Archives for the ‘Archives’ Category
The Passing of Pastor Joseph Johnson
Tuesday, January 1st, 2013
January 1, 2013
This correspondence is being sent at the request of our Prelate, Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr., General Board Member of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc.
It is with great regret that I inform you of the passing of Pastor Joseph Johnson, Pastor of Holy Light Church Of God In Christ in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Johnson Family and Holy Light are in need of our fervent prayers. The service for Pastor Johnson will be as follows:
Home Going Celebration
Thursday, January 3, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
Bishop Thomas is requesting that all Pastors and Elders who will be attending the celebration, please wear your "Class A" vestments. All Missionaries who will be attending please wear your black habits.
Yours for the Master's Use,
Elder Marc A. Thomas, Sr.
Vote Bishop Ted Thomas For COGIC General Board
Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
Vote Bishop Ted Thomas for the General Board for COGIC, special greetings from Bishop Charles Blake, Bishop P.A Brooks, Bishop Frank O. White, Bishop Rance Allen & More..
COGIC Radio Interview: General Board Candidate, Bishop Ted Thomas
Thursday, September 27th, 2012
On Friday September 28, 2012 at 12 PM MST, tune in for an eCOGICRadio.fm and host host Pastor Julius Koonce will stream an exclusive interview with Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr., Candidate for General Board of the Church Of God In Christ.
Ted G. Thomas, Sr. was appointed seventh in succession as prelate of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia of the Church Of God In Christ in 1984 and has served in this position for more than 27 years. Under his leadership, the Jurisdiction has enjoyed tremendous growth only a few short years.
Most recently, in 2009 Bishop Ted Thomas was appointed as an Associate Justice of the National Judiciary Board and Assistant Dean of the Presiding Bishop’s Episcopal Leadership Academy. Bishop Ted Thomas has also served as Commissioner of Operations for the International Holy Convocation, member of the National Publishing Board and member of the Committee to renovate the Lelia Mason Home.
Always a strong supporter of his leader, in an unprecedented and historic show of support for the non-profit organization Save Africa’s Children, Bishop Thomas presented Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake with $50,000 during his own 25th Silver Anniversary Celebration in 2009.
Bishop Ted Thomas has been anointed by God for such a time as this. He brings an experienced voice and real solutions to the challenges facing the Church Of God In Christ today. He has a record of producing lasting results in his community, his jurisdiction and our national Church – a testament to his capable leadership. More importantly, Bishop Ted Thomas has a record of accountability and is a strong and vocal supporter of our Presiding Bishop. Coupled with his love for our Church and its doctrine, Bishop Ted Thomas has the vision to see the Church Of God In Christ return to its glory as the leader of the Pentecostal Movement.
It’s time to usher our Church into her glorious future. It's time to pass the mantle to Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr. for the General Board.
COGIC 11/40 Prayer Wall
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
As the Church of God in Christ approaches HOLY CONVOCATION, the need to INTERCEDE and SEEK the will of God for Revival, Renewal, Breakthrough, Excellence in Ministry, during the HOLY CONVOCATION is VITAL, CENTRAL, AND URGENT.
Click the image for more information
98th Annual Holy Convocation
Saturday, July 14th, 2012
Join us August 19-26, 2012 as the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia celebrates its 98th Holy Convocation at New Community Temple Church Of God In Christ located at 3615 Tyre Neck Road, Portsmouth, VA 23703. Click HERE for directions.
Below are highlights of the upcoming celebration!
Hotel Accommodations | Top:
Hampton Inn Hotel
Shut-In | Top:
The opening 40 hour period of Fasting and Praying will begin Sunday, August 19th at 10 pm. Prayer Warriors will be praying continuously at New Community Temple until Tuesday, August 21st at 3 pm. All are welcomed to participate!
Day Sessions | Top:
Services are held at New Community Temple daily at 12 pm and will begin on Tuesday, August 21st.
Evening Speakers | Top:
Evening Services are held at New Community Temple daily at 7 pm.
Official Day | Top:
Sunday, August 26, 2012 at 11:00 am
Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr
|Package #1 – $55||Includes registration packet, light meals after service Tuesday through Friday, and dinner on Sunday afternoon.|
|Package #2 – $45||Includes registration packet and dinner on Sunday afternoon.|
The Mantle Has Been Passed – Bishop Thomas Installs Pastor Calvin Harris
Contributed By Asst. Supt. Eddie B Pruitte, Jr. (Holiness Tabernacle COGIC)
II Kings 2:6,8-11, 13-14
For those of you who keep up with this great jurisdiction, you know the theme of our bishop’s General Board campaign is, “It’s Time to Pass the Mantle.” When I was asked to write an article to recap the installation of one of our newest pastors, Pastor Calvin Harris, this theme came to my mind.
The saints of First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia gathered that warm afternoon of June 9 to witness and celebrate another historical event – the installation of the new pastor of Reconciliation Church Of God In Christ. For me the day began with some mixed emotions – but the Lord would be glorified!
Some of you may not know, but I was close friends with Pastor Geno Thomas, the founder and former pastor of Reconciliation. He was not only a dear friend, but also a mentor. Our churches have fellowshipped for several years and we’re really just like family. The Lord called Pastor Thomas home last Christmas and to this day I miss him dearly. For that reason I fought back a few tears this particular Saturday afternoon. But the Lord quickly reminded me of Elijah and Elisha.
For the several years that I knew Pastor Thomas, he had several devoted and loyal men who supported his ministry – among these was Elder Calvin Harris. Elder Harris was not only faithful, but loyal, a supporter, a worker and a son of my friend. In fact, whenever you saw Pastor Thomas, you knew Elder Calvin Harris was not too far behind. He truly followed a great leader, just as Elisha did.
Do you recall the story? Elijah was growing older and Elisha decided he would serve this great prophet. There came a day when Elijah told Elisha to go back home (remember Elijah had called Elisha out of the fields) but Elisha refused. He told Elijah that he was going to continue to serve him. Eventually Elijah asked Elisha what he wanted of him. Elisha’s response was that he wanted a double portion of his leader’s anointing. Because of his faithfulness, when the Lord summoned Elijah through the whirlwind, Elisha was right there to catch the mantle. Soon he found himself doing works just as great – and even greater – than his mentor.
After the anointed Virginia First Jurisdictional Choir belted out another soul stirring song of praise, our beloved leader, Bishop Ted Thomas, preached a dynamic Word from the Lord. On this day, Bishop Thomas was in one of his preaching “zones” as he mixed in a little humor with the gospel truth. He reminded Pastor Harris of his role and assignment as the pastor. “Brother Harris, you have to preach in season and out of season. You have to cry loud and spare not. You are commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ to feed His lambs and His sheep!”
Bishop Thomas then turned to the Reconciliation COGIC family. “Church, you are to take care of and support your pastor. You are to obey him, pray for him and be faithful.”
As I watched, I could not help but thank and praise God for witnessing the passing of a mantle to a godly man who truly deserved it. Pastor Harris had followed Pastor Thomas just as Elisha had followed Elijah. Now, it was his time to pick up the mantle and lead the Reconciliation Church family to greater works and greater accomplishments. I am godly proud of my friend who built a great work. I am proud of my friend who led and trained another great man of God. I look forward to seeing the great things God will accomplish through this new great pastor – Pastor Calvin Harris. Yes, the mantle has been passed!
I bless you in the name of the Lord.
90th Annual Minister’s and Worker’s Conference Recap
by Asst. Supt. Eddie B Pruitte, Jr.
Come Over Here Where the Table is Spread and the Feast of the Lord is Going On!
I searched through Google to find the origin of this phrase. Oddly enough, while the result of my inquiry only gave a couple of gospel artist’s names, none were credited with authoring these lyrics. Therefore I will claim the title for the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction’s 90th Annual Minister’s and Workers’ Conference that was held in Richmond during the week of March 19 – 25. What an awesome display of the Lord’s power and glory!
The saints of the jurisdiction enjoyed powerful and anointed preaching, singing and worship as we gathered in the presence of the Lord. We heard messages from several of our local pastors and superintendents including, Pastor William Cornick (Body of Believers COGIC), Superintendent John Lyon (Danville District), Elder Victor Thompson (New Community Temple COGIC), Pastor Walter Harold (Sheep Gate COGIC), and Pastor Floyd Hawkins (Shiloh COGIC). We were also blessed to hear soul stirring sermons from several of our national church leaders – Bishop P. A. Brooks, 1st Assistant Presiding Bishop COGIC; Bishop Joel Lyles, General Secretary COGIC; and Superintendent Dickerson Wells, National Trustee Board member.
We celebrated with our State Supervisor, Mother Nellie Townes, worshipped with our dynamic Jurisdictional Choir under the direction of Evangelist Missionary N. Kimberly Thomas, had a night of elegance with an operatic performance featuring Sister Dei Ashlei Nikoi, and kicked off our bishop’s campaign for the General Board. Having said all of this – I still have not mentioned the highlight of the meeting.
The saints gathered Sunday morning at the Richmond Convention Center, anxious to hear from our beloved leader, Bishop Thomas. The Word of the Lord was presented from I Kings 19 and the theme was, “When Strong Men are Discouraged.” Bishop Thomas expounded on Elijah’s great victory on Mount Carmel (against 850 prophets) – only to flee from Queen Jezebel and ask God to take his life. Bishop Thomas encouraged the saints to trust the Lord and never become puffed up or full of pride – lest we find ourselves in a state like Elijah. As the message concluded, the Spirit of the Lord descended in the auditorium and the saints went forth in praise. As Bishop Thomas prayed and ministered on the altar (yes – dozens of souls responded to the call to discipleship) a mighty Spirit of deliverance swept through the room. How I wish you could have been there!
I trust that you are enjoying your walk in Christ. I pray that you are living victoriously. I pray that you are walking in the greatness the Lord has called us unto and you have not fallen victim to discouragement. However, just in case you need a little help or word of encouragement – come over here where the table is spread, and the feast of the Lord is going on! There’s joy over here, there’s peace over here!
Operatic Soloist, Sis Dei Nikoi, Featured at Ways & Means Banquet
by Evangelist Missy Andrea Mabry (Holiness Tabernacle COGIC)
On Saturday, March 24, Bishop Ted G. Thomas Sr., the visionary and prelate of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia, sponsored the Ways & Means Banquet featuring Holiness Tabernacle COGIC daughter, Sis. Dei Ashilei Nikoi. The eve was young and expectations were high for the banquet’s first operatic concert held in the Marriott Richmond Ballroom. Who would have envisioned an opportunity for a member of the Jurisdiction to perform in the classical arts of opera, an art in which singers perform a dramatic work and music? Truly, Bishop Ted G. Thomas Sr. gave many a night to remember.
The evening began with an official welcome from Sis Kellie Seals of Reconciliation COGIC. Following, came the introduction of the soloist by Sis Yolinda McCown of Holiness Tabernacle. As the guests prepared themselves for the concert, one couldn’t help but wonder, what is man that God is so mindful that he shows the work of his hand through His innumerable gifts? Indeed, Sis Dei would show us that God knows what He has bestowed upon us. In her youth, Dei participated in the Sunshine Band and Youth choirs, singing in the alto section. She loved to sing anywhere and everywhere no one could hear her. Finally in high school, she decided to join a choir only to be transferred to the soprano section. From the voice that was in the shadow of the darkness only a few years prior, one would never have guessed the transformation occurring within. In 2007, Sis Dei received her first official voice lesson from Swiss baritone, Valentin Lanzrein, who discovered she had operatic potential. Given her desire to enter law school after graduation, this news definitely came as a surprise. – a surprise that she would one day embrace and give God the glory for her gift.. Post graduation, she rededicated her life to God, was filled with his precious Holy Ghost, and truly began seeking His direction.
On the eve of the banquet, Sis Dei made her debut in front of an audience she could call family, sharing a gift that came from above. With poise and elegance, she entered the room adorned in a beautiful fuchsia gown with her accompanist Karen Dalton, and began with a short explanation that audience members would hear songs in English, Italian and German. Some of the selections for the evening included familiar pieces such as “The Beatitudes” and “The Lord’s Prayer” by Albert Hay Malotte. Less familiar, yet equally beautiful pieces included “Ach ich liebte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and “Allerseelen” by Richard Strauss. Sis Dei mesmerized with the sheer sound of her vocal prowess and the captivating, dramatic expressions that she poised during her performance. She made us believe that we were at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC or the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. She gave us a performance of love – “A Night of Elegance” will be cherished and remembered. The evening ended with two familiar selections, “Wade in de Water” by H. T. Burleigh and “Summertime” by George Gershwin that brought the whole house to their feet.
At the conclusion of the performance, Dei presented gifts and thanked Bishop Thomas, Mother Charletta Thomas, Mother Nellie Townes and her Pastor, Elder Eddie B Pruitte Jr., for the opportunity to sing to God’s people and their faith.
Bishop Thomas’s Ways & Means Banquet with Sis Dei was truly a grand success! The many comments and outpouring of well wishes from the saints and visiting guests were a blessing. What a beautiful example that God’s talents can be used to glorify Him in a variety of unique and special ways.
Bishop Thomas Installs Pastor Harold and the Sheep Gate COGIC into the Jurisdiction!
Contributed By Asst. Supt. Eddie B Pruitte, Jr. (Holiness Tabernacle COGIC)
If you are familiar with ancient Jerusalem, then you know about the Sheep Gate. The Sheep Gate was the first part of the city rebuilt after the captivity; it was where the offerings and sacrifices were brought. Many believe the Pool of Bethesda, the place where Jesus healed the lame man, was near this part of the city. The Sheep Gate is also mentioned as the terminating part of the wall that surrounded Jerusalem – or the “City of God.” And it truly seemed like such a city for those who attended the February 25th installation service of Pastor Harold the Sheep Gate Church Of God In Christ into the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia!
|View Event Photos|
The saints anticipated a high time in the Lord when it was first announced that a new church was being birthed in our Jurisdiction – Sheep Gate COGIC. Continuing our long-standing practice of blessing a new pastor and congregation spiritually and financially, Bishop Thomas announced that the Jurisdiction would support the church with its attendance. Since his consecration as jurisdictional prelate more than 27 years ago, Bishop Thomas and the saints of Virginia One have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to newly formed and installed pastors and congregations.
Long known for his many talents and powerful preaching, Elder Walter Harold also holds the distinguished position of being one of Bishop Thomas’ sons in the gospel. Despite the numerous installations, the saints knew this service would be a little more special and the worship service proved to be just what was anticipated.
The Jurisdictional Choir opened the service and sang under the anointing – the saints responding as the glory of the Lord filled the room. When it was time for the Word of the Lord, Bishop Thomas preached on the topic, “A Workman Approved of God,” coming out of II Timothy 2:14-21. Bishop Thomas encouraged both Elder Harold and his lovely wife, Missionary Harold, to continue in the Lord and to hold fast to God’s promises.
“Brother Harold,” Bishop Thomas declared, “people will come and go, but the Lord will never leave you!”
After the saints rejoiced again, it was time for the ceremonial installation of the new pastor and congregation. Our hearts beamed with pride as the Elder Harold and officers of the new church came forward to sign their charter and other official documents, birthing them into the Church Of God In Christ. After the jurisdictional officials had signed their names, Bishop Thomas addressed the now Pastor Harold. The saints looked with awe as the distinguished leader was brought to tears; they were all moved to see a father give his blessings and bid his son god speed.
A day that began with praise at the Sheep Gate was now ending with praise and the godly embrace of a leader and new pastor. We praise God and celebrate for a new branch of Zion – Sheep Gate COGIC, under the leadership of Pastor Walter and First Lady Harold!
The Jurisdiction Exceeds Expectations at the 2012 Prayer Breakfast and Baby Contest
Written by Evangelist Irether Sanford
In the words of Jurisdictional Supervisor of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Virginia, Mother Nellie M. Townes, “To God be the glory for the great things He is doing among and through us!”
|View Event Photos|
On Saturday, February 11, the Thelma G. Vaughan Memorial Annual Prayer Breakfast and Baby Contest took place in the grand ballroom of the Richmond Marriott hotel. Saints from every district came out in large numbers to show their support for the event.
The ballroom was quickly converted into a house of worship as the Jurisdictional Choir set the atmosphere with their renditions of Jesus is the Light and There’s No One Like You. Next came a season of sanctified prayer as various district superintendents declared blessings upon the Jurisdiction, the nation, the babies, and the sick and shut-in.
Evangelist Missionary Vivian Pruitte gave a special presentation to our Elect Lady, Mother Charletta Thomas, providing a single rose to the rose of our Jurisdiction. With her usual elegance, Mother Thomas followed with greetings to the church body.
Soon after it was time for the Word. Superintendent John H. Lyon of the Danville Virginia introduced the speaker of the hour, Pastor James A. Williams of Holy Temple COGIC.
“Now don’t you let any of those forks and knives come flying this way,” Elder Williams began with a smile, noting that the waiters had not removed all of the eating utensils and glasses from the table. An anointed man of God, Elder Williams preached the unadulterated Word with conviction and boldness, focusing on the topic “God, Who Has Allowed Us.”
The service could not end without remarks from Bishop Ted Thomas Sr., prelate of the Jurisdiction. Bishop Thomas exhorted the people of God to stir up the gift that God had placed within them and reminded the Jurisdiction to remember the old landmarks – our theme for 2012.
Before long, the entire house was on its feet as Bishop Thomas reiterated his decision to run for the 2012 General Board of the Church Of God In Christ.
“It’s time to pass the mantle!” he echoed throughout the ballroom to cheers and applause.
Finally, it was time to announce the winner of the baby contest. The contest is a fun way for the districts to support the ministry of the Jurisdiction. Through friendly competition, each district sponsors a baby to see who can raise the most.
A hush filled the room as people waited to hear the outcome of a long-standing competition between the two reigning districts – the Great Northern District, who has taken home the prize for the last several years, and the Central District who often places just behind them. With cheers and excitement, Missionary Judy Little announced William Marson Simuel Thomas, son of Elder Marc and Missionary Kim Thomas, as the winning baby – with the Central District raising just over $8,500 for his district!
The adorable faces of cute little ones in their outfits far exceed expectations as the contestants provoked each other to good works – surpassing the previous year’s benchmark and making everyone winners.
In closing, Mother Townes reiterated her elation at the success of the benefit. “Let’s keep this love,” she expressed. For indeed, that is how the First Jurisdiction of Virginia operates together – in love!