Kentucky First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

Our History

The Church of God in Christ in Kentucky began in the early 19th century after the 1906 Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, California. It was during these early years that churches were preached out in many of the southern states which included Kentucky. Overseers were appointed to various states on a temporary basis to manage the newly sanctified churches/congregations.

Kentucky First Jurisdiction was organized in 1920 by Overseer R. R. Booker. Overseer Booker until his death in 1942. Overseer Booker was also appointed as Overseer of Missouri and Indiana. In the mid-1920s, there were about 12 churches in Kentucky under his administration.

After the death of Overseer Booker, Overseer Chester Graham was appointed as Overseer of Kentucky and served until his death in 1947. In August 1947, the state was then split into two Dioceses by Bishop Charles H. Mason, the founder of the Church of God in Christ, as Eastern Headquarters (Overseer David A. Reed, Sr.) and Western Headquarters (Overseer A. T. Moore). Each Jurisdiction flourished and by the early 1950s, Western Kentucky was reported to have seventeen churches and Eastern Kentucky ten churches. In the following years, Western Headquarters was renamed Kentucky First Jurisdiction and Eastern Headquarters was renamed Kentucky Second Jurisdiction.

In 1948, Western Kentucky held its first Holy Convocation at Providence Church of God in Christ, Providence, KY where Elder V. J. Horton was the Pastor. During that time, Bishop A. T. Moore appointed Elder Vernon Sanders, Elder V. J. Horton, and Elder J. J. Ware as Superintendents over District 1, 2, and 3 respectively.

Bishop A. T. Moore served as Bishop of Kentucky First for sixty-two years and was proclaimed by the late Presiding Bishop Louis Henry Ford to be the “Living Legend of the Church of God in Christ” worldwide. In 2008, Bishop A. T. Moore received Bishop Emeritus status from the headquarters of the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. Bishop A. T. Moore received rest from his labor on Sunday, February 7, 2010. From 2008 to 2009, General Board Members, Bishop P. A. Brooks and Bishop Sedgwick Daniels, served as Interim Bishops of Kentucky First Jurisdiction. In March 2009, Bishop Dwight L. Haygood, Sr. was appointed Jurisdictional Prelate of Kentucky First Jurisdiction. Bishop Haygood placed a heavy emphasis upon programming for youth, church growth, and ministry training. Bishop Dwight L. Haygood, Sr. went home to be with the Lord on Monday, April 27, 2015.

At the demise of Bishop Dwight L. Haygood, Sr., the General Secretary of the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Joel Harley Lyles, Jr., served as Interim Bishop. In 2016, Bishop John W. Fleming was appointed as Jurisdictional Prelate of Kentucky First Jurisdiction. Bishop Fleming continues to focus on ministry training and development and the growth of the Local Church, District, and Jurisdiction.

Serving alongside each Jurisdictional Bishop have been great women of God who serve in the capacity of Supervisor of the Department of Women.

  • Mother S. L. Metcalf (unknown – 1961)
  • Mother Jean Wright (1961 – 2005)
  • Mother Bernice Jones (2005 – 2010)
  • Mother Romanetha Stallworth (2010 – Present)

Kentucky First Jurisdiction currently has thirty (30) churches within six (6) Districts in the state of Kentucky.

As we further the legacy of our great leaders, we continue to say, “WE BELIEVE GOD!”