COGIC Bishop J. O. Patterson, Jr. dies - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

COGIC Bishop J. O. Patterson, Jr. dies

(WMC-TV) - COGIC Bishop J. O. Patterson, Jr, the beloved spiritual and civic leader, passed away Saturday afternoon.  He was 75.

Patterson went to Methodist Central Hospital Friday not feeling well. He died of kidney failure.

Patterson was a bishop of the Jurisdictional Headquarters for the Church of God in Christ in Memphis. He was also a pastor at Pentecostal Temple on Danny Thomas Boulevard.

He was among the first Memphis councilmen, the first appointed African American mayor, an attorney and a doctor of religion. Loved ones said Patterson was blessed and that he strived to share those blessings with others.

"I think his kindness came from his love of Christ and his respect for what a Christ-like person ought to be," said friend Howard Richardson.

Richardson knew Patterson since the 1960's and was the best man in his wedding. He said COGIC was Patterson's life.

"Building the ministry and becoming a force in the Church of God in Christ was his greatest goal," said Richardson.

Richardson said his friend made a mark during the years he served the city as both councilman and interim mayor.

"When he sat down to do the council's work, to do the city's work, he was about formulating policies, political and economic, that were designed to make Memphis a better place to live," he said.

His father was the presiding bishop for the International Church of God in Christ.

Patterson leaves behind a wife and four children.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton issued the following statement regarding Patterson's death:

"Memphis has lost a true pillar for our city and community with the passing of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Jr.

As the grandson of the founder of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., Charles Harrison Mason, and the son of the denomination's first Presiding Bishop, J. O. Patterson, Sr., Bishop J. O. Patterson, Jr. followed in this great tradition of Christian service as a pastor and denominational leader. However, his life and pioneering accomplishments expanded into his career as an attorney, a businessman, and an elected official, most notably as our city's first African-American Mayor.

I'm happy to have had the chance to spend some time with him recently at an event held in his honor. The number of people at that event reflected his sphere of influence and network of supporters, locally and nationally,

Our hearts are with his family, his church and denominational family, and all of those whom he's touched in a special way."

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