Gilbert E. Patterson

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Gilbert E. Patterson
Born (1939-09-22)September 22, 1939
Humboldt, TN, U.S.
Died March 20, 2007(2007-03-20) (aged 67)
Memphis, TN, U.S.
Occupation Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ, Pastor, Televangelist, Singer
Years active 1958–2007
Predecessor Chandler D. Owens
Successor Charles E. Blake

Gilbert Earl Patterson (September 22, 1939[1] – March 20, 2007[2]) was an American Pentecostal-Holiness, Charismatic minister who served as the international Presiding Bishop and Chief Apostle of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), Inc.

Biography[edit]

Patterson was born to Bishop William Archie 'W. A.' (1898–1991) and Mary Louise Williams Patterson (1901–1981) in the parsonage next door to the Church of God in Christ in Humboldt, Tennessee and is the youngest of six children. He confessed Christ as his Savior at 11 years old at Holy Temple COGIC in Memphis, Tennessee. Shortly after, the family moved to Detroit. He answered his call to ministry in 1956 while he was only 16 years old at the church his father pastored.

Bishop J. S. Bailey ordained him in 1958 as an elder in the Church of God in Christ. In 1962, Patterson became co-pastor with his father at Holy Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis. Patterson continued his pastorate in 1975 as the founder and pastor of Temple of Deliverance, the Cathedral of the Bountiful Blessings near downtown.

Patterson founded the rapidly growing Bountiful Blessings Ministries (BBM) which is viewed internationally on The Word Network weekly, as well as on local TV stations throughout the nation. Bountiful Blessings Ministries has a mailing list of over 100,000 active donors from outside the Memphis viewing audience. Evangelist Louise D. Patterson is now the Chairperson and CEO of Bountiful Blessings Ministries. Today, Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ is one of the nation's fastest growing congregations with over 18,000 on its membership roll. In 2000, Calhoun street where Bountiful Blessing is located was renamed G. E. Patterson Ave., in honor of the Bishop.

Patterson studied at the Detroit Bible Institute (later known as William Tyndale College), and LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis. He held an Honorary Doctorate from Oral Roberts University and was the President of the Charles H. Mason Bible College of Tennessee Fourth Jurisdiction in Memphis. Patterson was the publisher of Bountiful Blessings Magazine and a contributing writer in the Spirit Filled life Bible (King James Version) published by Thomas Nelson Publishers and edited by Dr. Jack W. Hayford. In July 2002, Whitaker House released Patterson's first book, entitled Here Comes The Judge.

Patterson was married to the former Louise Dowdy for over 35 years.

In 2005, he announced that he was battling prostate cancer and was hospitalized in January for an unannounced illness. Patterson died on March 20, 2007 of heart failure.

On March 28, 2007, the United States Senate passed a resolution celebrating the life of Patterson. The sponsors were Senators Barack Obama, Carl Levin, John Kerry, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker[3] He was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis.

Education and influence[edit]

Patterson was an author as well as a minister. He attended Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, Detroit Bible Institute and held an honorary doctorate from Oral Roberts University. Bishop Patterson was a contributing writer in the Spirit Filled Life Bible (KJV) which was edited by Dr. Jack Hayford. He was the author of the critically acclaimed book, “Here Comes The Judge” published by Whitaker House Publishing. He was the subject of feature articles in Newsweek, Ebony, Jet and Charisma magazines.

Patterson was a part of the nine-person strategy team which invited Martin Luther King, Jr. to Memphis for the Sanitation Worker’s strike. His work as a champion of civil rights earned him many awards. In 1993 Patterson opened the doors of Temple of Deliverance to the community and began serving free hot meals daily. The church fed multiple thousands of people during the two-year period in which he led this humanitarian cause. In 2002 he charted COGIC Charities, Inc. Through this nonprofit corporation, the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. has assisted victims of natural disasters both foreign and domestic as well as other charitable efforts to uplift humanity.[citation needed]

Patterson founded and pastored Bountiful Blessings Temple of Deliverance in 1975 and thirty-two years later Temple of Deliverance Church Of God In Christ has more than 15,000 members on roll with more than 6,500 active members. In May 1999, Bishop Patterson and Temple of Deliverance Church Of God In Christ entered new Worship Center which cost approximately 13 million dollars and seats approximately 5000. In 2005 the congregation dedicated the G.E. Patterson Family Life and Youth Center which it built at a cost of more than $5 million without securing a bank loan. Temple of Deliverance is one of the fastest growing congregations in the country. During his ministerial career, Bishop Patterson organized 7 churches across the country.[citation needed]

Patterson was the founder/ president of Bountiful Blessings Ministries which is viewed nationwide and internationally on the BET and TBN cable networks and a variety of local television stations throughout the country. He was the editor and publisher of the Bountiful Blessings Magazine with a distribution list of over 200,000 individuals. He was the president and general manager of WBBP Radio, a 5000-watt, full-time gospel radio station. He was President of Podium Records, a record label whose first project, Bishop G. E. Patterson Presents Rance Allen and the Soul Winners' Conference Choir was nominated for a 1999 Grammy Award. Podium Records also released the hit CDs “Bishop G. E. Patterson and Congregation Singing the Old Time Way Volume One and Bishop G. E. Patterson and Congregation Singing the Old Time Way Volume Two.” Volume One was nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award, making Bishop Patterson personally a two-time Grammy Nominee. Bishop Patterson was the 2006 Stellar Award winner for Best Traditional Male Vocalist. He was also nominated for a 2006 Soul Train Music Award.[citation needed]

On November 14, 2000, Patterson was elected as Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. He was reelected by acclamation in November 2004. In his office as the Presiding Bishop, he was the Chairman of the General Board and President of the Church. He was one of the most sought after speakers in the country.

Patterson's uncle was J.O. Patterson, Sr. (1912–1989), the Presiding Bishop of COGIC from 1968 until his death. His cousin was Bishop J.O. Patterson, Jr. (1935–2011), who was interim mayor of Memphis and chairman of the COGIC General Assembly. The First Assistant Presiding Bishop of the COGIC, Inc., Charles E. Blake, Sr. succeeded him as Presiding Bishop.

His character, his leadership, and his powerful preaching extended his influence beyond the church he loved so dearly. His ministry on TV endeared him to saints and sinners across the nation and around the world. He was loved and respected by the leaders in the church world and people across America responded to his passionate preaching of Jesus Christ. God gave Bishop Patterson to the Church of God in Christ and then extended his influence far beyond the church.

Homegoing celebration[edit]

A Three-Day (local, state/jurisdictional, and national/international) Homegoing Celebration was held March 29–31, 2007 at the church he founded, Temple of Deliverance COGIC in Memphis. The eulogy at the local service was delivered by Bishop Frank Anthone White. The eulogy at the jurisdictional service was delivered by Jerry Loran Maynard, Prelate of Tennessee Fourth Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction. The final eulogy at the national/international service was delivered by Bishop Charles E. Blake. All the major leaders from COGIC. made their contributions to this three-day celebration, including the director of the National Baptist Convention, and General Board Secretary Prelate, Bishop Lincoln W. Norris. In addition to Bishop Blake, three addresses of comfort and well wishes were delivered to COGIC by: the Honorable Alphonso Jackson, Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Official Representative of President George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States of America and Presiding Bishop James D. Leggett, General Superintendent of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church and Chairman of the Pentecostal World Fellowship, who had the following to say at this occasion, "A warrior who has touched the lives of all of us so profoundly, a "GIANT" in our lifetime has gone home".

Historical events[edit]

1968: Distinguishes himself as an ardent fighter for human rights and other civil conflicts and becomes a part of the Civil Rights Movement, preaching fervently that love and peace must prevail if America is to survive. Involved in the strike of 1968 that centered on black sanitation workers in Memphis. Mr. Chairman I Nominate Jesus is recorded in Memphis during a live broadcast of the G. E. Patterson Evangelistic Crusade hour. In this particular infamous sermon that is appropriate for any political season, Apostle Patterson takes a retrospective glance at the political conventions of 1968 and nominates Jesus as the only real remedy to cure the ills of our society.

1978: New remodeled sanctuary opened to accommodate phenomenal growth. Also, noted in Jet Magazine as the first church built at a cost exceeding $1 million by African Americans in Memphis, Tennessee.

1988: Former Presiding Bishop J.O. Patterson executes the action to officially install Bishop G.E. Patterson as a jurisdictional bishop in Memphis during the Bishop’s Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. Organizes Tennessee 4th Jurisdiction Bountiful Blessings Magazine

1998: Memphis City Council approves changing the name of Calhoun Avenue to G.E. Patterson Avenue. Contributing writer in the Spirit Filled Life Bible (KJV), which was edited by Dr. Jack Hayford. Forms a record label, Podium Records, and records first gospel music project. Editor and publisher of Bountiful Blessings Magazine with circulation of 100,000.

1999: Temple of Deliverance Cathedral of Bountiful Blessings opens at 369 G. E. Patterson Avenue at a cost of $13 million. Presents first project under new record label, Bishop G.E. Patterson Presents Rance Allen and the Soul Winner’s Conference Choir. Nominated for a Grammy Award for Soul Winner’s Conference Choir project.

2000: Elected as the presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, becoming the first to unseat a sitting presiding bishop in the denomination’s history.

2001: Featured in the cover story of Charisma Magazine in article titled, “God’s Man in Memphis.”

2002: Founder of COGIC Charities, Inc., the philanthropic arm of the Church of God in Christ, and since its inception has participated in the following humanitarian efforts: Thousands of bottles of water furnished after the summer 2003 Storm in Memphis, Tennessee along with hot meals and bags of ice. Provided funds to several organizations for relief efforts after Hurricanes Charley, Rita and Katrina and the tsunami as well as providing awards for educational scholarships and other humanitarian efforts. Purchases a home for a family who were victims of the Katrina Hurricane. First book titled, Here Comes the Judge, is released by Whitaker House Publishers.

2004: Elected by acclamation to the office of Presiding Bishop for second four-year term.

2005: Offers prayer during President George W. Bush’s inaugural prayer service at Washington Cathedral. Designates January 30 as “We Care Sunday” in COGIC and spearheaded the collection of an international offering of $425,000 for aid in the tsunami relief effort. Along with the congregation of Temple of Deliverance Cathedral of Bountiful Blessings opened and dedicated the G.E. Patterson Family Life and Youth Center, built at a cost of more than 5 million dollars without securing a bank loan.

2006: Nominated for Grammy Award for gospel project, Singing the Old Time Way. Nominated for Soul Train Music Award

2007: Receives Stellar Award for Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year: Bishop G. E. Patterson & Congregation – Singing the Old Time Way – Volume 2.

References[edit]

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