• TENNESSEE CENTRAL HISTORY •
Tennessee, one of the States forming the Historical Triangle of the Church Of God In Christ, is the State of Incorporation for our church. Along with the States of Mississippi and Arkansas, Tennessee has served as the foundation for the church that has become known as one of the fastest growing churches in the world.

The State contains a great amount of our church’s history. It is the place of birth of our founder, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason; it is the State where the Historic Mason Temple is located and also the place from which our ministry is conducted throughout the fifty States of America and fifty-six countries around the world.

Among the leaders produced by the Church Of God In Christ, a great number have called the State of Tennessee home. In the embryonic stage of the church, God used Bishop Mason to identify and prepare men and women for service who became well-recognized luminaries. As time passed, others were trained to step into the roles of leadership that have resulted in the success we now enjoy as a religious communion.

At one time, the entire State was under the auspices of one man; however, growth necessitated additional leadership, which led to the creation of East and West Jurisdictions. With a spirit of evangelism permeating the State, growth again dictated additional leadership. It was through this need that the third jurisdiction was created.

An official agreement was drawn up of strict geographical boundaries designating the location of the three jurisdictions. It was determined that the churches located within the city limits of Memphis would comprise the Headquarters jurisdiction. All churches located in the boundaries from the easternmost border of Tennessee westward to the Tennessee River would be called the Eastern Jurisdiction of Tennessee. The remaining territory would be known as the Central Jurisdiction.

The Headquarters Jurisdiction would serve as the seat of the Presiding Bishop and the East Jurisdiction would be led by Bishop Audley King, one of the pioneering pastors of the eastern region of the State.In 1975, Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. elevated Bishop W. L. Porter to the rank of National Auxiliary Bishop due to his major contributions and impact to the National Church. In 1981, when Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. made the decision to resign as the prelate of Headquarters Jurisdiction, the General Board assisted him in restructuring the State of Tennessee. The Lord made choice of Bishop Porter, through the Presiding Bishop, to serve as the founding Bishop of the Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Tennessee. Bishop Porter was consecrated and announced on August 1, 1981 by Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. to the Office of Jurisdictional Bishop.

The geographic reach of churches in this fellowship spans from Memphis to Chattanooga and beyond. It is comprised of over 70 churches and growing. Presently, there are 12 districts throughout the State of Tennessee & Louisiana.

These Districts Include:

Baton Rouge // Memphis Southeast // Bolivar // New Clarksville // Brownsville // New Millington
Chattanooga/Nashville // Parsons // Jackson // Ripley // Memphis Northwest // Rossville


Bishop Brandon B. Porter Bishop Brandon B. Porter has been chosen, for such a time as this, to continue the legacy and succeed his father. In November 2009, during the 102nd International Holy Convocation, Bishop Brandon B. Porter was consecrated as the Jurisdictional Prelate of the Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Tennessee.

Much of the success of Central Tennessee can be attributed to Bishop W. L. Porter. This visionary leader had tremendous insight on how to organize and energize people to fulfill the needs of ministry. There is an array of opportunities for ministry workers and leaders to utilize their talents and gifts for the Kingdom of God.

We embrace the opportunity to continue the legacy, while holding up the arms of our Jurisdictional Prelate, the capable, Bishop Brandon B. Porter.