Historic Reflections 
Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.
In January of 1968, as a result of the Chancery Court rulings, of Shelby County, 
Tennessee, the COGIC denomination held a Constitutional Convention to
restructure the Church's procedure for electing new officers.
In November of 1968, the Church elected its first General Board and then
elected Bishop Oglethorpe Patterson, Sr., Bishop Mason's son-in-law, as
Presiding Bishop with John Seth Bailey
and Samuel Crouch as his assistants  respectively.  

Above From Left To Right:  Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr., Bishop Samuel Crouch, Bishop J. O.

Patterson, Sr., Bishop A. B. McEwen, Bishop O. M. Kelly, Bishop J. S. Bailey, U. E. Miller

Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., was appointed to the Bishopric in 1955 by Bishop Mason, 
with his first appointment as Prelate of the Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Tennessee.
Later he would be appointed to the secretariat to the Executive Committee
of the COGIC which was created by Bishop Mason to assist with the executive
and administrative affairs of the Church.  After the death of Bishop Mason, this 
committee was known as the Executive Board, and Bishop Patterson served this board
as its' secretary.  In addition to these duties he also served as the Church's
General Secretary, member of the Board of Directors,
and Manager of the Church's  Publishers House.
 During his administration, the Church experienced 
tremendous growth in many areas.  His achievements in the educational
entities were the establishment of the Charles Harrison Mason Seminary in
Atlanta, GA; the C. H, Mason System of Bible Colleges;
The J. O. Patterson Fine Arts Department; The Historical Museum and Fine Arts Center and organizer of the Charles Harrison Mason Foundation;
and the Presiding Bishop's Benefit  Fund, which provides scholarships for deserving youth.
Other ministries brought about by this servant include the COGIC Book Store
and the COGIC Publishing House.
Other involvements include Founder and President of the World Fellowship
of Black Pentecostal Churches; Serving on the Boards for the Boys Club,
the Boys scouts Museum Commission, Tri State Bank of Memphis, The 
Black Church Summit of the World Council of Churches, and the Congress of
Black Churches.  He also served with the Rotary Club  of Memphis,
Save The Children, and the Shelby County Sheriff's Summit on Drug Prevention.
Below:  Click On Us To Surf To The Top, Or Continue To Scroll Down
Below:  Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., & His Cabinet  1968 - 1989
Below:  Far Left We See Deborah Patterson, The Wife Of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., 
And The Daughter Of Bishop Charles Harrison Mason.
Dear Friends Dr. Christopher C. & Evangelist Elvie J. Owens
Below, The Dedication For The COGIC Publishing House On The Campus Of
The Worldwide Headquarters Of TheChurch Of God In Christ In 
Memphis Tennessee
Below, Center Back Left To Right:  Director Of Public Relations, Bishop Ford,
Bishop J. O. And Debra Patterson, And Sr., E. U. Miller,
Center Front:  Bishop C. H. Mason
In February of 1972 the Chisca Plaza Hotel was given to 
Bishop Patterson by its owners, Mr. Robert Snowden and his sister, Mrs.
Mary Todd.  Bishop in turn gave the property to the COGIC.  His initiatives
allowed the Church's growth to exceed 4 million the 50 states and 47 countries
at the time of his death.  During his tenure as Presiding Bishop he consecrated
and appointed in excess of 100 Prelates (Jurisdictional Bishops).
Above Left:  Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., And On The Right:  Bishop Christopher C. Owens;
To Hear Bishop Patterson Speak, Go To You Tube And Type: Bishop J. O.
Patterson And Emily Bramm Bibby.
The Bishop J. O. Patterson Senior's leadership was long and decisive (21 years) -
Re-elected in 5 subsequent Quadrennial Elections.
During his reign, partially because of Patterson's leadership, the Church grew in 
National and International prominence as a leading Christian Denomination.
The Church of God in Christ entered the mainstream with the
broadening of ministry, worship styles, and leadership models.
 The Church ushered in a younger, new generation of ministers into 
positions as pastors, bishops and other leading capacities. 
Below, Click On Bishop Phillip Brooks, Bishop C. C. Owens And Others
To Surf To The Top, Or Continue To Scroll Down
During tthe the 1970's and the 1980's, the COGIC denomination became
more intentionally ecumenical.  The Church of God in Christ took the lead
among Pentecostals as an ecumenical church in dialogue with
non-fundamentalist denominations.  Some of our most prominent pastors
and congregations took leadership roles in such ecumenical organizations as
the National Association of Evangelicals, the Congress of Black Churches, the
Pentecostal World Conference, and the North American Congress on the Holy
Spirit and World Evangelism.  Many ministers and lay persons
also involved themselves in a host of local ecumenical activities.
Central to this ecumenical thrust was its establishment
of the C. H. Mason Seminary in 1970 as a member of the Interdenomational
Theological Center at Atlanta, Georgia. 
For many years Mason Seminary was the only Pentecostal seminary in
the nation fully accredited by the Association of Theology Schools.
As a participant in th ITC, the Church of God in Christ became both an 
educational force and an ecumenical leader within the African American
Community.  While Saints Academy had long affirmed the late
Bishop Mason's and the denomination's commitment to the educational
process, Mason Seminary represented a major commitment to 
graduate school education and to the idea of trained clergy and laity.
The establishment of the C. H. Mason Seminary parralleled the rise of a
generation of theologians beginning with Ozro Thurston Jones, Jr., Leonard Lovett
( dean of the C. H. Mason Seminary from 1970 - 1975), Dr. Oliver J. Haney
(dean of the C. H. Mason Seminary since 1975), Bennie Goodwin,
Donald Wheelock,  Robert E. Franklin, Dorothy Exume, Dr. Ithiel Clemmons
and others.  
Click on Bishop C. C. Owens below to the surf to the top or continue to scroll down.
Significant Developments Of The 1970's Continued
Below Left To Right:  Bishop J. S. Bailey,
Bishop W. A. Patterson (The Brother Of J. O. Patterson, Sr.),
Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.,
Bishop Gilbert Patterson (Son Of W. A. Patterson - Nephew Of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.),
Bishop Husband
Other significant developments of the 1970's were the creation of the
United National Auxiliares Convention (UNAC - the first effort to merge the
auxilliaries of the denomination under one umbrella), and the Church's
expansion to include ministries to the military, prisons, and hospitals and the
centralization of the organizational and fiscal affairs of the National Church.
Dr. Ithiel Clemmons during this ecumenical era had the opportunity
to negotiate with the Pentagon's Armed Forces Chaplain's Board, the Prison 
Fellowship, and the College of Chaplains to endorse chaplains for all
organizations.  Chaplains have served not only the military, but the
Church of God in Christ by establishing jurisdictions in Europe, Africa and Asia.
For over 21 years, the denomination has launched the chaplaincy
careers of scores of men and women in all branches of the armed forces,
in prisons, hospitals, and on college and university campuses.
By the mid 80's, through the ecumenical efforts of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. (by example),
and many other pioneers of the Church of God in Christ, 
the denomination was being touted as the 2nd largest African American
Denomination with a membership totaling some 4 million.
Below Far Left, Bishop J. O.  Patterson, Sr., Center Left Bishop Ford, Center Right
Bishop Shipman And Others Involved In A COGIC Membership Drive.
Below General Board Members Of 1970
Bottom Row Left To Right:  Bishop Wyoming Wells, Bishop O. M. Kelly,
Bishop Louis Henry Ford, Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Bishop Samuel M. Crouch,
Top Row Standing Left To Right:  Bishop J. A. Blake, Bishop F. D. Washington,
Bishop Jacob Cohen, Bishop John White, Bishop Husband, Bishop C. L. Anderson 
Below, Click On  Bishop Ted Thomas And Bishop Charles Blake
To Surf To The Top
Below:  Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Dr. Christopher C. & Evangelist Elvie J. Owens:
Dr. Christopher C. Owens was the Pianist for Bishop Patterson's Youth Team 
for a number of years in Memphis, Tennessee.