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COGIC UK celebrates historic diamond jubilee

MILESTONE: Bishop Alvin Blake

THIS WEEKEND, one of the country’s oldest Pentecostal denominations, the Calvary Church of God in Christ celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Soul Stirrings speaks to its current leader Bishop Alvin Blake.

SOUL STIRRINGS (SS): Did you ever get to meet the founders of COGIC UK Bishop & Mother McLachlan?  What were they like?

BISHOP ALVIN BLAKE (BB): There are a few people throughout COGIC that remember the founders, Bishop and Mother McLachlan.

Mother Stewart who recently celebrated her 100th birthday not only joined them when she arrived in the UK 1956 but knew them from Jamaica, having worshipped in the same church in Kingston. She recalls that they were loving, kind and considerate people, who loved God and had a passion for people.

SS: What do you think they would think about COGIC UK 60 years on?

BB: The church has seen growth over the years as it continues to build upon everyone uniting and coming together to pray, and that people are to live a holy and consecrated life. This has been the basis which the church was built upon.

SS: What in your view has been COGIC UK’s greatest achievement during the past 60 years?

BB: When our founders started out they were inspirational in encouraging other young leaders to step out into ministry, like the late Bishop Powell, Bishop Francis Snr, Pastor Io Smith and many more.

COGIC UK was a leader in developing the great sound of British gospel music and working ecumenically with other churches and working in the community.

SS: How would you assess COGIC's contribution to British church life?

BB: COGIC has made a platform for anyone wishing to serve God.

They were the first organised Black led church from the Windrush Generation of Caribbean migrants to the UK. That alone is a great contribution to British life.

SS: What has COGIC planned for its 60th anniversary?

BB: The church has planned a conference, a music extravaganza as part of its 60th Convocation in August, and a reception/gala in November. Special guest speakers at the convocation include Bishop Brandon Porter from the USA and Rev. Joel Edwards

SS: What would you like to see COGIC achieve in the next 60 years?

BB: A transformation of society through the power of the Holy Spirit as demonstrated in the teachings and actions of Jesus; healing and restoration of the social order.

This will mean the church coming out of its comfort zone to work with other agencies including government and local authority, challenging political systems to fight for justice and equality for one and all.

COGIC’s 60th anniversary convocation runs from 24-27 August at its headquarters in Luton.

Visit www.cogic.co.uk for more details

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