Charles Edward Blake, Sr.

Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Church Pentecostal
In office 2007-present
Predecessor Gilbert Earl Patterson
Personal details
Born (1940-08-05) August 5, 1940
Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Spouse Mae Lawrence Blake
Children 3, with 8 grandchildren
Occupation Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ, Pastor, theologian, television personality
For the Arkansas politician similarly named, see Charles J. Blake.

Charles Edward Blake, Sr. (born August 5, 1940 in Little Rock, Arkansas) [1] is the current Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., a 6 million-member Pentecostal-Holiness denomination. On March 21, 2007, he became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc., as a result of Presiding Bishop Gilbert E. Patterson's death. In a November 2007 special election, he was elected to complete the unexpired term of his predecessor as Presiding Bishop. In November 2008, Bishop Blake was re-elected to serve a four-year term as Presiding Bishop. In November 2012, Bishop Blake was re-elected again to serve a four-year term as the Presiding Bishop.[2] He was reelected to a third term as Presiding Bishop on November 15, 2016.

Blake is the fifth Presiding Bishop (and seventh leader) of the historically African-American denomination. From 1985 until 2009, he was the Jurisdictional Prelate of the First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of Southern California, overseeing more than 250 churches that compose the jurisdiction. He was succeeded by Bishop Joe L. Ealy.


Bishop Blake is the pastor of the West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC),[3] one of the largest churches in the Western United States, with a membership of over 24,000, starting with only 50 members in 1969 when he became pastor.

In 1982, he was selected by Ebony magazine as one of the 15 "Greatest Preachers in America". Since 2007, Ebony has recognized Bishop Blake annually, as one of the 100+ most influential African Americans.

He has been a member of the General Board of COGIC since 1988.

Bishop Blake is an ardent advocate of education and academic excellence, who holds multiple academic and honorary degrees, from various educational institutions. Most recently, California State University, Los Angeles conferred an honorary doctorate upon him on June 12, 2010.

In response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa, Blake founded and is president of the Pan African Children's Fund (PACF). Save Africa's Children, a program of PACF, currently provides support to over 220 orphanages throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

He was the founding Chair of the Board of Directors for,[4] and has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, and as a Board Member of the Board of Directors for the Interdenominational Theological Seminary. Blake has served as Chair of the Executive Committee, member of the Board of Directors of Oral Roberts University, and as a member of the Board of Directors of International Charismatic Bible Ministries.

Blake has also formerly served as an Advisory Committee Member of the Pentecostal World Conference, and as the founder and Co-chair of the Los Angeles Ecumenical Congress (LAEC), an interdenominational coalition of religious leaders and pastors. He has also been awarded the Salvation Army's William Booth Award, the Greenlining Institute's Big Heart Award, and was the designated recipient of the L.A. Urban League's Whitney M. Young Award for the year 2000. In 2009 he was appointed as a member of Barack Obama's Inaugural Advisory Council of the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships where he served for one year on the council.[5] In 2016, Bishop Blake was appointed as the Co-Chairperson to the leadership council of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America.[6] On November 15, 2016, Bishop Blake was reelected as the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ during the 2016 COGIC Election held by the COGIC General Assembly to a third four-year term.

He is married to Mrs. Mae Lawrence Blake, and they have three children and eight grandchildren.


At the COGIC 107th Holy Convocation in St. Louis in 2014, a licensed and ordained Elder/Pastor of COGIC, Superintendent Earl Carter was chosen to be one of the keynote speakers selected by the leadership of the COGIC for one of the nightly worship services. Elder Carter delivered the 2014 Saturday Night keynote Gospel sermon to the members of COGIC and guests. He referred in his sermon to gay men as "sissies", "perverted and lost", and said, "You want to feel like a girl; I wish God would give you the monthly of a girl; I wish He had you bleeding out of your butt."[7] Elder Carter was addressing sexual misconduct, and specifically, homosexual practices within the COGIC denomination which are inconsistent to COGIC doctrine and teaching. This small excerpt of Elder Carter's sermon was taken out by the media, and the pending result went viral to social media outlets and television stations, leading Bishop Blake to issue a public apology, saying "I apologize for what seemed to be a harsh, uncompassionate, disrespectful spirit on the part of that speaker." [8] Bishop Blake also apologized to a young man who, following Superintendent Carter's message, came forward to proclaim that he had been delivered from homosexuality. His testimony "literally went viral, and… brought upon him criticism and sardonicism."[9][10] The young man later said that he had felt pressure to testify by Carter's sermon.[11] Elder Carter issued a "No Apology" statement to the adherents of COGIC resulting in an ongoing conflict/controversy between Bishop Blake [12] and Superintendent Earl Carter. Subsequently, Superintendent Carter declared Bishop Blake to be unfit as Presiding Bishop of COGIC. Elder Carter claimed substantial evidence against Bishop Blake, and witnesses to help support his allegations. [13][14][15] Several leaders of the COGIC, friends of Bishop Blake who are leaders of other Christian denominations as well as Blake's family members, including his wife and adult sons have come to his support without reservation. One of the alleged "victims" that Elder Carter claimed was sexually harassed by Bishop Blake also came forth to vindicate Bishop Blake and defend him against Elder Carter's allegations. [16] Elder Carter has since requested a Church trial according to the Constitution of the COGIC and currently delivers a Youtube broadcast of reports of alleged misconduct and impropriety within current leadership of COGIC . [17]


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