Knox College Struggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
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The Church of God in Christ
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TitleThe Church of God in Christ
DescriptionNotes taken by Knox College Professor of Sociology J. Howell Atwood from an interview with Amanda Biggers. The interview topic is the Church of God in Christ, a church serving primarily the African American community in Galesburg, Illinois in the early 20th century.
Named PersonBiggers, Amanda; Peterson, Eugene; Glover, Phrone; Hopkins, O.K.; Winbush; Seymour, W.J.; Mason, C.H.; Young, D.J.; Jegter, W.J.; Walker, Susie; Thomas, Cordelia; Parker, Mrs.; Knuckles, Julius; Smith, Dempsey; Hazel, Coady; Bryant, Eliz.; Smith, B.M.; Hightower, C.H.; Jefferson, William; Dirricks, Sanford;
CreatorAtwood, Jesse Howell;
Time Period1930s
Date Created (original)July 30, 1936
IdentifierJ. Howell Atwood Manuscript Collection (box 3)
CollectionStruggle and Progress-African Americans in Knox County, Illinois (Knox College)
Date Digital2012-11-19
TranscriptThe church of God in Christ
Galesburg. Data from Amanda
Biggers, July 30, '36
Est. in 1925

First place was in a tent on
Abingdon across the street fr. Mr. Verne Mc
Gill's [McGill] house. Next at 719 W.
Knox St., a vacant store bldg. I was a Methodist
then. I didn't realize that this
is the Lord's way and the
only way to worship him.
Next -- a house on Holton
between 2nd & 3rd. Then
we were getting organized. The
majority of people have too
much starch in them. Our
savior was born in a manger
This is for the poor the same


as the rich. We aren't
a large congregation.
Brother Sister Eugene Peterson
Sister Amanda Biggers
Sister Phrone Glover
(2)Elder O.K. Hopkins from
Missouri were the first
founding members. Elder Hopkins commuted.
(1)Elder Winbush was
the pastor in Rock Island
and it was he who started
the mission work here in the tent.
Another brother Elder Hardy from Kansas
City assisted him.
This is God's way - not
the works of man. It is


backed up scriptorially.
The denomination was
founded in 1906 in a revival
in Los Angeles Calif. under the
auspices of Elder W.J. Sey-
mour [Seymour]. [inserted text: Elders C.H. Mason, D.J. Young & W.J. Jegter attended] They were baptized
by the Holy Ghost and fire --
pentacostal baptism
not a literal but spiritual
experience. "If you put
fire on a turtle's back
it makes him move around.
If this spiritual fire
gets you it makes you
move too. It is no respecter
of persons."
There is certainly a here-
after. This doctrine does exalt


It is the way to heaven.
We are ruled by bishops
and senior bishops somewhat
like the M.E. Church.
Sister Hazel & I are the only ones of the
foundation members in
the church now. The others
at present are spiritually babes. All but three
live on the east side of
town. The other original
members have split off
and gone to the Full Gospel Pentacostal
Mission 719 W. Knox
We have a District
Conference in the 2nd


week in Oct. 1936 including Jackson-
ville, Macomb, Peoria
Springfield, Champaign
Kewanee Galesburg Ill.
The present membership is
Mrs. Susie Walker (Bapt.)
Michigan Ave
Mrs. Cordelia Thomas (Bapt.)
720 Michigan
Mrs. Amanda Biggers (AME)
678 W. Knox
Mrs. Parker (Bapt.)
720 Michigan
(Mr. Julius Knuckles) (Bapt.)
Henderson - btwen Knox & First
Mrs. Dempsey Smith (White Horse Army)
140 Prospect
Mrs. Coady Hazel (AME)
2nd Halton - Henderson
Mrs. Eliz. Bryant (Bapt.)
First & Michigan


Elder B.M. Smith of
Gary Ind. is the pastor at
present. Served 1935-36.
3 Elder C.H. Hightower -
(was cook at Beta House)
Elder Wm Jefferson
of Chicago - lived & stayed here.
4. Elder Sanford Dirricks
of Macomb - commuted
5. Mr. Smith also commutes

Sometimes he comes every
2nd week; sometimes it's
3 or 4 weeks. He writes the
church mother - Mrs. Thomas
when he's coming. Services:
Tue & Fri nights and Sunday
School at 10:30. Preaching about


3 P.M. and evening preach-
ing or just as the Lord leads
-- it may be testifying. If
there is any one to deliver
the message we have a
The Sunday School is
mostly adults with their
"Sometimes I take a lunch
and stay all day Sunday.
Some of the Saints may ask
me to go home with them."
Elder Smith stays at the
Walker home when he's here


Doctrines as listed

The Father
The Son
The Holy Spirit
Fallen Nature of Man
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
(including speaking with tongues)
Water Baptism
The Second Coming of Christ
Sabbath (1st day of the week)
The Chief Apostle, Gen'l Supt.
and the State Overseers comprise
the official heads of the church.
elected fr. among the ordained
Elders of the church by the
General Assembly. Nov. 25-Dec.
15 each year in Memphis, Tenn.


The church land is leased fr.
Mr. Robt. Thomas. The bldg.
belongs to the church.
There are white people in
the connection, but not in
our local church. People of
all nationalities are in the
church. Jews are coming
in -- Mrs. B knows of one Jewish elder.
"This is the greatest movement
ever handed from heaven to
man. It is higher than other
churches just as the college is
higher than the high school.
1st Cor. 1:21-28 "But God hath
things of this world to confound the wise."
Physical Descriptionhandwritten on nine half sheets of scrap paper
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