I’ve finally been able to sit down and write to you the Saints of the Most High God with details about the homegoing of Bishop G.E. Patterson. Over the years, I’ve brought you reports on all types of funerals from saints to sinners. I’ve given you reports on Holy Convocations, my travels throughout the world, legendary church services, personal testimonies of myself and my family, and now, a full un-edited version of the homegoing of Bishop GE Patterson. I say un-edited because the cameras edited out plenty of things “they” did not want you to see. With that in mind, grab a seat, relax and enjoy once again, the Gospel according to THE POPE OF PENTECOST! You can always count on me!!!!!! Forgive me for any mis-spellings as spell checker does not always catch everything and I am typing this out in haste.Thursday night which was really Friday morning I and delegates from the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Bibleway World Wide met in Columbia SC to start our pilgrimage to Memphis, Mecca of the COGIC Headquarters. With plenty of gas, dvd’s, gospel music and great conversation we started our way out west. You could feel the excitement in the air. As a side bar, for those of you who ever drive out to Memphis (for what ever reason) the best way to get there would be to go through Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL, Mississippi and finally come out in Memphis. We arrived at our hotel too early so we decided to take a trial run to Temple of Deliverance and get acquainted with the City roads as we knew later on we would have no time for error.When I tell you, Temple of Deliverance is one GRAND OLE CATHEDRAL in the heart of the ghetto. We tried to ignore the bums on the street, the projects/slummy housing conditions with clothes lines hanging from window to window, but we could not help but notice how one could build such a huge church and NOT clean up the surrounding neighborhood. Picture “skid row” with a magnificent worship facility in the middle of it. We were sadly disappointed to say the least (and pretty frightened). Never the less, we noticed that there were lots of Bishops, Pastors and Evangelist who were already in there clerical attire walking back and forth having secret meetings in the different fellowship halls of the church grounds. What were they talking about? Who knows. Perhaps who will be the next Presider of the COGIC, others thought they were discussing final preparations for the funeral. I personally believe it was a combination of both. Since we are Apostolic and have never been on the grounds of the Headquarters of the COGIC we immediately took our cameras out and began taking pictures of any and everything we could see. We were able to go to Mason Temple which was about 5 minutes from Temple of Deliverance but they would not let us in. Why? Once again, secret meetings that only bishops could attend. We began to joke and say “white smoke means we have a new pope and black smoke means we still don’t have a new pope” lol (well, that’s the way at least the catholics choose there new leader once there old leader dies).After a few pictures and a bite to eat, we finally were able to check into our hotel to begin getting dressed for the Friday Night Jurisdictional Memorial. Service starts at 7pm and we were already dressed and lined up back at the church by 3:00pm for the viewing. The rule was, you were to view the body then walk out the church and line up again to get back into the church for the 7pm service. Robes, Clergy Attire, Nuns Uniforms were the norm for the entire weekend. It appears everyone in the COGIC has some type of calling on there lives but don’t be fooled by the clerical attire, these people are just as nutts as a baptist person who speaks in tongues. There was NO ORDER what so ever when it came to the line up (with the exception of the viewing of the body line). Bishop Patterson looked extremely well in the casket. The pictures that I took were on the low because you dare not snap your camera for fear some wanna be preacher scold you for bringing your camera into the HOLY SANCTUARY so the pics from the inside of the church don’t look that well I apologize. Picture this, 50+ ushers on the inside with hands extended toward the body and 0 ushers on the outside for crowd control. This is were it gets kinda crazy. Temple of Deliverance only holds about 5,000 people with I guess 200+ seats in the choir stand for those lucky enough to sing that night. You have over 200 limos outside and 10,000 plus people waiting on the outside trying to get a seat for the evening service (of which 100 plus people were either in wheel chairs or crutches or had some type of physical ailment) and 0 ushers outside for crowd control. YOU DO THE MATH! By 4pm people were acting a plum fool trying to push there way back into the church. Stand in line? THERE IS NO LINE! Just people cramming at doors pushing back and forth and crying wanting to make sure they get a seat. And all the ushers on the inside could do was stand there. NO help what so ever. 5pm comes and people are now making there own lines while consistently being mis-informed by people on the inside as to how to line up. Everyone started claiming they were a Bishop, A Missionary, A Supervisor, A Nun, A Priest, A Monk, whatever title you could come up with, people claimed it THAT NIGHT! WHY? Because they wanted to get one of the best seats in the house. The Old Temple Of Deliverance and Mason Temple as well as the Fellowship Hall were already filled to capacity. We had no choice but to stand there and pray we get in. One sister started crying saying “Bishop would not want all this chaos, Bishop would not be pleased, PLEASE LET US IN!” She was not even saved (and had her pants on…yeah I said it…) But hey, other people showed up in shorts and pajama bottoms with tank tops and they all got in!!!! Horrendous! Other people were saying “I am in a wheel chair, let me in” Missionary so and so is out here, she needs a seat, open the door!!!!!! Finally they opened the door about 1.5 hours before the Friday night service began. Amazingly my group got split up but were able to re-unite on the inside of the church and we all had wonderful seats in the lower part of the balcony. We could see everything. During the service, we danced, we cried, we spoke in tongues, we hollered, it was your typical Pentecostal Homegoing. The only problem we had once in the church was the fact that we were told 18 boxes of obituaries were stolen so we have no obituaries for Friday nights service. I don’t get it! You come from so far and cant even get an obituary. The saints almost rioted when they heard the news. If it was not for most people being filled with the Holy Ghost, I think folks would have started cursing and cutting folks! That’s how angry people were. The ushers were no help! I witnessed some ushers getting “jumped on” by parishioners demanding obituaries. It was sad. But you know how us Pentecostals are, the minute another dance broke out, everyone was HOLY AGAIN! LOLFriday night we got about 3 hours of sleep each as we were back on line at 6:00AM Saturday morning for the 10AM service. I was able to get some poor footage from my cell phone of the arrival of the body. It looked like there was going to be order and then when the doors opened only 1 hour prior to the funeral, everyone went to stampeding one more time. It was worse then Friday Night! Then the doors shut and signs were placed on the doors stating there was no more room in the church. Nuns, Bishops and choir members in there Holy Robes were all stuck outside with no way of getting in. It was a SHAME! Once again, people started crying begging to get in. I even witnessed a person take a $100 bill out of his pocket and tried to buy his way into the sanctuary! Huh??????? My group ended up splitting up. Those with Clergy Collars went one way and lay members went another way. I got into the church at around 11:00AM just in time to hear Timothy Wright sing “Jesus, Jesus Jesus”! Then a massive dance broke out. I had not danced all weekend and I just decided to take off running and dancing through the church just because I was so happy to get a seat amongst the elite clergy men. I shouted till I broke a good sweat then sat my happy butt down and fell asleep the rest of the service ha ha ha ha ha. People were snoring next to me, crying next to me, slobbering next to me. I woke up when the choir started singing again and Dorinda Clark was leading a song in her Holy White robe with a gawd awful weave (why do those Clark sisters never do there hair…..at least she had no earrings and make up on) as the rule for the choir was you could not wear any type of adornment except your robe. Needless to say, her white robe looked better then the other choir members robes.
All right I’m done! You can view all 3 funerals online right now if you want. I just wanted to give you a taste of what I experienced and boy was it worth it. Even though we were tired, all of us had to agree we were happy we were there to see history in the making. Never the less, dont come down to hard on the COOLJC, the grass is not always greener. COGIC deals with the same junk we deal with, they just know how to “dress up” there junk! I’ve learned this Christian race is a personal thing and that not one particular organization is better then the next. (Ahhhh, but the Acts 2:38 way is still right….don’t get it twisted!)
I hope my dissertation was fun and entertaining. Most of you I’ve known now for about 5 years now. Yall know how my mouth is. Yall know my beliefs. Yall know I tell it like it is when it comes to these legendary church services. Until the next homegoing or major convention (which ever comes first) GOD BLESS YA! (LOL)