Under the current Constitution/Charter of the Church of God in Christ, there are only two groups of people that have Constitutional rights.  Those two groups are Bishops and Pastors.  Rights that are not explicitly expressed are not protected.   Rights which have been extended by practice are not the same as Constitutional rights and can be easily removed.  If it comes to that, a civil court is only concerned about what the Constitution/Charter says, not the intent of the framers.  In the eyes of the civil court, if the Doctrine conflicts with the Constitution/Charter, the Constitution/Charter will reign supreme.  It is important to have the language clear and precise so no controversy may arise due to an individual misrepresenting the content of the Constitution/Charter.
The GENERAL ASSEMBLY is the only law making body in COGIC.  If you are a concerned  member of COGIC, you should become involved in the GENERAL ASSEMBLY.  To qualify as a delegate to the General Assembly you must be in one of the following categories;
(a) Bishops: General Board, Jurisdictional Domestic, Foreign, Auxiliary, Emeritus.
(b) Pastors/Elders: Administrative Assistants, District Superintendent, Pastors and Elders without charge.
(c) Supervisors: Jurisdictional Domestic, Foreign, Supervisor without charge Domestic and Foreign
(d) District Missionaries: 4 per Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Foreign and Domestic
(e) Wives: Of current and former General Board members and of Jurisdictional Bishops Foreign and Domestic and
(f) Lay delegates: 6 per Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Foreign and Domestic
(h) Specials: At the discretion of the chair and with the approval of the Assembly
You must pay your National Report and be in good standing with your Jurisdiction;
(definition of good standing-Your Bishop can find a way to disqualify you if he wants to)

Read the expose on Constitutional Rights

Who Owns The Church?   WHAT DOES A HIERARCHICAL SYSTEM MEAN?   We are told it means the Church is Ecclesiastical, one of appointments; the Presiding Bishop appoints the Jurisdictional Bishop who appoints the Pastor and on down the line.

That is partially correct; just as there are warnings about the possible  side effects of a  drug, there are side effects to that statement.   The side effect becomes who owns the local church.

What  we are not told is, in the eyes of the civil court, the parent church (hierarchical) owns the property.  When a National Church is hierarchical, the local people have the rights of a sharecropper.  This is why some Bishops treat the people and the property as possessions.  This is why some Bishops and those who advise them run to the civil court, sue and say it is for the good of the Church.  (The Pharisees also went to the civil authorities).  The General Assembly can define its position on property ownership.  It is the only lawmaking, doctrine expressing body.  Become active in the General Assembly.  Hosea 4:6

Church Transfer Procedure

 Each church with a Pastor, has the right to transfer Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions once every (12) twelve months.  See the Church of God in Christ Constitutional Transfer Procedure .

These procedures are now done online through the ARC system on the cogic.org website

Contact Information: admin@cogicjustice.net

199 Responses to WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?

  1. J.F. MORRIS says:

    Thank you for this very enlightening, yet alarming information. With the apparent contradictions with and unjust treatment of the local churches, how does a church properly and effectively remove itself from the under the Church of God in Christ rule?

    • admin says:

      Per the COGIC Constitution, withdrawal can only be with the permission of the General Assembly. There are currently no “procedures” in place. Right now it depends on the character (or lack thereof) of your Bishop how difficult that will be. It must however begin with the Pastor, COGIC does not recognize the rights of a congregation as some reformations do. Even though the documents do not state it, they hold all transfers or withdrawal must be initiated by the Pastor. Send me an email for further discussion.

      • TG says:

        What can a local congregation do when it does not agree with the Jurisdictional Bishop selection of pastor? Are there any legal avenues? What if the local church by-laws states that members have a right to vote for a pastor?

        • admin says:

          Unfortunately, when you search the COGIC documents, the local congregation has NO RIGHTS. Read the article “Constitutional Rights Expose”. Also realize the General Board, and the Board of Bishops will not help. They will accept whatever the Bishop wants. Unless he does something that is listed in the things he can be charged with, they will do nothing. Send me an email at admin@cogicjustice.net and we can discuss this further.

  2. Kinley says:

    Can a church that is requesting to transfer from a jurisdiction do so prior to the Superintendent meeting with the members to hear what their dissatisfactions are and can the same church proceed with the request with unresolved property issues? We have a pastor has refused on numerous times to allow the Superintendent and District Missionary the opportunity to meet with the members and the only reason they would like to meet with the members is because they have no idea why the church desires to transfer, therefore they can not brief the Bishop. Also this same church has property which the previous pastor is being held as a gurantor and he has requested to be released of the property but the current pastor has yet taken any action to do so. Can the voting be conducted with these issues?

    • admin says:

      The Superintendent is not involved in the process. You do not have to give a reason other than you want to transfer. Each church has the right per the constitution to transfer once a year. You can download the procedures from this site. The only requirements are; the Pastor sends a letter to the General Secretary of COGIC, the Bishop of the Jurisdiction he wants to transfer to, and the Bishop of the Jurisdiction he wants to leave, Notifying them of a vote to transfer. It should state a vote will be taken 30 days out. Send all three via certified mail. Each Bishop has the right to be present to OBSERVE the vote. Please contact us by email for further info at admin@cogicjustice.net

  3. Kinley says:

    Thank you for the education.

    Could you elaborate on wheter or not the church still be granted permission to transfer with the issue of the former pastor and a church member that is no longer on the loan for the church property and has requested the church that is transferring to remove them from the loan prior to any transferring is permitted. Is this a church matter that the jurisdiction should get involved in or is it a banking or legal matter between the church and its former pastor?

  4. Rob says:

    Here is a question. Can a bishop for any reason refuse to accept transfer of a church? I mean lets say that church has a history of transferring a lot or is troublesome or is a bishop or jurisdiction required to accept transfer of that church.

    • admin says:

      That is a question that has not come up before. We will check that out and respond when we can answer.

    • admin says:

      Whenever a subject is not addressed in the Constitution, the bishop is free to do as he chooses in church matters. There is nothing that says he has to accept a transfer.

  5. Mike says:

    It been great reading all this. Thanks for the EDU.
    Question? If a local church was to go ahead and remove the name Church of God in Christ off of the Deed,building and bank account. Could the national church bring legal action? If so, What actions?


    What power does the founding pastor of the church have?

    • admin says:

      Yes, to just remove the name does not protect you. The constitution, Article III, Part II, Section D, paragraph 5 pg15 states
      “A local church, which has been accepted by the Church Of God In Christ and issued a Certificate of Membership, shall not have the legal right or privilege to withdraw or sever its relations with the General Church, except by and with the permission of the General Assembly.” Notify the General Secretary, and the General Assembly Chairman, both via certified mail of your intent. The chairman can advise you as to what to do.
      The church can transfer jurisdictions once a year.

  6. Wanda says:

    Could you please share with me the process if a minister or pastor wanted to leave the denomination? Are they “stripped” of their credentials and can no longer preach under C.O.G.I.C.?

    • admin says:

      Since all licenses and credentials are now issued by the General Secretary in Memphis, the license or Ordination papers do not expire, they can be revoked but they do not expire. When a member of the clergy leaves the COGIC denomination, it is the Bishop who has to notify the National Church to remove someone from the list. If the license is not revoked then they can still technically say they are licensed by COGIC. When the Bishop turns in the National reports, each clergy member is listed on the Jurisdictional Master list. If you pay your report, you are considered in “good standing” and receive the appropriate card (for Elders the Blue and Gold card) which expires each year in September. The card says you paid your report, gives you access to the General Assembly and the Judicial process. Lack of a card does not determine membership.

      There is no automatic process for removal.

      • ..... says:

        If I misplaced my card but I have my black clergy cord am I still allowed to go to various events as an elder ? Such as aim etc and how could I obtain another card ?

        • admin says:

          Your Blue and Gold Card shows you have paid your National Report. It is the only thing that shows you are in “good standing”. It will depend upon the people at the registration. Perhaps your Bishop can vouch for you. As far as a replacement you must contact Bishop Lyle the General Secretary. The cards expire in September of each year. You should get your new one between the April Call meeting

  7. Chantelle says:

    If you miss paying your assessment for your license if you are a missionary, elder, pastor,etc., does that means COGIC revoke your credentials

    • admin says:

      No it does not. If you don’t make your report, you do not get your Blue and Gold card which means you cannot be a delegate to the General Assembly. Your license is not hinged on your report. The only way credentials can be revoked is through the judicial process. Charges have to be filed and a trial etc. This is according to Article VIII of the COGIC constitution.

      • .. says:

        How much is it for COGIC Elder credentials ?

        • admin says:

          The General Assembly sets the assessment amount, at this time it is $150.00 for ordained Elder credentials. That is the National only, your jurisdiction most likely has assessments also.

          • .. says:

            Do you have to be a ordained minister before you are an ordained Elder?

          • admin says:

            In COGIC only an Elder is Ordained, a minister is licensed. Normally, you have to be a licensed minister first. However, if your Bishop chooses to, he can license and Ordain almost simultaneously. To be ordained, you have to be recommended by your pastor, then the bishop if he chooses to will do so provided you meet the qualifications. You have to have a background check and take and pass an online sexual harassment course. All credentials come out of Memphis and will not be issued without those conditions

          • .. says:

            Does a minister have a cord that he wears in the COGIC?

          • admin says:

            No, a cord of any type is not part of a licensed minister attire.

          • .. says:

            Ok so what is apart of the lisensed minister attire ?

          • admin says:

            I am copying what is in the Official Manual so I don’t give out any wrong information. Basically it is dress clothes, a suit and tie. I am certain other colors may be worn generally, but the black suit, tie, etc is the official dress
            A. CIVIC
            The Licensed Minister may not wear a clerical collar as that of the Ordained Clergy of the Church. However, as an indication of his apprenticeship in the Ministry and to signify his Candidature for Ordination, it is required that the Minister wear the black suit, black shoes, black socks, white shirt with black necktie.
            Provided permission is given by the pastor of a Licentiate, he may on occasion, wear the “Brothers Rabat and Collar.” This collar must be ordered through the Church Of God In Christ Bookstore in Memphis, so that uniformity will prevail. In any event, the Minister may not wear the “Brother’s Collar” without express permission from his pastor.
            B. CEREMONIAL
            Since the Licentiate is not Ordained, it is never in order for him to wear a robe or cassock of any kind. As indicated, in the Division above, he may wear the “Brother’s Rabat and Collar” with permission from his pastor, but only then when specific need demands it.

          • Charles Poma says:

            Question? Can you be ordained as an elder even if you have been licensed as a minister in another denomination?

          • admin says:

            Also, in order to become an ordained Elder, you must be an active member of a local COGIC church.

          • Charles Poma says:

            Question? Can you be ordained as an elder even if you have been licensed as a minister in another denomination?

          • admin says:

            There is nothing that says it cannot be done. However, the bishop is the one who would decide to ordain you.

      • .. says:

        How do you become a cogic Adjudant?

      • Denise Yolanda Faulks says:

        So even if I have switched churches for now and choose to keep my license and pay dues I can or are my license revoked because I’m no longer there. I’m asking because I went through the schooling and finished but was told I could not have my licence because I left. I paid for my licences and never received them. If I can still have them I would like to get my first copy and pay my dues to maintain them.

        • admin says:

          If you are still a member of COGIC, you can still get them. All credentials come from the National Church. If you paid your National report, also per Article VIII once issued as long as you don’t change denominations they are yours.

    • James Blackstock says:

      If a church is independent and own the church, don’t the deed holder have a right to remove thier church if they want to?

      • admin says:

        I would depend on what state you reside. In the General Assembly you are told the local property belongs to the local members but out of the spot light it will depend on the character or lack thereof of your bishop. Bishop David Hall and Bishop James Scott are two examples among many who have taken local churches to court to gain control of their property.

  8. Pastor Frank Taylor says:

    When will a church receive a
    Certificate from the National Church that says there church is a member of the Church of God In Christ

    • admin says:

      The bishop is supposed to submit the information to the General Secretary and he will issue the certificate. All certificates and license now come from the General Secretary at the Bishop’s request.

  9. Dr. Deborah A Bonner BS/MA/DMM says:

    Question, when an Elder paid his and wife’s Evangelist national report and 1\2 of the State Assessments for both per instructed by the Secretary, prior the November 2015 Convocation. Then recently my and l called and asked why we didn’t get our national cards. The told us we are not going to get them, even though we paid our national report it will be at the Bishop’s discretion. In the 39 years faithful years we have been this has never happened before. Is this legal them to hold our and national cards leaders have paid their natioa! Reports?
    Respectfully and Prayfully submitted,

    • admin says:

      The National reports are turned in during the April Call meeting. Your cards come in the mail usually before September. The date on the cards would be for let’s say September 2015 – September 2016. The Bishop or the Jurisdictional secretary are supposed to turn in all National money on the Jurisdictional Financial Report Form (F-1),referred to as the F1 form. If you did not receive your card, check with Bishop Frank A. White to see if your name and report was included on your jurisdictions F-1 form. If it is there, your report was turned in, check with Bishop Joel Lyles the General Secretary to see why you did not receive it. If your cards normally come through the mail, from the National Church, it is possible it was not turned in. Your canceled check will serve as your receipt. It could present problems for your bishop.

      • Dr. Deborah A Bonner BS/MA/DMM says:

        According our information we received our national reports were never turned in and my husband Elder James L Bonner has a receipt, which we discovered through our Pastor that Jurisdictional Secretary made another mistake and thought I was an inspiring Missionary, which I am a Licensed Evangelist and I also have my Doctorate degree in Ministry. We are not trying to get anyone in trouble, we want it understood that we did in fact ay our National reports with the full understanding that the money would be turned in to the officials. We have never had anything ever happen like this before. In time pass other Bishops have stated to Jurisdictional leaders if you not able to pay all your State report make sure you pay National reports, some were able and may not be able at particular time. We were never told our cards going to be withheld from us as a punishment as if we have sinned or committed a crime. Where is the love of Christ in this I have saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost for almost 40 years ministering, prophesying and preaching wherever our precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will open up the door for us I and Elder Bonner to go forth and we are soul focus and soul conscious. This is first we have experienced anything like this. We do not want the National thinking that we did pay our reports. Also we would like to know if we could pay our reports directly to Memphis, Tennessee? Furthermore, is there a National report for a inspiring Missionary?

        • admin says:

          The Evangelist Missionary’s national report is $75.00, the Deaconess (licensed) Missionary’s report is $50.00. There is no National Report for an Aspiring Missionary’s. You cannot pay the reports directly, however, if you think there is something going on, you can call the General Secretary Bishop Lyle of the financial Secretary Bishop Antoine White. There are also charges that can be filed.

        • Dr. Deborah A Bonner BS/MA/DMM says:

          We did not want the National to think we did not pay our National reports because we did most certainly did. Sorry it was errors in typing the letter above forgive for the errors. We are both saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. We humbly thank you for your information so we can get this situation resolved. God bless you all richly is our prayer.

  10. Rev. Victor says:

    can a District superintented establish a local church in respect of COGIC?

  11. For my Children's Children says:

    My Pastor has created a board of trustees to help protect the church. They do not want to leave COGIC, but want to protect the church properties. The membership is being held together by a string. If something happened to the Pastor and the board of trustees step up to the plate can they dictate who the next pastor should be. Keep in mind, they have incorporated the church and do not use the National’s tax I.D. The property is under another 501c3

    • admin says:

      No they cannot. Despite what you hear, the leaders of the National Church believe the National Church owns all property. They have taken numerous churches to court and in some cases put the members out. In COGIC, only a Jurisdictional Bishop can appoint a pastor, the former General Counsel Enoch Perry III stated in court the bishop has the exclusive right to appoint the next pastor.
      Depending on your state law, and the character of your bishop, you would be treated as a sharecropper.
      If he chooses, your pastor can hold a vote and with permission from the General Assembly, leave COGIC.
      The National Church will not help you, they will help the bishop.

  12. For my Children's Children says:

    The Board of Trustees is also the ones signed for the loan of the church.

    • admin says:

      Again depending on your state law, that does not matter. If the loan is in the trustees name they can be liable. If it is in the churches name they could appoint someone and he would then be responsible to pay the loan. The National Church will not pay it. The information in the Black Book concerning property is mostly obsolete. They operate off the rules in the Green and White Book. Separate 501c3 has not helped some other churches with that problem.

  13. Laymen #1 says:

    I attended a ordination service last Sunday located in a different jurisdiction, the pastor their ordained a friend of mines brother and wife as a pastor and missionary, my friend told me that they did not take an classes to become a minister or elder, they build a small church and just decided they wanted to become pastor and missionary. My question is how is that possible and does a local pastor have the right to ordain a missionary, minister, elder or pastor without them taking classes or going before a committee

    • admin says:

      In COGIC, only a Jurisdictional Bishop can ordain a minister. If he cannot come, the Bishop can authorize someone to act in his place. Some jurisdictions require the candidate to attend classes and most require one pass an exam. There is currently no standardized class or process to become ordained. The local pastor must recommend the minister for ordination. In the case of someone starting a church, they will almost always ordain him because only an ordained elder can be a pastor, perform weddings, officiate funerals, and administer the ordinances of the curch.

      • Rob says:

        That is changing when I went through the classes they had a new curriculum in a white book which deals with the various subjects and now have started to have to deal with subjects such as ethics, and sexual misconduct and now there is a background check. It all has to do with the various issues that have come because of leaving those holes open.

        • admin says:

          If you are speaking of the new Ordination Manual it has not been approved by the General Assembly. Until the General Assembly approves it, it is just a book.

  14. Laymen #1 says:

    Thank you for the information

  15. PK22 says:

    Has the installation process changed for a pastor? I know there is a credit check and criminal background check required, but other than that, what prevents a bishop from installing a pastor within two months, six months etc.

    • admin says:

      Although they do have to pass a background check which has more to do with sexual misconduct than anything else many times it boils down to extra money. as long as he is the “interim Pastor” the Bishop collects the pastoral monies. The background check is the only delay, there is no minimum or maximum time to appoint a pastor.

  16. EDB says:

    If a member leaves a COGIC Church do to God’s direction for their lives and to walk in their destiny, and may be they are relocating. The person submitted a letter to the Pastor and talked with him or her. Does the Pastor need to write a letter to where the member is going to attend?

    • admin says:

      Part III, Section D.of the Official Manual deals with membership transfers. Here is a link to a copy of that section.
      D. Transfer and Termination of Membership
      Very few follow this procedure.

      • EDB says:

        This is exactly my point. The Pastor has not followed this procedure in Part III, Section D. Now that there are certain members that are leaving because of God’s direction and relocating to another city and state, the Pastor is stating the member that is leaving needs a letter. And this is just starting. This protcol was never in effect and matter of fact not even followed. In Romans 2:11 and Acts 10:34 it talks about God does not show partialty or favortism. I believe wants GOOD for one is GOOD for ALL. I know several people that were members including clergy that have recently left and left in the past; join other COGIC Church’s and went to another denominations and the Pastor never stated that he needed to give them a letter. This has happened within several years. I know God requires his people to things decently and in order. I believe if the person talks to the Pastor submits a written letter that should be it, especailly when most of the local Pastor’s do not follow proper protcol from offical manual. Even you from administration board stated that very few does not follow the procedure according to the offical manual. It is just a concern that I encountered. I believe and feel that things should be done in fairness especailly if we are calling ourselves being like Jesus. Not only that professing and proclaiming ourselves being SAVED, SANCTIFIED AND FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST! I Want To Thank You For Responding To My Post. And To God Be The Glory!

        • admin says:

          One of the problems is many leaders have been told that part is not law, it is “dicta” ceremonial and they don’t have to do it. thi that is what the former General Counsel said under oath in court.
          Also, this website is not part of COGIC, Inc. other than some of our staff are members. According to Hosea 4:6; “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou has rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children”
          This site was started to help the people obtain knowledge of Cogic’s laws and system.

  17. EDB says:

    I know this is not part of COGIC INC. understand that completely. I felt it would not be wrong to write a concern and express some a thought. And to get a response that will obtain knowledge and understanding. The book Hosea 4:6 is so true. This why I as a person always will research, because I was taught at a young age and according to scriptures. That I will know for myself, and that no one can just can say anything to me and I will just go by what they are saying.

  18. EDB says:

    I am going to say this it is very important to study to show thy approved. A person can obtain knowledge again there will be an understanding. Isaiah 5:13 There my people are gone into captivity; because they no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up thirst.

  19. Tiffanyraquel74 says:

    How come in the Cogic, License missionary,Deaconess missionary, and Evangelist missionary do not have the right to be apart of The General assembly? Why can’t Minister of music be a part of a license, The music make the church now days

    • admin says:

      The General Assembly does have limited number of District Missionaries as delegates. Each group of missionaries you mentioned can be delegates if they are elected as lay members which each jurisdiction can elect in limited numbers. Minister of Music is a title even though the individual can be a minister. The General Assembly is the body in COGIC which decides who can be a delegate

  20. MacV9 says:

    I know that credentials are being mailed out and many of my brothers and sister have receieved theirs. I am a new at this process. So my question:

    Is there a different process for new credential holders?

    Being that I haven’t received mine as of yet (08/23/16) is there a chance of rebuttal?

    • admin says:

      Before I answer that I want to reiterate, this site is not an Official COGIC site. However, if you have paid your report you can expect to receive one. Check with the people in your jurisdiction.

  21. WJP says:

    I know that originally Bishop Mason did not have a provision for women to become Ministers/Pastors under the COGIC. However, I know that there are a lot of women within the COGIC that are Pastors not because they are holding the church but because they started their own church. So, my question is can a woman become a Licensed Minister/Ordained Minister under the COGIC or are women limited to Licensed Evangelist or Missionary positions?

    • admin says:

      There is no provision for women to be licensed Pastors/Ministers. However the licensed Evangelist and Licensed Missionary are both clergy positions. Only Ordained Elders can be a Pastor, a licensed minister who starts his own church would be ordained before being recognized as a pastor. A licensed minister is the male counter part to a licensed missionary. What COGIC calls a missionary would be a minister in many other reformations. The exception is in foreign workers, many governments only recognize Ordination papers and those on the foreign mission field can be ordained.

  22. LadyJTP says:

    If a lady has already received a deaconess missionary license and has now wants to obtain an evangelist missionary license, is she required to have a background check and complete the online sexual misconduct course again?

  23. Jay Raynard says:

    First and foremost thank you for the information. Currently, I am an independent pastor who has been considering becoming a part of C.O.G.I.C. My question is,my wife and I purchased the church facility utilizing our own personal compay and we leased the church facility to the church body and it’s christian school. Can C.O.G.I.C still take possession of the church even if the church was purchased by a private entity?

    • admin says:

      It depends on how you are set up. If you have a legally drawn up lease agreement, not just a verbal one and as long as it is a tenant relationship that offers the most protection. Have everything dealing with the property operate in that tenant landlord sphere. Typically they would wait until you die to move on the property. It really depends on the character of your bishop

  24. Cogic Minister says:

    what is the process of becoming an ordained Elder .

    • admin says:

      In most cases, your pastor recommends the candidate to the bishop, there is usually a class and an appearance before the Jurisdictional Ordination Board. I he passes, he is then ordained most often and a jurisdictional meeting. Check with your pastor and/or bishop

  25. Annie says:

    Can a woman who’s husband was a former pastor invite another Bishop outside of the COGIC to ordain her as pastor of a COGIC? The jurisdictional prelate does not approve of this however she has hired another bishop (Not in the COGIC) to come and ordain her as pastor. Is this permissible?

    • admin says:

      No this is not permissible for two reasons.
      1. Only a COGIC Jurisdictional Bishop can appoint a Pastor and that only in his Jurisdiction.
      2. Only an Ordained Elder can be a COGIC Pastor, COGIC does not ordain women except in the case of a foreign country only recognizing credentials of Ordination to be a missionary or clergy member of any type in their country.

      For the wife of the former Pastor, just as the wife of the President of the United States becomes the former first lady and except for respect and honor has no authority, so it is with the former Pastors wife. She becomes the former first lady as soon as her husband is the former Pastor.

  26. Marian Polk-Gorden says:

    Our church is not affiliated with a jurisdiction. Can the credential reports be paid to directly go the National church

    • admin says:

      The official position is, you must pay through a jurisdiction. There may be a bishop who is willing to add you to their roster for the purpose of making a report.

  27. Servant says:

    Hello, my church was founded as a COGIC church in the early 1930s. We have recently decided to purchase a new church facility at a different location. Since we are moving the location of our church and the founding facility will still be standing but no longer in use by anyone, is it required under any COGIC laws that we must change our church name just because we are changing facilities?

    • admin says:

      There is no law that requires you to change your name. However, some bishops may believe they have a voice in your new property if you have any of the paper work associated with COGIC. They could have a claim on the founding facility but not the new one unless you put that info on your deed etc.

  28. Anthony Dean Shephard Sr. says:

    What if a Pastor of the local COGIC and its members have agreed to leave a district and its Superintendent.
    What are the proper procedures and can that request be denied?

    • admin says:

      There are no restrictions on moving from one district to another. It only mentions changing jurisdictions. Your bishop would be the only one who could approve or reject it. He does not need to approve a jurisdictional transfer.

    • diane says:

      I have a question if missionary license have not been paid in 3yrs what do I need to do?

      • admin says:

        Contact whom ever collects monies for the women in your jurisdiction,follow the normal procedures for your jurisdiction,let them know you would like to turn your report in late. It is most likely too late to get credentials from the National but that is the place to start. Make sure you put “National Credential Report” on the memo line

  29. Emmanuel says:

    Please, who is qualify to be COGIC Jurisdictional Bishop in Nigeria; a pastor, a supritendent, an elder or who?
    Also, who is qualify to vote for a jurisdictional bishop in Nigeria?

  30. Emmanuel says:

    Thanks. But you’ve not answer my question.

    Let’s agree that the General Board decides or elects the Jurisdictional Bishop.

    However, there must be criteria to select a jurisdictional Bishop?

    Besides, do you mean that it us the genera board in Memphis Tennessee that will choose a jurisdictional Bishop for us here in Nigeria?

    • admin says:

      I am sorry I wasn’t clear. The Presiding Bishop with the approval of the General Board chooses all bishops, then the General Assembly must approve his selection. He may accept recommendations from others, but he does not have to. The election is really just seeing who the people are willing to follow, however it is not binding. If the people are united in their choice there is a higher probability they will get the one they selected.

  31. Emmanuel says:

    Thanks for the reply.
    It’s helpful.

    Please who is an ordained elder in Cogic?
    Also is there any difference between an ordained elder, a licensed minister and a local church pastor?

    • admin says:

      Local Preachers
      The local minister should be personally convinced of his call to the ministry before being granted a license. He should be able to convince others that God called him to preach, possess a holy conversation, sound understanding of the things of God, and have a good report of those within and without. He must be willing to “study to show himself approved unto God, a workman that need not be ashamed rightly dividing the world of Truth.” He should be one that has served faithfully in attendance, tithing and offering and obedience to his pastor for at least one year before being granted a license.
      The licensed preacher continues to be a lay member of the local church and his license to preach must be renewed each year unless he has been ordained.
      The licensed preacher shall have authority to preach, conduct worship services, visit jails and hospitals, and may serve a pastoral charge under supervision of a superintendent on a temporary basis, if the need arises. No member is authorized to preach representing the Church Of God In Christ, without a license.
      A licensed Minister of a local church shall be ordained by the following procedure:
      a. He must first be recommended by his pastor to the Ordination Committee of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of which his church is an affiliate, and said pastor shall present the credentials and qualifications of the candidate to said Committee.
      b. If the Committee approves the application of the candidate after examination and investigation of his credentials and qualifications, it shall recommend his ordination to his Jurisdictional Bishop.
      c. If the Jurisdictional Bishop approves, he shall thereupon ordain the applicant, who thereby becomes an ordained elder of the church. Only an ordained minister may administer the ordinances of the church.
      Ordained Elder
      14. A licensed Minister of a local church shall be ordained by the following procedures:
      (a) He must first be recommended by has Pastor to the Ordination Committee of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of which his church is an affiliate, and said Pastor shall present the credentials and qualifications of the candidate to said Committee
      (b) The credentials and qualifications of the candidate shall include his moral, spiritual fitness and attested loyalty to the Church and he shall also be required to satisfactorily complete a prescribed course of study as recognized by the General Assembly.
      (c) If the Committee approves the application of the Candidate after examination and investigation of his credentials and qualifications, the candidate shall be recommended for ordination to his Jurisdictional Bishop.
      (d) If the Bishop approves, he shall thereupon ordain the applicant, who thereby becomes an Ordained Elder of the Church
      15. Only an ordained Elder may administer the Ordinances of the Church
      The pastor of a local church shall be appointed by the State Bishop of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of the Church.
      [In some cases the Bishop can appoint a minister, and ordain him afterwards. Since only an ordained elder can administer the ordinances (Communion, Baptism, Foot washing) and perform marriage ceremony the pastor must be an Ordained.]

      Jurisdictional Bishop
      1. The qualifications of a Jurisdictional Bishop shall be as follows:
      (a) He must be an Ordained Elder of the Church. (b) He must be in good standing with the Church. (c) He must be a man of ability, honesty, and integrity, and he shall be dedicated to the work and service of the Church.
      2. A Jurisdictional Bishop shall have the right to appoint and ordain Elders.

  32. Emmanuel says:

    God bless you.

  33. Emmanuel says:

    Peace be unto you the Admin.
    Well done for the great job you are doing for God here.
    Pls I have a very simple but highly sensitive question which I’ll appreciate if you’ll be able to answer me blatantly, without mixing words and in truth in accordance to COGIC stand, view, opinion, law, constitution or whatever lawful.

    Please the Admin, I’ll appreciate if you’ll help us do thorough research on this and give us a kind of answer that will be accepted in COGIC worldwide.

    Because this has to do with a brother having is own incorporated Evangelistic Ministry but still working greatly as a member and active worker of COGIC both at the local and jurisdictional levels. Even both in the youth dept (YPWW), Choir and the church as a whole.
    He pays dues and other necessary money required by both the local and the jurisdictional authorities.
    He is even presently the General Evangelist of the YPWW jurisdictional level.

    However, something happened of recent and some started criticising the man that he can’t have his own incorporated ministry and still be an active worker of COGIC.

    Please what is COGIC stand on this?

    His ministry is not affiliated to COGIC o. But he, despite being the president of the functioning ministry, remains a faithful and committed worker in the ministry; without joining the pastors talk less of collecting a dime from the church as a minister yet the church use him for such.

    Please sir/ma, just help us take your precious time to explain these to the highest authority in COGIC and let us know the stand of the church based on their conclusion or the constitution.

    The brother is ready to back out of the church if COGIC insist he must affiliate his ministry to COGIC or that he must dissolve his own ministry.
    His ministry is not new o. This year the ministry clocks five (5) years of being established. Likewise, he has been an active member/worker of COGIC since over thirteen (13) years, and as being useful to the COGIC authorities in different capacities.

    Please what is COGIC stand?

    Waiting for your reply.

    • admin says:

      I can only say what GOD says; Obey God. As Charles Stanley said, “obey GOD, and leave the consequences to him”.

  34. DW says:

    What are the duties of an elder in charge?

  35. L says:

    Can you please confirm whether any Officer leaving COGIC need to return any certificates given at the time of instalment and if so, what is the purpose of this?

    Thank you and God Bless

    • admin says:

      The credentials are issued by COGIC. Each organization has their own system. Many will accept them from other reformations. It does not mean you are no longer a minister, just no longer a Cogic minister. That being said, if you don’t hand them over how will they get them?

  36. Pastor Williams says:

    Question: I was a ordain Pastor in one Jurisdiction but have not being active with that Jurisdiction in over 5 years since that Bishop died, now I want to reactivate in a brand new Jurisdiction what do I need to do?

    • admin says:

      Talk with your bishop, he would have the Jurisdictional Secretary add you to his master list. You should probably produce your Ordination Certificate unless they know you in the area.

  37. Robert Harris says:

    Our district superintendent says reports are going to be going up for upcoming year. Why are so many saints stuck on COGIC when you have to pay to be in good standing, and the national does nothing for the small churches or saints but ask for more money. The churches in my district have not gained hardly any new members in two years. We have 30 programs a year just to raise report money.

  38. PM says:

    I have been an ordained Elder in COGIC in good standing for several years who is starting a church. I notice an earlier comment in reference to a church that’s not in a Jurisdiction. You suggested they pay their assessment to a willing Bishop. My questions. Do I have to surrender my credentials to my previous pastor while deciding on a Jurisdiction to join. Is there a certain amount of time to join a jurisdiction after forming a new church?

    • admin says:

      No to both questions. Your credentials are issued by the National Church and can only be involuntarily taken through the judicial process. Charges brought by a majority of members of your local church. There is no time limit to join a jurisdiction.

  39. ELC says:

    Does the Pastor of a local church have authority over the finances or does the treasurer have authority?

    • admin says:

      I think the best way to answer that question is 1 Corinthians 3:2–3 (AV)
      2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
      3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

  40. LaTerance Miller says:

    Can you give info on transferring credentials from one jurisdiction to another..

  41. LaTerance Miller says:

    for licensed ministers

  42. Pi says:

    We are having some concerns at my church. First the congregation does not want the pastor daughter in law in the office she gave her self an increase. By law can she be the church secretary? secondly our pastor has been very ill hasn’t preached in 6 months church wants an asst pastor doesn’t know how about to get one. The pastor son has taken over. So what can we do to take control of our church.

    • admin says:

      Yes she can be the church secretary, however no one can give themselves a pay increase without a business meeting etc. That makes her an employee of the church and an employee can’t decide to give themselves a raise. Is the pastors son an ordained elder? You can ask the bishop to intervene.

  43. Pi says:

    Yes he is ordained. So the general board can’t have her replaced? I thought that was a conflict being related to the pastor. The church never voted for the son to be in charge.

    • admin says:

      It would be the Jurisdictional Bishop who would deal with this. There are no nepotism rules in COGIC except a husband and wife can’t be the Jurisdictional bishop and State supervisor. The biggest potential problem is her giving herself a raise. The pastor can appoint anyone he wants unless your bylaws prevent it. Your best bet would be to get the bishop involved. Is the pastor expected to recover?

  44. Pi says:

    The son and daughter in law keeps it quite per his health. Our by laws read the only way we can get the bishop involved is we vote as a church. Also she signs checks with the stamp of the pastor is that ok to do so our church board can’t do anything.

    • admin says:

      Any single member can contact the Bishop, especially when the pastor is incapacitated. The stamp is legal as long as the pastor agrees. However there could be some civil laws being broken maybe embezzlement. If you believe that is happening, call the police

  45. Pi says:

    Our pastor just passed away we don’t have an assistant pastor what should we do

  46. Pi says:

    Also should we have a meeting?since he passed

  47. Pi says:

    How long does the church have before they have to pick a pastor after our pastor passed away? And who should pick the next asst or pastor of the church?

    • admin says:

      There is no time limit right now. the Pastor chooses the Assistant Pastor, the Bishop appoints the Pastor in cooperation with the district superintendent, and the congregation.

  48. Pi says:

    Can a elder be on a board

    • admin says:

      Yes, the only exceptions are the General Board and the Board of Bishops and gender specific boards; Mothers Board etc.

  49. KD says:

    Can a Missionary be ordained

    • admin says:

      No they cannot according to the current Laws of Cogic. The only exception is military chaplains because some foreign countries do not recognize what Cogic calls a missionary.

  50. Karen Harris says:

    What rights do the lay people have at their local church? The lay person (in this incident )pays tithes & offering, raised money for the church and youth, attend services as well as special services, teaches classes, she is (or was) the Jr. Mother and deaconess at the church. This person spoke up against use of profanity observe throughout a movie shown in the sanctuary to young and old; which was allowed by the Pastor,. She has been stripped of all titles, not allowed to teach or participate in activities at the church as well as all keys to the church requested to be returned. This lay person went to the Supt. of the district with no help. Is there a chain of command in order for the lay person to be heard?

  51. MillieB says:

    If A missionary, preacher or lay person does not tithe to cogic will their credential be taken away.

    • admin says:

      A layperson does not have any credentials, he/she answers to their local church. Tithes should only go to your local church, if there is an issue which prevents you from doing so, you should find another church where you can give as God has established. There is nothing in the Constitution which gives anyone the authority to remove someone’s credentials without a trial. They can however prevent you from participating in ministry at the local church, district level or jurisdictional level.

  52. Darryl Mack says:

    I have paid my report to receive my credential card and also I have had a trial sermon. I was told that I would get my Minister license and credentials card but I have not yet very disappointing I know there are processes to follow and have done what I was supposed to do but still know license and credentials card can you help me

    • admin says:

      All credentials and licenses are issued from Memphis. Check with your jurisdictional secretary to see if it was turned in. Also, any time you pay a report pay by check and put the info on the memo line.

  53. EH says:

    Within COGIC, is there a requirement for lay members who work with the youth in the local church required to have background checks, and if so where are the requirements written?

    Thank you

  54. Man says:

    Can A Pastor Leave The Cogic Demonation And Join Another Demonation And Come Back To The Cogic Demonation

  55. Man says:

    Can A 18 Year Be A Pastor In Church of god in christ

  56. MC says:

    Can a Pastor of the Church of God in Christ force members to follow the doctrine of a different denomination? How a situation of this matter be addressed?

    • admin says:

      No he cannot, that could lead to charges being filed. See
      Article VIII Church Discipline,
      Section B-Trials of Pastors of local churches,
      1. A Pastor may be tried for the Commission of the following offenses, to wit
      (d) Espousing doctrines repugnant to the Articles of Faith of the Church Of God In Christ

  57. Connie says:

    How can a new jurisdiction or region be established if churches which create a new one?

  58. COGIC Boy says:

    Can A Pastor Be Independent And Used The Church Of God In Christ Name

    • admin says:

      It depends, there are several Church of God in Christ denominations, however. each one is a corporation and to use the name requires you to be a member.

  59. LaSonya Booker says:

    What to do if the church have numerous fund raisers and none of the money is use for what the Pastor say it’s going to be used for; there is never and explanation as to what happened to the money. If you question The Pastor about it then you are operating in the Spirit of Jezebel. Do laymen have a right to look at the church books?

  60. Shannon Matlock says:

    Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hope this writing finds you in good health during these times. The purpose of my writing is I am an ordained Elder in COGIC. I no longer am attending the church I was a member at for many of reasons. I need to know if my credentials are still valid. I am still looking for a new church home as I’m writing this letter. Also if I find a church that is not COGIC what is the requirement of my credentials? If I find a church to be under watch is my credentials still valid? Can I just pay my report directly to Memphis? I just need to get some information concerning this matter. Thank you and God Bless!

    • admin says:

      If you have an ARC account, you can pay your National report online. If you are under watch care your credentials are still valid. Your credentials are for a COGIC Elder. If you join another reformation you would have to get their credentials. Do not turn in your COGIC credentials.

  61. Aaron says:

    Greetings one question regarding local church membership. Can a local pastor remove a member from the church or unilaterally transfer a member to the leadership of another pastor?

  62. Aaron B says:

    Can you local pastor remove and/or transfer an Elders membership under another Pastor/Bishop’s leadership?

  63. J. David says:

    Can you be a COGIC Pastor serve as pastor in a independent church, while pastoring a COGIC Church?

  64. Pastor B. Williams says:

    A curch’s pastor (who was a woman) died, but the name of the church carries COGIC (don’t know if that pastor did). A new pastor will take over and has no affiliation with COGIC either. Is the church legal to use COGIC? Please advise. Thanks

    • admin says:

      Cogic, Inc is a 501 c(3) corporation. Just as you cannot open a store and call it Walmart, it is a violation to use the name of a church you are not affiliated with. The Jurisdictional Bishop can take legal action and force them to stop them from claiming affiliation with Cogic.

  65. Thomas Westley says:

    What is the purpose of the National and Jurisdictional reports? What kind of benefits come with paying the reports besides receiving the card to show I am in good standing because I paid money. How does that determine good standing, when that is all you do?

    • admin says:

      The National reports fund the various things such as missions etc. but the bulk of it goes to paying what is called remunerations, the same is true of jurisdictional reports. Enoch Perry the then COGIC general counsel defined it by saying good standing meant you were financially supporting the church. It is ironic that a tongue talking, foot stomping, hand clapping church does not set adherence to the Word of God as a requirement for good standing but if you are financially supporting the “church”. There are no benefits period except for the warm and fuzzies you get from supporting leadership.

  66. Eld. Taylor says:

    Greetings! Who in C.O.G.I.C. has the authority to rename the local church?

    • admin says:

      That would be the local members in a special business meeting. The pastor would most likely communicate a desire to change the name but it would still need to be done in a special business meeting.

  67. Church Member says:

    Can a COGIC minister ever get ordained or become a pastor if he was convicted of a felony due to sexual harassment or rape?

    • admin says:

      It would be very hard, the individual would have to pass a background check which would most likely flag the conviction. All credentials come from Memphis now.

  68. Eld. Taylor says:

    Greetings once again! Can the local Church reject a Bishop’s appointment for a new Pastor?

    • admin says:

      Let me reply with what the manual says, on page 215 of the Official Manual. The consecration charge which the Bishop takes at the time they are consecrated as a bishop states the following;

      “The General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ has assigned to you, as Bishop the following duties:

      To function as the administrative head of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction to which you are assigned. To seek out and discover, in cooperation with your district superintendents and congregations, a suitable pastor for each congregation under your care.”

      This is how he has promised to choose a Pastor.

  69. Lisa says:

    1) Please advise on the definition of misappropriation of funds.

    2) Would that entail the 501c3 rules of restricted funds meaning if the donor has a directive for the funds does the church have to follow that directive

    • admin says:

      The definition of Misappropriation found in Black’s Law Dictionary is “The unauthorized, improper, or unlawful use of funds or other property for purpose other than that for which intended.”
      Yes if the donor has a directive for the funds it is a violation of law to do anything else with it. Also Misappropriate is a synonym of the word embezzle.

  70. Lisa says:

    Please advise on the difference of the Pastor having the right to appoint and remove officers versus church members having a right to nominate and vote for these officers. They seem to be conflicting statements. Can a Pastor form a committee of his choosing even when members verbally express disagreement when asked by the Pastor. No nominee no vote was granted to any member

  71. Lisa says:

    Does the Pastor have the right to solely decide what is done with the finances of the church and who gets blessed with these finances and how much?
    2) does the First Lady or anyone else not on the church bank account have the right to right, sign and cash church checks using church funds
    3) when asked to provide receipts for purchases and cash withdrawals of church funds does the Pastor have the right to decline members/ treasurer requests to do so

    • admin says:

      Let us do some research to provide you accurate correct answers. We will respond in 24 -48 hours.

    • admin says:

      Forgive the delay in answering, to the first question, the monies raised belong to the church not the Pastor except for what is designated for him. However as the leader he will have a lot of latitude as long as he does not violate state and federal law.
      It is a violation of federal and state law for church funds to be used for personal use. No one but the treasurer and financial secretary should have access to church money. Those who do as you stated above are in danger of jail.
      The COGIC constitution, federal law, and state law all affirm a members right to examine the finances of a non- profit corporation.

  72. Lisa says:

    Can a member/leader call a special church meeting to discuss concerns with other church leaders/ members if the Pastor disagrees because it would be to discuss possible wrong doing of the Pastor with church leaders?
    2) how do you make a accepts complaint having a majority of church members when the Pastor refuses to call a church member meeting to discuss the possible offenses therefore making it difficult to get a member majority but there is a leadership majority

    • admin says:

      In a case like that, the best thing to do is have a meeting at an individuals house. The way to do a complaint is to first have a draft and then see how many are willing to stand united on that issue

  73. Lisa says:

    My church is in desperate need of advice. The local jurisdictional Bishop has taken my pastor to court claiming ownership of our new church. We just built this church and now he wants it! He says it is his! What can we do???

    • admin says:

      Forgive the delay in response. That is not correct, the church belongs to the local members. The only way to remove a C.O.G.I.C. pastor involuntarily is by the internal C.O.G.I.C. judicial process. The bishop himself can face charges. To help you I need a contact phone number, the name of your bishop and pastor. Email it to admin@cogicjustice.net

  74. Phil says:

    How is a district superintendent removed from his position?

    • admin says:

      The District Superintendent would come under Article VIII, Section C. That is the same process as for a Pastor or Elder

  75. Ladie Neubian says:

    Is it biblical/morally correct to split up a jurisdiction after the main Bishop passes?

  76. Lee says:

    Can a license missionary in cogic perform marriages (marry 2 people)

    • admin says:

      No, in the Church of God in Christ only Ordained Elders, Pastors, and Bishops, (who are also Ordained Elders) can perform marriage ceremonies.

  77. J Davis says:

    The pastor dies, the members sells the property. Leases the church. Can they break ties with the Cogic and in addition change the name of the church?

  78. R. Johnson says:

    If the church membership decides to sell the church property and dissolve the church could the COGIC church come after the new property owners?

    • admin says:

      You must follow the rules which apply. If it is sold correctly according to Federal State and Cogic laws, there should be no problems.

  79. Carlisle says:

    Does the successor pastor have to follow the succession plan the founder and board approved?

    • admin says:

      No, the Pastor of COGIC is the CEO. If the rest of the board goes along with him he can change anything that was not part of a contract.

  80. Carlisle says:

    When one of the co-founders dies, what rights does the remaining co-founder (Evangelist) have if a new pastor is installed but he is not working out?

    • admin says:

      There are no co-founder rights in COGIC. The person who has the certificate of appointment is the one who has the rights. The only way to remove a COGIC pastor once he has been appointed is by the judicial process.

  81. COGICGirl says:

    Who can vote for a Jursidictional Bishop? Can Pastors, Elders, Evangelist, Missionarys, or laymember vote for Jursidictional Bishop? How long must you be a Pastor before your run for Bishop? Do you have to be a Superintedent to run for Bishop?
    Can you be come a COGIC Pastor with a minumum of three members? Can women run for the office of Bishop?

    • admin says:

      Only Pastors can be involved in the selection of a bishop. There is no time frame to be eligible to be a bishop, the only requirement is you must be a COGIC Ordained Elder or a Pastor. No, it is not required for one to be a superintendent first. There is no minimum membership number to be a pastor. No, in COGIC you must be an Ordained Elder to be a Pastor, or superintendent; only men can be Ordained Elders, which means only men can be become a bishop.

  82. Question says:

    In COGIC, do you have to be a licensed minister to preach & teach at your own local church and other church’s?

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