Historic Reflections
Presiding Bishop Louis Henry Ford Era 1990 - 1995

Bishop Louis Henry Ford
Bishop Louis Henry Ford from Clarksdale, Mississippi was one of
Dr. Arenia C. Mallory's prized pupils at the Lexington Industrial School.
Spanning the Mason, Jones, Patterson eras, Bishop Ford had served the Church
as pastor and bishop in Chicago, Illinois, and on the National level as
Director of Public Relations.  He knew the Church like few contemporaries and
longed for the Church which he had discovered as a lad in Mississippi.
Upon the death of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., Bishop Ford, who had
been his First Assistant Presiding Bishop, served as the interim leader,
and in 1990, was elected as the second Presiding Bishop and the 
fourth leader in COGIC history.
Below We See Bishop L. H. Ford And His Cabinet
Bishop Ford Is In Front Of This Processional
Bishop Chandler David Owens, Ford's First Assistant Presiding Bishop,
Is Seen Immediately Behind Bishop Ford
Below We See A Very Young Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., And A Very Young 
Bishop L. H. Ford As A Director Of Public Relations;
The Article Fails To Point Out The Fact That Bishop O. T. Jones, Sr.
Was The First Successor Of Bishop C. H. Mason
Before Either Bishop Patterson Or Bishop Ford Were Elected
Below, Bishop Louis Henry Ford, Center Front, Shaking Hands With A Guest
Playing His Role As Director Of Public Relations For The COGIC
From the first day in office, Bishop Ford unapologetically proclaimed his
vision for restoration. He wanted to take the Church back to its
Holiness-Pentecostal, less structured, liturgical roots.
Believing this was the Mason style of ministry, he wanted to return the Church
to this vision.  He didn't particularly care for all of the "pump and circumstance",
or ritualistic adornments and uniformity (rings, neclaces, special head pieces, etc...)
He embodied what he viewed as the "Golden Years"
of the Church of God in Christ.
During his brief tenure of 5 years, Bishop Ford undertook refurbishing
Mason Temple, the Mason House on the COGIC Headquarters Campus,
and building a 4 million dollar Deborah Mason-Patterson All Purpose Facility
on the campus of the Saints Junior College in Lexington, Mississippi.
Below Left To Right, Bishop:  Bishop J. A. Blake, The Father Of Bishop
Charles Edward Blake Who Is Currently The Presiding Bishop Of The COGIC
(As Of July, 2016),
Bishop R. L. Winbush, And Bishop Louis Henry Ford 
Below Left To Right:  Bishop Newell Haynes, Bishop L. H. Ford
Bishop Ford's first priority became the ressurection of an almost defunct school.
At the Lexington campus, not only was a new building erected, but a new
President, Dr. Goldie Wells, was appointed, along with supporting staff.
Professor Robert Michael Franklin, the assistant pastor
of the St. Paul Church of God in Christ, 
said that "Bishop L. H. Ford placed the Church of God in Christ firmly
in the public square at
the intersection of Religion and Politics."

a protege of the Late black Southside Chicago Democratic Congressman,
William Dawson, Bishop Ford wasalso a member of the late
Chicago Richard J. Dailey, Sr.'s inner circle.
He was a competent, consummate member of Chicago's political
establishment, part of its ruling elite, as well as being the leading
Church of God in Christ pastor in the area.
For him, politics and ministry were not mutually exclusive. 
Bishop Ford was a progressive, populist preacher known for his street meetings,
tent revivals, Christmas days spent went prisioners, and distribution
of food to the needy through a network of over 30 churches.
He was recognized on the Southside of Chicago as the people's preacher.
More than any other National leader before him, Bishop Ford
raised the political profile of the Church of God in Christ and provided
a concrete model of what Dr. Franklin called political urban ministry.
He referred to Jesus' time in Palestine as an example of a holy man who
was not afraid of "city realities".  
He quoted Bishop Mason's favorite passage, I Timothy 2:1,2  -  in which the
Apostle Paul admonished the Saints to pray for those in political authority.
Dr. Franklin said the Bishop Ford dismissed the world-rejecting theology of
an earlier era as a heretical, selfish escape from serious public engagement.
Bishop Ford felt that the saints had insulated themselves and were inclined
to ignore social and political realities far too long.
Click On Bishop C. C. Owens Below To Surf To The Top Or Continue To Scroll Down
Bishop L. H. Ford Socialized And Reached Out To General Board Bishops
And Fellow Clergymen.  He was Outspoken And Agressive, But Good Hearted!
As A People's Preacher, He Accepted Challenges And Got The Job Done.
Although he was thought by some in the Church to be less than prudent in
his political involvement, Bishop Ford's astute public theology placed him on the
cutting edge of garnering resources for the poor and oppressed.
He led the Church to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit prisoners,
open the doors for employment, and to support the NAACP, the Urban League, and 
scores of organizationswhose visions coincided with that of the
Church of God in Christ.  Dr. Franklin asserted that those visions included
humanizing the violent, individualistic, cold, inner city where most African
Americans kive.
Upon becoming the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Ford led a
delegation of the denomination's bishops to visit Govenor William (Bill)
Clinton at Little Rock, Arkansas, during the Holy Ghost Convention in that 
city in 1991.  He also invited Governor Clinton to the COGIC Holy Convocation
in Memphis, Tennessee.
In November, 1991, presendential candidate Bill Clinton visited the 84th
Annual Holy Convocation asking Bishop Ford's and the Church's blessing
and help in his bid for the presidency of the United States.
Bishop L. H. Ford Became A Trusted Advisor To President Bill Clinton
In April 1993, President Clinton returned to Mason Temple to Thank Bishop Ford and
the Church for their support.  Through his friendship with President Clinton, Bishop
Ford was able to harness resources for a Spillway in
Holmes County, Mississippi, to correct a serious flooding problem
that the residents had endured throughout the 30th century. 
Bishop Ford broadened the black Pentecostal tradition's view of ministry
from direct acts of charity to infusing the arena of public policy with a
humanizing moral perspective.  Bishop Ford died suddenly.  Ten years earlier
he had been near death, but had experienced a miraculous healing
and regained his full strength.  In exactly five years (April 5, 1990 - April 5, 1995),
he had completed his divinely appointed assignment, was called home to glory,
was eulogized by the saints, and laid to rest with his fathers and mothers.
Below Bishop Louis Henry Ford Is Indulging In A Powerful Conversation With
Dr. Christopher C. Owens At A Tent Meeting
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 40 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 Ford (1990 - 1995), who
was characterized as being an aggressive and charismatic visionary with
a "Jonah Complex", received a vision from God 40 years before 1990 to
rebuild the "walls" fo the Church of God in Christ.  Bishop L. H. Ford made
an incredible 40 year journey in a mere 4 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 ammenities.
The building of COGIC's walls continued with the acqisition 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
amentities of a home.  Mother Elsie Mason, who fell victim to an 
impairment, became the first permanent resident to the 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 will be given to
those needing the same, and counseling will be offered to the despondent and
and assistance to victims of catastrophies across the land.
Lastly, up from the ashes comes what has been called one of the nations'
finest private schools.
Saints Academy and College rests on more than 300 acres of prime land
in Lexington, Mississippi.
Every building had been thorougly modernized with amentities
including central air and heating, newly tiled baths and elegantly decorated
The crowning jewel of the campus is the beautiful and spacious Deborah
Mason Patterson Hall.  This multi-purpose building has a 1000 seat auditorium,
guest quarters, conference rooms, faculty offices, the student dining room,
and several other ares for multi-purpose activities.
In a mere 4 years God used Presiding Bishop Louis Henry Ford, with  
assistance from General Board members, the General Assembly and the Bishops,
Supervisors, Elders and Laymen, to complete the task.  Now the walls are nearly
complete.  Mason Temple stands for 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 never cease
because God reigns.  Our walled cities, from which many additional ministries
will flourish, will continue to be built as
"The Vision Continues...."
Below, We See Bishop Christopher C. Owens And His Daughter,
Sis. Christine Owens-Jones,
In Front Of The $4, 000, 000 Debra Mason-Patterson Facility
On The Campus Of The Saints College In Lexington, Mississippi
During The Great Celebration Of The Re-opening Of
This Great School
Above To The Right Is The O. M. Kelly Chapel Which Was Donated To Saints School
By Bishop O. M. Kelly
Below In The Forefront, We See Sis. Mattie Wiggley Of Pentecostal Temple COGIC 
In The Restored Dinning Room Of Mason Temple 
In Memphis, Tennessee
Below Hard Hat On The Left:  Bishop L. H. Ford At Yet Another
"Building  Of The COGIC Walls Projects" 
Bishop C. C. Owens Is Seen In The Background in A Hard Hat
Below, Bishop Ford Receives The Charles Harrison Mason Award
From The Religious Workers Guild, Inc.
Below, Charles Ford, Later Appointed Bishop Charles Ford:  The Son Of Bishop L. H. Ford
Below, Charles Ford Was Receiving A Citation Of Commendation From The
Religious Workers Guild, Inc.
Below, St. Paul Church Of God In Christ In
Chicago, Illinois Which Was Pastored By Bishop Louis Henry Ford
Bishop Ford Stated That This Award Was His Most Honored Possession
Bishop Ford Came Up Through The Ranks Of The Church Of God In Christ And Became
A Prominent Leader In His Position As The Head Of Public Relations
Within The COGIC Denomination
Click On Bishop Owens Below To Surf To The Top