Archive for November, 2011

Pioneer Bishop says Bishop Blake and General Board misusing titles

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

The Church of God in Christ, Inc (COGIC) is concluding its 104th Annual Convention in St Louis, but charges of title misappropriations by senior leaders have surfaced in the form of a letter to the denomination’s official newspaper.

In a detailed 24 page commentary released on the eve of the COGIC’s meeting,  Bishop Samuel Nesbitt, 87, of Jacksonville, FL charges that Bishop Charles Blake is using the title “Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle, 7th in Succession against the church’s constitution.

The letter is addressed to the John Daniels the Chairman of the COGIC Publishing Board and takes to task the church’s leadership for inventing pompous titles that are in contradiction to the very constitution they claim to uphold.

Page 3 of the 105th Edition of the Whole Truth appears to present a picture of the leadership of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. that is inconsistent with what our Constitution provides. It seems to show Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. lifted above the other 10 members of the General Board. He is given the title Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle Seventh In Succession with the ten (10) men below him as The Presidium Of The Church Of God In Christ . The record shows that only five (5) men have been elected to the office of Presiding Bishop, but neither of them has been given the title “Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle Seventh In Succession”. WHY? Because there was no PREDECESSOR for either of them to succeed that would qualify him to claim the position of Seventh in Succession. Beginning with Bishop C.H. Mason, only seven (7) men have been titular head of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. SENIOR BISHOP AND CHIEF APOSTLE C. H. MASON WAS THE FIRST. We are told that in the “First General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., 1907, whose faith was founded upon the doctrine of the Apostles as recorded on the day of Pentecost, the Lord gave Elder C. H. Mason to be the CHIEF APOSTLE, to which the whole assembly accepted”. OFFICIAL MANUAL, COGIC, SIXTH EDITION, REVISED 1957, PAGE 9, PAR. 2. SENIOR BISHOP OZRO T. JONES, SR., IS THE SECOND AND LAST Senior Bishop of COGIC, and the FIRST and ONLY SUCCESSOR to BISHOP C.H. MASON, OUR FOUNDER.

Nesbitt, no stranger to holding fast to the original dictates of COGIC’s leadership structure,  says calling the twelve man General Board “The Presidium” is also a stark detour from what the church’s constitution stipulates. In its leadership titles and descriptors Blake’s administration seems to be intent on instituting  a type of Pentecostal Catholic  hierarchy model without the mary worship.

The term PRESIDIUM appears to be inappropriately used when describing the ex-officio directors of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. When one considers the connotative and denotative definitions of the word PRESIDIUM, and reviews the historical record of some of the ruthless practices that people living under such authoritarian systems have been made to suffer, I THANK God that there is nothing in the record to corroborate the fact that the General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., of which I have been a participating member for many years, ever intended that the General Board, the Ex-Officio Directors of the Corporation, would be classified or function as the PRESIDIUM OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, INC.

PRESIDIUM DEFINED: The supreme policy making committee of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R.

Webster’s Illustrated Contemporary Dictionary Encyclopedic Edition
PRESIDIUM DEFINED: >In certain Communist countries, a standing committee empowered to act for a larger body, as a legislature.
Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Fourth Edition

The aforestated definition of Presidium should make it clear that the General Assembly never intended that the General Board’s function would be patterned after that of Presidiums. The General Board is not the supreme policy making committee of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc., nor is it a standing committee empowered to act for the General Assembly as a legislature. The Holy Scriptures, as contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, are our rule of faith and practice; and the General Assembly is the only doctrine expressing and law making authority of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc.

If Nesbitt is correct, the overtures of title misuse is indicative of a deeper symptom of abuse and self indulgent privilege by COGIC’s leadership.

Daniels has not responded to the letter, nor is it clear whether he will allow it to be publised in the Whole Truth. Read the entire Whole Truth Letter.

Whatever happened to “the document”?

November 8, 2011 Leave a comment

In 2009, Bishop Blake touted his new approach to what he called “sexual victimization” to a select group of delegates at the 102nd Convocation. According to the official website:

“Bishop Blake revealed the COGIC’s theme for next year as he kicked off the Presiding Bishop’s Forum.  The theme for 2010 is Great God, Great Vision, Great Accomplishments.  He then went on to discuss the Church’s official stance against sexual misconduct.  Over the course of the last year, Bishop Blake has hand-picked a strong team of clergy and legal professionals familiar with addressing sexual misconduct to develop a document that details the responsibility of clergy over the protection of all members and reaffirm the official stance of the church concerning this heinous type of sexual victimization. This document was distributed to delegates for review and consideration.”

But what happened? Was this just more window dressing or is the Presiding Bishop serious about dealing with clergy sexual abuse on his watch?  Two  years have come and gone but there has still been no visible, publicly indentifiable traction on  the mysterious “document”. What were the results of the “review and consideration”. Who are the “hand picked strong team of clergy and legal professionals”? Why is the presiding bishop keeping their identity a secret? How much money has been allocated to make “the document” a reality? How many pastors have actually read “the document” and implemented its reccomendations in the local assemblies?

If you have received “the document” or have reviewed it and know of its disposition, please share any updates in the comment section.