MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Church of God in Christ, which is headquartered in South Memphis, is going through a difficult time after a number of bishops and pastors recently died. Some believed to be related to COVID-19.
“There’s only 12 of us and two of us passed in the month of March,” said Bishop Brandon B. Porter of the COGIC General Board.
Porter is referring to the two general board members who passed away tragically from what’s believed to be COVID-19 related complications. Both bishops were from Michigan.
Porter says of the 6 million members nationwide, more than 30 leaders, including bishops, pastors and COGIC members nationwide have died from the virus.
“Either the first lady of the church has passed, a deacon, or a church mother or a younger person in the church has passed,” said Porter.
Churches in New York, Michigan and Mississippi have been hit hard.
Bishop T.T. Scott out of North Mississippi passed away in early April. Bishop Porter says he spoke to him after he was admitted into the hospital.
“He actually answered his cell phone and talked with me for a few moments and I could tell he was having respiratory situations so I prayed for him and that was the last time I spoke with him,” said Porter.
Since the pandemic, Porter says many COGIC events including in-person services have been canceled, which has impacted churches financially. He asks anyone involved in any church to stick by them during this challenging time.
“If you have income or increase find out how you can give meaningful income to support the longevity and perpetuation of your local church. We’re going to get through this storm. Oh yes we are. We’re going to get through it and you’re going to need your church again,” said Bishop Porter.
The Holy Convocation is scheduled for November in St. Louis and that’s when elections for the church would happen. A general board meeting will be held on Monday to discuss if it’ll be canceled.