she was asked to leave the school, and Elder Clemmons

 was excommunicated from the brotherhood until which time he would

repent and seek restitution (It never happened)!

Given the fact that COGIC women's leadership was expected to portray

the ideal holiness woman, Mallory's situation was not in keeping with the

 image.  The separation from the school, despite the problems, was painful.

The process of returning was fraught with difficulties as well.  In order

to prove her repentance, Mallory had to find a church in which to publicly

repent for the marriages and disobedience to the church.

She had doors of churches closed to her by uncooperative elders until a COGIC

church in New York City opened its doors to her, and after her emotional repentance

service, was reinstated to her position at the Saints Industrial School.

Given the known facts, the punishment seemed rather harsh by the

standards of the present day, but for the COGIC, and especially for the

Women's Department, this was the standard operating procedure.

Public repentance and confession were important not only to cleanse oneself, but

as part of the sanctification process, to re-pledge obedience to

leadership in the church.  Dr. Mallory's biographer and personal secretary,

Dovie Simmonds, recounts that this is how

the famous "Yes Lord" of the COGIC came about through Dr. Mallory's

extemporaneous singing of it during her repentance service!

There seems to be a discrepancy concerning who initiated the "Yes Lord" Praise,

for many assumed that Bishop Mason himself brought about this famous praise, simply because

he often sang this praise {as it is expressed on an office door in Mason Temple}.

We'll assume that Dovie Simmonds has recorded an accurate account of this matter

since she witnessed its birth at this special service.  The fact that it was such an anointed

praise, its easy to understand why the song spread like wild fire and has remained popular as a

 signature praise of the COGIC for so many years!

So then, after disentangling herself from the marriage, and after

two years had elapsed, with Dr. Mallory publicly repenting at a church in New York,

and popularizing the "Yes Lord " Praise,

she returned to her leadership position at the Saints Industrial School.

 

You May Listen To This Famous

"Yes Lord Praise" As It Was Sung During

The 2007 Holy Convocation Of The COGIC If You Go To:

www.youtube.com and Type In:

The Yes Lord Hymn At Holy Convocation 2007;

COGIC Centennial - "Yes Lord" Around The World;

Yes Lord Praise Convocation Featuring Bishop G. E. Patterson;

COGIC Praise Dance Of Bishop C. H. Mason Rare Footage;

 

You and I both know that Dr. Mallory was considered even more

of an outsider since she was also now considered as a bigamist. 

But by this time the Great Depression had begun, causing the church board

to recommend that the school should be closed due to the dire financial pressure.

 

Dr. Mallory poured herself into the School during the early Thirties, facing the

the problems of lack of funding, supplies and clothing

for the children who attended the school.

At that time, the school received very little in the way of contributions from

the COGIC.

The teachers took a cut in pay and Dr. Mallory decided to take a girls' quintet on

the road in search of funds.  She and a singing instructor, Ms. Emma Mae Lashley,

taught the girls ("The Jubilee Harmonizers") spiritual songs and they

traveled throughout the South and the North singing for money and food

(many times borrowing transportation and gas money).

 

Below Is A Picture Of Dr. Mallory And The Jubilee Harmonizers;  Eventually,

Young Men Were Added To The Singers At The Saints Industrial School

 

 

The Harmonizers were (through Dr. Mallory's connections & coaxing) invited to sing at

The Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York headed by Adam Clayton Powell, Sr.,

for two Sunday services and a Monday night service, and raised $8,000;  This

was quite an accomplishment during the Depression.  The proceeds were used to

go into the construction of the first brick building on campus (Faith Hall).

 

Dr. Mallory's persistence and relentless travel with the Jubilee Harmonizers

began to bring funds and recognition for the Saints Industrial School.

Raising funds and collecting clothing for the students through clothing drives,

Mallory began to build new buildings on the campus and fund

schooling for the children attending the school.

Modeling the Harmonizers after the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the students had the

opportunity not only to serve, but to see another side of life different

from the harsh conditions in Lexington.  The new openness to other churches and

groups outside of the COGIC, began in a very deliberate way, to introduce the young

in the church to new ideas and ways of behavior .  The Whole Truth, the COGIC's

newspaper, began to run articles concerning the work of Dr. Mallory,

and the sacrifices she and the other teachers made in order to keep the

school open (one such article from the Whole Truth is seen below).

"The school has passed through a great crisis this year, due to the failure of the

farm crop this year and the low price of cotton.  The destitution in

Mississippi this year has been very acute.  The leading white colleges

and schools have had to eliminate one to two months from their usual nine

month's schedules.  The tuberculosis sanitariums, insane asylums have

contemplated closing doors due to the lack of funds...In the midst

of these great tribulations it did not seem possible to operate our little

school which had no possible way to receive help other than God's grace.

The board of education suggested closing the school, but Sis. Mallory

felt that the work was too important and that too many sacrifices had already been

made to give up so easily.  She and the faithful faculty offered their services

at a minimum salary and without probable chance of receiving that in the future."

Mallory's dedication to the school, despite its problems, helped it to grow from

10 students to over 400 students in the 1930's.  Out of the the 400

students attending, only 12 were able to pay their tuition

and the rest were subsidized without any pay being received.

Traveling extensively for the

school, planting crops, overseeing building projects and the like, Mallory

turned from a middle class black woman into a hard-working missionary.

She was responsible in later years for placing it on Bishop O. M. Kelly's mind

to donate a Chapel on the campus in Lexington for the students. 

The O. M. Kelly Chapel May Be Seen At The End Of This Topic.

By her service,

Mallory carved out a place for herself in the top women's leadership

for African American women educators.  More importantly, she established

ties outside the COGIC denomination that would eventually change her

fortunes, as well as the dynamics of the Women's Department.

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

Adam Clayton Powell's influence garnered Mallory and the

Harmonizers an engagement at the

Riverdale Church. The group then sang in

Oakland  California where a prominent African American woman in the

sorority movement (Ida L. Jackson) was moved by their performance.

 

Ida L. Jackson was the eighth supreme basileus of the AKA sorority, the oldest

Black sorority in the United States.  The AKA sisters were the epitome of

the "New Negro":  educated, smartly dressed, intelligent women with a desire to

help the down trodden. 

Ida Jackson was only one of 17 African Americans on Berkeley's Campus.

While at Berkeley, Jackson founded the Rho chapter of the AKA's with other

African American women. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees

from U. C. Berkeley and in 1926 began teaching in the Oakland, California

public school system, becoming the first African American to do so.

But because she was so impressed with the Jubilee Harmonizers, she wanted to

help the school, and later found herself at Saints College.

Ida Jackson's connections at the University of California influenced

other sorority sisters to come to Saints College.

Because of the singing group, Ida Jackson and Mallory's paths crossed each other.

The differences between the sanctified world and the upper-class AKA members was

obvious in the dress code of the Saints, yet the AKA's acceded to the practices of

the Saints, perhaps out of respect.  There was a great deal of tension between the

AKA's and Dr. Mallory;  It was said that the presence at the school of women who

were better educated than she was, challenged Mallory's position at the school,

so much so that she later signed up to  complete her education at Jackson College

in Jackson, Mississippi.  According to some of the students, Mallory also taught

the sanctified dress code intermingled with the smart dress code of the AKA's.

I personally believe that the combination of the AKA's Influence may partially

account for the smartly dressed COGIC women always wearing sharp suits and dresses,

hats, gloves, furs and "bling bling".  And if you've ever  noticed, the men

(from the very first pictures of the saints), have always been sharply dressed

in handsome pen striped suits and hats and modest "bling bling".

Some people refer to this phenomenon, as seen at

the various conventions, as being a major fashion show;  I strongly disagree!  This is

a part of our "sanctified dress code church culture" stemming from Dad Mason, the

founding fathers, the Bishops and Elders, The Missionaries,

Supervisors and Saints at large.  Smart dress is all you've

ever visualized from the earliest of COGIC pictures up until the present. 

By definition of the scriptures (when adhered to and properly applied), God has always

desired that the Saints should have an abundant life and should be prosperous. 

 

Its difficult, by mere observation

of one's dress, to distinguish the less fortunate Saint from

those considered to be "upper-class".  Its not about the clothes,

but its about the hearts of men.  I might be somewhat presumptuous concerning

God's mind-set on the "GOGIC Ultra Sanctified Dress Culture", but considering the

opulence of heaven's walls of jasper, its

pearly gates, and its streets paved of gold, which we're anticipating,

its quite suspect that God is very candid and doesn't have a problem accepting the

the opulence of the Saints; So, its imperative that we

stop knocking the fashion shows!  Dress up

or come modestly and casually clad!  Since God doesn't mind, 

It doesn't matter. Come as you are to the throne of grace!

 

Ida Jackson's connections at the University of California influenced

even more sorority sisters to come to Saints College, including two white

teachers who decided to apply for teaching positions at

Saints College following their graduation from Berkeley.

 

Dr. Mallory welcomed them, but this created problems with the whites within

the community around the school.  Because of the racism that these teachers

and Mallory faced, according to Ida Jackson, "the two teachers were not

permitted to remain and teach because of the feelings of the white residents in the

community who unhesitatingly threatened to destroy the buildings if they

attempted to teach under the supervision of a Nigger."  According

to Mallory's biographer, a group of white men showed up at her porch

to confront her one night. They said to her:  "Who told you that you could have white

teachers out here?  You are one of those smart niggers from the North that don't

know your place, and we came to put you in your place.  We came to lynch you tonight."

They left after one of them said, "Give her a chance to get them away."  And

Mallory promised to do so.  As you can see, education, when it challenged the

racial conventions of Jim Crow, was a dangerous enterprise;  But this only

strengthened the AKA's desires to help Saints College.  Mallory requested

the sorority sisters to come back the following year, and they did, but this time

they stressed better facilities and better health care for the school, and for Dr. Mallory

(for she was the local Midwife), and for the community;  when the community didn't

come to them (because of outside agitators to the sharecroppers on the plantations),

the sorority sisters said that

if the community can't come to the Saints, the Saints will come to the community.

They made the health clinics mobile, driving cars to the plantations.

in 1936, due to tensions among the volunteers, the health project moved to

neighboring Bolivar County. 

 

Mallory's ideas concerning education and civic

engagement, alongside a sanctified life would prove to later become very fortunate

for the future success of Saints College.  The emphasis on being a good

citizen, in spite of the realities of Jim Crow, points to a belief in the American dreams

of progress, social uplift and prosperity.

 

This Article Is From The Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop C. C. Owens

 

 

Contrary to Mother Lizzie Robinson's admonitions for the COGIC Women to stay

away from political

action, the focus of being good citizens as part of sanctified beliefs, would carry

Mallory and the school into a broader realm than that intended by the founders

of the school.  Mallory's alliance with the foremost educator of the time,

Mary McLeod Bethune, would later prove pivotal to the school's expanded purpose

and exposure--making it possible for a greater variety of charitable benefits

and funding from philanthropist sources.

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

Mary McLeod Bethune had embraced holiness teachings earlier in life, having trained

at the Moody Bible Institute to become a missionary;  She was denied a

missionary post in Africa because of her race, and went on to found a school

for girls in Florida,

that later became the Bethune-Cookman College. 

This College is yet in existence today;  It is a  coed College, and you may see

a demonstration of its famous marching band in competition with large

bands from other Universities if you go to

www.youtube.com and Type In: 

Bethune Cookman Marching Band (2011) ~ Honda Battle Of The Bands {12:02};

Bethune went

on to found the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), an umbrella organization

that encompassed many of the black women's organizations that had been founded at

the turn of the century.  Mallory was a charter member of the NCNW, and it would be

safe to say that Dr. Mallory and Mary Bethune became acquainted somewhere between

1931 and 1935.  In 1935, upon founding the NCNW, Bethune's already prominent position

rose as she was tapped the following year by President Franklin D. Roosevelt

as Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration,

a position she occupied from 1936 to 1943.  The appointment working with the Negro

youth opened the doors to the White House.

Above Left To Right:  Mary McLeod Bethune And Dr. Arenia C. Mallory

 

Bethune's friendship with Roosevelt's wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, also afforded her

a position on Eleanor's Kitchen Cabinet.  Through Bethune's access to

the White House, Mallory's access was opened as well.  In 1937, Mallory had

the opportunity to present her work with Saint's Industrial School at

the White House to the President  and Mrs. Roosevelt singing for them.

 

Dr. Mallory And Mother Lillian Brooks At The White House

You may click on this photo to surf to the Historic Reflections Web Page

Or Continue To Surf Downward!

 

In 1936, Mallory was featured in the May of the 1936 issue of the Crisis Magazine

with the front page article written about her entitled "Mississippi Mud".

The Crisis article lauded her in this manner:  "Florida has its Mary McLeod Bethune,

North Carolina its Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Mississippi its Arenia Cornelia Mallory,

who, out of Mississippi mud has made it possible for children born, or yet unborn,

to have a better heritage than chopping cotton."  By working effectively to make

Saints Industrial School viable, Mallory cemented her significance to the

Women's Department, and made the outreaches that were crucial for the next

generation of the Women's Department.  Mallory's friendship with Mary Bethune brought

in new ideas to the Women's Department.  Through the connections Mallory made

in their travels, a shift began in the rhetoric of education and ideals that COGIC women

should aspire to.  Articles in the Whole Truth that

highlighted her travels on behalf of the school, began to link the

women of the COGIC to a larger work of black women's club work, and education.

Ultimately, the major changes that were brought about in the Women's Department

were accomplished through an internal partnership between Dr. Arenia Cornelia Mallory

and Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey.

 

Below:  News Article From The Evangelist Speaks - Another Clipping From The

Scrapbook Archives of Bishop C. C. Owens

One Of Dr. Mallory's Prized Students Was Responsible For

The "Rebuilding Of The Walls" Of

The Church Of God In Christ~{1990~1995};

"Rebuilding Of The Walls"

Was A Vision Of Bishop L. H. Ford For Forty Years~

Causing The Reopening Of Saints Academy And College

In Lexington, Mississippi

 

The Saints Industrial School in Lexington, Mississippi was eventually closed,

but during the reign of Bishop L. H. Ford it was revitalized and reopened!

In more recent years, during the reign of Bishop L. H. Ford (1990 - 1995),

who was characterized as being an aggressive and charismatic visionary with a

"Jonah Complex", received a vision from God forty years before 1990 to rebuild

the "walls" of the Church Of God In Christ.  Bishop L. H. Ford made an incredible

forty year journey in a mere four years.  The miracles began with the modernization

of our Historic Mason Temple complete with the elegantly decorated and fitting memorial

to our Sainted Father, Bishop Mason, the All Saints Fellowship Hall

and many other necessary amenities.

The building of COGIC'S walls continued with the acquisition of the apartment

complex adjacent to Mason Temple.  This building, which was in gross disrepair,

had been transformed into the Elsie W. Mason Saints Haven.  Named for

the widow of Bishop Mason, this complex had been designed to serve as a

facility to house senior saints who had physical impairments.  The

facility had been a blessing to those who had enjoyed its warmth and comfort.

It is handicap accessible and has the serene and comfortable  amenities

of a home.  Mother Elsie Mason, who fell victim to an impairment,

became the first permanent resident to this apartment complex.

The wall building continued with the Mother Mattie McGlothen Home Of Love

And Hope Emergency Shelter.  A place or refuge for battered or abused

women and children, this facility is one of a kind.  Because from this shelter,

the hungry will be fed, clothing given to those needing the same, and

counseling will be offered to the despondent and assistance to victims of

catastrophes across the land.

Lastly, up from the ashes comes what has been called one of the nations' finest

private schools.  Saints Academy and College in Lexington, Mississippi.

This newly reopened institution sits on over three hundred eighty acres

of prime land.  Every building has been thoroughly modernized

with amenities including central air and heat, newly tiled baths and

elegantly decorated interiors.

 

The crowning jewel of the campus is the beautiful and spacious

Deborah Mason Patterson Hall.  This multi-purpose building houses

a 1,000 seat auditorium, guest quarters, conference rooms, faculty offices,

the student dining room, and several other areas for multi-use activities.

 

In a mere 4 years, God used Presiding Bishop L. H. Ford, with assistance

from the General Board, the General Assembly and the Bishops, Supervisors,

Elders and Laymen, to complete the task.  Now the walls are nearly complete.

Mason Temple stands as the North wall, Saints Haven and the

McGlothen Shelter serves as the Western wall and to the South,

we have Saints Academy and College.  The work on the walls will not

cease because God reigns.  Our walled city, from which many

additional ministries will flourish, will continue to be built as

"The Vision Continues..."

 

 

 

Below {Top}, The 4 Million Dollar Multi ~ Purpose

Deborah Mason Patterson Hall At The Saints Campus

In Lexington. Mississippi

The Chapel Above To the Right Is The O. M. Kelly Chapel, Which Was Donated

To The Campus By Bishop O. M. Kelly

 

From the foregoing, you see that the Saints Industrial School later became

Saints Academy and College in Lexington, Mississippi.

 

Below {Top}, The Debra Washington Mason Saints Haven Is

Located On The Worldwide Campus Of Mason Temple

In Memphis, Tennessee

 

The McGlothen Shelter In Located Near

Mason Temple In Memphis, Tennessee

 

 

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

Click On Us To Surf To The Table Of Contents Or Continue To Surf Downward

 

~The Second National Supervisor Of The COGIC Women's Department

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

 

Though Sickly And In Ill Health During Most Of Her Tenure,

Mother Coffey Exemplified Tenacity, Shrewdness, And A

Strong Will.  She Earned The Title:  "Warhorse"

 

From The Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop C. C. Owens

You may click on the photo above to surf to the Historic Reflections

Page if you like, otherwise, continue to scroll downward!

 

 

 

Supervisor Lillian Brooks Coffey

Born March 29, 1891 - Ceased From Labor 1964

Financial Secretary in National Office

Executive Secretary Of The Women's Department

Regional Supervisor Of Wisconsin, Georgia, Alabama,

Ohio & Southwest Michigan

 

Assistant National Supervisor Under Mother

Lizzie Robinson

 

International Supervisor Of The Women's Department (1945 -1964)

 

Bishop Mason held Sunday school and Sunday services in a tent

across the street from where Coffey lived as a child in Memphis. 

When Mason started his church in Memphis, Lillian and the neighborhood

children were carried to the tent for Sunday school and Sunday services.

One Sunday morning the Lord touched and saved Lillian as Bishop Mason

taught the children.  She began her church life under Bishop Mason and

remained with the COGIC church until her demise in 1964.  Mason continued to

influence her life, even as she grew older, and she would read the bible through

once every year (she read the bible through more than 11 times).

As a young saint she was tutored by Bishop Mason and some pioneer saints.

 

Born in Memphis in 1896, after being converted under the ministry of

Bishop Mason, Lillian Brooks, in 1903, at the age of seven, joined the

the Church of God in Christ along with her grandmother.  According to Mother Coffey's

account, hostile opposition from the rest of her family, who were active in Baptist churches,

forced her to leave home.  "There were days of great ridicule against holiness, " she recalled,

and as a result she often lived in the homes of members of the Church of

God in Christ and spent her summers with Bishop Mason and his wife.

She said:  "As I grew he {Bishop Mason} carried me into Lexington {Mississippi}

every summer to help sister Mason with the babies....I was happy to take my vacation

in their home.  As I grew older...I traveled on the road with Brother Mason and older sisters.  I

sang and read the bible as he preached, as we always did in those days....He was

loving and tender with me and seldom scolded me because I always tried to please

him in everything.  When my parents died, he became my earthly father."

 

When Mother Coffey was 16, her mother died.  She moved briefly to Chicago to

live with relatives but returned to Memphis to care for her sick father,

who also died shortly thereafter.  She went back to Chicago to live with an aunt

and went to work as a hotel maid.

 

In her early twenties she met and married Samuel Coffey, an interior decorator.

  The "Coffeys" became the parents of Elise La Vergne Dolores and Samuel, Jr.

Samuel, Jr. died at 18 months, but Mother Coffey gave birth to another daughter. 

After she had given birth to their two daughters, they separated, possibly

because her husband was not a member of the Church of God in Christ, was

impatient with her church activities, or not as committed to spreading the

holiness message.  They never reconciled.  In addition to raising their two daughters,

she also raised a younger brother and sister in her charge.

 

Lillian Coffey was now a divorcee, and as a young evangelist during

a period when she was a resident of Chicago, Illinois, Mother Coffey organized

a prayer band that became the first Church of God in Christ in Chicago.

Mother Coffey and Mary Davis

(13 women in all) were largely responsible for inviting and encouraging

Bishop W. M. Roberts and his family to move to Chicago and start

a mission since there was no COGIC in Illinois at the time (1917).

Mother Coffey had actually rented a place, started a mission and sent

for a preacher to come.  That is when Elder W. M. Roberts left Bishop Mason's

church in Lexington, Mississippi (St. Paul COGIC) and worked out the mission.

Mother Coffey then organized an evangelistic team

that organized other churches in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

At age 29, she was appointed state supervisor of women for Michigan, which then

had about 400 women in the denomination's churches.

 

Mother Coffey worked in Bishop Mason's office as secretary for 21 years and as

assistant financial secretary until her appointment as General Supervisor in 1945.

 

 Lillian Coffey, "Little Lillian" as she was called, was always a "dreamer".

She was a woman with great vision and was excellent at fund raising for

any cause within the church arena;  Lillian Coffey and Dr. Arenia Mallory's

friendship came about in part because of their shared fundraising endeavors

for the school.  Both women had a great deal of power within the church -

As President of Saints, Mallory was leading the educational endeavors

and Coffey, since she was appointed as the assistant Supervisor of women

to Mother Lizzie Robinson in 1935, would be leading the women for

Robinson as she advanced in age.  The relationship that developed between

Mallory, Mary McLeod Bethune, the AKA Sorority and Lillian Coffey, on

behalf of the Saints Industrial School, opened doors of extraordinary access to the civic

and social worlds for COGIC women.  Being exposed to a new realm of civic

activity and engagement, Coffey was rubbing shoulders with groups that were

educated, socially and financially well connected to new avenues which

would prove to be fruitful in bringing necessary funds to the Saints Industrial

School.  Because of these affiliations, Coffey would be introduced to the (NCNW)

National Council Of Negro Women and would be invited to activities such

as tea parties with 700 other blacks with Eleanor Roosevelt, and would

become a member of Wand (Women's Army For National Defense);  Mary

McLeod Bethune was the National President of this organization.

The Wands was a group of black women organized to support Negro soldiers

and WAC's in whatever way possible--providing canteen service,

motor corps service and any other tasks.  Dr. Mallory was also a member of

the Wands; in fact she was the colonel, traveling throughout the country

opening new chapters of Wands for Mary McLeod Bethune in addition to

serving as president and raising funds for the Saints Industrial School.

Coffey and Mallory were a team, supporting each other in fund raising

for the needs of the National church, the Saints Industrial School, and outside

the walls and boundaries of the denomination for the needs of humanity.

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

 

Above, Mother Coffey (Sitting) And Dr. Arenia Mallory Standing Far Right,

Flanked By Others;  They Always Worked So Well Together As A Team

And Subsequently Received Amazing Results For The COGIC Organization

And The Saints Industrial School Through Their Efforts!!

 

Lillian Brooks Coffey's strong support for Dr. Mallory and the

Saints Industrial And Literary School (later Saints Jr. College at Lexington, Mississippi),

can be credited for much of the progress realized at these educational institutions.

 

Dr. Arenia Cornelia Mallory And Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

In Front Of The White House

 

 

Mother Robinson died in November, 1945 on a Wednesday during the

National Holy Convocation, and, of course, her funeral was held during the

last night of the convention.  It was on this night that Lillian Coffey was

consecrated as Supervisor of women.  Mother Lillian Coffey was such a great leader

and organizer of women, that she not only continued to improve upon the

auxiliaries that were already in place from Mother Lizzie Robinson's regime,

but she began to create and develop

additional units and auxiliaries for the women of the COGIC.

Some of the units that were organized during Coffey's administration were:

Missionary Circle, Hospitality, Executive Hospitality,

Hulda Club, Wide-Awake-Band, Minister's Wives Circle, Deaconess,

Deacon's Wives Circle, Young Women's Christian Council, Prayer Warriors,

Stewardess Board, Blood Trailers (later voluntary missions, Happy Anticipation)

Usher Board, Educational Committee, Boys' 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.

 

Traveling an estimated 100,000 miles each year in the early 1960's,

Mother Coffey had charge over 89 state supervisors.  The Women's

Department had grown substantially along with the rest of the

Church of God in Christ.  The Women's five day conventions raised

about $35,000 and attracted attention from national political leaders,

and, of course, as was previously mentioned, she gave the women

of the denomination additional national influence and visibility, by being an

active member of the National Council Of Negro Women and an associate

of the renowned educator and political activist, Mary McLeod Bethune.

She expanded missions and schools, then operated by the Women's Department,

to Haiti, Jamaica, Nassau, Hawaii, Bahamas, London and Liberia, and

organized the women to distribute food and clothing overseas, and

Bibles, tracts, and candy at home.

 

Coffey was the founder of the "Lillian Brooks Coffey Rest Home" in

Detroit, Michigan.  This was an elegant  home she purchased for retired

and furloughing missionaries. 

 

The mission field attracted much of her

attention and commitment.  She raised funds for the building of

the Elizabeth White Clinic in Liberia, shared in the purchase

of land with Sis. Elsie Mason for the Mason School in Haiti,

and the purchase of the St. Juste residents, purchased land for the L. B. Coffey School

in Petit Goave, Haiti, and supported missionaries in a myriad of endeavors.

Mother Coffey was best remembered for her organization

of the first International Women's Convention held in Los Angeles, California in 1951.

The convention was hosted by Mother L. O. Hale and Bishop S. M. Crouch.

This convention was brought about through a dream she had of a better way

to support missions.  Her heart was burdened over the suffering conditions of

foreign missionaries in their various fields.

 

Coffey's addition of 14 new auxiliaries created new organizations in which women of

every level of leadership in COGIC could take part.  The expansion helped to pave

the way for Coffey's redefinition of the embodiment of holiness and the

sanctified life.  Unlike her predecessor Robinson, she helped to "smooth out the

women" with more stylish, yet modest, clothing, hats with feather adornments,

and social events like teas and dinners to lift the spiritual and social status of the

Church Mothers and other women.  The new embodiment, gleaned from her participation

outside of the denomination with her participation with Mallory in the NCNW,

allowed for an updating of the definition of the "Saint" who could embody holiness

in a stylish, yet demure manner.  This is a confirmation of what was indicated as

a legacy of the COGIC stylish dress culture being initiated with the AKA and

Dr. Mallory at the Saints Industrial School (as mentioned earlier under Dr. Mallory).

The culmination of this re-embodiment, the creation of an annual Women's Convention,

helped to seal the thrust for COGIC church mothers by bringing them together to discuss

matters important to them, such as their homes, schools, and spiritual lives.

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey presided over 14 conventions from 1951 until

she died in 1964, and today the Women's International Convention is the 2nd

largest convention within the COGIC denomination.

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Mother Coffey had stated to Bishop Mason during a talk some years before his death

"I don't want to be here after you are gone.  If I go first, I will linger in the corridor

of heaven till I hear you coming".  In her grief over Mason's death in 1961, Coffey

said "I have missed the sweet communion (with Mason) and Oh, this has been

a year of years for me!  It was from his mouth that I got my order of the day.

As I consider his advice--his instructions--his great love--his humility--

his peaceable disposition...will we have another Brother Mason?"

 

Mother Coffey became partially blind and paralyzed after a massive stroke in 1951. 

She made speeches by sniffing oxygen every ten minutes and held conferences

under an oxygen tent during her churches conventions.  The tenacity of Coffey

despite her illness sets the stage for an article in which she reminisces about

her conversion to Holiness - Pentecostalism, family problems relating to her

conversion, and her work in the church.  She discusses such diverse issues as

the failure of her marriage, her loyalty and devotion to Bishop Mason, and

her goals for the Women's Department.  She died June 9, 1964.

 

These are some of her famous quotes:  "methods change, but principles remain

the same", and a table verse which we still use today:  "We make no excuse, for

the things which we have, for that which we have, the Lord has provided

and we are thankful."

 

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~Why Was There A Need For A National

Women's Department In The COGIC ?

&

 

 

Dad Mason decided that there was a need to allow the women of

the COGIC to exercise their talents and gifts to teach, pray, and

spread the gospel for purposes of assisting in the planting of new

missions within the brotherhood.  And it was a known fact that

the women also were great at fundraising for various causes.

Mother Lillian Coffey was instrumental in suggesting to

Bishop Mason that the women would be a great asset in promulgating

the gospel if they were allowed to exercise their skills and talents

on a much larger scale within the denomination.

On the strength of her suggestion, Dad Mason decided to allow

the women to have a department, and since he had been aware

of the fact that Sis. Lizzie Robinson had lost her job at the Baptist

Institute and had been ex-communicated from the Baptist church

simply because she had been saved at one of the COGIC meetings,

Sis. Lizzie Robinson would have been the perfect candidate for

the General Supervisor of the women.  Dad Mason also considered

the fact that she was a mature saint, and that she was well versed

in the knowledge of the bible, very devoted to the Lord, and, with her

experience at the Baptist Institute, she would be quite capable of

teaching women how to be virtuous, bible literate, chase

homemakers, loving helpmeets, and gracious worshipers

of their God.

 

Sis. Lillian Brooks Coffey became the Assistant Supervisor to

Mother Lizzie Robinson.

Due to the rise in membership numbers of women from all walks of life

and from all ranges in age, Mother Coffey realized that there was a

definite need to add additional units to the existing Women's

Department.

The New 14 units were as follows:

Young Women's Christian Council

Volunteer Counselors

Hospitality Group

Editor's and Publisher's Unit

Minister's Wives Circle

Stewardess Board

National Evangelist's Unit

Huldah Club

District Missionaries

Usher's Unit

Religious Education Club

Bishop's Wives Circle

Church Mother's Unit

 Secretaries Unit

It is beyond the scope of this article to explain the specific and

unique function of each of these units respectively, however, in

summary, the new auxiliaries allowed additional women from all

age ranges to participate in the work of the Women's Department,

without having to wait until an advanced age to do so.  The auxiliaries

themselves can be classified under four types:  Administrative,

Leadership, Missions (Evangelism) and Service - something to

appeal to every woman, including the massive influx of educated women

to the fold.  The units also followed the traditional rubric of

holiness endeavors that allowed for the leadership of holiness

women.  Each unit provided an opportunity for redefining  the

embodiment of holiness amongst the women of the Department.

Unlike the traditional auxiliaries of Mother Robinson, which were

centered primarily on teachings, doctrines and evangelism, the new

auxiliaries allowed the women to be involved in social events that

were centered in the doctrine of holiness. 

 

Auxiliaries that were administrative in nature were the secretary's

unit, the editor's and publisher's units, and the usher's unit.

Each unit was responsible

for certain areas of Women's Department duties that had arisen

due to the rise in membership:  materials used, numbers in

membership, minutes, who would edit, publish and print

denominational newsletters (The Whole Truth, The Evangelist

Speaks, oversight over teaching materials - prayer and bible band,

purity, sunshine, Young Women's Christian Council...etc.), and the usher

board as the front line unit of the church - seating everyone in

their proper places.

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The Service Auxiliaries:  The Huldah Club, The Volunteer

Counselors, the Hospitality Group, and the Stewardess Board,

each were designed to insure that the needs of the

leadership, missionaries, and those who genuinely needed

assistance were met - both locally and abroad in missions.

(Personal needs such as food, clothing, materials and finances for

State Supervisors, older mothers, Home & Foreign Missions,

emergencies in the work...etc.), Hospitality - entertaining and

serving visitors state, local and national, making arrangements

for group meetings and National Conventions...etc.

 

The Missions Auxiliary -  District Missionaries, National Evangelist

and Light Burners of Africa, were designed to supplement the

work which was already being done by the existing Home And

Foreign Missions Board.  Missions duties involved overseeing

and supervising church mothers missionary activities, teaching activities,

work in harmony with Bishops, pastors and overseers of the state,

and the National Evangelist Board was an ingenious way of

Mother Coffey to create a platform, single out and feature

gifted and talented women preachers and teachers without

acknowledging them as such( the evangelist had to be well trained,

recommended by the state and national supervisors, and had to

have run revivals in 7 states of the United States - very rigorous

requirements).  The Light Burners Of Africa - was designed

so that missionaries could help the cause in foreign lands

 without having to go there - help with raising funds

to help to install electrical lighting in Haiti, Jamaica, and Africa.

 

The Young Women's Christian Council had the responsibility of

training younger women how to be wives, homemakers and

helpmeets, prayer warriors and lovers of their God;  And the remaining groups

served as feeder groups to the YWCC and to each other (to acquaint

the young women with the many tasks and expectations of the

Women's Department - for future brides, missionaries, evangelists,

saved singles...etc.).

 

Mother Lillian Coffey's work of establishing these auxiliaries to

the existing Women's Department structure held a dual purpose:  It

served to involve every woman at every age range and level of

capability throughout the denomination, helped to maintain and

balance the power structure of the Women's Department, and insured

that the definition of holiness through living the sanctified life would

continue to be the role and purpose of the women within the department.

Providing a place for all the women of the COGIC to feel a part of the

purpose of the church was integral to ensure that the gains within the

denomination were not lost.  It also helped to stave off any concerted

efforts by the women to move into the Episcopal ranks of the church

which continued to be held by the males.  By providing both visibility

and position, both older and younger women attain status within the

organization.  The old practices of sanctification were inherent in the

new embodiment of dress.  In a sense, Coffey's expansion made a

firmer foundation for the connections that she hoped to make outside

of the denomination through the Women's Department's

activities, as well as strengthening the structure of the past COGIC

beliefs and rules within the present.

 

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~Why Was There A Need For A National

Women's Convention?

 

The intense activity of establishing the auxiliaries in the early

years of Mother Coffey's leadership as National Supervisor was

partially brought on from internal pressures, but external

pressures caused the changes as well.  Mother Coffey and Dr.

Arenia Mallory as well, both continued their positions of leadership

outside the denomination, within the National Council of Negro

Women (NCNW) and working with Mary McLeod Bethune.  DR.

Mallory's visibility and position, however, gained even more stature.

She was featured in the 1949 issue of the Ebony magazine as one of the

top ten Negro leaders in the United States.  Also featured was Mallory's

and Coffey's longtime friend, Mary McLeod Bethune.  Mallory

was described as a "teaching pioneer" for her work with the Saint's

Industrial School.  Now President of the school, Dr. Mallory's profile

had risen as a regional director of the NCNW.  This was a bittersweet

period for Dr. Mallory because she had lost her mother a month

before the Ebony publication.

 

Perhaps the toll of losing her mother kept Dr. Mallory busy with

both COGIC business and her outside interests.  She started

attending school in Illinois, commuting back and forth from

Mississippi.  Her duties with the NCNW grew, and the overseas

trips to Finland, India and other places on behalf of women's causes

linked her with both black and white women leaders of the period.

Between her duties and Mother Coffey's, the connections that they

had garnered with political and social leadership outside of the COGIC,

began to place new notoriety for the Women's Department they

belonged to.  There had to be a medium in which they could bring

the women of COGIC into the world that they belonged to.

But How?

 

The alliances that had been forged between groups like the NCNW and

the leadership of the Women's Department of the COGIC was not

simply a social call. An exchange of ideas began to happen,

influencing Dr. Mallory's and Mother Coffey's governance of

of the Women's Department, and fundamentally changing the

course that COGIC women would take.  These exchanges allowed

connections to be built between individuals and organizations

like the NCNW and the Women's Department.  The connections

resulted in an exchange of ideas, and also participation in

like minded goals and ideologies.  By making these connections,

Mother Coffey and Dr. Mallory fundamentally redefined the

embodiment of holiness within the Women's Department.

The establishing of the Women's Department Convention in

1951 is an example of how these connections helped to change

the theological, structural and identity orientation of the COGIC

Women's Department.

 

From The Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop C. C. Owens

Pioneering Matriarchy Forces Of the COGIC

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The First Womem's Convention

 

~The 1951 National Women's Convention

Of The COGIC

 

The activities that Mother Coffey and Dr. Mallory had engaged

in with the NCNW, their services with Eleanor Roosevelt's

Kitchen Cabinet, and educational concerns had thrust the

sanctified women into a new arena.  Although the religious

beliefs of the women they encountered in groups like the NCNW

were more of the mainstream black denominations such as the

Baptist and AME churches, the goals that the women shared

were compatible and sometimes the same.  Issues concerning

education, children, race relations, women's roles and lives

were very much a part of the organizational structure and

goals of the various groups that they found themselves a

part of.  Yet the sectarian nature of holiness beliefs and their

manifestations through dress and worship placed barriers

between their groups.  A forum needed to exist that would

on the one hand, allow COGIC to be recognized for the work

that they had accomplished throughout the year on behalf of

the Women's Department, and on the other, a medium in

which COGIC women could reach outside their denomination,

to form partnerships with other like minded groups, and obtain

some much needed recognition for their efforts.  That forum

would be the Women's Convention.

 

Mother Coffey's original idea for the Women's Convention came

in the year 1950;  Initially she had a dream about this Convention,

as it would create greater funds to support missions, for she had a

burden for the hardships many of the foreign missionaries had to

endure.  Each year she and Dr. Mallory had attended the NCNW

annual convention, and through these meetings, they had been

introduced to a wide variety of society women and politicians.

Mother Coffey desired a forum in which she could address the

issues that COGIC women shared with these other groups, in

their own space outside of the yearly convocation of the COGIC.

It was in the 1950 convocation during the Women's Leadership Day

that the idea for the Women's Convention was born, at least, in

the hagiographic sense.  "On Monday Morning, between 9:30

and 10:30, it was begotten by the Holy Ghost of Mother Lillian

Brooks Coffey.  It did not go the full nine month period, but

came forth 5 months later, a mighty Baby Convention."

The real story was a combination of reasons.

 

Mother Coffey desired to have a way for the women to meet

together to support the missions' activities of the denomination,

and in order to do that it needed to be away from the Convocation.

Additionally, all the outside meetings Mother Coffey and DR. Mallory

had attended, highlighted the fact that, although the denomination

was strong from within, its image from without needed attending to.

Both women garnered respect among the groups they participated

with, but the general public regarded them and

their COGIC denomination as little more than a

backwoods or storefront church, despite their numbers.

Perhaps the most compelling reason was because Mother Coffey,

based on her lifelong relationship with Bishop Mason, could

generally request what she wished, within reason, and get it from

him - considering the fact that when her parents died, he became

her father, and considered her as a daughter - she also became

saved from him teaching her a Sunday School lesson as a little

girl - he took her under his wings and tutored her most of her

life, as she was also considered as his daughter in the Lord - so,

"Praise The Lord", she could just about ask for anything reasonable!

In order to approve the convention, Bishop Mason drew up and signed

an agreement, authorizing his support at the November 1950 Holy

Convocation.  Dr. Mallory also had an invitation from the

COGIC Bishop Samuel Crouch to hold the convention in Los

Angeles, California.  Bishop Crouch, an avid supporter of missions,

felt that Los Angeles would be the perfect setting for the first

setting of the Women's Convention.  Soon after, Mother Coffey

began the organizing work that would be crucial to making the

convention a success.

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Setting up steering committees similar to how the NCNW was organized,

Dr. Mallory tapped capable women to carry out specific tasks in

anticipation of the Convention.  In a letter to one of the COGIC

Evangelists, Reatha Herndon, Dr. Mallory outlines her goals for

 

the Women's Convention -

The letter reads (Referring to Mother Coffey):

"My Dear Sis. Reatha:  ....Bishop Mason signed the agreement, and

encouraged me to hold a National Women's Convention.

As you know, Bishop Crouch invited us to California.  There is

something special I would like you to do.  I would like for you

to serve as chairman for the committee that will serve as part

of the steering committee...Someday sometime during the convention

we would like to have an international hour or day where we would

like to get as many missionaries from the foreign fields as possible."

 

Herndon, a missionary and evangelist, agreed to work on the committee

with Mother Coffey.  Modeling her preparations after the fashions of the

NCNW conventions, Mother Coffey planned for an elaborate and elegant

welcome for the COGIC women.  Setting up various women to handle

details and recruit women for the trip to Los Angeles, Mother Coffey

came up with the idea to take a train from Chicago to Los Angeles,

picking up COGIC women along the way.

State Mothers were urged to encourage the women to take the trip

to the first convention if they could financially, and State Mother's

attendance was mandatory.  Mother Coffey worked continuously

until the end of April, and the latter part of April 1951, a train,

dubbed "The Lillian Brooks Coffey Special", set out from the Union

Station in Chicago to Los Angeles, California. 

Below is a picture of the saints leaving the Union Station in

Chicago Illinois in May of 1951(As seen on the Bible/Church Trivia

Web Page of this website).

This Photo Was Actually Taken By Dr. Christopher C. Owens

And Has Been A Part Of His Scrapbook Archives For Years!

Above, front and center, we see Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey with her fur wrap and gloves;

Flanked to Mother Coffey's right is a gentleman and to his right is

Mother Annie Bailey (Mother Lillian Coffey's Second in Command);

To Mother Coffey's far left lower corner, we see the State Supervisor of the Southern IL.

Jurisdiction - Mother Jennie Lou Hunter;  It was mandatory that all State

Mothers attend the National Women's Convention!  There were other State Mothers

among the crowd!

 

The Photo Below Was A Clip, Taken From A Newspaper (Times)!

 

 

Pictured Below (Left To Right):  Bishop C. C. Owens,

Mother Jennie Lou Hunter (State Mother Of Southern IL

Jurisdiction), And Bishop R. L. Ford

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Bible/Church web page of this website.  You may continue to

scroll downward to complete this story.

 

By virtue of the fact that The Late Bishop Christopher C. Owens was

a dining car waiter for the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad System,

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

requested to have him personally serve the saints in the

chartered coaches on the train.  Mother Coffey Was Very Determined

And In Control;  It Was Said By Mother Dabbs, Who Had Been Licensed

By Bishop Mason As A Missionary, That Mother Coffey Was The First Black Woman To

Have Full Control Of A 25 Coach Train Having Five Diesels To Pull It.

She Brought Women From the Four Corners Of The

Nation To Los Angeles, California For The First Women's

Convention Of The Church Of God In Christ. 

 

Because God Gave Her Favor The Santa Fe Railway Company

Honored Her request and allowed

Bishop C. C. Owens to serve as host waiter for this massive women's delegation.

She Had A Saved And Sanctified Black Dining Car Waiter To Service The Saints.

Bishop C. C. Owens is in the center of the above photo immediately to the

left of Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey - And Pictured Below,

We See Him Posing and Holding Onto The Side Of The Train.

 

 

 

Above:  Dr. C. C. Owens is seen serving the delegates to the International Women's

Convention of 1951 in the Santa Fe Dining Car; 

In particular, Sis. Deborah Mason Patterson, wife of the Bishop

J. O. Patterson, Sr. is seen smiling in the forefront along with other delegates being served!

 

Below:  Bishop Christopher C. Owens - Ready For Service With The

Atchison Topeka Santa Fe Railroad System As A Dining Car Waiter.

 

 

Commendation For Extraordinary Service!

Scroll Down To Continue The Details Of The 1951 National Women's Convention!

 

The train that

COGIC women boarded from cities on the way to Los Angeles

cost them $100.00.  This cost was to cover their room and board,

sightseeing, and the registration fee.  Those who purchased the

packages were called the "Red Card Delegates", a term still in

use in COGIC Women's Conventions today.  During the train

ride, Mother Coffey collected money for the missions offering,

planning to present it to Bishop S. M. Crouch, head of the missions

board in Los Angeles.  When they arrived in Union Station in Los

Angeles, a large entourage awaited them, and Mother Coffey stepped

off the train with a porter holding a large sign behind her which

read, The Lillian Brooks Coffey Special.  Dressed in a smart

suit, hat, and fur wrap, she led the women off the train.

Lucille J. Cornelius, early COGIC Historian, describes the scene:

 

"It was a most exhilarating sight to see the train come in bringing

women from various parts of the world as they landed in L. A.

There was a big welcoming committee to greet them.  It made

history as all the news media and advertisement went into action.

The delegates were led by Mother Coffey, singing, "We have

come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord."  It seemed to me

that women would never stop getting off that train, it was

such a huge number of them."

 

The event exceeded Mother Coffey's expectations.  Coverage by the

white and black press, the Los Angeles Sentinel, the Associated Negro

press, and the radio secured a high profile for the COGIC women

in attendance.  The Mayor and his wife greeted the delegates

at the train station, starting a yearly tradition of governmental

official hitching their stars (and pictures) alongside the

COGIC Women's Convention.

 

Below We See The Governor And His Wife Of The Sate Of

California With Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

 

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The convention opened on May 24, 1951, a mere 5 months after the

approval.  The meetings were held at the Emmanuel Temple

Church of God In Christ, hosted by Bishop Samuel M. Crouch

and his wife.  The convention program for the week consisted of

discussions of various issues of interest to the Women's Department.

Christian education, and education at large, racial issues,

and Missionary activity.

 

Below is the Emmanuel Temple Church of God in Christ Which Hosted The Meeting-

Pastor, Bishop Samuel M. Crouch

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Above The Hand Is Pointing To Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey;

Mary McLeod Is Sitting Behind Mother Coffey

 

The keynote address was given by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune,

whose picture together with Mother Coffey's was featured

prominently in the society pages of the L. A. Sentinel.  Mother

Coffey had the attending missionaries plus the State Mothers

march in with banners unfurled representing the various states

and countries that COGIC women's missionaries served in, to

accentuate the focus on missionary activity.  And in the midst of

all the excitement, Mother Coffey presented to Bishop Crouch

$10,000.00 in cash, in a paper bag as a donation from the

Women's Department for the missions work of the COGIC.

 

Below, Center:  Bishop S. M. Crouch,

An Avid Supporter Of Missions, Later (1973)

Received The "Special Achievement Award"

From The Religious Workers Guild

For More Than 50 Years Of Distinguished Service

To The National COGIC

By The President And Founder Of The Religious Workers Guild, Inc.,

Bishop C. C. Owens.

Left, Bishop J. H. Dell Of Georgia

 

This certainly was not the Women's Department of Mother

Robinson's days.  The severe clothing, the rigorous Bible study,

and rejection of the world had metamorphosed into

articulate, fashionable, educated and civically oriented women.

Bishop Mason even attended the Women's Convention, staying apart

from the proceedings, but participating in the nightly social

events. In short, the week long convention was a success.

The redefinition of what it meant to be a sanctified woman

was almost complete with the advent of the Women's

Convention.

 

I would imagine that the women involved and attending the Women's Convention

were dressed similar to these women seen below in their beautiful hats, suits, gloves,

purses and fur wraps, only with a larger representation of younger age groups

included among the delegates;  The number one purpose of the convention

was to have a forum in place for the influx of older as well as younger, saved and educated

women to participate in discussions pertaining to education, children, racial issues

health and housing for the improvement of family relationships while simultaneously

embodying holiness!

 

 

By creating a separate space for their concerns, independent of,

but connected to the National Convocation, the Women's Department

could organize like other women's groups, away from male

oversight.

The convention enabled them to address their own issues

and concerns, independently of the denominational constraints

and convocation protocol.  In, proving their fund raising

abilities with the generous donation to the Home and Foreign

Missions Board, served to show their financial independence

from the denomination.  Nothing, it seemed, could mar the

benefits accorded the Women's Department.

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The planning, preparation and relentless traveling, however,

took its toll on Mother Coffee.  Having already suffered a

heart attack eleven years past,  her frail health was dealt

another blow soon after the convention.  She suffered a stroke

which left her partially immobilized.  In a letter to the state

mothers drafted for her, she appealed to the state mothers, now

called supervisors:

"Attention Supervisors:  I am in much need of rest after a

serious illness, and I am turning the work into the hands of

Mother Annie Lee Bailey.  Any of you who wish help at your

state meetings, write to Mother Bailey, immediately.

She is sound in faith and doctrine, and she can help you

to have an effectual program.

 

Work in peace with the Brethren.  You may not be able

to do all you desire to do, but be mother-wise and God

fearing and He will bring you through.  If it is His will, it won't

be long before I will be back on the fighting front.

Lillian B. Coffey."

 

The letter indicates internal tensions between the women

and the male episcopate.  The "work in peace with the Brethren",

phrase suggests that the men were having some problems with

asserting their supposed "authority" over the Church Mothers

in leadership.  The admonition by Mother Coffey to be

"Mother wise and God fearing", suggests that Mother Coffey

didn't want the women to lose the ground that had been gained

by the women through the reorganization and the convention.

In directing Annie Bailey to take the reigns as her second-in-

command, she attempted to recuperate without totally removing

herself from the departmental activities.

Mother Coffey did attend the Convocation that year in

November 1951, but Mother Bailey took over Coffey's place

in the Women's Day annual meeting at the convocation.

 

As Mother Coffey's health began to improve after her stroke,

the Women's Convention began to move forward in the work

of uniting, educating and expanding the Women's Department

of the COGIC.

The Conventions took place in various larger cities throughout the

country such as New York City, Miami, Boston, Detroit,

Chicago, Seattle, and Kansas City.

The format of the conventions took on a more organized

approach than the first, and in addition to highlighting

missionary activity, topics focused in on leadership conferences

preparing women to better their homes, schools and

communities through Christian service.  The phrase

"better homes, schools, communities and world" became

a slogan during the 1950's conventions that continues to form

the thinking and advocacy of COGIC Church Mothers and

women's leadership.  The leadership conferences, focusing on

both the mission of the saints to the world, as well as maintaining

the proper Christian home emphasized a variety of activities

designed to both evangelize and teach COGIC doctrines.

Using titles such as Christian Stewardship, Community Relations,

Social Welfare and Financial Development, the message of the

sanctified life was transmitted in an updated language that

those both within and without the COGIC could understand.

 

Below:   Picture Of Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey Taken

From The Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop C. C. Owens

 

In Summary:

By reorganizing and expanding the Women's Department

work through additional auxiliaries,

Mother Coffey was able to expand the visible and material theological

definitions of holiness to be embodied by all women, not just

the Church Mothers.  By updating the dress, responsibilities,

and public persona of the Women's Department, Mother Coffey

changed the denomination's traditional image of illiteracy

and sectarianism through connections to political action groups,

social activists, and race work.  The advent of the Women's

International Convention as a forum for women's concerns

in COGIC and missionary activities took the message of

the sanctified life into the public realm.

The private sphere, a focus of the women's role and responsibilities

in the COGIC, became the public realm with the concerns of the

home, family, community and world as a focus.  The new focus

helped to gain recognition for the Women's Department

and its leadership in the 1950's, and updated the rubric of holiness

and sanctification to a level of articulation that was easily interpreted

by the public, even if this public did not always agree with its tenets.

 

Dr. Arenia Cornelia Mallory And Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey

In Front Of The White House

 

It has often been said that the gains that COGIC women made both

within and without the denomination through engagement with the

new NCNW and other women's organizations all began to dissipate

in the post Coffey and Mallory era (the late 1970's & beyond); 

Is is said that the shift in focus from civically

engaging the world through sanctified living to internal COGIC

squabbles or confusion has eroded the power of the women in our church.

We understand that there had been rumblings from recent constitutional

conventions (proposed constitutional changes in 2004 and 2005)

attempts to limit the Women's Department power by

reorganizing the department within the Episcopal Structure, with bishops

rather than the National Supervisors nominating candidates to

women's leadership positions.  We certainly hope that for whatever

changes will have been made in departmental structure, that whatever

gains made by the women in the past, will not be hindered or undermined;

That the women will continue to be powerful mothers, teachers and leaders

rather than becoming mere, beautifully dressed foils to the bishops

and pastors of the denomination!  God Forbid!!

We pray that absolutely nothing, including restructuring, will dilute

or cancel the women's autonomy.

 

Although it is true that since the 1970's the COGIC

has had more preoccupation with internal issues and a refocusing

with its interior life (and much less civic engagement than with

Mother Coffey and Dr. Mallory), the younger generations

of educated women who might be less likely to adhere to the

fine lines between teaching and preaching, and even less likely to

emulate the elaborate dress of the elder

traditional women (sequins, hats, furs, elaborate dress, and fine adornments), will not

flock to leave the COGIC ranks to find welcome in other Pentecostal

and Charismatic churches open to women's "preaching" and

"leadership"!!

 

 

In 2010 There Was A Re-enactment Of The Lillian Coffey Special Project.

Mother Cross, The Supervisor Of Women In The 3rd Jurisdiction Of Illinois,

Under The Leadership Of Bishop Sanders, Prayed About This

Idea, And Ultimately Brought It To His Attention,

And Later To The Attention Of  The Regional

Supervisor Of Illinois - Mother Eades), And Then To Mother Willie May Rivers;

After Collaborating With Others, Organizing And Catapulting

Ideas Into Fruition, The "Mother Rivers Glory Train" Project Soon Became A Reality.

The Train Left Chicago's Windy City With 14 Illinois Jurisdictions

Being Represented;  Before The Train Entered Los Angeles, California,

More Than 20 Jurisdictions From Illinois, Indiana And

Southern States Combined Were Represented;  Initially The Saints Weren't

Given The Same Freedoms On The Glory Train As Those Allowed On

Mother Coffey's Special Train, But By The Time A Black Company Official Boarded

The Train In New Mexico And Interceded IN Behalf Of The Saints, Praying,

Singing Songs Of Zion (Such As This Train Is A Glory Train), And Taking Pictures

 On The Few Chartered Train Coaches Became A Reality.

Soon Mother Rivers Boarded The Train In Order To 

Arrive In California On The Glory Train Project With The Entire

Delegation.  The Project Was A Great Success!

 

As you can see from the first picture shown above, the chartered train In the first project

was named "The Lillian Brooks Coffey Special".

The First Convention in 1951 was a great success both spiritually and financially;

However, many things have changed for the better since those early days, for at

that time, Mother Coffey bravely and safely delivered finances

of over ten thousand dollars of reported cash,

contained within a brown paper bag, to

 the convention coiffeurs.  God is awesome!

Thank God that He has blessed us, and we have, out of necessity, organized

and upgraded our financial practices.

Missionary Dabbs Yet Lives in 2010 to tell of the first glory as in Haggai 2:3

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory?

And how do ye see it now?

Work, For I Am With You Saith The Lord Of Hosts Haggai 2: 4(last part).

 

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey Received The "C. H. Mason Award"

From The Religious Workers Guild.

 

For A Testimonial On The First Women's Convention

Go To www.youtube.com   Type In:  COGIC Journey Of Bishops - National Home Page.

 

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~The Third National Supervisor Of The COGIC

Women's Department

 

Mother Annie Bailey

(Center Of Photo)

Left To Right:

Debra Patterson, Wife Of Bishop

J. O. Patterson, Sr.,

Mother Annie Bailey,

Evangelist Elvie Owens, Wife Of The

Late Bishop C. C. Owens

 

 

MOTHER ANNIE BAILEY

 

Mother Annie Bailey started her career at an early age.  As a child

she was trained by her parents to be faithful to the church.  She

was a dedicated and ardent Sunday school attendee and youth worker.

Her father was a Baptist minister, and the strict training and discipline

of her father and mother served as a guide in preparing her future life

in the Church Of God In Christ.  It was in her early twenties when she

received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and began working for the Lord.

 

The fire of evangelism burned deep in her heart.  She pioneered new

work and dug out churches with her street-corner ministry, playing the

guitar, singing, praying and teaching until souls were saved.

 

 

Bishop J. S. Bailey , Later To Become The First Assistant

Presiding Bishop To Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Stands With

Dr. Arenia Mallory And His Wife, Dr. Annie Bailey,

Who Would Later Become

The International Supervisor Of Women

 

 

 

She served many years as Supervisor in New Jersey and Maryland.

In 1934 she married Bishop J. S Bailey, an outstanding officer of

the church, who later became a member of the general board.  He was

her faithful companion and escort.  Mother Bailey served as the first

financial secretary to the first national mother, Mother Lizzie Robinson.

She served as Assistant National Supervisor to Mother Lillian

Coffey, and as Vice-President of the international Women's

Convention.  She had a very close relationship to founder and

senior Bishop C. H. Mason and his family.  She served as governess

to his children for a number of years, and she traveled as a companion

and secretary to Bishop Mason in his declining years.  She rightly

earned the name she was called by the brethren:  "Darling of

the Brotherhood", "Sweetheart of the Church".

 

 

After the death of Mother Coffey, Mother Annie Bailey was

appointed to head the women's work.  During her tenure, the

COGIC experienced an organizational crisis precipitated by the

death of its charismatic founder C. H. Mason.

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The units she added were:  The Business and Professional Women's

Rescue Squad, Sunday School Representatives Unit, United Sisters

of Charity, National Secretaries Unit, Junior Missionaries, renewed

the Women's magazine (The COGIC Woman), and appointed the first

National President of the Sewing Circle-Artistic Fingers.

During her tenure, she presided over 11 women conventions (1965 - 1975),

several of which her daughter, Clara,  attended with her.  Mother Bailey

was a woman of wisdom and left a great legacy.  With much wisdom

Mother Bailey had braved out the greatest storm in the history of

the Church Of God In Christ:  The church in its transition from

Bishop Mason's leadership.  The women stuck together and held

the church in harness until the brethren could find their identity

in the form of leadership that they had to have at that time.

The ensuing battles in the 1960's led to lawsuits, counter lawsuits

and even fist fights on the convention floors;  The

denomination experienced small splits in factions in 1969.  As a

result of the turmoil, The Church Of God In Christ, International

was one of the churches evolving from the split.  They kept

the doctrine of the COGIC, but disagreed with the method of

electing new officers to preside over the denomination.

 

Below, Mother Bailey was much smaller in her declining years

But she was still greatly involved in her work as the General

Supervisor of women.  Here Mother Bailey was receiving the

C. H. Mason award as she stood with Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.

(far left), Bishop W. L Porter (Vice President of The Guild),

and Bishop C. C. Owens, National President of the

Religious Workers Guild.

 

 

Mother Bailey's words will never be forgotten.  They were

echoed across the general church:  "When you have done

your best, the angels in heaven can't do any better;  When you have

done the best you can do, that's all the Lord requires."

Written in 1972, the following are excerpts from a letter

that she addressed the women as

"Dearly Beloved:"

exhorting them to grow in spiritual maturity giving these life

changing ideas:  "Broaden your vision:  Win, don't repel;

Communicate, listen understand and care;  Be more ready

to hear than to talk;  Keep learning;  Be yourself;  Give as you

would get;  Don't jump to conclusions; Take time to think;

Pray, until you touch the source;  Ponder this - In everything,

give thanks;  Above all my darlings, "Stand Fast" and hold

the traditions we have been taught, so that our works can praise

us in the gates."

 

 

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~The 4th General Supervisor Of The COGIC Women

 

Mother Mattie May Carter McGlothen

 

 

Mother McGlothen was born in Tehuacana, Texas.

She was the eleventh of fifteen children.  She attended public school

in Sapulpa, Oklahoma and college at Quindaro College in

Kansas, City Kansas.  In July of 1921, she was saved, Holy Ghost

filled and healed of tuberculosis the same night.  She married

Bishop Charles Wenzell McGlothen in September 1923.  In 1924

Mother McGlothen received her call to ministry and united in

ministry with her husband as he served as pastor of many churches.

They founded and pastored churches in Hugo, Idabelle and Tulsa

Oklahoma; Des Moines, Iowa; Fresno, Los Angeles, Richmond and

Pittsburgh, California.

 

In 1933, she was appointed California State Supervisor, and

installed in April 1934.  She was given the Northern area while

Mother Hale was Supervisor in the Southern area under the

leadership of Bishop S. M. Crouch.  On December 13, 1939,

Mother Lizzie Robinson appointed Mother McGlothen State

Supervisor for the States of California and Washington.

From 1944 to November 1957, she served as Supervisor of

all of Northern California under E. B. Stewart.  In November

1957, Bishop E. E. Hamilton came to Northern California and began a

work with 22 churches which grew to 63 churches by the time the

Jurisdiction was officially organized in January 1958.

Mother McGlothen was the appointed Supervisor of California

Northwest Jurisdiction where she had served faithfully for over

thirty six years with five Jurisdictional Prelates:  Bishops:

E. E. Hamilton, Sr. Martin, Milton Mathis, Clarence James

Davis, W. Wyatt Hamilton.

 

Above Left:  Mother McGlothen & Right:  Supervisor Lillian Brooks Coffey

Mother McGlothen Is Serving In The Capacity Of President Of

Hospitality In The International Women's Department

 

Below:  This Citation Was Presented To Mother M. McGlothen,

As National Hospitality President On Thursday Night December 11, 1958

At Curry's In Memphis, Tennessee By

Dr. Christopher C. C. Owens, President And Founder Of

The Religious Workers Guild, Inc.

 

 

In addition to her duties as Jurisdictional Supervisor, Mother

McGlothen served the International Women's Department as President

of Hospitality for over 28 years and Assistant General

Supervisor to Mother Annie Bailey.  In 1976, she was

appointed General Supervisor of the International Department

of Women by the Late Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Presiding

Bishop of the Church of God in Christ.  She also served

with the late Bishop L. H. Ford since the inception of his

Administration as Presiding Prelate of the COGIC.

 

Below:  Row 1 - Mother McGlothen And Mother Emma Crouch In The Background

Row 2 - Left Standing:  Mother Emma Crouch,

Sitting Mother McGlothen And Bishop C. C. Owens.

Row 3 - Left To Right:  Standing - Mother Emma Crouch.  Sitting - Bishop E. Lenox,

Mother McGlothen, Bishop C. C. Owens, Bishop R. L. Ford

 

 

Pictured Below, Mother Mattie May  Carter McGlothen

Receives The Bishop C. H. Mason Award From

The Religious Workers Guild

By The National President and Founder,

Bishop Christopher C. Owens

 

In Summary,

Dr. Mattie McGlothen served as a Supervisor in California

for sixty one years (1933 - 1994), and as General Supervisor

for the International Women's Department and Third President of

The Women's Department and Third President of the Women's

International Convention of the Church of God in Christ for

eighteen years (1976 - 1994).  She had founded, organized and

reorganized the International Hospitality;  Education and

Scholarship Fund;  Bishop's Wives Scholarship Fund;

Screening Committee For Jurisdictional Supervisors;

McGlothen Foundation;  Emergency Relief Fund;  WE - 12;

Lavender Ladies, Leadership Conference For Jurisdictional Leaders

and National Workers;  and the Business and Professional

Women's Federation, The Pavilion in Port-au-Prince, Haiti;

a home for missionaries in the Bahamas Island, McGlothen

House Annex, Women's Department Office and Guest House,

and the Women's Convention Project - "I Am Concerned",

were a few of her humanitarian efforts.  She passed away on

May 4, 1994 at her home in Richmond, California.

 

Below:  Mother Mattie McGlothen Is Receiving

The "Special Achievement Award" For 51 Years Of Distinguished Service

From The Religious Workers Guild, Dr. C. C. Owens, President And Founder

During The International Women's Convention Of The COGIC

In San Francisco, California, May 22, 1975

At This Time, Mother McGlothen Was The National Supervisor Of Women Of COGIC

On The Right:  Mrs. Lucille Basemore, Of Orange, New Jersey

Was An Executive Officer Of The Women's Department

Mother McGlothen was a faithful servant to her Lord and

 the Church of God in Christ!

 

Pictured Below, Mother Mattie McGlothen Is Receiving The Charles Harrison Mason Award

From The Religious Workers Guild

From Left To Right:  Sis. Vernon Oliver Price, Sis. Lucy Flagg Entreh,

Bishop C. C. Owens, Mother Mattie McGlothen

 

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~The Fifth COGIC International Supervisor Of Women

Mother Emma Francis Crouch

 

 

Mother Crouch Is Receiving The Bishop Charles Harrison Mason Award

From The Religious Workers Guild

Center:  Bishop C. C. Owens

Far Right:  Bishop W. L. Porter

Background Left To Right:

Sis. Vernon Oliver Price, Sis. Christine J. Jones,

Sis. Lucy Flagg Enthre

Go To www.youtube.com Type In:  COGIC State Mother Crouch,

Mother Nash, Willie Mae Rivers Bishop J. O. Patterson

Pioneer Series

 

 

Mother Emma Francis Crouch served as the National Supervisor of

the Women's Department of the COGIC from 1994 - 1997.

Mother Crouch was born and shaped in humble beginnings.

She was born on a Texas Homestead in 1911, and was saved,

sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost in 1930.  She later

married elder B. J. Crouch, who later became Bishop Crouch and enjoyed

family life in the church.  She was a quiet spirit, but was an ardent

church worker, and subsequently, her dynamic work ethic of longevity

within the church catapulted her into the spotlight serving as

a powerful model for aspiring missionaries.

 

With her quiet spirit, Mother Emma Crouch started at the local and

state level of ministries and worked her way through the ranks.

She served as Y. P. W. W. Chairlady, District Missionary, and became

the first and only Supervisor of Women for the Texas Southwest

Jurisdiction.  In 1956, Mother Crouch was appointed by Bishop

T. D. Iglehart to that position and served with honor on the

National Board of Trustees.  Her tenure as supervisor

was accented in 1976 with her appointment as First Assistant

General Supervisor.

 

In 1994, Mother Crouch was elevated by the Late Bishop L. H.

Ford to the rank of General Supervisor of Women.  Her time of service

was brief by the standard of her predecessors, but nonetheless

meaningful.

 

Mother Crouch exemplified holiness through her daily walk

in life.  By any standard she proved to be a gifted and dedicated

woman of service, and lived her focused life of faith and labor

with distinction.  During her reign, she organized the

 Christian Women's Council.

 

From Left To Right:  Mother Emma F. Crouch, Bishop T. D. Iglehart,

And Mother Dessie Iglehart

 

Mother Crouch now rests with those whom she so incessantly labored.

She joined them in rank and on January 6, 1997, in heavenly reward.

 

 

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~The Sixth COGIC International Supervisor Of Women

Mother Willie Mae Rivers

 

 

Mother Willie Mae Rivers Is Receiving The C. H. mason Award

From The Religious Workers Guild

 

Center Above:  Bishop Chandler David Owens

Far Right Above:  Bishop C. C. Owens, National President And Founder

Of The Religious Workers Guild

Go To www.youtube.com Type In:  Mother Willie Mae Smalls Rivers;

COGIC Bishop CL Anderson Mother Willie Mae Rivers Pioneer Series;

 

In The Above Picture On The Front Row,

A Very Young Mother Willie Mae Rivers

 Is Seated On The Far Right With Her Hands Lifted To God! 

To Her Left Is Mother Crouch;

Mother Mattie McGlothen Is Seated To The Left Of

Mother Crouch;

Madam Emily Bramm Bibby Is Seated In The Second Row, First Seat

 

 

Below:  Mother Rivers And Bishop Charles Blake, Presiding Bishop

Of Church Of God In Christ, Inc.

 

 

 

Mother Willie May Rivers was appointed the International General Supervisor of the COGIC

in April of 1997.  She continues to work in that office through effectively leading

the women of the Church of God in Christ through programs, scholarships and training.

As President of the Women's International Convention, Church of God in Christ, Inc.,

Mother Willie May Smalls Rivers has touched and will continue to touch the lives

of many people throughout this world.  It was said that she was born "to be different"

on February 20, 1926 to the late Robert and Anna Mitchell Smalls.  As a child,

Willie May exemplified great promise that she would one day contribute greatly

to mankind, because "Willie Ray" (as she was affectionately called by her loving father),

was and still is concerned about the welfare of others.  Mother Rivers

received her education in the Berkeley and Charleston County Schools Systems.

 

Her Christian experience began as a child.  She attended the Mt. Zion AME church

Sunday School, and because of her interest and dedication, she represented her

church as a delegate to many conventions.  The Presiding Elder of the church

remarked "This child will one day be a great leader....she has a mark on her life".

 

At the age of fifteen, June 26, 1941, Willie May Smalls was united in Holy Matrimony

to David Rivers.  Their marriage lasted just short of 56 years until his demise May 15, 1997.

This union was blessed with 12 children 2 sons and 10 daughters.

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In 1946 Mother Rivers attended a revival one night and after hearing the gospel

preached (by husband and wife team, Supt. Jacob C. and Missionary Francina

Dantzler), she believed and was baptized in the Holy Ghost;  She became a member

of the Calvary Church of God in Christ.  She became the church mother at the

age of twenty, and she still serves within that capacity.  Because of her dedication,

Mother Rivers was chosen to to serve as the District Missionary and later

Assistant Supervisor to the late Mother Alice Marie Saunders.  In 1968 she was

appointed as and is presently the Supervisor of the Department of Women

for the South Carolina Jurisdiction.  Her dedication to God and her splendid

leadership qualities have been exemplified through her faithfulness to the

Church of God in Christ;  Mother Rivers has served on the national level in the

following capacities:  International Marshal - International Women's Convention

Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors - Member of the Executive Board -

Member of the Screening Committee Coordinator - Leadership Conference

Instructor - District Missionaries Class Member, Steering Committee -

International Women's Convention Third Assistant Supervisor, International

Women's Convention Second Assistant Supervisor, International Women's

Convention First Assistant Supervisor, and International Supervisor

of The Women's Convention. 

 

Since her appointment as General Supervisor of the Women's Department,

Mother Rivers has been featured in the May 1999 edition of the Charisma,

and on February 3, 2000, she had her first appearance on the 700 Club.

She continues to minister to the needs of individuals in her community.

 

Mother Rivers has continued for several years to spread the gospel  through

the "Evangelist Speaks" ministry on WTUA 106.1 (ST. Stephens, SC),

WLGO 1170 AM (Columbia, SC), and WBBE 1480 (Memphis, TN) radio

stations.  Mother Rivers is also founder and President of the Community

Christian Women and Men Fellowship, which was organized to reach people in

all walks of life.  Giving all praises to God, this fellowship has been a blessing

to many souls through spiritual enrichment.  Aid is provided to those less

fortunate and the bereaved received love and comfort through their time of sorrow.

 

Mother Rivers is a true servant of God and has touched the life of her son,

the Late Samuel Rivers.  She continues to touch the lives of her 10 daughters,

20 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 3 sisters, uncles, aunts, many cousins,

her community and the Grand Ole' Church of God in Christ Family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a general biography of Mother Willie Mae Rivers, I will refer you to

her Myspace:  www.myspace.com/generalsupervisor

 

Mother Willie May Rivers is styled as meek, committed, determined and strong!

in the archive section of http://www.cogic.net/cogiccms/default/category/mother-willie-may-rivers

Click on this link (posted on the 5 of October, 2010) to find out more about Mother Rivers

and her answers to questions during an interview by April Quillen.

 

 

 

 

 

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~Focusing On The History

Of Our Grand Ole' Church Of God In Christ

THE PATRIARCHY & MATRIARCHY FORCES

Influencing The Exponential Growth OF THE COGIC

 

{SCRAPBOOK ARCHIVES OF BISHOP C. C. OWENS}

 

Below (Left to Right):  Bishop W. M. Roberts,

Bishop C. H. Mason, Founder and Senior Bishop of The Church of God in Christ,

Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr.

{The scope of this BRIEF article is merely to emphasize the importance

of the History of our Grand Ole' Church of God in Christ,

and to apprise you of the fact that you may peruse our extensive

history of the COGIC, as well as an extensive history of all

of the Supervisors of the Women's Department of the Church of God in Christ respectively

on the "Historic Reflections" and the "Mission" pages of this website.}

 

 

 

 

 

*******

As the Late Bishop Chandler D. Owens once stated, "our younger generations need

to know the rich legacy bequeathed to them by the pioneers of

the Church Of God In Christ."

The charismatic leadership and organizational genius of Bishop C. H. Mason,

the founder of the COGIC, was stamped indelibly on every aspect

of the church's life and witness.  Because of the fact that Bishop

Mason pursued the values of prophetic black Christianity to an extent reached

by few other historical figures, the Church of God in Christ experienced

exponential growth, in spite of the fact that COGIC's base in Memphis, TN

was, for the most part, out of sight of the mainstream of

American and African - American social, political and religious culture.

By clicking on this picture you will surf to the Missions web page or continue to scroll downward

 

Bishop Mason stressed great optimism about the power of God to

transform and transcend sinfulness.

The watershed Azusa Street revival that launched the twentieth century

Pentecostal movement accentuated Bishop Mason's belief of the

necessity of possessing the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Spirit,

according to Acts 2:1-4.

According to Cornel West, the COGIC "generated a strenuous mood, a call

for heroic, courageous moral action and biblically motivated focus on and concern

for the wretched of the earth."

 

As seen below, even at the 50th Golden Anniversary of the Church of God in Christ,

the church's strategy for maintaining, as well as increasing

its exponential growth, involved intense and

vigorous planning in addition to fasting, praying and supplication!

 

 

Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Bishop L. H. Ford, Bishop Shipman, and others are seen

preparing for the 50th Anniversary of the COGIC.

 

Bishop Mason took Mark 16:15 - 18 as providing both the basic paradigm of the church and its

mission statement.  The COGIC embraced a biblical spirituality that allows

God's delivering act in history to penetrate all levels of human existence.

The Holy Ghost and a prayer life inevitably affects health, integration of personality,

moral drive, character, radiance and hopefulness.

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Of course, appreciating religious workers accomplishments,

and rendering honor and

encouragement by such organizations as the Religious Workers Guild

within the auspices of the the COGIC, coupled with

God's anointing and Holy inspiration, were inevitably highly responsible

for maintaining this renewed moral drive, radiance and hopefulness.

There was spiritual vitality and a highly forceful holy boldness and

aspiring self-esteem propelled within the saints church arena!

Below (left to right):  Bishop Wyoming Wells, Bishop L. M Driver,

Bishop & Mrs. Brewer, Bishop J. S. Bailey,

Dr. C. C. Owens (President & Founder of The Religious Workers Guild, Inc.),

Bishop Shipman, Bishop W. L. Porter and others

 

 

Pioneers Who Became Prominent Bishops Within

The Church Of God In Christ

 

Below, These Young preachers (Many of Which Were, At The Time, Elders),

Became Prominent Bishops Within The COGIC

Some Of These Young Men Are Now Deceased -  Some Of Them

Are Currently General Board Members Of The Church Of God In Christ

As Of 2010

Back Row From Left: Third Left - Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake; 

Fifth Left: - First Assistant, Bishop P. A. Brooks

Front Center:  Bishop Chandler David Owens (Just Passed March 6, 2011)

Third From Right:  Bishop Neaul Haynes

 

(For All Of Their Names, Refer To the Historic Reflections Web Page)

 

 

The central doctrine of the denomination, which was holiness, was embodied,

codified and institutionalized by the Women's Department of the COGIC.

Modeled after motherhood, the Women's Department enabled the male episcopate

to function as a social "fatherly" leadership, while matriarchy functioned as

the biblical leadership.

In other words, despite the male episcopates roll in the COGIC as "head"

of the church, the COGIC church mothers are the teachers, enforcers, models,

and re-definers of holiness beliefs in the COGIC through organizations and

participation in the sanctified life.

Our women were full of holy boldness, starting missions and churches

by preaching in chicken coups and traveling miles across

the states evangelizing while a dear husband remained home with the mission

 (Mother Lizzie Robinson), or starting various missions in areas where there were

no churches of God in Christ, and renting properties

with their own monies and later contacting senior Bishop Mason to delegate

a preacher to uproot his family from one state to another to take over the missions,

(Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey, and many others), or standing on street corners,

singing and playing a guitar compelling lost souls

to come to Christ (Mother Bailey).

Mother Emma Cotton, one of the original members of the Azusa Street Mission,

was one of the women who was responsible for having

Bishop C. H. Mason send E. R. Driver from Memphis, TN to start

the first C. O. G. I. C. in the state of California (Los Angeles, CA);  She

also founded churches in Bakersfield, Fresno, and Oakland California;

You may find out more about E. R. Driver, and the important role he

played within the COGIC on the History Reflections Page Of this website.

So, for the greater percentage of time,

it was the Matriarchy of the church who launched out into the unknown

and founded churches where none existed and were responsible for later

requesting pastors (the Patriarchy), with the discretion of Bishop Mason,

 to be sent to run the respective missions, thus promoting the

exponential growth of the Church Of God In Christ.

This is what I meant when I stated that

history usually looks upon the Black church as patriarchal in structure, but black women,

with the help of black men, have created an enclave of pseudo-patriarchy within the black

church.  Reality of gender space in the black church historically and currently, is dominated

by black women, with black men as support!

The most effective department within the Church of God in Christ has been, and

is yet, the Women's Department.  Although the most prominent names associated

with the development of the denomination are male, members are aware

of the pivotal role played by such women as Mother Lizzie Robinson,

Mother Emma Crouch, Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey, and Dr. Arenia C. Mallory,

former president of Saints Industrial and Literary School that became Saints

Junior College in Lexington, Mississippi.  Cheryl Townsend-Gilkes, in her

impressive work on the Church of God in Christ, says:  "Mason recruited

educated women to work in the building of the denomination and the

educational ministries.  These women developed a "women's work"

that became known as the "women's department".  It was the women who

migrated to the cities who carried the movement to urban areas,

preaching revivals, "digging out" new works, and then writing home for a pastor."

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The impact of Dr. Arenia C. Mallory (1926 - 1977) upon an entire generation

of post-World War II church leaders is a powerful and impressive story.

One of her prized pupils was Louis Henry Ford, a young man from

Clarksdale, Mississippi, who became Presiding Bishop of the COGIC

denomination in 1990.

 

The Matriarchy and the Patriarchy forces have worked together to achieve

the mission of Mark 16:15 - 18:  Which provides both the basic paradigm

and the mission statement of the Church Of God In Christ!

"Go Into All The World And Preach The Gospel"

 

Bishop C. H. Mason traveled extensively during his tenure as senior Bishop

of The Church Of God In Christ.  Many of these trips were made

during the latter forties and early fifties.  Wherever he went, the anointing

of the Holy Ghost was mightily upon him as he preached the liberating

gospel.  Thousands were saved and healed.  Traveling with the Bishop

on most of his crusades were his wife (Sister Elsie Mason), Msny. Dorothy

Webster Exume (his interpreter), and Bishop Iglehart of Waco, Texas.

 

Below:  Bishop C. H. Mason, Sis. Elsie Mason (his wife),

Msny. Dorothy Webster Exume, & Bishop T. D. Iglehart

leaving for Jamaica and Caribbean tour.

 

 

Below:  Dorothy Webster Exume;

In addition to being a missionary to Haiti, in recent years,

she was a member of the board of directors for the Charles Harrison Mason

Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and she served as an advisor

to the president, Dr. Oliver Hainey;  In addition to these major commitments,

she found time to involve herself in her local church, the Greater Community

COGIC, where the late Bishop Chandler David Owens was Pastor.

Born August 10, 1922 - Died January 4, 2011

 

Below:  Bishop Mason And Party, Boarding Plane For Trip To Foreign Work

Clicking on the photo above will allow you to surf to the Newsletter Gems page

or continue to scroll downward.

 

As previously stated, as a result of Bishop Mason's extensive travels,

his foreign mission initiatives, the matriarchy forces,

and the dedicated efforts of many other

church patriarchs and pioneers,

the COGIC experienced exponential growth.

 

Observe The Pictures Below: They Are Promoting Church Growth!!

Above: Bishop Wyoming Wells (Far Right), Flanked By Others

 

Below:  Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Bishop Louis Henry Ford,

And Bishop Shipman, Flanked By Others

Click on the picture above will link you to the History Reflections Page

of this website;  You may continue to scroll downward to complete this article.

 

Below:  The Dedicated Matriarchy Forces Of The Black Church

 

In particular, two church mothers spearheaded much of the women's ministry

in the early days of the COGIC.  Between 1911 and1945, Mother Lizzie Robinson

and Mother Lillian B. Coffey helped establish new churches and stabilized

essential areas of church work; 

Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey was the strong force or supporter behind

Dr. Mallory, helping her to raise funds from sources outside of the COGIC

arena to keep the Saints Industrial Academy open, when the Patriarchy of

the church were discouraged and ready to close

the doors of the school for lack of funds. These two women, almost single

handedly, with insignificant support from the COGIC

organization, kept that school open

(Read the segments on Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey and Dr. Mallory)!

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Even before the civil rights movement was fully underway, Mother Coffey led the

Women's Department in passing a racial justice resolution in 1953 that called

for cooperation with all organizations seeking justice, equality and integration.

Despite racist threats, the Women's Convention helped to desegregate Albany, New York

hotels during the turbulent 1960's!

 

More on this subject matter of Patriarchy and Matriarchy evangelistic efforts will be found

under the respective titles for each of these bold supervisors, evangelists, holy ghost

filled preachers, and others

on the respective "Historic Reflections"

and the "Mission" pages of this website.

 

Below:  From The Scrapbook Archives  Of Bishop C. C. Owens

 

 

The women of our grand church, from its inception, have made remarkable

contributions to its growth and development.  Their faithfulness to prayer meetings,

their diligence in bible study, their sacrificial fasting, and their

untiring fund raising, and all of their service endeavors tied into a knot,

have been performed superbly.  They, along with the male factors of our

church, have created an enclave which through the course of our church's

history, has brought about miracles which seemed to have "twisted wind and

tied water" - as the elderly folks used to say!

The Women's Department was able to establish liaisons with social, political,

and educational agencies that raised the status of both members and

the COGIC denomination from the margin to the mainstream of

African American life.

 

The many outstanding feats accomplished by the forefathers of our great church

will certainly include the labors of love rendered by the women

in the great arena of Christian Stewardship, for the women and church mothers

didn't just sit on the front pew;  They were, and still are, formidable,

invaluable resources in the growth, and foundation and organizational structure

of COGIC's denomination!  The preacher equals the star, and the church

mother is equivalent to the stage manager.

 

 

for a more indebt study of the history of the Church of God in Christ,

later you may surf to the "Historic Reflections" page of this website

(Continue to scroll downward until you see the topic);  And, of course

if you wish to read more concerning the history of the women

of the COGIC, please surf  to the Missions Web Page

for Mother Lizzie Robinson, Dr. Arenia C. Mallory,

and Mother Lillian B. Coffey.

Continued articles of the women's work:  "The Need For A Women's Department

Within The COGIC", "The Need For Having A Women's Convention (1951)",

Articles On:  Supervisor Bailey, Supervisor M. McGlothen, Supervisor Crouch,

and Supervisor Willie May Rivers, and The Mission Department,

may be found on the "Mission" page of this website.

(Just continue to scroll downward on these respective web pages)

Also discover wonderful youtube videos on the "Video Journal Page"

(As well as "The Religious Workers Guild" and the Bishop Transitions" pages)

of this website concerning preachers, singers, evangelists, pioneers of the COGIC

and religious comedians, etc...

PLEASE ENJOY ALL OF THE ABOVE AS YOU PERUSE THE

SUGGESTED ARTICLES OF THIS WEBSITE

Click on us to surf to the Bible/Church Trivia Page or continue to scroll downward

 

Click on us to surf to the top or continue to scroll downward

Click On Us To Surf To The Table Of Contents Or Continue To Surf Downward

 

~The Missions Department Of the

Church Of God In Christ

 

Below Is An Excerpt Taken From A COGIC Booklet

Developed By the Foreign Mission Department In Times Past To Give Us

A Glimpse Into Our Missions.  This Information Was Made Available To The National Church

During The Period When Bishop S. M. Crouch Was President Of

The Foreign Mission Department

 

 

 

 

Below, Center:  Bishop S. M. Crouch,

An Avid Supporter Of Missions, Later (1973)

Received The "Special Achievement Award"

From The Religious Workers Guild

For More Than 50 Years Of Distinguished Service

To The National COGIC

By The President And Founder, Bishop C. C. Owens.

Left, Bishop J. H. Dell of Georgia

 

Below:  Part Of Bishop C. C. Owens' Scrapbook Archive, Initially Taken From

The International Outlook

For Additional Excerpts Of Bishop Mason's Funeral Referred To In The Above Announcement,

You May Refer To The Historic Reflections Page Of This Website Under

COGIC History

 

 

Below Our Current President Of The Foreign Mission Department Of

The Church Of God In Christ:  Bishop Carlis L. Moody, Sr.

Head Officials Of The Church Of God In Christ

Are Seen With A Very Young Bishop Carlis Moody Receiving Funds For

The Foreign Missions Field.

The Late Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Who Was At That Time The

Presiding Bishop Of The Church Of God In Christ, Is Seen Giving

A Check To Bishop Carlis Moody Of Evanston, Illinois.

Bishop Moody Has Devoted The Majority Of His Life To Foreign Missions.

 

 

Below:  Bishop Carlis Moody Is Giving Expressions At The State Convocation Of

1st Jurisdiction Of Illinois, Where The Presiding Bishop Is

Bishop O. C. Booker,

 Held At The Emil And Patricia Jones

Convention Center At The Chicago State University, August Of 2010.

You May Listen To Bishop Moody Preach If You Go To

www.youtube.com and Type In:

Bishop Carlis Moody AIM 2010;

Bishop Carlis Moody Pt. 2;

Bishop Carlis Moody Pt. 3 AIM;

 

Under Construction!

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Click on us to surf to the video journal Page or continue to scroll downward

 

Click on us to surf to the Bible/Church Trivia Page To Answer Trivia Questions

 

 

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