THE HISTORIC COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA JURISDICTION

CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST

 

HISTORY

Bishop Ozro Thurston Jones Sr. (March 26, 1891- September 23, 1972) was the second Senior Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. from (1962-1968), succeeding Bishop Charles Harrison Mason who was the founder. The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is the world's largest Pentecostal denomination and fourth largest denomination in the United States. Bishop Jones was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, the son of Baptist parents, Marion and Mary Jones.

 

As a young man, in 1912, he experienced and confessed salvation and "spirit baptism" or "infilling" as a second work of grace. He answered a call to the ministry under the guidance of Elder Justus Bowe, a COGIC pioneer. Soon afterwards, he, his older sister and a brother developed into an evangelistic team in North Arkansas and the surrounding states. Over the next few years 18 congregations were established as a direct result of their evangelistic endeavors. In 1914 Jones organized the youth department of the Church of God in Christ and served as its first president. Two years later he founded and edited the Y.P.W.W. Quarterly Topics, an education-oriented journal. In 1920 he was appointed assistant to the state overseer in Oklahoma.

 

In 1925, Jones' career took a decisive turn when he became pastor of a small congregation of Pentecostal believers in Philadelphia. He moved to Philadelphia where he would reside for the rest of his life. The congregation grew into the historic Holy Temple Church of God in Christ. In 1926 he became the state overseer for Pennsylvania. Not forgetting his work with the youth of the church, in 1928 he founded the International Youth Congress of the Church of God in Christ.

 

In 1933 Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, the founder of the Church of God in Christ, selected Jones as one of the five men to be consecrated as the denomination's first "founding" bishops. He was later selected to serve on the executive commission created by Mason to assist him during his last years in office. Following Mason's death in November 1961, the commission then headed by Bishop A.B. McEwen, administered the affairs of the church for one year. Then in late 1962, the board of bishops moved to nominate a new senior bishop. They chose Bishop Jones and placed his name before the church's general assembly, which approved the motion.

 

 

Bishop O.T. Jones Jr.

AS A PASTOR - Under his pastorate, the local church has grown to thousands; developed a comprehensive outreach ministry; renovated living facilities and developed a constructive, diversified rehabilitation program for young men going through the "Never Alone Fellowship Program" (a half-way house); a community center for varied types of counseling, employment directives; food and clothing give always; after-school programs; summer day camp; completed over $500,000 in renovations and additions to the church in recent years, including complete renovation and additions to the Community Day Care Center (CDC) for autistic children.

AS A JURISDICTIONAL LEADER - Under his leadership, the Commonwealth Jurisdiction has become one of the largest jurisdictions in the Church of God in Christ; developed Jurisdictional Church Extension and Assistance Fund for pastors; Seniors' Ministries and Assistance; Prison Ministry; established Jurisdictional Scholarship fund; and established an annual Pastor’s and Leaders Retreat.

AS A NATIONAL LEADER - Has served the National Church in many capacities including former President of the International Youth Congress, former Editor of YPW.W. Topics; supported the C. H Mason Seminary and Saints Academy; elected to the General Board of the Church of God in Christ and elevated in 1997 to the Second Assistant Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ .

AS A CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR - Graduated from college on five occasions and is a recipient  of a B.S degree in Education; M.A. in Sociology, and the following theological degrees S.T.B.;  STM., and STD.; outstanding writer and published author of religious articles and pamphlets "What Are The Young People In Your Church Doing?" and "Who Is This Man Called Jesus"; distinguished teacher and preacher of The Gospel .

AS A WORLD LEADER - is esteemed internationally in the Body of Christ; served as member of the Board of Regents of Oral Roberts University; served as a Board Member of the American Bible Society; served as an elected member of the "Give Me A Chance Ministry"; served for a number of years as a Board Member of the O.l.C. (OpportunI'ty Industrialization Center); served as a missionary in Liberia; served as an Associate Minister in Monrovia, Liberia; and as a member of the Council of Christian Missionaries in Liberia; has been an effective Ambassador for Christ.

AS A FAMILY MAN - is the loyal husband of Dr. Regina Jones, an esteemed educator and church worker; and father of twin sons, Soren and Stephen, who are commissioned officers in the United States Air Force; the son of the late Senior Bishop O.T. Jones, Sr. and Mother Neanza Z. Jones. 

AS A SPIRITUAL LEADER - Entire ministry has focused on preparing men and women for Christian Discipleship; he founded the Christ Seeks You Rallies (His God-given Crusade for Converts.)

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