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
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
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