Southern California Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction
In the year of 1914, the Church of God in Christ was established in California. Overseer E. R. Driver was appointed the First Overseer by Bishop Charles Mason, the founder of the Church of God in Christ. He evangelized and traveled extensively encouraging churches to grow and to witness to sinners. Under his administration, many churches were established.
His wife, Mother Annie Driver, served as State Supervisor of Women. Overseer Driver served from 1914 – 1924. His work will never be forgotten.In 1924, Overseer E. M. Wilson was appointed as State Overseer. Under his leadership, churches were established in Monrovia, Furlough Tract, Mountain View, San Diego, 114th and Wilmington Streets and Vernon and Hooper Streets. Mother Celia Tom served as State Supervisor at this time. Not only were new congregations started, but the existing ones experienced significant growth. Bishop Wilson served from 1924 – 1928.
During the winter of 1931, Bishop Samuel Martin Crouch was appointed as State Bishop of California. Bishop Crouch was a builder of men and churches. Mother Leanna Osborne Hale worked beside Bishop Crouch as State Supervisor. In 1961, First Jurisdiction purchased the Lincoln Theater at 2300 S. Central Avenue. They used this site as their headquarters. The seating capacity was 2700. Under this administration, Southern California became the largest jurisdiction in the Diocese. Bishop Crouch died August 14, 1976.In 1976, Bishop Junious Augustus Blake, Sr. was appointed and Mother L. O. Hale remained Supervisor.
Bishop J. A. Blake was also a builder of men. He was a man of God-given wisdom, unique skill, charisma, skilled in the Word and administration. Most of all, he loved God’s people. He renovated the headquarters with artistic paintings by Mrs. Alice Foster. She placed images of great C.O.G.I.C. leaders on canvases. After the demise of Mother L. O. Hale in 1981, Bishop J. A. Blake chose Dr. Lillian Ann Morris as State Supervisor.At the demise of Bishop J. A. Blake in November of 1984, the General Board of the National Church, lead by Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, deemed it appropriate, and in the will of God, to allow the formation of another Jurisdiction within Southern California.
The General Board selected Superintendent George Dallas McKinney, Ph.D. to be the new Bishop, and thus the Southern California Second Jurisdiction was commissioned. The National Board also blessed the naming of two additional workers whom Bishop McKinney would be able to rely on for support. The late Bishop Nathaniel Jones of Barstow, California was named the First Administrative Assistant, and Mother Elizabeth Nash was named the Supervisor of Women.After three years of serving in the Second Jurisdiction of Southern California, Bishop Jones resigned to devote his full time and attention to his work as Bishop of Idaho and Utah States. Upon his departure, Bishop McKinney selected Superintendent Vernon Cooper to serve as the First Administrative Assistant.
Growth and development have taken place within the Jurisdiction under the leadership of Bishop McKinney. Since 1984, several new churches have been organized; State licensed counseling services are in operation, several food bank programs have been established; and, shelters for the homeless have been established. Education has always been a priority with Bishop McKinney, and under his leadership the American Urban University has been chartered and authorized to offer advanced degrees. Many accomplishments, too many to numerate, have taken place in the twenty-five years of this Jurisdiction’s being in existence.It has all been to the glory of God!!