He's the Harold Ford, Jr. of the religious
set, a rising star in the Church of God in Christ galaxy.
Young, attractive and polished, Charles Harrison Mason Patterson
is poised for something big.
want to serve, pure and simple," the Memphian says. "I've
been waiting for this all of my life."
If everything turns out as he hopes, by this time next week
Patterson will occupy a spot on the 15-member COGIC National
got everything going for him," says Pastor Charles E. Blake
II of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ in Los Angeles.
"He's got it. He's going places."
It will be the first election for the 28-year-old whose
great-grandfather and namesake, Bishop Charles Harrison
Mason, founded the denomination in 1897.
And he knows how many in the church will be watching.
an honor and blessing to have this legacy and be a part
of the family," Patterson says. "I have a deep respect for
where we came from and a desire to help us become even better
in the future."
It's that sort of dedication that sets Patterson apart,
some say. Mother Willie Mae Rivers, general supervisor of
the Women's Department, believes he's set for great things.
beautiful. Simply beautiful," Rivers says. So much like
Bishop Mason in so many ways. He's a blessing.
Patterson was ordained elder in the denomination when he
turned 21. The ceremony was performed by his father, Bishop
J. O. Patterson, Jr., son of the late Presiding Bishop J.
O. Patterson, who married Mason's daughter.
He's an associate minister and president of the youth department
at Pentecostal Temple Church of God in Christ, a funeral
director and owns his own community development company.
He believes his breadth of experience will serve him well
as an overseer of the national churchís holdings.
grew up in this church. Itís my family,Ē Patterson says.
ďAnd because I love it so much, Iím not trying to push my
agenda. I want to do Godís will for the church.Ē
Patterson graduated from Whitehaven High School and attended
Northwest Mississippi Community College in Desoto County
and Southwest Tennessee Community College. Heís working
on a bachelorís degree in psychology at Crichton College
with an emphasis in pastoral care.
all Iíve ever wanted to do,Ē Patterson says. ďWhenever they
held career days at school, I always wondered why they didnít
He considers himself pretty ordinary, loves to bowl, hunt
And despite some predictions that one day heíll lead the
denomination his great-grandfather founded, for now heís
concentrating on Tuesdayís board election.
may not make the trustee board, and thatís OK because I
know Iíve lived right and Iím going to make it to Heaven,Ē
Patterson says. ďAnd Iím going to serve God every day until
I get there.Ē