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.

TN Central Jurisdiction | COGIC

OUR 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.

TN Central Jurisdiction | COGIC

THE LATE Mother Ida Maddie Flagg Porter

Born to Elder and Mrs. George Flagg, Mother Ida “Maddie” Flagg Porter, was a powerful woman of God with a winning personality, often affectionately referred to as “Ms. Personality”. Put simply, to know her is to love her. A product of Memphis City Schools, Mother Porter is a graduate of Manassas High School, in Memphis, Tennessee, and later continued her education at Shelby State Community College.

In 1954, Mother Porter was married to the late Bishop W. L. Porter, founder of Greater Community Temple Church of God in Christ. Shortly thereafter, she accepted her call to the ministry, as a licensed missionary and served in that capacity faithfully for over 40 years within the Church of God in Christ. She served as the First Lady of Greater Community Temple for 19 years. Simultaneously, she later became the First Lady of the Tennessee Central Jurisdiction in 1982. Mother Porter served as the district missionary and the Jurisdictional Supervisor of the Tennessee Central Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.

Bishop and Mother Porter founded Community Projects Daycare Center. Mother Porter’s love for children and the family inspired them to develop an affordable, well-rounded curriculum for the families of the community. The needs of the parents and children were enhanced because of the daycare center and summer camps. Mother Porter served as the Executive Director of Community Projects.

Above all, Ida M. Porter was a woman whom God has equipped with knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and compassion to minister to the needs of society. She impacted, inspired, and motivated the lives of all who came in contact with her.