Multiple Bishops and Pastors within Church of God in Christ Have Died from COVID-19

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African American Pentecostal denomination in the US, has lost at least a dozen bishops and other clergy from its leadership team after they died from the coronavirus, according to media reports.

The Washington Post reports officials from the church did not return requests for comment, but media reports and interviews with experts who study the denomination reveal the deaths of church leaders in several states, including Michigan, New York, and Mississippi. COGIC congregations can be readily found in those states where the coronavirus outbreak has struck hard.

Among those who died after reportedly contracting the virus were: First Assistant Presiding Bishop Phillip A. Brooks, a preacher, and leader from Detroit who was No. 2 in the denomination and whose death was reported by The Detroit News; Bishop Timothy Scott, a leader for nearly 50 years of the denomination in Mississippi whose death was reported by WREG-Memphis; and two Michigan bishops, Robert E. Smith Sr. and Robert L. Harris, whose deaths were reported by the Los Angeles Sentinel.

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