When it is said COGIC is hierarchical we are told it means it is Ecclesiastical, that the Presiding Bishop appoints the Jurisdictional Bishop, who appoints the Pastor.  That side of the coin is true.

Abraham told  Abimelech king of Gerar  that Sarah was his sister.  That also was only a part of the truth.   That side of the coin was true.
“And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.” (Genesis 20:11–12, AV)

For Abraham, the other side of the coin was Sarah was his wife, it was out of fear he deceived Abimelech but when confronted he told the whole truth.

For COGIC the other side of the coin is LOCAL CHURCH OWNERSHIP.  We are not told, in the eyes of the civil court ALL PROPERTY IS HELD IN TRUST FOR THE NATIONAL CHURCH, NOT THE LOCAL CHURCH.  This is the way the civil court defines it.  Because of a case in Kansas, where the Kansas Appeals Court made a finding that COGIC is hierarchical, therefore it does not matter who paid for it, it does not matter if there were no state or national monies used.  It does not matter if you are incorporated, it does not matter if you have your own 501 (c) 3 number.   Page 17 of the decision say;

“As this court held in New Jerusalem, “a continual, longstanding, and formal affiliation with the National Church . . . is sufficient to support an implied trust in favor of the National Church.” 26 Kan. App. 2d at 580. Thus, under New Jerusalem, the COGIC continued to be entitled to possession of the property regardless of the corporate status of the local church.”

When the court says COGIC, it only means the National Church.


In the April 2014 General Assembly meeting, a resolution to amend  Article III, Section B, General Assembly Section D paragraphs 8 and 9 that the local members would have exclusive ownership of the local church was presented and read by the Constitution Committee.  This can be found on page 12 of the April 2014 Minutes, and also found in  Attachment H as one of the resolutions presented.  Here is the proposed amendment as read and found in Attachment H.  Don’t be surprised if some leaders try to change it.

Read the Proposed Amendment

As of this date, January 2022, this has languished after being tabled, and those who control the flow and operation of the General Assembly has not brought it forth.


  1. Kimberly says:

    So does this actually means that everyone that joins under the umbrella of the COGIC looses ownership of their building. If so why don’t they let pastors know this up front. A Matter of fact why don’t they give pastor the bylaws/constitution of the church, because it’s not in that black book, that’s not constitution that doctrine in the black book. Is this deception or what?

    • admin says:

      You retain legal title, however the trust clause essentially means you purchased the property and gave it to them. So yes.

      • Elaine says:

        how does one prevent this from happening? I know G.E. Patterson wrote his paperwork up different and so did my uncle. They retained ownership of their churches, my uncle left COGIC, and they couldn’t keep his church because of how he said Bishop G.E. Patterson told him to. Any knowledge on how to write it up where your church is not in the trust?

  2. Kimberly says:

    How can you get a copy of the green book

  3. Kimberly says:

    I understand COGIC takes ownership of your building after you come up under the umbrella of their name. Question: What happens if your ministry is in your home and you possibly wanted to pull out of COGIC? Would COGIC take ownership of your home?

    • admin says:

      They would not. The deed to your home would be in your name, not the churches. It is only if the church building is valuable (also usually paid for)and it depends on the character (or lack of) the bishop. The National Church does not usually initiate these takeovers but if the bishop starts it they will not stop him. A church that is small enough to operate from a home would most likely be allowed to leave.

  4. Kimberly says:

    What are the necessary steps that a church has to take in order to leave COGIC?

    • admin says:

      One question, is there a Pastor appointed by a Cogic Jurisdictional Bishop? If there is, Article III, Part II, Section D, sub-paragraph 5; (page15 of the Official Manual) says you can sever your ties by and with the permission of the General Assembly.

  5. Terry says:

    If a bishop appoints a woman that’s a widow to the founder of the church as a Shepardess, which serves as a primary pastor but is not the pastor in her local church, what rights does she have in the church, and can her property be taken if the Jurisdictional bishop is really the pastor and she’s the shepard only?

    • admin says:

      Under the COGIC Constitution, (found in the Green and White Book), the Bishop maintains the supervision of the church until he appoints a Pastor. The Shepherdess is his designee, (she is not the Pastor) his representative and acts under his authority. As his representative, her rights are vested in the Bishop and outside of that there are no rights expressed or given in any of the COGIC documents. When you ask “can her property be taken”, when a new Pastor is appointed she becomes the former first lady or the founders wife. This is to show respect for the work and sacrifice she and her husband have made. There is no transfer of ownership as with your personal home, car or business. Except as a member of the congregation she has no claim to the property, real or otherwise.

  6. Terry says:

    When, if ever, will a woman have the right to become a legitimate pastor of a church in the COGIC organization? What steps have to be initiated in order pursue the modification of the COGIC Constitution and/ Bylaws, etc… in order for this process to potentially take place?

    • admin says:

      Only the General Assembly can make that change. As a member in good standing of COGIC, anyone can contact the Resolution Committee and put forth an Amendment. Dr. Diana Banks is the Committee Chair.

  7. Bishop TL Green says:

    if you are already a Bishop with all the legal documents stating thereof and want to join the church of God in Christ can you maintain you title and position as a Bishop

    • admin says:

      That would be at the discretion of the Presiding Bishop. Bishops are appointed by the Presiding Bishop,with the approval of a your majority of the General Board and subject to the will of the General Assembly. If the Presiding Bishop accepts your documents, he may bring you in as a Bishop. There are two types of Bishops in COGIC, Jurisdictional and Auxiliary. A Jurisdictional has a number of churches he supervises, an Auxiliary may assist the jurisdictional but it it at the Jurisdictional Bishops discretion. The color of the clergy shirt is different, a Jurisdictional Bishop may where the purple shirt or rabat (except in the presence of the Presiding Bishop or his superiors) while the Auxiliary Bishop is restricted to the black clergy shirt. If you are bringing in a group of churches, an ecclesiastical jurisdiction can be established of which you could be the Jurisdictional Bishop. If not you most likely could be an Auxiliary Bishop. See pages 100-107 of the COGIC manual.

    • Rex says:

      To Bishop T L Green, Be careful what you ask for when wanting to join the Grand Ole COGIC. If you transfer to glory before the Lord’s return, the COGIC’s top leadership and the good ole boys may try to seize your church from your members if it has any desired equity. COGIC is embroiled in lawsuits across the country in which they claim the National Church is the rightful owner of local church property. If you still want to be a part of us that bad, I would suggest that you do not put the COGIC name on your building, bank accounts, or corporate structure. Do not mention COGIC in your articles of incorporation or your church by-laws. Before you join COGIC, amend your articles of incorporation and by-laws to state that all of your church real estate and assets are the exclusive property of your corporation and subjected to no other. When you pay for your annual COGIC ministerial credentials (license) write a personal check to your jurisdiction never one from your actual church. A lot of the younger educated pastors have been doing what I just outlined to protect themselves from COGIC’s Greedy Bums ooops the proper title is General Board.

  8. John Wright says:

    From what I have seen the auxillary Bishops are nothing but glorified titles given to preferential people. Bishop Blake made his brother J.A. Blake Jr. an auxillary bishop an he does absolutely nothing. Then, Mother Barbara McCoo Lewis’s husband, James Lewis, a long time friend of Blake, was made an auxillary bishop but he had given up his church due to serious illness. Cogic is so wrapped up in all this title mess that they have strayed from God and the Spirit of humility. Cogic wants to be so much like the Catholic church but at least their auxillary bishop really have a function.

    • admin says:

      You are correct. They are not the assistant to the Jurisdictional Bishop, they have the title and the increased report assessment but nothing else. When you love titles, seek after them you can be bought. You have never seen any of these new Auxiliary Bishops take a strong biblical stand on anything.

  9. carl peterson says:

    I love this great church and respect its leadership,however the ” held in trust ” IS killing these local Trustees and Pastors. who are getting no help from The National or State level. We have to change this law to benefit the local church and its members. The General Assembly needs to move on this abuse to the local churches. All the money goes up.Put nothing comes back to help the local churches. ” this is so unfair”!!!!!!!

    • admin says:

      There was a resolution to amend the constitution presented and read in the April 2014 meeting. It is also in Attachment H of the minutes. It has not been allowed to come up again, we should respectfully insist it come up again as written and allowed to proceed.

  10. Pastor Carl peterson says:

    If a local church vote to sell their building because of deteriorating problems. And find a safer building. Can The Jurisdiction Bishops Block the sale.because he want too? If the majority of the church vote yes & the trustees board has its own corporate papers and the deed are not in Jurisdictions name and never gave the church one dime??? Also what is the proper procedures for church transfer to another Jurisdiction Bishop if your in the state? Thank you for your support.

    • admin says:

      This question has come up enough, we created a page with the procedure which can be found on the General Secretaries web site.
      Go to the Library Tab, click on “How To Transfer A Local Church”. You will find the procedure.

    • Christine McCarty says:

      I strongly suggest the revenue of the COGIC be investigated.With over 6 million members, (Bishops, pastors, elders, missionaries, lay members, etc.), and their assessments, where is all the money going? Something to think about.

  11. Clarence Whitsett says:

    the last 3-4 yrs my pastor has become sick and no longer to function as pastor.Our bulding is in disrepair. It has since been closed,can any money be funded for repair, so we can reopen.

  12. Gary Gatlin says:

    Can I get a copy of the green book?

    • admin says:

      I believe the COGIC bookstore is selling them again. You can download it from this web site if you just want a digital copy.

  13. Sonya Davis says:

    Our pastor passed away in September 2021. We had no assistant pastor. We used a few pastors that were not COGIC affiliated to continue our services because there are several churches in our jurisdiction without pastors and there is a limited available pool of COGIC pastors. The Bishop of our jurisdiction stated we had to use pastors within the COGIC family even though the pastors we used were friends of our deceased pastor and had preached at our church before. The Bishop has been spreading himself thin conducting services at some of these churches, including his home church. Do we have any rights in the matter? We weren’t asking to appoint anyone. We just wanted someone to officiate our services. We are very small congregation, less than 25 members. We have a mortgage on our church and checking/savings account. Our past Pastor had spoke about us leaving the COGIC church and starting a nondenominational church. We never proceeded while he was living. What rights do we have? If we leave COGIC will we have to forfeit our bank accounts and mortgaged property?

    • admin says:

      Currently depending upon the character of your bishop, he could come after your property. It is the bishop’s responsibility to have someone there to minister to the flock. Put the ball in his court, if he wants you to use cogic ministers, it is his job to get them there.

  14. R E Johnson says:

    Greetings. Thank you for keeping this site up-to-date, monitoring its content, and taking time to answer our questions

    Can a ministry operate within a building that has members which is under the COGIC family and have separate membership with COGIC?

    • admin says:

      Can you explain a little more, I am not quite sure what you mean.

      • R E Johnson says:

        Thank you. This is the best scenario that represents my question:

        Think of the Arena that house the LA Lakers and LA Clippers. Both are members of the NBA, share the Same Arena, but are separate franchises. When they play each other, or other teams, the ‘Home’ Team is distinguished by the decorative colors, banner name and game floor insignia. However, fans of both teams attend games.

        We considering to have a Separate Affiliation Membership with COGIC, under all applicable laws, share the same building, without interfering or diminishing the Current Church’s membership. Furthermore, we would not have any ownership or rights, to the building, or access to its finances.

  15. A Member says:

    Hello. If our church deed shows it was granted back to the local township, and does not contain the trust clause, does that mean the township owns the church? Also, can we close the church without going through COGIC steps?

    • admin says:

      I suggest you contact a lawyer familiar with real estate. If the land did revert to the township, it would be a surprise if COGIC tried to place any claim to it.

  16. Royce says:

    Are their legal Advisors (within our church) that would offer legal assistance to members (subject matters) not dealing with church matters (wills, trusts and property) matters?

  17. John Brown says:

    Can an auxiliary Bishop be elevated to Jurisdictional Bishop in the COGIC?

  18. Erik says:

    Our church has been under the presence as COGIC but our late Pastor has our 501 3 c listed as Baptist. If we allow the COGIC Bishop to appoint a new Pastor, would they have any legal claims to our building?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.