(Church of God in Christ) – 1917 until Present … (Written by Dorothy Bland Gamble and Willie B. Fulgham, Deaconess, Friendship Cathedral).
The Church of God in Christ is a Pentecostal denomination originally organized in Lexington, Mississippi in 1897. In 1907 Bishop Mason, as Chief Overseer, set out to establish churches all over the country. Dad Mason came to Virginia in 1914 and by 1917 the First Church of God in Christ in Virginia was founded in Chuckatuck with Elder Charles Cypress as pastor. The first water baptism service was held here. For many years, the state C.O.G.I.C. would meet at the Friendship Church for their annual state picnic held on July 4th. Friendship was the first C.O.G.I.C. in Virginia and remains the state’s mother church. “It is the second largest African-American denomination in the United States with over seven million members in the U.S. and sixty countries…and to think it all started here for Virginia in Chuckatuck” said Dorothy Bland Gamble and Willie B. Fulgham. The current pastor is Reverend Joe Chase.