- Category: News
07 Jul 2011
- Written by Dorothy Bracy Alston
After three days of memorial services (June 29 – July 1) for COGIC Bishop James Oglethorpe Patterson Jr., what’s next?
| Elder C.H. Mason Patterson Sr. and his wife, LaShaundra Patterson, exit Mason Temple after the National Service for his late father, Bishop J.O. Patterson Jr. (Photos by Tyrone P. Easley)|
| Ministers of Pentecostal Temple Institutional Church of God in Christ were pallbearers for Bishop Patterson, chairman of the COGIC General Assembly.|
| Bishop Patterson’s widow, Judith K. Patterson, is escorted and comforted by her son (left) Brian R. Dotson, and Elder Dickerson Wells.|
After last Sunday’s (July 3) morning worship at Pentecostal Temple, the New Tri-State Defender was granted an exclusive interview with Elder Patterson. For the last five months, he has been a familiar face in the pulpit, preaching most Sundays during the brief illness that preceded Bishop Patterson’s death. Ordained by his father in 1998, Elder Patterson and has been preaching regularly at Pentecostal Temple since age 21.
During the special interview granted to the New Tri-State Defender, Patterson, with his wife LaShaundra alongside, answered questions about his siblings, his ministry and his vision for ministry. The Patterson’s three children – Tyren 14, Charles Jr., 10, and 20-month-old Kelly Rose, who was busy running freely around the church, also stopped by to say hello.
Whether young or old, the Pattersons have been trained to serve. Patterson said that all of his siblings – Dr. James O. Patterson III, Minister Aaron Lamont Patterson, and Jennifer Rose Patterson Hill – attend Pentecostal Temple and are involved in ministry, on some level.
Even though he works in the local church, like his late father Bishop Patterson, Elder Patterson, who began preaching at age 16, wears several ministry hats, serving both locally and nationally.
“I am employed fulltime with the National office as superintendent of National Properties, assistant treasurer, and a member of the National Board of Trustees,” said Patterson.
“I have my own ministry, C.H. Mason Patterson Ministries that is continually evolving. I have a radio and television ministry. I can be seen on Channel 17 on Sundays at 2 p.m. My radio ministry airs Sunday through Friday from 9:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. on 1480 WBBP, and on WLOK, Sundays from 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.”
Patterson said his vision for his ministry is broad and ever evolving.
“As I see needs in the community I want to be a blessing and to help younger preachers develop and grow in their relationship with the Lord, to share my life experiences and help them grow in the word of God. I believe in healing of the total man; a ministry that will reach every avenue of a man’s life,” he said.
“My vision includes having a housing development. I desire to have a school – an educational facility where children can go to school in a Christian environment. I want to enhance outreach ministries and minister to the downcast and downtrodden. I want to offer adult classes where adults can come and develop job readiness skills, computer skills for workforce development, and I want this place (Pentecostal Temple) to be a beacon of light in the community where people of all ages and races can come together and worship.”
After Bishop Patterson’s death, COGIC Presiding Bishop Blake became the pastor of Pentecostal Temple.
“He (Blake) left us with directions to continue as we’ve been going. He advised us to take at least 30 days for the church to grieve, in honor of the fallen pastor; but it will take us longer as a family, said Patterson.
“We’re not going to make any changes now,” he said. “We’re seeking God for direction and the future of the ministry.”
On Monday, June 27, following the death of Bishop Patterson, the Pentecostal Temple began 40 days of fasting and consecration.
During the Sunday service, it mostly was church as usual: Ministers, elders, deacons, ushers, missionaries, choir, congregants and family members were in their usual places. Prayers of exhortation, scriptures, songs of praise, worship, communion, and ministry of the Word all went on as customary.
Before delivering his 45-minute sermon, Elder Patterson spent extra time thanking church members and his family, and recognizing individuals for their support and prayers during the passing of his father.
“Thank God for our First Lady (Judith K. Patterson).” he said. “She was a good wife to Bishop Patterson. We are going to support her. Thank God for the entire Mason Patterson family.”
Patterson also praised First Lady Patterson’s children (Phillip T.R. Dotson, Tiffany M. Dotson and Brian R. Dotson). “They are my brothers,” he said of his stepbrothers.
His message was titled “Seeking God’s Direction.”
“The only way you can get to a place you have never been before is to first get directions,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing, seeking God’s direction, not man’s direction. We shouldn’t begin any journey without first seeking God’s direction….
“He’s still the same God that Bishop J.O. Patterson Sr. and Bishop J.O. Patterson Jr. prayed to and followed, and we’re going to follow Him into the future.”