FIRST JURISDICTION ILLINOIS WOMEN DEPARTMENT
The late 2nd Presiding Bishop Louis Henry Ford founded First Jurisdiction Illinois Church of God in Christ in 1955 when Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, founder of the Church Of God In Christ assigned him a part of the work in Illinois. The Jurisdiction was named “Central Illinois.”
Mother Mary Ann Davis, who was from the Methodist Church, worked with Mother Lillian Brooks Coffey and Mother Anna Davis in developing the Church of God in Christ Mission in Chicago. Mother Mary Davis was the first candidate for water baptism in Illinois and our founder, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason, baptized her. She served in many capacities promoting the “women’s work” in the Church. She became the supervisor of Northern Illinois Church of God in Christ and also served as Interim Supervisor of Central Illinois until the appointment of Mother Rosie Hines.
Mother Rosie Hines was a member of Temple Church of God in Christ in Memphis Tennessee under the leadership of Bishop C.H. Mason. There she conducted many revivals. In 1937 she became a member at 40th & State Church of God in Christ in Chicago. She received the appointment of Central Illinois State Supervisor of Women in 1956. She served faithfully under Bishop Louis Henry Ford until she went home to be with the Lord on June 17, 1969.
Mother Carrie Cantrell succeeded Mother Hines as State Supervisor of Women. Mother Cantrell was one who had sat at the feet of some of the greatest women in the Church of God in Christ. She came through the ranks of the Church serving in many capacities. She had a genuine love for young people and in memory of her mother, she established the Clara Cantrell Scholarship Guild. This guild helped many young people acquire a higher degree of education. As Supervisor of Women, she sought to pass on the rich heritage of our church. She was appointed Regional Mother over several neighboring states. She believed in serving the Lord in the beauty of holiness. She not only worked with Bishop Ford, but also his successors, Bishop Shephard Little and Bishop Ocie Booker, who is presently the Prelate of First Jurisdiction, Illinois.
Mother Charlotte Elizabeth Eades succeeded Mother Cantrell as Supervisor of Women, First Jurisdiction Illinois. Mother Willie Mae Rivers, the National Supervisor of the Church of God in Christ International, appointed her November 1997. Prior to her appointment as Jurisdictional Supervisor, she served as Dean of the C.H. Mason/William Roberts Bible Institute in Chicago, District Missionary, Chairman of the District Missionary Unit, Second Assistant State Supervisor to the late Mother Rosie Hines and First Assistant State Supervisor to the late Mother Carrie Cantrell. Mother Eades has steered the Women’s Department into the 21st century by mandating programs such as the Institute Hour, that teach women Godly principles for righteous living and the “New Generation” that consist of young women ages 25 to 45 which prepares them for leadership. Mother Eades believes in serving the Lord in the beauty of holiness and tells us all the time, “you can’t lead from behind and don’t throw in the towel.” She believes that the Women have a work to do. Mother Eades not only leads the women of First Jurisdiction Illinois, but she has been appointed by Mother Rivers to be a part of the “leadership” of the National Women Department. She serves as the Hartland Area Regional Supervisor and was is a member of the Advisory Board.
In January of 2014, under the auspices of Bishop Ocie Booker, Mother Shirely Hughes was appointed as the Jurisdictional Supervisor of First Jurisdiction. Under the leadership of the late Bishop Louis Henry Ford, the late Bishop Shepard Little, and Bishop Ocie Booker, Pastor Hughes has served First Jurisdiction-Illinois Church of God in Christ in various capacities. Most notably, she served as an Assistant Supervisor to the late Mother Carrie Cantrell and Mother Charlotte Eades. First Jurisdiction Illinois Women Department continues to excel and progress under it present leadership, Mother Shirley Hughes