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Rev Charles Harrison Mason
Birth: Sep. 8, 1866
Memphis
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Nov. 17, 1961
Detroit
Wayne County
Michigan, USA

Religious leader and founder of the Church Of God In Christ, the largest black Pentecostal denomination. He became one of the most significant figures in the rise and spread of the modern Pentecostal movement in the Twentieth Century. A slim, articulate man, sporting a bow tie and a pencil-thin mustache, Mason had a profound knowledge of the Bible despite little formal education. Charles Harrison Mason was born in 1866, on Prior Farm just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. His parents, Jerry and Eliza Mason, former slaves, were members of a Missionary Baptist Church, which served as a source of strength for them in the distressing times that followed the Civil War. When Mason was twelve years old, a Yellow Fever epidemic forced his family to leave the Memphis area for Plumerville, Arkansas, where they lived on John Watson's plantation as tenant farmers. The epidemic claimed his father's life in 1879. During! those fearful and difficult days, the young Mason worked hard, having little chance for schooling. In 1880 just before his fourteenth birthday, Mason fell ill with chills and fever. His mother was afraid he would not survive. However, in a surprising turn of events on the first Sunday in September 1880, he was miraculously healed. Mason soon after converted to evangelical Christianity. Along with his mother he attended the Mt. Olive Baptist Church near Plumerville where the pastor, Mason's half-brother, the Reverend I.S. Nelson, baptized him in an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving. After hearing Amanda Smith, a black evangelist, Mason believed himself sanctified, or free from sin, which he saw as a necessary act of divine grace following conversion. From that point in his life, Mason went throughout the area of southern Arkansas as a lay preacher, giving his testimony and working with souls on the mourners' bench, especially during the summer camp meetings. Along with Charles P. Jones, Mason began to preach the doctrines associated with the controversial Holiness Movement. Both were expelled from the Baptist Church for heresy. Mason attended Arkansas Bible College for three months in 1882 but was educated more by the spirituality of former slaves. Mason was licensed and ordained in 1891 at Preston, Arkansas, but held back from full-time ministry to marry Alice Saxton, the beautiful daughter of his mother's close! st frie nd. To his greatest disappointment and distress, his wife bitterly opposed his ministerial plans. She divorced him after two years of marriage and later remarried. Mason would later marry and the couple would have several children. In 1895 Mason and Jones founded the Church of Christ in an abandoned cotton gin building in Mississippi. They were attacked by racist whites, but publicity surrounding the attack brought new members to the fledgling church. In 1897 Mason and Jones changed the name to the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), a title Mason claimed was revealed to him by God on the street in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1907 Mason traveled from Memphis to Los Angeles to investigate the Azusa Street Revival, a religious phenomenon in which participants experienced glossolalia, or speaking in tongues, and which marked the beginning of the worldwide Pentecostal movement. Mason returned home a believing Pentecostal but failed to convince Jones, who left to found the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. Pentecostalism spread rapidly around the world, appealing especially to the poor and oppressed and gaining countless members internationally. The early movement in the United States continued the inter-racialism of Azusa Street. Many white Pentecostal ministers came to Mason for ordination because COGIC was already legally incorporated. By 1914 segregation had been reestablished through white initiative, and white Pentecostals went their separate way. The COGIC flourished under Mason's charismatic leadership. Thousands of Mason's followers, migrating from south to north and southwest to far west, carried his teachings and evangelistic spirit to virtually every major city in America. Mason led the Church Of God In Christ until his death at age ninety-five at Harper's Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, in 1961. After lying in state and after an elaborate funeral held at Mason Temple, headquarters of the COGIC in Memphis, he was entombed in a marble vault in the foyer of the church. Upon his death, the Church Of God In Christ, which had begun in a gin house in Lexington, Mississippi, claimed some 5,500 congregations and 482,679 members. At least ten other church bodies owed their origins to Mason's church. Since his death the Church Of God In Christ has continued its rapid growth. Mason stamped his personality on his church far more emphatically than any other Holiness leader. He lived to see the Church Of God In Christ become a major denomination and one of the largest Pentecostal bodies in the world. Today it has more than six million members in the United States alone and the church has congregations in nearly 60 countries around the world. (bio by: Curtis Jackson) 
 
Family links: 
 Children:
  Deborah Indiana Mason Patterson (1914 - 1985)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Mason Temple
Memphis
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Curtis Jackson
Record added: Sep 27, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6806201
Rev Charles Harrison Mason
Added by: Curtis Jackson
 
Rev Charles Harrison Mason
Added by: Anonymous
 
Rev Charles Harrison Mason
Added by: Anonymous
 
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- Bernard Johnson
 Added: Jan. 21, 2015
Honoring your 150th birthday great grand dad with love 2014 we will walk in your steps and follow after Jesus as you did (yes Lord!)
- Sarastine Richey
 Added: Oct. 26, 2014

- Ryan D. Curtis
 Added: Sep. 8, 2014
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