Churches of God in Christ led by E. N. Bell, Opperman, and others versus Mason's Church of God in Christ
If you have any information to help solve this historical inquiry, please let us know!
This is taken from the following page of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Website:
Questions Concerning the Relationship between Bishop Charles H. Mason and the Church of God in Christ (white):Informal links between the Church of God in Christ (white) and Bishop Mason's organization did exist, and their leaders and members often crossed the color line to worship together. However, historians have been unable to locate documentation to show whether a formal connection existed between the two organizations that went by the name Church of God in Christ. The Church of God in Christ (white) issued its own credentials, elected its own officers, published its own newspaper (Word and Witness), and had its own system of short-term Bible training centers for ministers. Despite having similar names, the two groups organizationally seemed to have little, if anything, in common.
Discovery of the following two kinds of information might prove most helpful in discovering whether the two groups were organizationally related.
1. Railroad Clergy Bureau records, which might provide documentation whether Church of God in Christ (white) ministers claimed railway clergy discounts based on affiliation with Mason's group.
2. Evidence demonstrating organizational connections between ministers of the Church of God in Christ (white) and Mason predating the April 1914 formation of the Assemblies of God.
It is possible that researchers - particularly those with significant knowledge of Church of God in Christ history - might be able to identify some Church of God in Christ (white) ministers on the ministerial rosters as having been associated with Bishop Mason.
It should be noted that Mason's church did have white branches, such as those led by Memphis minister L. P. Adams and by William B. Holt. Many of these ministers and churches ultimately left Mason's organization, and some joined the Assemblies of God. However, these white branches apparently were formed after 1914 and had nothing to do with the formation of the Assemblies of God. By 1917, according to David Daniels' article in Portraits of a Generation (University of Arkansas Press, 2002), Adams appeared on Mason's roster of overseers for his organization.
Please help solve this mystery!
For more information, see: Darrin Rodgers, "The Assemblies of God and the Long Journey toward Racial Reconciliation," Assemblies of God Heritage 28 (2008): 54-58.
If you possess any materials concerning the Church of God in Christ (white), please contact the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hi! I am Kent. I love history and church history. While this website is especially dedicated to Assemblies of God history, I publish a lot of church history on this blog!