IS THERE JUSTICE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST?

September 13, 2016

PACIFIC MOUNT OLIVE COGIC, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

WHO OWNS THE LOCAL CHURCH, LOCAL MEMBERS OR THE NATIONAL CHURCH?

This is a question that is being asked across the country in the Church of God in Christ.  Bishops seem to believe the National Church owns the property and because they are the National Church’s representative, they manage these so called ownership rights.

Local churches and, pastors are leaving the Church of God in Christ.  They are leaving because they see no benefit in laboring to develop a strong congregation whose assets are vulnerable to the intrusion of those who have contributed nothing to its well being, or  establishment. Can we validly insist on authority without any investment, withdrawals without any deposits?” (Why I Stood For The Defense In Orlando; Bishop Charles E Blake)

In the Church of God in Christ, many of the local members believe ownership of the local church rest with them.  They believe, they purchased, repair, and pay all the bills means ownership.  That is not what the leaders of COGIC believe.  We are still asking the question;Can we validly insist on authority without any investment, withdrawals without any deposits?”

Here is a list of churches where the people are in civil court because the National Officials believe (in the words of Bishop Blake)   the trust creates ownership rights for COGIC, Inc. which they can exert and manage [Read Letter].

  • Greater First Knoxville, Tennessee– By using deception and half-truths Bishop James Scott with assistance from Bishop Blake is trying to take over this church. It is all about the Benjamin’s ($100 dollar bills).
  • Pacific Mount Olive Los Angeles, CA – Bishop Hackworth and Bishop Blake , with the use of deception, half-truths are trying to oust these members from their Church and all PMO property. [Read Chronology]
  • Bishop Brandon Porter– At Williams Temple Houston, Texas, Bishop Brandon Porter, in violation of Texas statutes has held a bogus vote and removed the duly elected Board of Trustees, refused to perform a count and is trying to steam roll over the people.  A letter was sent to Bishop Blake and other COGIC official which fell on deaf ears.[Read Letter]
  • Bishop David Hall – Bishop Hall sued a church there in Memphis seeking control over the church’s real and personal property.  His suit was dismissed, Bishop Hall appealed and the dismissal was affirmed. [Read Order]
  • Bishop Matthew Williams – Is suing the Remnant Church in Tampa, Florida which wants to leave COGIC.  This story was reported by the Tampa ABC affiliate TV News.

In the April 2014 General Assembly meeting the Constitution Committee presented and read an amendment which would end all of this madness.  The amendment which is included in Attachment H, calls for the local church to have exclusive control and ownership of the local church.  It does not change or modify in any way the appointment of the Pastor.  For whatever reason, this amendment has not been allowed to come forward anymore.  It is not known if that is because Bishop David A. Hall is now the chairman of that committee or not.  This amendment would eliminate most of the lawsuits such as the ones listed above.  If the local people build it, pay for it, maintain it, it is only logical that they should own it.  Again this amendment has been read once, do not allow it to be weakened.

From the April 2014 General Assembly Minutes Attachment H

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April 13, 2014

COGIC, A HIERARICHICAL CHURCH?

The other day I heard someone say, the Church of God in Christ is a “hierarchical church”.   The word “hierarchical” is used in more than one way.

One meaning is as the person said, the power is vertical, meaning the Presiding Bishop is over the Jurisdictional Bishop, who is over the Superintendent and the Pastor.

The other and most devastating usage is that used by the civil court.  The civil court does not care about the leadership structure.  They deal with property ownership.  To the civil court, in a hierarchical church, the National or parent organization OWNS the property and the local people purchase it and maintain it as a gift to the National Church.  The US Supreme Court used the labels Congregational and Hierarchical for the first time in the infamous case WATSON Vs JONES, and since it benefits the National Church, they all said Amen.

A Hybrid would use parts of both systems.  For property ownership, it could use aspects of the Congregational system.  Combining the two systems would give you the HYBRID

The General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ can define itself.  You can say what type of Government or as a lawyer would  say “polity” your church has.

Concerning property ownership, The Church of God in Christ lets it’s members believe the local church owns the property: (Congregational).  Concerning the leadership structure, I think Bishop Blake in his wisdom said it best

“Thus, the structure is not a pure hierarchy; it is a “hybrid structure”   in which power flows both upwards and downwards. Power flows upwards (not downwards like a hierarchy) from the delegates of the General Assembly to the General Board and Presiding Bishop. And then it flows downwards (as in a hierarchy) to the bishops and to those under their charge. It is episcopal in that it affirms the authority of the bishops who are those above. At the same time, it is governed by a constitution, and thus the constitutional rights of the pastors and congregations, who are those who are below, must not be abused or alienated from them.”  (page 4,  paragraph 2, of the book “WHY I STOOD FOR THE DEFENSE IN ORLANDO” )  Click this link to read the complete book by Bishop Charles E. Blake.

To see how the court views this word click this link THE HIERARCHICAL CHURCH.

For additional information or if you have questions contact me by using the contact form shown below.  No question or information will be posted from this contact form.

In case you think this can’t be true, here is a copy of the opinion of the Kansas Appeals court.   KANSAS COURT CASE involving a church in Liberal, Kansas

January 23, 2014

DON’T TRUST THE TRUST CLAUSE!

DON’T TRUST THE TRUST CLAUSE!

There is a lot of confusion as to what the ‘Trust Clause” found in the COGIC, Inc constitution really means.  The COGIC Trust clause found in the Official Manual, Article III, Part II, Section D paragraph 9 on page 16 states;

“The said property is held in trust for the use and benefit of the members of the Church of God in Christ with National Headquarters in the City of Memphis. Shelby County. Tennessee, and subject to the Charter, Constitution, Laws and Doctrines of said Church, now in full force and effect or as they may be hereafter amended, changed or modified by the General Assembly of said Church”

How many people really know what that means?  To put it bluntly it gives the National Church ownership of your property.
In Wichita, Kansas, in 2005, in District Court, the former General Counsel said;
” The members of the Church of God in Christ are all members who are a part of the national organization from the headquarters down to the local assembly.”
Since the General Counsel in his official position stated this for the court,  that is the position of the Executive branch of COGIC, Inc.
Did you know you are holding your Church for everybody who is part of the national organization? And here you thought it was for the local members.

Black’s Law Dictionary gives the definition of a Trust as;

1. An equitable or beneficial right or title to land or other property, held for the beneficiary by another person, in whom resides the legal title or ownership, recognized and enforced by courts of chancery. See Goodwin v. McMinn, 193 Pa. 046, 44 Atl. 1094, 74 Am. St. Rep. 703; Beers v. Lyon, 21 Conn. 613; Seymour v. Freer, 8 Wall. 202, 19 L. Ed. 300. An obligation arising out of a confidence reposed in the trustee or representative, who has the legal title to property conveyed to him, that he will faithfully apply the property according to the confidence reposed, or, in other words, according to the wishes of the grantor of the trust. 4 Kent Comm. 304; Willis, Trustees, 2; Beers v. Lyon, 21 Conn. 613; Thornburg v. Buck, 13 Ind. App. 446, 41 N. E. 85. An equitable obligation, either express or Implied, resting upon a person by reason of a confidence reposed in him, to apply or deal with the property for the benefit of some other person, or for the benefit of himself and another or others, according to such confidence. McCreary v. Gewinner, 103 Ga. 528, 29 S. E. 9G0. A holding of property subject to a duty of employing it or applying its proceeds according to directions given by the person from whom it was derived. Munroe v. Crouse. 59 Hun. 248, 12 N. Y. Supp. 815.
Law Dictionary: http://thelawdictionary.org/trust/#ixzz2rGkq7QOw

In layman’s terms, what that means is; you give the beneficiary (the National Church) an equitable (think equity as in equity in your house) interest in your Church.  Their name does not have to be on the deed.  When you join, pay your National Reports, participate and go to the meetings you are on the hook.

The attorneys know this but they talk in legal speak where words have a different meaning to them and the civil court than it does to those not trained in the law.  This I think is done to deceive, when you want to communicate truth you speak the language your hearer will understand.

Different states also handle this differently.  Some states use the “Neutral Principle”, that means whatever name is on the deed, that whose it is.  Others states use whatever their state law says.  The third and the one that is most harmful to the local members is the “Hierarchical Principle”.  You should find out which policy your state uses but remember, it  could change with the stroke of a judges pen.

If the Trust Clause stated it was held for none but the local church members or congregation, it would protect the local church.

As it stands, every chicken dinner, every bake sale done for the church is for the National Church, because of the “Trust Clause.”

Because of the Trust Clause, you are owners in name only.  Which makes you a sharecropper.

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