The GENERAL COUNCIL OF PASTORS AND ELDERS was, as it exists today, created when the Church of God in Christ changed its form of government and amended its constitution in 1972.  I has a constitutional mandate and it exist to ensure the Pastors and Elders have access to a fair judicial system.  If this Council is weakened by politics, all Pastors and Elders are vulnerable.

The General Council is the Appellate Court to which a Pastor or Elder can appeal and adverse decision rendered by the first level of the COGIC Justice System; the Jurisdiction Pastors and Elders Council.

With the passage of Article VIII-Judiciary Board in 1991, the Appellate Court became part of the Judicial Branch.  It was only the Judicial Review Committee, not the entire Council.  Because of that, the Chairman of the Pastors and Elders Council is not over that part of the Judicial Branch.  For him to involve himself in their decisions and or functions is an act of Obstruction of Justice.

*UPDATE; In April 2013, the General Assembly passed a resolution that all Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council Officers; Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be elected by Majority vote of all Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders present and voting.  The only change in the resolution was the notification time of 30 days instead of 45 as shown in paragraph (a)*

Click below to view the full resolution

RESOLUTION #042013-3 passed in the April 2013 General Assembly Session

A while back I was asked the question if the Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Chairman was to be appointed or elected, my response was ,  election was not a requirement (a condensed version).  However, I was helped by a Supt. who said Bishop Blake asked for the Jurisdictional Chairman be elected.  Here is the paragraph from the November 2009 General Assembly Minutes, page 3, paragraph 3;

Thank you to that Superintendent.

New Jurisdictional Election Procedures

On the Official COGIC Website, on the General Council of Pastors and Elders link, there are new Election Procedures.  From the website here are the new procedures for Electing Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council Officers. 
Click here for the new procedures.

Here are the procedures in a different larger font

The purpose of the General Council of Pastors and Elders is defined in the Rules and Regulation manual under Article II;


1.          The General Council shall serve as an appeals court for the Church of God in Christ,  Inc., and it shall carry out those other duties and responsibilities delegated to it by Article V, Section A of the Constitution of the Church of God in Christ.

2.       The General Council shall, at its discretion, sponsor national and regional conferences.

3.    The General Council shall upon request provide assistance to Jurisdictional

Pastors and Elders Councils, in holding elections, in establishing trial procedures, and in formulating rules and regulations for their governance.

4.    The General Council shall not engage in any activities that violate the Constitution of the Church of God in Christ, or any laws adopted by the General Assembly.

The Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders is the first level in the Church of God in Christ.  It is important for the members of the General Council and the Jurisdictional Council to be active and informed.  Contact your chairman, ask for the latest copy of ALL rules.  Know what the proper procedures are.

Here is a copy of the Rules and Regulations

There is a new edition of the Official Handbook for the General Council of Pastors and Elders.  It became available during the Council session on Saturday during the Convocation.  One of the interesting things it does is outline some of the duties of the Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council.  Here are some of those duties;

Click here to find; How to file an appeal of a Jurisdictional Pastors and Elders Council Ruling

Click here for the  new General Council of Pastors and Elders Council Handbook for 2012 and in the library page of the site.


  1. Pastor Thomas Brito says:

    Greetings I the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I would like to order a copy of the Handbook and a copy of the Rules and Regulations for the General Council of Pastors and Elders. How may I obtain a copy of these writings?

  2. Harold Davis says:

    My Name is Pastor Harold Davis of the Greater First Cogic Knoxville Tn. I would like to know why the GCPE has not mediated a dispute between my local church and the General Board in our case that we won in the Judicary board as well as the General Assembly and the General Secretary office records reflect the ruling of the Judicary board and the constitution of the Cogic says their ruling is not up for review or scrutiny by anyone. but yet the General Board refuse to pull the civil case out of court. If the leadership don’t obey the constitution of our national church and its highest court and the ruling of the General Assembly, why do we have a constitution? Regards: Pastor Harold Davis

  3. Karen says:

    Hello, I am a member of my church and my question is; after speaking with my Pastor & members of his financial board, he informed me that if I have matters that raise concerns about his conduct that there is No Options to discuss with upper leaders. He informed me if I go above his hedd he will have me removed from the church because I will be considered sowing discord. On the other hand he has members looking at me as not on the “vision” team; which is not true. They claim I am a threst to any Pastor (according to a boatd member) I am smart, business minded & too aggessive; is bad news fir any church Is there other ways to discuss this situation with a higher leader? Or what are the protocol fir COGIC? #unfairnesswithout love.

    • admin says:

      If he has violated the rules found in the official manual he can be brought up on charges. Unfortunately COGIC is not very responsive to anything that will not cost them money. I suggest you start looking for another church in which the leader does not believe he is part of the trinity.

  4. Pastor Rodney C. Carter, Sr says:

    I am a Pastor in Mississippi Southern First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. My local church is New Life COGIC is Clinton, Miss.
    We are is good standing on all levels.
    During the 2018 April Call Meeting, a request was for a pastor to consider applying for a seat on the Judicary Board. I am very interested in serving on that board. If the opportunity to serve still
    exists, please advise me on application procedures. Thank you!

    • admin says:

      You would need to contact the nominating committee, I believe Elder Saffold is the chairman for any particulars.

  5. Stan Braunstein says:

    I am a member of Ten Island Baptist Church located in Ohatchee Al., the “pastor” of that church, Bruce Copeland, to my understanding got ran off from a local Methodist church for starting trouble and gossip within the church and is back at it in my church. Knowing that my gf and I were living together, Bruce had baptized us, which goes all laws in the Bible. My gf and I had put forth over $400 in one moth, building up the church food pantry, buying supplies and ect for the church. When our funds were exhausted, the pastor and wife had backed off from us, being kind and making us feel unwelcome. A few months after that, there was a rumor within the church that the women in that church felt uncomfortable around me, but didn’t give specifics. Instead of Bruce looking into this, he told my gf that we were not allowed back into the church. Well, since then, ive had noting to do with him until lastnight when Bruce had posted hateful, smashing, and lies on his Facebook about me, giving me a bad name in this small town. This is uncalled for and don’t know who to turn to for help. Note; since my gf and I had left that church, there has been only 3-4 cars in the parkinglot, which when we went there, it was almost full. The cars belong to his appointed, not ordained deacons

    • admin says:

      I am sorry for what appears to be an injustice, however, our area of knowledge is limited to the Church of God in Christ and the Bible

  6. Shanntell says:

    Good morning! I have a question about a COGIC Pastor that was recently taken down because of him and his wife going through a divorce. There was no infidelity and no abuse made by the pastor. The pastor’s wife left on her own accord for her own personal reasons that which had nothing to do with him. She left the children in his care and went on with her life. The pastor has offered couples as well as family counseling which all the wife has refused. This is the second time in she has left her family. Nine years ago, she left for about a year and half when he was just an elder in the church. Through counseling, they were able to work things out and remarry. Now five and half years later she has left again on her own free will. The Pastor immediately notified his presiding Superintendent, Bishop of what was going on. They set a meeting with the church’s congregation as a way to be transparent as to what was going on with the first family. The church decided to go on a fast for the first family and from that point, the church has been functioning as normal. The pastor has not changed anything about the church. He did still taught Bible study and preached on the power of the Holy Ghost not making any lessons or sermons about his situation. No one has left the church and everyone has operated in his or her position without wavering. A month later, without any formal charges being brought up against the pastor, he was taken down from his position as the pastor of the church. As a person actively attending this church and sowing into this ministry, this situation deeply concerns me. How was the pastor taken down without charges being brought up against him? Why was he taken down if he has done nothing wrong? Does we as the members of the church not have a say in what is going on with our leadership? The first lady made a decision to not just leave her family, but also leave us as the church. How does the jurisdiction leaders now take away our pastor without cause? We would like to know if this decision in agreement with the COGIC bylaws. Does the Bishop has any merit to take down a Pastor just because he is going through a divorce? Thank you for your time in this matter. Blessings

    • admin says:

      That is absolutely a violation of the COGIC constitution/charter. The bishop himself can be brought up on charges for this violation. I would strongly suggest the pastor and members of the congregation file charges against the bishop. The only way a pastor can be involuntarily removed is by trial. Only the pastors members can bring charges against him and that must be a majority. The bishop cannot bring charges.

  7. Joseph says:

    I’m pastor and minister, now I’m in India I’m originally Indian I was working in the US. As minister with Ywam. I’m looking for attend pastors and elders conference, is any up coming conference coming. Can I attend for that.

  8. Patricia Flood says:

    Should unsigned false allegations against a pastor be investigated ior dismissed? How do they go from alkegations to charges? Why does mefuation appear to be a trial?

    • admin says:

      No, all charges against a Pastor must be written signed, and brought by a Majority of the LOCAL church members. Verbal allegations can not be grounds for an investigation. Could you clarify your last question?

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