History of Texas Central Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction
The History Of
Texas Central Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Church Of God In Christ
On September 17, 2007, following the retirement of the late Bishop N. H. Henderson, Sr., a Jurisdictional polling was held for the office of the Bishop for the Texas South Central Jurisdiction. Many of the brethren were not satisfied with the results, so on September 18, 2007, a group of 44 pastors came together and petitioned for Superintendent Hewett Richardson, Sr. to become their leader. A letter was drafted, signed, and forwarded to the Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., and the General Board by "Concerned Pastors". A "Fellowship" was then formed with Superintendent Hewett Richardson, Sr., as the Chairman.
On November 26, 2007, a Fellowship meeting was held at Miracle Tabernacle COGIC, Nacogdoches, TX. Pastor Kenneth Gipson, host pastor. Supt. Walter L. Bowie opened the floor discussion of possible names for the new Fellowship. Pastor Walter L. Scott offered the name Texas Central East.Chairman Richardson liked the recommendation offered by Pastor Scott and made a motion that Texas Central East be accepted as the official name for the Fellowship. The motion was seconded and unanimously supported. Through much prayer, counseling and constructive advice, Chairman Richardson selected Mother Gladys Lockett-Ross to lead the Women's Department as the Director of Women.
On December 14, 2007, the first major Fellowship meeting was held at the Lily of the Valley COGIC, Houston, TX. Supt. Frank E. Fanniel, Sr., host pastor. God moved in a mighty way that night sending His approval upon this new work. Mother Gladys Lockett-Ross was introduced and recognized as the Director of Women. One of her first initiatives was to organize a Fellowship prayer chain among the Women's Department to undergird our leaders and our fellowship in 24 hour prayer.
During these formative 2 years, the TCE Fellowship continued to hold Fellowship services, organize its ministry auxiliaries and departmental structure, select leaders, and lay the necessary initial groundwork, "showing faith and trust in God," that we would become a future jurisdiction.There were many tests and trials, but Bishop Richardson, a man of peace, never encouraged the Pastors to seek ill-will toward their former jurisdiction. They just wanted to be free to work together in love and peace and serve God.
During the transition, the Pastors of the Texas Central East Fellowship gathered with Chairman Richardson (such as the late Dr. Clarence. L. Robinson, Supt. Dr. Walter L. Bowie, and Supt. James Williams, Sr. to name a few) to meet with the Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and the General Board to seek authorization to become a jurisdiction, but the request was still under review and permission was not granted at that time.
In April 2009, at the request of the Presiding Bishop, all the pastors of TCE Fellowship were asked to attend the COGIC April Call meeting in Memphis, Tennessee. Pastors that could not attend sent notarized documentation indicating their full support. During the COGIC April Call meeting, the TCE Fellowship was officially sanctioned as a COGIC Jurisdiction and renamed Texas Central Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction by the General Board and the General Assembly. Chairman Hewett Richardson, Sr., was sanctioned by the Presiding Bishop to become the Jurisdictional Bishop Designee.
In November 2009, Bishop Designee Hewett Richardson Sr. was officially consecrated as Bishop and prelate of Texas Central Metropolitan Jurisdiction by Bishop Charles Blake, Sr., and Mother Gladys Lockett-Ross consecrated as the Supervisor of Women by Mother Willie Mae Rivers. The leaders and members of the new jurisdiction rejoiced and praised God for his favor. After 2 years of waiting before the Lord in prayer, and petitioning the National Church, God had granted their request.
Now that the jurisdiction was official, it was time for the COGIC sanctioned work to begin. With the help of the Lord and the Godly leadership of Bishop Richardson and Supervisor Ross, the new jurisdiction made great first strides. During this phase, executive and department leaders officially installed and additional new leaders were appointed also. The jurisdiction sought and received its 501c3 designation, established its initial By-laws, administered and encouraged vital training, and celebrated official implementation of the key departments and auxiliaries of the National Church. Another of our first major accomplishments as an official jurisdiction was to serve as one of the 13 Texas Jurisdictions who hosted two major COGIC Conventions in 2011. In May, The International Women's Convention in Dallas, Texas, and in July, the International AIM Convention in Houston, Texas. Both within the same year! There were major financial and human resource commitments to do so, but Bishop Richardson and the new TCM Jurisdiction stood right along with the other Texas Bishops and Jurisdictions to help ungird these two National Conventions.
After 8 years of faithful leadership (2 years as Chairman of the TCE Fellowship and 6 years as the first prelate of the TCM Jurisdiction), Bishop Richardson prayerfully decided to announce his retirement as the Jurisdictional Prelate in 2015, due to health issues.
General Board Member Bishop George Dallas McKinney was assigned by the Presiding Bishop, Charles E. Blake, Sr., as the interim Bishop of the Jurisdiction until a new leader would be chosen. In February 2015, a Jurisdictional polling was held for the office of the Jurisdictional Bishop. The results from the polling were in favor of Administrative Assistant Superintendent Frank E. Fanniel, Sr.The Jurisdiction rejoiced at the announcement of the results.
In April 2015, during the COGIC April Call Meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, the jurisdiction rejoiced again, when Administrative Assistant Superintendent Frank E. Fanniel, Sr. was appointed as the Jurisdictional Bishop Designee of Texas Central Metropolitan by the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. with the General Board and sanctioned by the General Assembly. Once again, God had answered our prayer and gave us another Godly leader.
In November 2015, at the 108th Holy Convocation in St. Louis, Mo., Bishop Designee Frank E. Fanniel, Sr. was officially consecrated as Bishop and prelate of Texas Central Metropolitan Jurisdiction by Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. At the request of Bishop Fanniel, Mother Dr. Gladys Lockett-Ross continued to serve as the TCMJ Supervisor of Women.
Bishop Fanniel picked up the torch and has continued to lead our jurisdiction forward in God, into the future. Under the Godly leadership and vision of Bishop Fanniel, much has been accomplished in a short period of time: Bishop Fanniel/TCMJ helped to host the COGIC National Leadership Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, established an Annual Fellowship Strategy Meeting, an Annual Leadership Conference, a Jurisdictional Directory, completed the final review, revision, and adoption of the Jurisdictional Bylaws, a Nationwide prayerline every Tuesday morning @ 7 am, and a Jurisdictional motto that states, "We are up on the wall, we are doing a great work, and we can't come down!"
To God Be the Glory!