FOUNDATIONAL JURISDICTIONAL SUPERVISORS

 MOTHER RITA DOUGLAS (1940 - 2/1964) - "Our Foundation"

Mother Rita Douglas was our pioneer of the church, she set the foundation we are building on today. She was an organizer who had the ability to make things happen. She had the adept ability to motivate and instruct the women of God.

She was a leader who propelled women to action as she taught and trained the women to be auxiliary leaders, prayer warriors, good homemakers, lovers of their own husbands, ministers’ wives, and mighty women of Zion.  Mother Douglas by the inspiration and leading of the Holy Spirit demonstrated unique leadership ability, dedication, and courage. She was an intricate part of God’s plan for the State of Washington and the Kingdom of God at large. She was faithful and committed to the work of the Lord.  Her charm and grace captivated the hearts of both men and women. Again, she was a profound and ardent teacher and upheld the principles of holiness.

She was officially appointed as the State Mother (State Supervisor) in 1942 by Overseer Van Goodlow as he saw in her the attributes of a trailblazing leader. At the time she was appointed State Supervisor she was also the State Supervisor of Oregon. Later she gave up the Oregon and remained the State Supervisor of Washington State.  When she came to Washington there were two auxiliaries at Madison Street (First COGIC in Washington State), the Bible Band and the Home & Foreign Mission. She organized a Prayer & Bible Band in almost every church along with organizing a State Usher Board, Courtesy Board (now Hospitality Board), and Helping Hand.

​In 1950, Mother Douglas held the first Women's Convention in the State of Washington at the Tolliver Temple, Church of God in Christ.  She appointed Mother Willa Reese to served as the Women's Convention Chairperson.  A Jurisdiction in California, the California Southwest Jurisdiction, was formed in 1959 and Mother Reatha Herndon was appointed to serve as the first Supervisor of Women.  This was, of course, a very busy time for Mother Douglas and she took Mother Gertrude Young and Mother Reese by the hand and put them together to assisted her in the work of the Department of Women in Washington State.

Mother Rita Douglas was married to Bishop Douglas. He pastored a church in San Francisco, California.  She was a devoted wife and daughter. Her mother was always by her side, when she traveled to Washington and accompanied her on many occasions.  Mother Douglas was called from labor to reward in February 1964. Bishop Douglas, Mother Douglas, and her mother all passed away together in their home in San Francisco, California.  ​Due to the untimely death of Mother Douglas in 1964, Bishop Goodlow appointed Mother Gertrude Young and Mother Lula Powell to serve in an interim capacity to co-coordinate the women's work in the State and then appointed Mother Young in November of 1964 to the position as State Supervisor.

MOTHER GERTRUDE YOUNG (11/1964 - 9/2014) - "Our Mentor"

Born on a plantation in the suburbs of Louisiana on February 17, 1910, Gertrude was the firstborn of eight; 5 girls and 3 boys to Edward and Mary Miles, she was active most of her 104 years.  She learned to work hard and long; picking cotton from dawn to dusk with her siblings and parents.  As a teen she attended Central Colored High School.  After a brief courtship, in early adulthood on July 4, 1929, Gertrude married the late Superintendent James Morris Young. From that union they were blessed with nine children.  She was a helpmate and praying wife, when there were shortages of food and funds, she fell on her knees and asked the Lord to send food. He did it every time.  Relocating to Washington in 1943, Gertrude worked in the hops field and in canneries in both Yakima and Seattle. With her husband and seven children (at that time), she lived in the basement of Victory Church of God in Christ. They later moved to Seattle where her husband founded Lighthouse Temple Church of God in Christ.  She further enhanced her life and studies at Northwest Bible College in Kirkland, Washington and Liberty Home Bible Institute

Working faithfully under her predecessor, the late Mother Rita Douglas, Mother Young's tremendous stamina, wisdom and strong conviction were noted and in 1964 after Mother Douglas' passing, she was appointed State Supervisor of the Washington State Jurisdiction by the first Prelate of that Jurisdiction, the late Bishop Van Goodlow.  Mother Gertrude Young's work spanned the Seattle-Tacoma area in that she was the Supervisor of the Department of Women which included every Church of God in Christ in this area and beyond.  She served for more than half a century as Supervisor of Women in Washington Jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ.  In Mother’s own account as she thought back to the Jurisdiction's very first Women's Convention and Banquet which were held in 1950 at Tolliver's Temple COGIC in Seattle, Mother Young's eyes sparkled when she recalled how pleased Mother Douglas was with the success of the banquet.  Mother Douglas had left Mother Young in charge of the banquet during her absence due to an unforeseen emergency.  No one knew that this was the precursor of Mother Young's major role in impacting the great women of the Washington State Jurisdiction.

In 1972, Mother Young presented a proposal to Bishop R.E. Altheimer Jurisdictional Prelate of Washington State, formally requesting permission to implement an Annual State Women's Convention, citing the foundation for growth and development that such a stimulus would afford.  With Bishop R.E. Altheimer’s initial approval her request was granted, and 42 years later, the Washington State Department of Women continues to enjoy their Annual gathering for fellowship and inspiration, as she was able to organize COGIC’s first state women’s convention.  After Mother Young's appointment her superior leadership abilities spawned tremendous progress within the Department of Women. Because of her influence and leadership the Women’s Department grew from less than 10 to more than 150 Licensed Missionaries who yet serve and work in this State.   In 1997 she appointed Mother Bernice Altheimer as 1st Assistant Supervisor and Mother Willa Reese, her faithful friend and co-worker, as 2nd Assistant Supervisor of the Women's Department. Under her leadership, the Women's Department has developed several auxiliaries and continual annual Washington State Women's Conventions.   Additionally, she established and appointed women to lead in countless auxiliaries and committees to train and teach women how to serve in their homes, churches, schools, and communities in so many practical ways while yet living out their faith.  She established monthly training workshops for women in the Seattle -Tacoma area who felt called to ministry.  The training grew with the appointment of District Missionary Gwendolyn Lawson Townsend as coordinator and facilitator, to consisted of a 2-year curriculum. Upon completion they were granted a license to go out and serve.  The majority of her years of service were under the leadership of the late Bishop T. L. Westbrook.  In the national church she was the second longest surviving jurisdictional supervisor of women. 

In addition to the dynamic role she led within the Jurisdiction, Mother Young chaired the highest board of the International Department of Women - The Intl Executive Board.  In 2007 during the 100th Anniversary of the Church of God In Christ, Mother Young was honored by the National Church with the Centennial Distinguished Honor Award.  Bishop Charles E. Blake, the International Presiding Bishop of COGIC, in his initial inauguration appointed and credentialed Mother Young as National Executive Board Chair after having served prior in this capacity for more than 17 years.  Mother Gertrude Young’s other appointments and labor within the Church of God In Christ was vast and varied.  They consisted of: Chair the National Examining Board of Supervisors, and her extensive list of former work in the National Church included service as a member of the National Trustee Board, Chairperson of the National Representative of Auxiliaries, Units, and Projects of the Department of Women, member of the National Ways and Means Board of Commissioners, member of the National Screening Committee, and member of the National Advisory Board.  It is clear from her shared words of wisdom that Mother Young valued diversity and understood the dynamics of successful godly relationships.  In her stern but sweetly seasoned tone, she commented "We've had new people with new ideas, new determinations, and new perspectives which have helped the Women's Department to become stronger and stronger."   After over 50 years of Supervisor leadership and over 104 years of earthly life, Mother Gertrude Young transitioned.

MOTHER CURLIE DAVIS (11/2014 - 5/2021) - "Our Teacher"

Mother Davis grew up in the state of Tennessee where she was saved and filled with the precious gift of the Holy Ghost in her teen years.  She and her husband (the late Superintendent Sherman Davis) founded a church in Memphis, Tennessee.  Her efforts were turned toward the youth in the community.  She realized that if you teach the Gospel of Jesus to the children, it won’t be long before the parents will come to see what’s going on.  Through her dedication and love for the children, even today those seeds planted years ago are still growing.

 

In 1974 they moved to the Pacific Northwest.  Their two children grew up, married well and allowed Christ to become the center of their lives.  In 1981 Mother Davis’ husband was appointed Pastor of Altheimer Memorial COGIC.  In her concern for all people she began to organize an OutReach Program that would reach out to all ages (the small children, the middle school and high school age, the college and university age, the couples, the singles, and the forgotten generation (senior citizens in private homes and nursing homes who seem to have no contact with the outside world). 

 

Mother Davis loves people but her heart is with the children and the women.  She was determined is to reach souls and what better way to do this than through the children and the women.

  • Community Volunteer:

    • Founder and Director of the GMAC (Give Me A Chance), a program to assist our students in maintaining that they have learned and gaining more during the summer months

    • Advisory Board Member for Early Childhood Education, Bates Vocational Institute

    • Volunteer Worker for the Center for Child Abuse Prevention Services

    • Board Member, Another Door to Learning (a clinic serving individuals with learning disabilities)

  • Local Church:

    • Teacher of Middle Adult Sunday School Class

    • President of Local Women’s Conference

    • Organizer of the Toddler Nursery

  • Jurisdictional Department of Women:

    • Chair of the District Superintendents Wives Circle

    • Chair of the Missionary Examining Committee

    • Chair of the Advisory Board

  •  National Advisory Board member

In April of 2021, Mother Curlie Davis  led a beautiful celebration as the President of our 50th Women's Jurisdictional Convention, which was also our first Jurisdictional Virtual Convention...paving the way for many more.   Mother Davis relinquished her position in May of 2021, after a glorious and outstanding service period of 6 years!