HOW WE SERVE
OUR BIBLE BASIS
For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. – Psalm 84:10
Maintain an orderly worship atmosphere in God's house for a positive Christian experience. Recruit and train ushers to exhibit excellence at all levels. Develop leaders which promote high productivity and professionalism in the Usher ministry.
In the early days of the church, the duty of ushering in the Church Of God In Christ was performed by the Deacons and Church Mothers who escorted pastors and dignitaries to the pulpit. During our Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee, there were a few men appointed to work security.
In the late years of our founder, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, growth had precipitated a need for the services of the ushers. Ushers were initially used during the era of the Youth Congress where mostly men and only a few women served as ushers. The late Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey, along with Mother Emma Crouch broke with the trend by assisting in greeting and seating the saints and visitors. Since uniforms had not been initiated, Ushers dressed in their best; ladies even wore their dress hats. Together the women realized the need to improve upon the idea of the "church usher" and were moved to organize the first Usher Board of the Church Of God In Christ in 1950.
In 1961 Mother Crouch brought in the late Mother Mahalia Montgomery as the National President and Mrs. Oliva Boyd, Mrs. Velmela Dickerson, and Mother Cook Pruden served as Assistants. Mrs. Helen Watts served as Secretary. These women introduced the organization to the General Church. The Usher Board, now instituted as a National Unit, served to promote the idea of both male and female servants of the masses throughout the International Church, which has grown by leaps and bounds.
During the service in 1976 at our Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee, the Late Bishop J. O. Patterson announced from the podium that he was appointing Brother Willie W. Cook as President of the National Usher Department. Brother Guy Phillips, Jesse Dorsey, Forrest Hodge, along with Mother Zettie Felton, Sister Cleola Crawford and the Late Mother Myrtle Terry served as Vice President. Brother Freddie Peque was appointed Executive Secretary and served until 1992. In 1992, Brother Cook appointed Mother Dorothy Holmes as Executive Secretary and later as Vice President in 2000. Brother Calvin Williams was appointed as Chief Adjutant to the President and later Vice President in 2006.
The Late Mother Elizabeth W. Jenkins was appointed to serve as Chairperson on Women’s Day in 1997. Missionary Hattie Dudley was appointed as Vice President from 1992 until 2006. She was also appointed to serve as Chairperson on Women’s Day in 1999. In 2000, Missionary Renee’ Rhone joined the Executive staff and served as Department Secretary. Brother Cook remained faithful to his assignment until his retirement in 2007.
In August 2007, Mother Dorothy Holmes was named interim President. In 2007, she appointed Deacon Connie Sawyer Jr. and reappointed Deacon Calvin Williams & Mother Cleola Crawford as Vice Presidents along with Missionary Renee Rhone-Brown as Department Secretary. In the same year, Sister Barbara McCree was appointed as Executive Secretary. In 2008, Mother Margie Scott was appointed as Vice President. Mother Dorothy Holmes was officially appointed as the International Usher Department President by Bishop Charles E. Blake on April 13, 2009.
The International Usher Department has become better organized and has facilitated a growth of more than 400 members. This organization is recognized and applauded by the International Church of God in Christ all over the world.