The Rich History of
Brown Street COGIC 

The Church of God in Christ in Springfield Illinois had it's beginning in a tent revival located on or near Kansas and 19th Street on the east side of the city.  The area was still known as "Goose Prairie".  In 1921 the hostilities of the 1908 riot were fast fading into the past and life was a slow moving humdrum existence.  Then one day a visitor came to town by the name of Elder Falls of Texas.  He was a evangelist and preacher in the Church of God in Christ denomination, which at that time was a little known and rather small body of belivers.  

The success of the revivial was phenomenal!  Elder Falls was known as a passionate man who was small in stature, but big in voice.  During the revival he so stirred the hearts of the listeners that a group decided to take a stand, and as they stood they told the world that they were determined to contine in the faith that Elder Falls proclaimed.  Some of the first persons saved were Willie Venerable, Annie Coe, Margaret Anderson (Bass Proctor), Verla Coe (Burnice), Patria Coe (Day), Mongolia Rhea (Walker), Richard & Pearl Shipp, Doll & Leah Renicks and Lizzie Crumble.

Winter came and the small group of believers found themselve seeking an indoor meeting place.  They soon settled on a small, three room, shot gun style house located at 17th and Brown Street.  

As Summer arrived a pavillion was built for summer services on the corner lot and was held there until the fall.  The church became known as the Brown Street Church of God in Christ.  During the early years of Brown Street, 1921-1927, the church had many different pastors appointed and sent to Spingfield by the late Bishop William M. Roberts of Chicago, Illinois, who was the Overseer of the entire State of Illinois.

A young man named Elder Theodore T. Rose from Harvey, Illinois was appointed and sent in 1927 and pastored until 1930.  Then other men of God pastored until 1934 when Bishop Roberts again appointed Elder Rose to Brown Street.  Elder Rose pastored until 1939 after which he founded his new church;  Greater All Nation Tabernacle COGIC.

Consequently, in 1939, Bishop William Roberts appointed the Elder Eleazar Lenox of Chicago,as Brown Street's next pastor.  Since he was already pastoring a church in Chicago, Greater Holy Temple COGIC, he commuted from Chicago and ministered twice a month on the first and third Sundays from 1939-1961.  The elders and deacons handled the spiritual and financial administration of the church whe he was absent.

​When Elder E. Lenox was first appointed in 1939, he came like Nehemiah of old.  He investigated the work and saw what was to be done and he brought his motto with him,  "It Can Be Done".  

First he lead the congregation to pay off the out standing debt and then called the members together and said , "Let us build a house for God".  Some of the members said it could not be built, but he continued to say ,    "It Can Be Done",  until one night the Lord gave one of the members, Sister Nancy Blakeman, a calling to take lead in raising money to build the new church. 

Soon the church moved from 1707 to 1701 East Brown Street., which is on the corner, with a great may critics saying that it can't be done.  Our pastor with God's great words said, "We can do all things through Christ that strengthens us".  With the leading of Elder D.A. Brandon and Elder G.L. Galbreath and the cooperation of all the members and friends we stuck to it and God blessed us to complete rebuilding to the Glory of God. (1942)​

After 20 plus years of leading the congregation, commuting from Chicago to Springfield, many new members were added to the church.  The Lord inspired Elder Lonox and he was elevated to the office of Bishop by our founder, Bishop C.H. Mason.  After much consideration and following the leading of God he yielded and appointed Elder Alonzo Tinsley as pastor.  The church progressed steadily with more people being added to the congregation.  

Soon the wear and tear on the building became evident, and the Lord gave Elder Tinsley the vision to build a new church that would withstand the effects of the weather and remedy the leaning condition of the existing building.  A Building fund program was thus started.  After a few years of struggle, Elder Tinsley was striken, his health continued to fail until God called him home in April 1971.  

In 1971 Bishop Lenox appointed Elder Claude Farlow, and he met the challenge to continue the task of building a new church through faith in God and the inspiration of His Word; the saints committed themselves to sharing the task and vision of building the new church.  Pastor Farlow encouraged us to sacrifice, "In everything give thanks for it is the will of God in Christ Jesus"  and God would do exceeding abundantly above all that we could imagine.  

Through much dificulty and trying times the membership shifted--thus 3 ministers and their families were lead to go out and start new churches. (Victory Temple, Christian Fellowship, and Mount Calvary). Brown Street is the "Mother Church" of all other COGIC churches in Springfield Illinois.  

God again renewed and lifted the remaining members to hold on to God's unfailing world knowing that all things would work to the good of them that loved him.  In July 1977 we were blessed to break ground for building the new church. 

We thank God for leading Pastor Farlow.  We are glad to say the church building was soon completed and it is a beautiful tribute to the Lord and to the His people at Brown Street who worked together and sacrificed to build a ministry that would bring glory to God.  This beautiful building was completed in October 1983, and a morgage burning ceremony was conducted by Bishop T.T. Rose in 1989.  After almost 30 years of pastoring, Pastor Claude Farlow retired in December 2000 at the tender age of 92.  He went to be with the Lord in February of 2005.  

On December 17, 2000 Pastor Wilbur Day was appointed by Bishop Willie Newbon to shepherd the congregation at Brown Street.  Over the years we have had fundraisers to improve the existing building.  One notable improvement was installing the handicap ramp and dedication steps in honor and memory of some past and present members in 2011.  In 2014 Pastor Day adopted the motto:  "What is coming is greater than what has been"  inspired by St. John 14:12.  Together Pastor Day and First Lady Florence Day continue to honor the Lord through the work of their hands; praying that the Lord will use their service to bless the lives of the congregation and the people of Springfield.  

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Sunday:    9am Opening Prayer
                  9:30  Sunday School
                  11:00 am Worship Service

Tuesday:  Noon Prayer
                  6:30 pm Prayer & Bible Study

Thursday: 6:30 pm   Bi-Weekly
                  Systematic Bible Study
       (Studying 1 John thru 3rd John & Jude)

1st Friday of Each Month: 9am to 9pm 
                 12 Hour Consecrated Prayer                       Service & Fasting
  (Members asked to fast 9am to 3pm)
1701 E. Brown Street, Springfield, Illinois 62703 
(217) 753-2030