How to Access the COGIC Judicial System

The Ecclesiastical Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council is the gate way to the COGIC Judicial system.    The exception is when the charges are against a Bishop which would be filed with the Board of Bishops. 

All charges against a Pastor or a local Church must be filed with the General Secretary, and the Jurisdictional Secretary. 

  • The Jurisdictional Secretary shall forward the charges to the Jurisdictional Bishop. 
  • The Jurisdictional Bishop  shall appoint an investigating committee of from three to five members who will examine the facts and report to the Bishop their findings.  If the charges are without merit, they will be dismissed and all parties including the General Secretary will be notified.   If the charges are found to have merit, the Bishop shall send it to the Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council and the Pastors and Elders Council Secretary shall give written notice to all principle parties and copies of the notices  shall be filed with the General Secretary in Memphis. 
  • Once the Bishop sends the charges to the Pastors and Elders Council it is solely responsible to  conduct the trial. The Bishop carries out their judgment. 

A Pastor can only legitimately be removed (per the COGIC Constitution) after having been found guilty in a Pastors and Elders Council trial.  He may be suspended for sexual misconduct, but unless he resigns, his permanent removal can only happen if he is found guilty at a trial.  He may appeal an adverse ruling to the General Council of Pastors and Elders. The trial of a Jurisdictional Official is the same as a Pastor.   Complaints against local members would be handled at the local church. 

Always send your communications via both Certified Mail, and First Class Mail*, even to the Jurisdictional Secretary, this establishes a paper trail which is accepted in a court of law.  Always save the green return card as well as the proof of mailing receipt.  If the addressee does not pick the mailing up, do not open it when it is returned to you.  The postmark on an unopened package as well as the receipt still serves as proof it was sent.  * Also send it via regular first class mail, this is in case they refuse to accept it. One other interesting thing to note, as the  Executive Branch, the General Board no longer has any Judicial Duties in the Constitution (except they do adjudicate the departments.  Sunday School, YPWW, etc.)

* I was corrected on this point so I am passing the information along

(The word shall removes personal discretion from the individual.  Failure to follow the instructions is in itself a chargeable offense; nonfeasance.)


In the Church of God in Christ, the trustees do not have the authority to remove a Pastor themselves.  The only way anyone including a Bishop (except for sexual misconduct) can remove a Pastor, who doesn’t want to leave, is when a majority of the members file charges and it goes through the Pastors and Elders Council.  If the Pastor is teaching things that violate doctrine or living an immoral lifestyle, and his church supports him, the church can be brought up on charges by one member of the church, filing charges against that church.  The church could then be tried by the Pastors and Elders Council.  If a crime has been committed, it should be reported to the authorities.

Procedures and Offenses which can be cause for a trial.

Offenses for which a Church may be tried; DISCIPLINE OF A CHURCH

The only way, a Church of God in Christ Pastor can be involuntarily removed, is by following the procedures found in the manual.   You can find the procedures by opening the document below.

Offenses for which a Pastor may be tried; Article VIII, Section B

Offenses for which a Bishop may be tried; TRIAL OF A BISHOP

Procedures to follow if charges are filed against a Bishop, if the correct procedure and form is not followed it can be thrown out. (PROCEDURES)




  1. admin says:

    Bro. Willie Green was correct. At this time, the Jurisdictional Bishop appoint the Investigation Committee of 3 to 5 members and he also appoints the Ecclesiastical Council of five (5) Pastors. The Ecclesiastical Council hears the case, renders a verdict, the majority decision prevails. The Church has a 30 day time limit to file an appeal to the Judiciary Board. The Ecclesiastical Council is not the Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council though.
    I thank you for your help.

  2. Rob says:

    Has a church ever been tried though. Have you ever heard of a church being tried say for any of the offense/s listed and if so what became of that congregation?

    • admin says:

      No, I have never heard of it happening. If anyone reading this has please share the information.

    • Rob says:

      I found on here an answer regarding church trial. There was a church that was tried when the pastor of the congregation was referring to himself as a bishop.

  3. Brother Rob says:

    I was wondering if the jurisdiction can remove or “Defrock” a minister like other organizations do such as the Assemblies of God or Methodists, Catholics where they are really no longer even recognized as being even ordained.

  4. admin says:

    Any amount above what the National assesses is kept by the Jurisdictional Bishop. It was probably a way to increase the money he receives.

  5. Hannah says:

    I would like to file a official complaint against my former pastor for sexual misconduct. I read that the complaint can be thrown out if incorrectly filed. Is there a form or a guideline to follow that you could direct me to?

  6. Carol M Allen says:

    This process needs a short version as well as this long version. When more than half of the church members are dismissed by an elderly pastor so that a personal agenda can be achieved, these members should NOT be left out of the church for almost a year! This is so disorganized! I grew up in COGIC, I am so disappointed that Bishop Blake or somebody has not intervened!!! I’m just SO thankful to GOD that we are resilient in staying together and working with our Jurisdictional Bishop & District Superintendent!

  7. Rob says:

    I was reading the expose on Bishop Holsley is there any protection in our Constitution from being tried or disciplined for the same offense.

    • admin says:

      That will depend on the integrity of the leaders. There is nothing that states that, although the U.S. Constitution prohibits double jeopardy.

  8. Bishop Eddie Goff says:

    How can I file a complaint against a Executive board member for someone in my orginazation and I’m the 1st Presiding Bishop?

  9. Rock David says:

    Complaint against Catherine Green & Yolonzo Butts for their horrible behavior towards people. For picking and bothering with them if they so choose to…

    • admin says:

      The information found on this site is to help someone file a complaint in the Church of God in Christ, Inc. judicial system. This is not where you file a complaint but a resource for the information needed to do so.

  10. Brother in Christ says:

    Can a Jurisdictional Bishop file charges against a local Pastor in his jurisdiction because of personal matters between the Pastor and his wife especially if there was no abuse, no misconduct, no infidelity, no criminal charges, sexual misconduct and no misconduct with the church as well? Especially if the Bishop has suspended the Pastor already with the formally charging him and going through process of being suspended. The Pastor and his wife are involved in a separation with the possibility of divorcing. Church knows about it but are still praying for God to work it out. But the has remained faithful.

    • admin says:

      ONLY a majority of the members of the PASTORS church can file charges
      the following is from the Official Manual: Article VIII, Section B, paragraph 2
      2 The procedure for the trial of a local Pastor shall be as follows:
      (a) When a majority of the members of the Church Of God In Christ have documented evidence that a Pastor of a local church has committed any or all of the offenses enumerated hereinabove, they may file charges against such Pastor specifically setting out the acts and things complained of The original copy of the charges shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of the Assembly of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of which the Church and Pastor are a pan, or with which they are affiliated, and copies thereof shall be filed in the office of the General Secretary of the Church Of God In Christ at its National Headquarters in Memphis. Tennessee.

  11. Brother in Christ says:

    What is the definition COGIC use when referring to “Conduct unbecoming of a Minister of the Gospel?” Can you give any examples? Especially dealing with Pastor’s personal life. Referring back to my previous post.

  12. If my pastor is under suspension is he prohibited from being polled? Can our church be moved from one jurisdiction to another with the polling of an administrative pastor who was polled?

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