For a church which is considering leaving COGIC the only way to safely exit with your property both real and personal, is with the permission of the General Assembly. It will not be necessary to obtain 501 (C) 3 exemption for the church. Read the PDF documents below which were obtained from the IRS website.
In its publication 1828, the I. R. S. states a “Church” does not need a 501 (C) 3 number to be tax exempt if they meet the requirements to have a 501 (C) 3. If the word “Church” is in your name, and it is a recognized organization, it is not required. This is found in the I.R.S. Publication 1828 , page 3 of the publication, Recognition of Tax Exempt Status, Automatic Tax Exemption for Churches.
I.R.S. publication on contributions I.R.S. Publication 526
On page 24 of this publication, I.R.S. Publication 557 , under the heading; Organizations Not Required to File Form 1023 which is the application for a 501(C) 3 exemption.