Founder

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

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 was the youngest of six children. Growing up on Orleans street in the Lauderdale Sub neighborhood of Memphis, he was saved at 11 years old at a revival held in Holy Temple COGIC. Holy Temple COGIC was founded by his father. Later he moved with his family to Detroit, where his father pastored a second church New Jerusalem COGIC. At the age of 16, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and answered his call to ministry in 1956 while he was only 16 years old at New Jerusalem.
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 ObamaCarl LevinJohn KerryLamar Alexander and Bob Corker[3] He was interred at Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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 his close cousin, Lincoln Norris, and many others of his family. In addition to Bishop Blake, three addresses of comfort and well wishes were delivered to COGIC by: Alphonso Jackson, Former Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Official Representative of President George W. BushBill 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". Bishop Patterson was buried at Memorial Park Funeral Home & Cemetery after all of the home going services were concluded.

 

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