HISTORY | WISCONSIN NORTHWEST CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST

In the state of Wisconsin, the history of the Church of God in Christ began with the arrival of Elder R. Anderson to the City of Milwaukee in 1919. Upon arriving to Milwaukee from his home in Detroit, Michigan, Elder Anderson and his family took shelter in a park, having only a few of their belongings. With no resources, they slept for a few days on park benches. They believed God had ordained this mission. Thus, began the Church of God in Christ in Wisconsin.

Elder Anderson began to hold street meetings in a location called the “Hay Market,” on North 6th Street. People were drawn from all over the city by the beautiful spiritual songs and a strange new gospel of “Follow peace with all men and Holiness without which no man can see the Lord. Be ye Holy for I, the Lord, your God am Holy.”

Since that time, there have been many changes in the Wisconsin Church of God in Christ, including the establishment of Jurisdictions and Jurisdictional Leaders. As the migration of African Americans from the south gained momentum it created a need for places of worship in the tradition of their experiences of worship back home. The Church of God in Christ is believed to be the oldest in the State of Wisconsin according to official records at Wisconsin Historical Society. In 1923, under the name “Church of God in Christ of Milwaukee,” on West Vliet Street, in John Gurda’s “The Making of Milwaukee” displays a (Circa) 1930 photograph of the church at 1361 North 8th Street. It is believed that after a number of church locations, this is the same group of men that started with Elder Anderson in 1919. This church is now known as Christ Temple Church of God in Christ, 2778 North 10th Street, with Elder T. D. Evans as pastor.

In the late 1940s (Circa) 1948 – 1949, after Overseer W. L. Morris was appointed to the Office of Bishop, dissatisfaction occurred and it became necessary to divide the work into two Jurisdictions in 1951. The National Church allowed the name of Northwest Wisconsin and Southeast Wisconsin to be used to designate a new beginning in the history of the Church of God in Christ in Wisconsin.

There have been a number of great leaders of Wisconsin, beginning with the late Bishop J. B. Davis, the late Bishop Oscar Freeman, the late Bishop Peter James Henderson, the late Bishop Adolphus Allen, and our current leader Bishop Charles H. McClelland who has ushered the jurisdiction into a new level of spiritual and numerical growth.