2007 Regular Session
By: Representative Espy, Mayo, Burnett, Fleming
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING THE LIFE OF BISHOP G.E. PATTERSON, THE INTERNATIONAL PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST (COGIC), THE VOICE THAT INSPIRED MILLIONS OF CHURCH MEMBERS IN MISSISSIPPI AND WORLDWIDE, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE UPON HIS PASSING.
WHEREAS, in death even as in life, Bishop G.E. Patterson commands an audience. The Presiding Bishop of the International Church of God in Christ (COGIC) died Tuesday, March 20, 2007, but admirers say the voice that inspired generations has not been stilled; and
WHEREAS, the predominantly black Protestant denomination, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, has six million members worldwide and traces its origin to the late 19th Century; and
WHEREAS, it was a direct result of his work, such as his TV ministries, that allowed people to see COGIC as it should have been projected, according to Jurisdictional Bishop Jerry Maynard, the Chief Operating Officer of the National Church who had worked with Bishop Patterson since 1992; and
WHEREAS, he always said if you represent God, you should represent Him in a very positive way and not in a way that causes people to question God or his ways. "Many people know him because of his worldwide telecast and the kind of compassion and love and faithfulness that he demonstrated," said San Diego Jurisdictional Bishop George D. McKinney, a member of the COGIC General Board; and
WHEREAS, Bishop Patterson was born in Humboldt, Tennessee, and was ordained as an Elder in COGIC in 1957 in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Detroit Bible Institute and held an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University. He was a contributing writer of the Spirit Filled Life Bible (KJV) and was the Editor and Publisher of The Bountiful Blessings Magazine with a distribution list of more than 100,000 individuals; and
WHEREAS, Presiding Bishop G.E. Patterson was elected in 2004 to his second four-year term as Head of the International Denomination; and
WHEREAS, in addition to television, Bishop Patterson maintained a regular presence on radio. He was President of WBBP, a 5,000-watt, 24-hour AM gospel station in Memphis with more than 100,000 daily listeners and a growing Internet audience; and
WHEREAS, the Bishop's daily "Words of Encouragement" aired during the week, with recordings of his sermons broadcast on Sundays. That is not likely to change in the foreseeable future. "Bishop Patterson's popularity is such that it is hard to measure, it was so great," said Doreen Graves, director of operations at the station. "He was a leader with a servant's heart and I think that came through in his messages. People could relate to what he said"; and
WHEREAS, Bishop Patterson also founded Podium Records, which features a number of his musical recordings and sermons on compact discs and cassettes; and
WHEREAS, the simple biblical teachings of a small-town boy, who grew up to lead one of the largest Christian denominations in the country, are also found in his books, offered for sale at the church he founded and at numerous retail and online sources; and
WHEREAS, Bishop Patterson represented faith, strength, compassion, hope and love, not only in our community but also throughout the world. While beyond question he was a man of the spirit, he was also a servant of the people. He fed the hungry, housed the homeless and clothed the naked. His legacy will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all who knew him and in those whose lives he touched, and it is with great sadness that we note the passing of this beloved religious leader who was highly significant in the religious landscape of the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life of Bishop G.E. Patterson, the International Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the voice that inspired millions of church members in Mississippi and worldwide, and extend deepest sympathy to his family and to the members of his congregation upon his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Mississippi Jurisdictional Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), to the family of Bishop Patterson and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.