The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (COOLJC) was established in 1919 by Bishop Robert C. Lawson, D.D., LL.D., a distinguished humanitarian and scholar. Throughout his lifetime, Bishop Lawson earned accolades such as the Carver Merit Award for exceptional service to his community and country. His educational achievements included a Bachelor of Theology degree, a Doctor of Divinity degree, and a Doctor of Literary Letters Degree from Lynchburg Seminary and College and the American Bible College.
Upon Bishop Lawson's passing in 1961, new leadership emerged with the formation of the Board of Apostles, including Bishop Hubert J. Spencer, Bishop William L. Bonner, and Bishop Maurice H. Hutner. Bishop Spencer was unanimously elected to preside.
In the same year, Bishop Bonner assumed leadership of the Greater Refuge Temple in Harlem, New York City. Later, he became the third presider in 1973, serving until 1995, and held the position of Chief Apostle untilm2015. Under his guidance, the assembly expanded from 155 churches in 1961 to over 500 churches and missions worldwide.
Successive presiders included Apostle Gentle I. Groover (1995-2001), Apostle James I. Clark (2001-2007), Apostle Matthew Norwood (2007-2013), Apostle Robert L. Sanders, Sr. (2013-2016), and a second term for Apostle James I. Clark (2016-2022). The current presider is Apostle James A. Maye, leading with dedication and vision.
To evangelize the world for Jesus Christ; to equip every believer to become true disciples of Christ; and to engage those social problems that challenge the communities we have been called to serve.
We believe in one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism. Ephesians 4:5
We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God. It is true. It contains the keys to inheriting eternal life, and it reveals the mystery of our faith. John. 5:39; Deuteronomy 29:29
We believe in the oneness of God, who was the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and today, He is the Holy Ghost in The Church. I Timothy 3:16
We believe that Jesus is God, for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. We proclaim the LORD Jesus Christ is the name of God that was given to this generation as the only Name whereby the people of this Grace dispensation of time can be saved. Colossians 2:9; Acts 4:12.
We accept God’s plan of salvation of baptism by water and spirit. Jesus Christ, who was our perfect example, though sinless, was baptized to fulfill righteousness. John 3:5; Matthew 3:15
We believe that water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is essential for forgiveness of sins, and confirms our belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 2:38; Acts 8:37
We believe that rebirth by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential today as it was in the days of the Apostles. Acts 2:4
We believe that the Word of God must be proclaimed throughout all the world, according to God’s commandment. Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Romans 10:18
Our Blessed Hope lies in Christ Jesus our LORD who has given us the victory over death and hell. Therefore, standing firm on His promise, we anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ–that great day of resurrection which shall surely come. On that day, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then, we which are alive and remain will be changed, and caught up together with them in the air. And so shall we forever be with our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. John 14:3; I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:15-17.