Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. II Corinthians 5:17-18 THE STORY OF "THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST" THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST is a Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in which the word of God is preached, ordinances are adminstered and the doctrine of sanctification or holiness is empasized, as being essential to the salvation of mankind. OUR CHURCH is commonly known as being Holiness or Pentecostal in nature because of the importance ascribed to the events which occurred on the Day of Pentecost, the 50th day after the Passover, or Easter as being necessary for all believers in Christ Jesus to experience. ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST, the first day of the week, the Lord's Day, Supernatural Manifestations descended in marvelous copiousness and power. The gift of the spirit in the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus to clothe those who would wait in Jerusalem with power from on high, was accompanied by three supernatural extraordinary manifestations. THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE of the Holy Ghost appealed first to the ear. The disciples heard a "sound" from heaven which rushed with a mighty force into the house and filled it-even as a storm rushes-but there was no wind. It was the sound that filled the house and not a wind, an invisible cause producing audible effects. NEXT, THE EYE WAS ARRESTED by the appearance of tongues of fire which rested on each of the gathered COMPANY. Finally, there was the impartation of a new strange power to speak in languages they had never learned "as the Spirit gave them Utterance." OUR CHURCH is also considered to be a member of the great Protestant body though it did not directly evolve from the European or English Reformation but had its origin with the General Association to the Baptist Church. ELDER CHARLES HARRISON MASON, who later became the founder and organizer of the CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, was born September 8, 1866, on the Prior Farm near Memphis, Tennessee. His father and mother, JERRY and ELIZA MASON, were members of a Missionary Baptist Church, having been converted during the dark crises of American Slavery. ELDER MASON was converted in November,1878, and baptized by his brother, I.S. Nelson, a Baptist Preacher, who was pastoring the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church near Plumerville, Arkansas. In 1893, he began his Christian Ministry with the accepting of ministerial licenses from the Mt. Gale Missionary Baptist Church, in Preston, Arkansas. He then experienced sanctification through the word of God and preached his first sermon in "Holiness" from II Timothy 2:1-3: "Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. On November 1, 1893, Elder Mason matriculated into the Arkansas Baptist College, but withdrew after three months because of his dissatisfaction with the methods of teaching and the presentation of the Bible Message. He then returned to the streets and to every pulpit that was opened to him declaring Christ by the word, example, and precept. IN 1895, Bishop Mason met Elder C.P.Jones of Jackson, Mississippi; Elder J.E. Jeter, of Little Rock, Arkansas; and Elder W.S. Pleasant of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, who subsequently became Bishop Mason's closest companions in the ministry. Jointly, these militant gospel preachers conducted a revival in 1896, in Jackson, Mississippi, which had far-reaching affects on the city. THE THEOPHANIC manifestations of the revival, which included the large numbers that were converted, sanctified, and healed by the power of faith and the dogmatic teachings of Bishop Mason on the doctrine of sanctification caused church doors within the Baptist association to become closed to him and to all those that believed and supported his teachings. So in 1897, when these pioneering, persistent preachers returned to Jackson, Mississippi, Bishop Mason was forced to deliver his first message from the south entrance of the courthouse. A Mr. John Lee, who desired to see Bishop Mason's ministry continue, provided the living room of his home the next night. Because of the overwhelming number that attended, a Mr. Watson, The owner of an abandoned warehouse in Lexington, Mississippi, gave his consent to transfer the revival meeting to the gin house on the bank of a little creek. This gin house subsequently became the meeting house for the Church of God in Christ. This miracle deliverance revival was such a success it stirred up the "Devil", causing someone to shoot five pistol shots and two double- barreled shotgun blasts into the midst of the saints while they were shouting and praying. Some persons were wounded, but miraculously, none of the shots were fatal. AT THE CLOSE OF THE MEETING, it was necessary to organize the people for the purpose of establishing a church with a stronger appeal and greater encouragement for all Christians and believers, a church which would emphasize the doctrine of entire sanctification through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. A MEETING WAS MUTUALLY CALLED BY ELDER MASON, Elder Jones, and Elder Pleasant, and sixty stood as charter members. Land was soon bought on Gazoo Street, from Mrs. John Ashcraft, just beyond the corporate line, upon which was built a little edifice 60x40. These charter members formed a pentecostal body known as the "Church of God." SUBSEQUENTLY, in 1897, while seeking a spiritual name which would distinguish the church from others of the similar title, the name "Church of God in Christ" was revealed to Bishop Mason while walking along a certain street in Little Rock, Arkansas. The following scripture supported his revelation: I Thessalonians 2:14, "For ye brethren became followers of the Churches Of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus: for ye have suffered like things of you own countrymen even as they have of the Jews." All of the brethren unanimously agreed to the name "Church of God in Christ" The following are excerpts from Elder Mason's personal testimony regarding his receiving the Holy Ghost. THE FIRST DAY IN THE MEETING I SAT TO MYSELF, AWAY FROM THOSE THAT WENT WITH ME. I BEGAN TO THANK GOD IN MY HEART FOR ALL THINGS, FOR WHEN I HEARD SOME SPEAK IN TONGUES, I KNEW IT WAS RIGHT THOUGH I DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT. NEVERTHELESS, IT WAS SWEET TO ME. I ALSO THANK GOD FOR ELDER SEYMOUR WHO CAME AND PREACHED A WONDERFUL SERMON. HIS WORDS WERE SWEET AND POWERFUL AND IT SEEMS THAT I HEAR THEM NOW WHILE WRITING. WHEN HE CLOSED HIS SERMON, HE SAID, "ALL OF THOSE THAT WANT TO BE SANCTIFIED OR BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, GO TO THE UPPER ROOM; AND ALL THOSE THAT WANT TO BE JUSTIFIED, COME TO THE ALTAR."I SAID THAT IS THE PLACE FOR ME, FOR IT MAY BE THAT I AM NOT CONVERTED AND IF NOT, GOD KNOWS IT AND CAN CONVERT ME..."GLORY!" THE SECOND NIGHT OF PRAYER, I SAW A VISION. I SAW MYSELF STANDING ALONE AND HAD A DRY ROLL OF PAPER IN MY MOUTH TRYING TO SWALLOW IT. LOOKING UP TOWARDS THE HEAVENS, THERE APPEARED A MAN AT MY SIDE. I TURNED MY EYES AT ONCE, THEN I AWOKE AND THE INTERPRETATION CAME. GOD HAD ME SWALLOWING THE WHOLE BOOK AND IF I DID NOT TURN MY EYES TO ANYONE BUT GOD AND HIM ONLY, HE WOULD BAPTIZE ME. I SAID YES TO HIM, AND AT ONCE IN THE MORNING WHEN I AROSE, I COULD HEAR A VOICE IN ME SAYING, "I SEE..." I GOT A PLACE AT THE ALTAR AND BEGAN TO THANK GOD. AFTER THAT, I SAID LORD IF I COULD ONLY BAPTIZE MYSELF, I WOULD DO SO; FOR I WANTED THE BAPTISM SO BAD I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I SAID, LORD, YOU WILL HAVE TO DO THE WORK FOR ME; SO I TURNED IT OVER INTO HIS HANDS. THEN, I BEGAN TO ASK FOR THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY GHOST ACCORDING TO ACTS 2:4, WHICH READETH THUS: 'THEN THEY THAT GLADLY RECEIVED HIS WORD WERE BAPTIZED,' THEN I SAW THAT I HAD A RIGHT TO BE GLAD AND NOT SAD. THE ENEMY SAID TO ME, THERE MAY BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. THEN A VOICE SPOKE TO ME SAYING, IF THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH YOU, CHRIST WILL FIND IT AND TAKE IT AWAY AND MARRY YOU...SOMEONE SAID, 'LET US SING.' I AROSE AND THE FIRST SONG THAT CAME TO ME WAS 'HE BROUGHT ME OUT OF THE MIRY CLAY.' THE SPIRIT CAME UPON THE SAINTS AND UPON
"We Are A Church Where Everybody Is Somebody!" New Beginnings, COGIC is a church of New Beginnings. Our members love Christ and we love people. We are dedicated to reaching souls for Christ. In a world that is rapidly changing, Christ is the only person who remains the same. Therefore it is our manifest destiny to spread the "Good News" of our Saviour. If you are ever in the Austin area, please stop by and fellowship with us. It will be an experience that you will never ever forget. Until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you in HIS holy will. "I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES AND HIS PRAISES SHALL CONTINUALLY BE IN MY MOUTH." OUR SYMBOL: The Symbol of the Church Of God In Christ, shown above, is an outgrowth of the Presiding Bishop's Coat of Arms which has become quite familiar to the Church. The design of the Official Seal of the Church was created in 1973 and adopted in the General Assembly in 1981 (April Session). The obvious GARNERED WHEAT in the center of the seal represents all of the people of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. The ROPE of wheat which holds the shaft together represents the Founding Father of the Church, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, who, at the call of the Lord, banded us together as a Brotherhood of Churches in the First Pentecostal General Assembly of the Church, in 1907. The date in the seal has a two-fold purpose; Firstly, to tell us that Bishop Mason received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in March 1907; and, Secondly, to tell us that it was because of this outpouring that Bishop Mason was compelled to call us together in November of 1907, to organize the Church Of God In Christ. The RAIN in the background represents the Latter Rain or the End-time Revivals which brought about the emergence of our Church along with other Pentecostal Holiness Bodies in the same era. The rain also serves as a challenge to the Church to keep Christ in the center of our worship and service, so that He may continue to use the Church Of God In Christ as one of the vehicles of Pentecostal Revival before the return of the Lord. This information was reprinted from the book"So you want to KNOW YOUR CHURCH" by Alferd Z. Hall, Jr. STATEMENT OF FAITH: WE BELIEVE the Bible to be the inspired and only infallible written Word of God. WE BELIEVE that there is One God; Eternally existent in three presons; God the Father; God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. WE BELIEVE in the blessed Hope, which is the rapture of the Church of God, which is in Christ, at His return. WE BELIEVE that the only means of being cleansed from sin is through repentenance, faith in the precious blood of Jesus Christ and being baptized in water. WE BELIEVE that regeneration by the Holy Sprit is absolutely essential for personal salvation. WE BELIEVE that the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross provides healing for the human body in answer to "believing" prayer. WE BELIEVE that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, according to Acts 2:4 is given to believers who ask for it. WE BELIEVE in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, by whose indwelling, the Christian is enabled to live a holy and separated life in this present world. AMEN.
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