It was a glorious 109th Holy Convocation of the Church of God In Christ, which took place from November 7-13, 2016, in St. Louis, MO. The galvanizing message of the 5-day convening of the saints was the 2016 COGIC Theme:
“Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World”
(1 Timothy 6:12)
which addresses the need for the church to rise up to its mandate from God to fight for righteousness and holiness. Bishops and Evangelists were consecrated, empowered to go forth in the work of the Lord, and the General Board convened; which ushered in the highlight of the Convocation: the Quadrennial Election where Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake was re-elected for a third term as COGIC’s Presiding Bishop.
The mighty women of the Church of God In Christ were front and center at the Convocation. Among them, First Lady Mae L. Blake – Bishop’s “Secret Weapon” – presented an impassioned speech in support of the mighty man of God at her annual Morning Gems session on Saturday, November 12. Dr. Judith Christie McAllister, International Minister of Music, oversaw praise and worship for Convocation, featuring the COGIC Mass choir, Lady Audrey DuBois Harris and the Clark Sisters, who were among the psalmists for the week. Evangelist Frances Kelley officiated the All Night Prayer Service from Monday evening, November 7 into Tuesday morning, November 8. Evangelist Joyce Rodgers delivered the word during the World Youth Day service, reassuring the young congregation with the acronym, “NFL,” which meant that, although we are in the fight of our lives, our affliction is “not for long.”
Highlights of other powerful sermons at the Convocation include “New Hope for the Church in America” by Bishop Jack Vaughn, who called for the renewing spirit of revival as he presented a prophetic word for the future of the church. In his sermon, presented during the Service of Episcopal Consecration & Installation, Bishop Vaughn prophesied of the enormous call of God on Millennial Generation, reminding us that both David and Timothy would also be considered Millennials today based upon the age at which they were called to follow the Lord. Bishop Jerry W. Macklin, who serves as Second Assistant Presiding Bishop, delivered Part I of his sermon on The Rapture, requesting of 100 pastors in attendance that they complete Part II of the sermon before their own congregations.
For The Lord’s Day Worship Celebration, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake used the 2016 COGIC theme, “Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World,” as the central focus of his commanding “Official Day” sermon. In it, Bishop taught that winning the souls of mankind for Jesus Christ is the most important service that we can perform as Christians. “Jesus paid His life for man’s salvation,” said Bishop Blake. “There will never be anything more valuable than the life of the Son of God. How long has it been since you’ve led someone to Jesus?”
Excerpts from Bishop’s sermon, as well as photos from the Convocation, follow below:
Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World
by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
1 TIMOTHY 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
The theme which the Lord has given us for the year 2016 leads us to focus on 3 areas:
- The nature of the world in which we live.
- The 2 primary treasures we must seek.
- The level of intensity with which we must proceed.
God intended that the world He created be a majestic, harmonious symphony of love, fellowship, beauty, and peace. The Bible teaches that man was created in innocence; that he was to be in union and in harmony with God, his Maker, his fellow man, and with all creation. But men rejected the will and the command of God; they rebelled against God’s will and against God’s plan, and became a blasphemous satire of what God intended the world to be:
- War seems to be our favorite pastime; millions have been killed in the wars since Vietnam.
- Around the world, 100,000 Christians are killed annually.
- Millions of white Americans are arming themselves for what they feel is the inevitable race war about take place in our nation.
- In the United States, over 1 million babies are snatched from their mothers’ wombs by abortion each year.
- 500 blacks are killed by policemen every year, while 5000 blacks are killed by black on black crime.
Let us start by confessing and proclaiming that this world is violent and immoral. But God is calling upon us to fight for salvation and righteousness in this present world. Salvation is the most valuable commodity available unto men; winning men to Jesus Christ is the most important service that we can perform.
We love and respect those who differ from us. We recognize that God grants to everyone the freedom to choose even that which will lead to death or destruction. But God has also communicated in His Word what is the right and best path to follow, and in His Word He communicates the behavior which He condemns and punishes:
- Genesis 6:11-12 – The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.
- Isaiah 55:6-7 – Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon
- Romans 1:18 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness
- Isaiah 1:5-6 – 5 Where will you be stricken again, as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick and the whole heart is faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts and raw wounds
- Lamentations 2:21 – My virgins and my young men have fallen by the sword; You have slain them in the day of Your anger, You have slaughtered and not pitied.
- Jeremiah 9:23-24 – Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises loving kindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
- Proverbs 14:34 – Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people.
God wants His people to be righteous; our world would be better off if men would follow the righteous Word of God. Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.”
You learn the value of a thing by observing how much a wise individual is willing to pay for it. Jesus paid His life for man’s salvation. There will never be anything more valuable than the life of the Son of God. How long has it been since you’ve saved a soul from death? How long has it be since you led someone to Jesus?
Evangelism is not an option: evangelism is a mandate. It is a survival strategy. We’ve got to win the world or we’ll be destroyed by the world and with the world. When you win a soul, you rob the devil of one more victim. You give that individual a new lease on life; breaking yoke of sin and oppression. The very soul you win may be the one who will save or spare your life.
Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” Let men know what God can do in their lives; tell somebody how much you love Him and how He’s changed your life.
Start a party up in heaven: fight for salvation and righteousness in an immoral world. It’s time to fight!
Abridged from “Fighting for Salvation and Righteousness in a Violent and Immoral World”, by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. 109th Holy Convocation, St. Louis, MO.
THE 109th CONVOCATION IS NOW AVAILABLE ON DVD. The Church of God In Christ Publishing House has DVD’s of the 109th Holy Convocation. Hear Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake’s entire message, as well as COGIC curriculums, e books, and more. Call toll free at 1-877-746-8578, or please click HERE to visit COGICPublishingHouse.net.