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 using Article VIII, Section B. 

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 using Article VIII, Section A.  The church could then be tried by an Ecclesiastical Council consisting of five (5) Pastors appointed by the Jurisdictional Bishop based on the findings on the investigating committee.  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; Article VIII, Section A

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

Trials of Jurisdictional Officers;  Article VIII, Section C*

  1. The Trial of Jurisdictional Officers, except Jurisdictional Bishops, shall be the same in all respects as that of a Pastor The decision of the Jurisdictional Assembly shall be final. (*As found in the Official Manual)

This is contrary to what is believed, most believe the bishop can remove them at will.  This is not true, Article IV, paragraph.

5.  Each Jurisdictional Bishop shall have the right to appoint and or remove District Superintendents. Departmental heads and all other State officials in his Ecclesiastical jurisdiction, unless otherwise provided for by this constitution.

Offenses for which a Bishop may be tried; Article VIII, Section D

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?

  13. Erin Gray says:

    I would like to file an Official Complaint against my former pastor for sexual misconduct? I need to know the proper procedures to file so it does not get thrown out if filed incorrectly? Is there a certain form or guideline you can help me with please?

    • admin says:

      You must have proof, in this case be a credible witness. You are asking people who do not know the details to believe you. Present your case in a credible fashion. No hearsay, in the case of Sexual Misconduct. It should be drawn up like a legal complaint, not just a letter saying he did such and such.
      1. A Pastor may be tried for the Commission of the following offenses, to wit
      (a) Repeated failure to abide by the laws, rules and regulations of the Church Of God In Christ:
      (b) Misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance, in office;
      (c) Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude in a Court of Law.
      (d) Espousing doctrines repugnant to the Articles of Faith of the Church Of God In Christ;
      (e) Personal Misconduct
      (f) Misappropriation or misuse of the funds of the Church;
      (g) Conduct unbecoming of a Minister of the Gospel
      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.
      (b) The Clerk of the Assembly of said Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction shall submit the charges to the Jurisdictional Bishop who shall appoint an Investigating Committee of not less than three (3), not more than five (5). members to examine the facts and ascertain whether there are reason- able grounds for having the Pastor brought to trial.
      (c) The Investigating Committee shall report its findings and recommendations to the Jurisdictional Bishop, and if it reports that the charges are without merit the trial shall be dismissed by the Jurisdictional Bishop, and notice of the dismissal shall be sent to all interested parties including the General Secretary.
      (d) If the Investigating Committee finds and determines that the Pastor should be tried it shall submit its recommendations to the Jurisdictional Bishop, who shall refer the case to the Elders Council of the respective Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction and the Secretary of the Elders Council shall give written notices to all principal parties and a copy of said notices shall also be filed in the office of the General Secretary at the National Headquarters, Memphis. Tennessee, and said notices shall be given at least twenty (20) days prior to the time the Eiders Council set the matter down for trail.
      (e) The Parties shall have the right to be represented by Counsel, who shall be members of the Church Of God In Christ but said Counsel may be advised by non-members of the Church.
      (f) Decisions of the members of the Elders Council by a majority vote shall be necessary to sustain the charges and find the Pastor guilty of committing the alleged offenses.
      (g) In the event the charges are not sustained, the complaint shall be dismissed. But if the charges are sustained, it shall render its decision or enter a Decree, as follows:
      (1) It may order that the Pastor be placed on probation; or
      (2) It may suspend the Pastor for a definite period of time; or
      (3) It may remove him from office and declare the pulpit vacant; or
      (4) It may render such other decisions or decrees as justice may demand or as it may determine to be in the best interest of the Church Of God In Christ.
      (h) In the event a Pastor is dissatisfied with the decision or decree of the Jurisdictional Elders Council, he may appeal to the General Council by filing notice of appeal within thirty (30) days from the final decision of the Elders Council of the respective Jurisdiction.
      (i) The General Council shall review the case and render its decision by a majority vote of the delegates and members present and voting
      (j) The Jurisdictional Bishop shall execute the orders and decrees of the General Council

  14. Erin Gray says:

    May I please have your E-Mail address so you can assist me please? Thank You!

  15. Raymond says:

    One pastor of a church file a case against me but he made a false statement and accusation the case was ordered dismissed by a judge and i won the case. He make wrong statement and slander words. He is a pastor of a Christian Church in California. Does he represent Misconduct as a minister and reboke his license as a Pastor?

  16. Concerned says:

    The pastor called pacific power and told them he was a customer at my address and asked them to turn off my lights with out my knowledge theR is a guy living in my home that has a bad heart . Iwhy would he lie .i did not give him permission . I thought a pastor was to help people

    • admin says:

      Everyone who holds the title is not a shepherd. Some are hirelings, in it for the money. If they repent, a hireling can become a shepherd and a shepherd can fall and become a hireling.

  17. Jeremy says:

    This guy named pastor Nick he sent me a Gmail message pulling a scam on me wanted me to sow a seed to help him with his ministry all he wants to do is scam people. He’s not interested in people’s lives he’s just interested in their money and scamming them out of it.

    • admin says:

      As children of God, we must use discernment whenever we join ourselves to a ministry. we are responsible to make sure the ground we sow into is good ground.

    • DAVID PIMENTEL says:

      Jeremy, my name is David and I know of a similar situation where the pastor is corrupt and simply does not care for others just for himself. Pastor Jesse is a selfish, greedy, cold-hearted man with an inflated ego. Jesse has accumulated some wealth (vehicles, property, etc.) Which has corrupted his character leaving him morally bankrupt. I’ve been homeless for a couple of years and friend if mine took me to his church couple months back. Next door to the church they also had a men’s home/shelter. Jesse told me I could share a room with another man and the rent would be $550 (yes, a bit much for a bunk bed and no privacy but I didn’t care). I already had a full time job and bought myself a vehicle so I just needed a place to live. Well two weeks after I moved in, i had a pool repair (pool equipment repair in Sunday and missed his service. Jesse was so butt hurt, he kicked me out. Didn’t return my money, changed the locks and didn’t allow me to get all of my things. He’s an imposter and has no business being a pastor or any spiritual leader.

  18. Jimmy Brown says:

    I would like to speak
    some one to discuss actions in the church, which was hurtful ,
    The Complaint against true Vine Church of God in christ in Douglasville Ga.

  19. Gabriel D. says:

    my question is….If i wanted to remove my church i started from under COGIC and my Property which i own from under COGIC. how would i do that

  20. Jackie O. says:

    We changed our bylaws 4 yrs ago trying to remove ourselves from the COGIC. We recently found out that though we used an attorney it was not done correctly; the membership did not vote on the matter only the Trustees.

    One of the Trustees at our church is unhappy with how we are operating. Thus, he went to the Juris. Bishop to report us. (This Board member voted with us to change the bylaws). The disgruntled trustee posted a notice on the bulletin board with the date, time, and statement “The Bishop is coming to answer your questions.” The Pastor nor any other Board member was aware of the meeting. On Saturday, the Bishop came to our church with his admin. assistants. One of his admin. asst. read Section D, 1-4. He then stated are charter was invalid. Our Jurisdictional Bishop also dissolved our Board of Trustees.
    Is this legal? If not, what remedy is available to us?

    • admin says:

      He cannot dissolve the trustee board. There is a procedure to withdraw from COGIC that must be strictly adhered to. You must obtain permission from the General Assembly. It must be a vote of the full membership. You must notify the General Secretary at least 30 days prior to the vote. There are other requirements but the short answer, your board did not follow the proper procedures. You must be prepared to file charges against the bishop if he will not rescind the removal of the trustees. However he was right in you did not follow procedure. Also were the trustees voted in?

  21. Jackie O says:

    No, the Board was not voted in, which I assume means that the trustee board was not valid.

    Thank you for your reply.

    • admin says:

      If the trustees were appointed, that is how they can be removed. However. trustees are supposed to be voted in according to the laws of your state

  22. Constance Smith says:

    I want to report a pastor for misuse of church funds. I’m not a member of his church but I am a member of another COGIC church in the same jurisdiction as this Pastor. I know for a fact that he have used the church account/funds to pay his rent and I have copies of the checks

    • admin says:

      Complaints must come from a majority of the members of his local church. The procedures found in Article VIII, Section B must be followed.

  23. Rob says:

    What does the term “Personal Misconduct” mean. Is that referring to sexual misconduct, I would also like to know what they mean by malfeasance, misfeasance in office (I know what nonfeasance is)

    • Sentinel says:

      Personal Misconduct just simply means stuff a preacher should not do. It would be impossible to list all of the individual things that this would cover. Mis-, they did something they were authorized but in a wrong manner. Mal- they did something they were Not authorized to do.

  24. Olympia Robinson says:

    I’m trying to help a cogic church member who has had funds misappropriated get them back as they are now under hardship and the church is ignoring the situation. This church in particular is operating under a suspended 501 c3 and taking tithes and donations via the pastors cash app. What can I do to help this person?

  25. CliffordKempJr says:

    My name is Minister Clifford Kemp from Houston,Tx I want to file a complaint against a Pastor by the name of Darnell Harrison who Pastor a church in Slidell Louisiana I have text messages to prove that this guy is a homosexual and I’m not comfortable with the messages I have that is a disgrace to the pulpit and the people of God and as a Baptist Preacher I don’t play that

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