The current interpretation of the constitution of the Church of God in Christ gives no rights to the local people whatsoever.   The Bishop is under no obligation to consider the desires of the people when it comes to a Pastoral appointment.  The General Board and the Board of Bishops defend this and all other rights of a Bishop extremely vigorously.

The trust clause is currently interpreted to mean the National Church owns the property.    In a court of law, the General Board and the General Council Bishop Enoch Perry III, contend the National Church owns all property, they are the National Churches representative in all matters, therefore…   Only the General Assembly can change that; they are the only law making doctrine expressing body in COGIC.

Here is the Official Manual of the Church of God in Christ in E-Format.

Here is the Green and White Book in E-Format. The certified amendments were the ones sent to the Secretary of State of  Tennessee as required by Tennessee CodeThe proposed amendments were never sent to the Secretary of State, a clear violation of the state law.  The Resolutions are not required to be filed because they do not change something that is in side the borders of the Charter (pages 1-39).  This is also the only part the court considers.



 If any of these links stop working please let me known and I will repair it. Thank You

Here is a PDF copy of all COGIC charters from the Tennessee Secretary of State:

The 1922 Charter, the  1926 Charter, the 1927 Charter, 1952 Charter, the 1968 Charter and the last one the 1972 Charter.


*This is information available from the Tennessee Secretary of State.

Here is the OFFICIAL MANUAL in PDF and the Green and White Book in PDF.  The Green and White Book is the one which has amendments ,(in Part II) that have never been filed with the Tennessee Secretary of State as required by Tennessee law (Tenn. 48-60-105 see below).   Some of these “amendments” were passed in 1982 and  are enforced in the Church but never filed, a violation of Tennessee State Law.

In the Church of God in Christ the words Constitution and Charter, are synonymous; it is the same document.   The Charter/ Constitution is a document which tells the state, how you operate and what your rules are.  That is why the state REQUIRES you to file the amendments with them.  Notice in the statute copied below the word “shall“; in the legal world that means there is no choice, you must do it.   It is a document of the state, not a religious document.

32 Responses to CONSTITUTION

  1. Elder Fred Morris, Jr. says:

    Can we please update the Official COGIC Manual asap. There are to many loopholes out there that some people use to get around some of our rules and regulations.

  2. Jerome Alan says:

    What book can I get in regard to the Cogic constitution. I’m specifically trying to find the 30 church rule to start a jurisdiction.

    • admin says:

      There is no book, this action was taken and approved by the General Assembly when the General Board no longer had the authority or power to create jurisdictions. That power rest solely with the General Assembly.
      the process consist of;
      1. A request to form a new jurisdiction is presented to the General Board. If it fits their criteria, they then send a request to the Standard and Extension Committee.
      2. The committee investigates which among other things consist of on site visit.
      3. Committee shows the Genral Board its findings and presents its report to the General Assembly for acceptance or rejection. As of 1990 or 1991, only the General Assembly creates, merges, or dissolves jurisdictions without regard to geographical boundaries.

  3. Phillip says:

    Can a superintendent be removed by a district or does it have to be the jurisdictional prelate directly?

    • admin says:

      Article VIII, Section C governs the removal of any Jurisdictional Official. A district does not have the authority to remove a superintendent, it can file charges using the procedure found in Article VIII, Section B.

  4. Jem- Anthony Mitchell says:

    Could a Cogic jurisdictional bishop be a pastor of a local pastor?

  5. Jem- Anthony Mitchell says:

    Could a Cogic jurisdictional bishop be a pastor of a local pastor? I’m a member of the church of God in Christ, inc. in the west African state called Liberia and this is troubling me; because since my birth, I ve been a full flesh member of this great church: Holy Temple Church of God in Christ and what I am seeing is quite different. Pls help me asap

    • admin says:

      No, the Bishop is not the pastor of a local pastor. There is nothing in the Constitution that gives the bishop that right.

  6. Dave says:

    Can a superintendent appoint a pastor? Can a church trustee board overturn the selection of a new pastor by the superintendent or bishop if their bylaws indicate the trustee board has final approval of the selection of a new pastor.

    • admin says:

      In COGIC, unless the bishop has given the superintendent the authority to do so, only a Jurisdictional Bishop can appoint a pastor. No, the trustee board cannot overturn the selection. However, your Bishop has given his word to the General Assembly that he would do the following “The General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ has assigned to you, as Bishop the following duties. To function as administrative head of the Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction to which you were 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 part of the Consecration Charge found on page 215 of the Official Manual

  7. Deborah Bass says:

    Is a copy of the current constitution available to membership? And how can we see a copy of the national church bylaws?

    • admin says:

      Although you hear them talk about bylaws, there is no document titled “Bylaws”. COGIC is governed by the Constitution found in the Official Manual, the Green and White Book and Article VIII-Judiciary Board. You have to look at all three of those, the latter have amendments in them. You can find each of those documents in the library section of this website

  8. Deborah Bass says:

    Where can I see rules governing Auxiliary Bishops?

    • admin says:

      Here is a link to a book written by Dr. Frederick Jenkins. It can be found in the library section under “Books written by Dr. Jenkins”.
      As a disclaimer Dr. Jenkins is in no way affiliated with this site

  9. A long time member says:

    Our church is legally filed with the state as an incorporated church. Our pastor passed away. Are we able to continue our church as a nondenominational church?

    • admin says:

      No; if you are a COGIC church, you can only leave with the permission of the General Assembly.
      Your bishop will appoint a pastor.

  10. Taya says:

    Where can I find the most recent copy of the COGIC manual?

  11. Souza says:

    Who can create a new jurisdiction? Does him or they has/have to consider General Assembly proceed? What are the precedents or documents that say about this competence?

    • admin says:

      At first the General Board created jurisdictions. When Bishop J.O. Patterson, Sr. died, one of the first things Bishop Ford did was carry out one of his final wishes; by amending the COGIC constitution. There were three readings and at the final reading the constitution was amended in April of 1990 and now reads;
      “Ecclesiastical jurisdictions shall be determined, established, consolidated or dissolved by the General Assembly, without regard to geographic areas or subdivisions. Such actions shall be considered upon the recommendation of a majority of the General Board. The General Board shall refer its request to the General Assembly’s Commission on Extensions.”
      This is found in what is called the Green and White Book/Ross Documents.
      As I stated, this was passed in April of 1990 and it can also be found in the April 1990 minutes of the General Assembly.
      So again, this amendment is found in the April 1990 minutes and also in the Green and White Book. This was an amendment not a resolution.

  12. vickie nowlin says:

    What does the COGIC Constitution say about Sheppardess?

    • Sentinel says:

      The COGIC constitution is silent when it comes to a Shepardess. That is a position that is made up but it allows a bishop to place a woman over a church under his supervision.

  13. Many states have recently adopted the new Non Profit Code which requires many changes for Church and Orgs. Especially those that’s been around for 50 years or more.
    In many causes they have eliminated the “religious society” status. For example, a church had until 2014 to opt out in D.C.
    Has the state of Tennessee adopted the new codes? Has anyone checked?

  14. Laura M Smith says:

    How to get copy of Church of God Christ Bylaws

    • Sentinel says:

      There is no document titled “bylaws”. The Constitution/Charter and what is found in the Green and White Book, as well as Article VIII-Judiciary Board are the governing documents. One can download each of these documents from the library section of this web site.

  15. . says:

    When will we place in the constitution that bishops appoint Women Chaplains completely affirmed Pastoral Congregational Leaders (appointed as Pastors of an already established church)? They have met the standards of a fully ordained clergyperson and have experience as pastors in the Military and Institutions.

  16. William says:

    When there is a vote for a new jurisdictional bishop, when does the 50 plus one rule apply? There were 4 people who ran for bishop, one person received 8 votes, one person received 7 votes, 1 person received 1 and another person received 1 vote. There was not a second vote. Does this go against the constitution and if so, what needs to be done to have a re-vote?

    • Sentinel says:

      A simple majority is what is required. It is rules of the General Assembly which would require a second vote. That is not a constitutional requirement. If the pastors put on a united front, it can Possibly get a second vote of the two with the highest votes. Please note this, this is a poll, not a vote.

  17. Tawone Gillespie says:

    what is cogic membership voting rights

    • Sentinel says:

      It is a representative form of government. Delegates to the General Assembly are elected by the people of their jurisdiction. Jurisdictional representatives consist automatically of Bishops, Supervisors. All Pastors, Elders can be delegates. Four District Missionaries and six lay delegates. These delegates elect the officers and create the laws.

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