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In the year of 1895, Elders C.P. Jones, J.A. Geter, C.H. Mason and others while searching the scriptures, saw that they could not be saved without holiness. They were sanctified through the truth and began to preach this doctrine to their hearers. Because of such doctrine, they were ejected from the Baptist Church. Later in that same year, those same brethren congregated themselves and were known as the Church of God: Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2:10-32; 2 Corinthians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:5:15.
Because the Truth of the gospel was being assailed on every side and many false doctrines were being introduced by those who proclaimed the name but denied the power thereof, Elder C.H. Mason, being set forth to defend the Gospel, prayed earnestly for a name that would not depart from the scriptures and at the same time, distinguish the true followers from the false. It was in this attitude, that Elder Mason, while walking along a certain street in Little Rock, Arkansas, received from the Holy Ghost the name "Church of God in Christ," with the following scriptures to support it: 1 Thessalonians 2:14 - "For ye brethren became followers of the churches of God in Judea are Christ Jesus; for ye have suffered like things of your own countrymen even as they have of the Jews; 2 Thessalonians 1:1 - "Paul and Silvanus and Timotheus unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ;" and finally, Galatians 1:22 -"And was unknown by face to churches of Judea which were in Christ."
The union lasted until the year 1906, when a great revival was held in Los Angeles, California, under the auspices of Elder W.J. Seymour. Elder C.H. Mason, along with many other, attended this meeting and received the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the signs of speaking with other tongues according to Acts 2:4 - "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance."
Elder Mason returned preaching this New Testament doctrine, to which many of the brethren were averse. In August 1907, the General Assembly convened at Jackson, Mississippi, with Elder C.P. Jones presiding as General Overseer, who was also averse and opposed to the so-called new doctrine promulgated by Elder C.H. Mason and others. After a very lengthy discussion, the assembly withdrew from Elder Mason and all who promulgated the doctrine of speaking with tongues, the right hand of fellowship.Later in the same year, Elder C.H. Mason called a meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, of all the Ministers who believed in receiving the Holy Ghost baptism according to the scriptures, Acts 2:4. Among the group of Elders who responded to this great call were: E.R. Drivers, and J. Bowed; R.R. Booker, W.M. Roberts, R.E. Hart, D.W. Welch, A.A. Blackwell, E.M. Page, R.H.I. Clark, D.J. Young, and James Brewer, Daniel Spearman and J.H. Boone. These brethren formed the First General Assembly of the Church of God In Christ, whose faith was founded upon the doctrine of the Apostle as received on the day of Pentecostal. The Lord gave Elder C.H. Mason to be the Chief Apostle, to which the entire assembly agreed. Under the leadership of Apostle Mason, the church witnessed tremendous growth and spiritual grace.
As the years moved along it became necessary for the Chief Apostle to set up state assemblies over which he appointed overseers. As the work of the church grew in the country until scores were being added daily and church edifices were being erected across the nation and in foreign lands, it was laid on the heart of the Apostle to consecrate five of the overseers to the office of the Bishopric in the church.In 1933, Apostle Mason, by the laying on of the hands, assisted by the prayers of the Overseers and Elders and the General Convocation, set apart five Overseers for the office of Bishop in the church, who were, incidentally, the first five Bishops in the Church of God in Christ, aside from Apostle Mason, who received the title and office of Senior Bishop. Those consecrated were: Bishop I.S. Staffors, Detroit, Michigan; Bishop E.M. Page, Dallas, Texas; Bishop W.M. Robert, Chicago, Illinois; Bishop O.T. Jones, Philadelphia Pennsylvania; and Bishop R.F. Williams, Cleveland, Ohio.
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