SUPERVISOR, MOTHER GWENDOLYN LAWSON TOWNSEND - "Our Exhorter To Holiness" (6/2021 - PRESENT)
BIOGRAPHY – Supervisor Gwendolyn Lawson Townsend
(not to be used for presentation or speaking bio – please download “Bio - Presenter Sheet” in box above)
HOME and MINISTRY
Mother Gwendolyn E. Lawson Townsend (“LadyG”) is the wife of Senior Administrative Assistant District Superintendent Sam L. Townsend, Sr., DD (Old Landmark District, Washington State Jurisdiction), mother of 14, grandmother of over 50, and great-grandmother of many. She and her husband founded the Greater Glory Ministries in Seattle, Washington in 1980 and she continues to love and value serving as the Pastor's Wife of this great ministry, always standing on being a “Lady First!” She has traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and the Caribbean; has been a recurrent guest on TBN; and has been featured in newspapers and magazines including the national Charisma Magazine.
Mother Townsend was licensed as a Missionary in 1992, as an Evangelist in 1994, and was appointed in 2000 as a District Missionary. She served Washington State Jurisdiction District #7 for a nearly 15-year tenure and then served her Jurisdiction as a District Missionary Without Charge for 8 years before receiving this elevation to Supervisor Designee.
Serving locally as the President of Women Of Glory Ministries, she founded the annual INFUSION Summit Advance, annually hosting up to 175 ladies, where she presents the “Lydia’s Daughter Award for Determination and Victorious Spiritual Strength” and most recently has founded "PEARL of Holiness: Sister-Time," a bi-annual event designed solely for the women of the Greater Glory Ministries. She has written guides, booklets, and policies and procedures to grow excellence within her local Women’s Department in particular and within the Greater Glory Ministries as a whole.
Under the watchful eye and mentorship of the late Mother Gertrude Young (former Supervisor of Women), she held several concurrent Washington State Jurisdiction Department of Women positions and wrote and produced Desk Manuals for each of them. These positions include being appointed as the first of the four foundational members of the Executive Board, Assistant to the Supervisor, Executive Secretary to the Department of Women, Executive Finance Secretary, the Co-Chair of the District Missionary Unit, and the originator of curriculum and Coordinator of Study for the Washington State Jurisdiction School of Licensing/2-Year Licensed Missionary Training Program for Aspirants and Deaconess Missionaries. She became the webhost of the first website Washington State Jurisdiction website, the Department of Women.
Under the leadership of the previous Jurisdictional Supervisor of Women, Mother Curlie Davis, Mother Townsend serves as the Department of Women Administrative Assistant, the Department of Women Executive Secretary, the Dean of The School of Missionary Licensing and Credentialing, and Lead Facilitator of the Classes for Candidates of both the Deaconess Missionary Licensing/Credentialing and the Evangelist Missionary Licensing/Credentialing. Mother Townsend also served and then mentored others to step in as a former member of the Executive Board, a former member of the Finance Committee, and a former Chair of the District Missionary Unit (and trainer of all new District Missionaries). During the tenure of Mother Davis, she authored and produced the Workbook for the Program of Missionary Licensing Training, the Washington State Jurisdiction District Missionary Resource Manual, and her Personal Reference Booklet/Guide which assisted her in her various local and other positions. She then instituted the International Department of Women Curriculum for Candidates to both Deaconess Missionaries and Evangelist Missionaries, as requested by our present International General Supervisor, Mother Barbara McCoo Lewis.
Being honored by Urban Alternatives as the inaugural recipient of the Esther Award for Excellence and Distinction in Ministry in 2005, in 2008 receiving “Beyond The Walls Ministry” Award from God Answers Prayer Ministries International, in 2010 being one of the recipients of the Living Legend Award, in 2012 receiving the “Women Who Pray” Award, in 2013 beginning work with Women Are Worthy, Inc., and in 2015 being honored by Kingdom Servants Ministries... all are her sincere privileges. Beginning in 2019 during the COVID19 Pandemic, she took a stand that if God be for us, who could be against us. Taking early lead and watchful eye in co-organizing GGM, with the leadership, into one of the prime facilities following each and every national, regional, and denominational mandate for complete safety in a worship venue, GGM became a site of training and resources for other houses of worship.
CHLDREN, FAMILY, and COMMUNITY
As the founder of One Church, One Child of Washington State, Inc./UJIMA Community Services, she enjoyed a 25-year tenure as Chief Executive Officer leading it in becoming one of the nations first and also Washington State’s first (and so far only), licensed African American CPA (child placement agency). She then went on to work to see that the vision she began through UJIMA continued as she and three others establish InterCultural Children & Family Services, Inc.
She received the 1990 National Black Child Development Institute-Bunny Wilburn Award for leadership, the 1993 and 1994 National One Church One Child Leadership Awards for child advocacy, and the 1996 Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Community Service Award. As the 1997 Washington State Mother of the Year by Senate Resolution 1997-8640, she made Washington State history as the first and up to this date only, African American woman so selected. In 2010 she assisted her daughter Crystal as a board member as she founded Cherish A Jewel and the Be Bold Be You Program (female mentoring and support) and has received other appointments to many state and national committees, workgroups, and boards for child welfare and family preservation.
As one who graduated in Seattle, Washington from Garfield High School in 1968, she learned to relentlessly state - “the struggle continues,” but she also learned, believes, and lives to constantly be part of the solution. For her, living her spiritual convictions as she stands firm on God’s holiness standard is a major portion of the solution. Moving on to receive her BA in Public/Business Administration she uses her knowledge and wisdom to advance various ministries outside of her own.
ALWAYS TAKING A STAND
In the early 2000’s, Mother Townsend began teaching “Position yourself to receive that which the Lord has already provided!” and a few years later she positioned herself to become the published author of HOLINESS – God’s Demand For His People. In April of 2016, she was presented the opportunity to exhort and to encourage the people of God at the Washington State Jurisdiction Annual Women's Convention opening night services. As the 1st local person to be the featured speaker at an opening evening service for this conference, she brought the message of "The Peculiarity of Me...Standing on a Holiness Foundation" when she again reminded the people of God's UN-retracted HOLINESS Demand. In December of 2019 (while journeying through cancer) she exhorted the people of the Washington State Jurisdiction during a Jurisdictional Meeting to "Stand Strong on God's Strength" and, again, in October 2020 and January 2021 she had the opportunity to continue telling of His goodness, His mercy, and His graciousness on a jurisdictional platform which spread the word nationally. At the consistent urging of the General Supervisor, in 2021 her testimonial Bible Study/Journal book "FORWARD, Kingdom Witness" was penned and published.
Mother Gwendolyn Lawson Townsend is a holiness exhorter who acknowledges her “lane” as she loves to minister one-on-one, in small groups, and in workshop settings, continuing as the Lord leads. Being from the “old school,” she stands on its HOLINESS teachings, and in her personal 3:00am Prayer and Word Study on her birthday, July 10 (7/10), from Ezra 7:10 she received study, do, encourage – and so she does.
Most recent International assignments are her appointment in February 2017 as the IDOW Assistant Executive Secretary and notice in August 2017 of her appointment as the Executive Secretary of the International Department of Women. She received formal appointment in St. Louis, MO during the International Holy Convocation in November of 2017 as the General Supervisor, Mother Dr. Barbara McCoo Lewis, called to the platform, "Mother Gwendolyn Lawson Townsend, Executive Secretary of the International Department of Women, Church of God in Christ, Inc."
Since then, in 2018, Mother Lewis appointed her to the IDOW Board of Directors of the McGlothen Houses and also as a member of the IDOW Special Convention Assistance Committee. In 2020 she are selected to assist in the writing of the IDOW Official Handbook for Women. Mother Townsend also worked as a member of the International District Missionaries Circle, the International District Missionaries Without Charge Circle, and the Administrative Assistants' Wives Circle where on May 15, 2021 she opened the International Virtual Experience program.
Most recently, in July of 2021, she was recommended to the General Supervisor as the Jurisdictional Supervisor Designate by the newly affirmed Washington State Jurisdiction Prelate, Bishop Designate Alvin C. Moore, Sr. Within one month of selection, she was able to completely fill all Department Ministries with leaders of diversity and inclusion - young adults and mature adults, credential holders and non-credential holders, ongoing leaders and new leaders. Because of the pandemic, the regular Service of Installation, which is usually held onsite during the Holy Convocation in Memphis, Tennessee, was not able to take place. In its stead, Supervisor Designate Townsend, as International Executive Secretary, was flown to Los Angeles, California to assist in the Virtual Ceremony of Installation of Supervisors and Certification of Assistant Supervisors and National Evangelists. At that time during the taping, the General Supervisor capped and installed her as the Jurisdictional Supervisor of the Washington State Jurisdiction on Friday, September 24, 2021. This service was captured as the International COGIC Production Team facilitated the pre-taping for the Virtual International Holy Convocation Women's Day - to be aired on Women's Day Evening Service, Friday, November 12, 2021.
Jurisdictional Supervisor Mother Gwendolyn Lawson Townsend continues as a daughter of the King working, organizing, ministering, serving, and representing Holiness.
Her Life Theme: "I Trust God"
Her WSJW Theme: "We are prepared, we are ready, FORWARD!"