Bishop Eleazar Lenox, Founder

      OUR FOUNDER . . .

 Eleazar Lenox was born January 23, 1902 in Yazoo County Mississippi to Stephen and Tibbie Lenox.  He was the seventh of eight children. 

He joined the  Churchof  Godin Christ at 1865 W. Carroll in 1921 under the pastorship of Elder Thomas Farley.  In 1923 married Mamie Glover.  To this union five children were born: twins Naomi and Ruth, Louivory, James and Stephen.

While actively working in the church he served faithfully as the Church Secretary, a Deacon and Assistant Pastor before he was ordained.  On July 20, 1925, Bishop William Roberts ordained and appointed him pastor after the resignation of Elder Farley.

After the passing of his dear wife, Mamie, in April 1936 he was united in matrimony to Truesillia Bryson.  To this union, five children were born: Doris, Trueannie, Mary, Eleazar Joshua and Lorenzo.

In 1939, Bishop Roberts appointed Elder Lenox pastor of the Brown Street COGIC in  Springfield, Illinoisbecause of his leadership qualities.  He pastored both the Lake Street and Springfieldchurches.  He became exhausted with the trips to  Springfield, his national and state duties, and his home church.  In 1961, he appointed Elder Alonzo Tinsley as the pastor of the Brown Street COGIC.
Elder Lenox served in the State of  Illinoisunder the jurisdiction of Bishop William Roberts as Secretary, District Superintendent, Chairman of the Elder’s Council and Assistant Overseer.  In 1947, Bishop C.H. Mason divided the State of  Illinoisinto two jurisdictions:  The Northern and Southern Jurisdiction.  Pastor Lenox was appointed overseer of the Southern Illinois Jurisdiction, which encompassed about 30 churches.  In 1955, Bishop C.H. Mason elevated him to Bishop and ordained him.  He was also Chairman of the Concession along with the late Bishop A.B. McEwen.

On February 17, 1982, the Lord called Mother Truesillia home, which was a great loss to Bishop Lenox, the family, church and community.  Mother Littlejohn had prophesied in 1936 that Bishop Lenox would have three wives in his lifetime.  Mother Addie Austin became Mother Addie Lenox in 1984.
Bishop Lenox became afflicted with throat cancer following a great tent revival in 1984.  Knowing his active ministry was nearing the end, after sixty years as pastor of Greater Holy Temple, he appointed his son, Elder James Lenox as pastor of Greater Holy Temple.  He also resigned as Jurisdictional Bishop of Southern Illinois recommending Administrative Assistants John I. Cobb and Robert L. Ford for the position.  Bishop J.O. Patterson and the General Board appointed Superintendent Cobb in 1985.
Bishop Lenox attended his last service on Sunday, January 12th and was taken to  Belmont Hospitalthe following Monday.  On January 25, 1986, two days after his 84th birthday, Bishop Lenox, a true man of God was called home.
Bishop Lenox was a perfect example of faith, love, patience, and the fruit of the spirit.  Uncomplaining in his months of sickness, he was ever appreciative to the many members, family and friends, who are too numerous to name, were at his beck and call.  Among those who helped were his children, his adopted daughter Geneva Brown and his nurse Hattie Gordon.  We will never forget Bishop Eleazar Lenox.  He left a legacy of wisdom and example that we can profit from until we see him again.
Bishop Lenox’s Favorite Quotations:
“Nobody’s doing their best doing nothing.  Nobody is giving their best giving nothing. Nobody is living their best living nothing”.
“If you live, right, heaven belongs to you. If you live wrong, hell belongs to you.  You can’t hate nobody and be saved.  You’ve got to love everybody – if you want to see Jesus”.