About Us

We are the Mid-Atlantic Diocese of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (COOLJC). The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (COOLJC) was founded in the year 1919 by Bishop Robert C. Lawson, D.D., LL.D. Bishop Lawson  in his lifetime was awarded many honors for his contributions as humanitarian and for his scholastic achievements. Among the honors, he received the Carver Merit Award for outstanding service to his race and country. He also held a Bachelor of Theology degree, a Doctor of Divinity degree, and a Doctor of Literary Letters Degree from the Lynchburg Seminary and College and the American Bible College.

In 1961, Bishop Lawson’s death necessitated new leadership. The Board of Apostles was formed with Bishop Hubert J. Spencer, Bishop William L. Bonner, and Bishop Maurice H. Hutner. Bishop Hubert J. Spencer was unanimously elected to preside.

Also in 1961, Bishop Bonner became the pastor of the three thousand member mother church, the Greater Refuge Temple in Harlem, New York City. William L Bonner became the third presider  in 1973 and reigned until 1995. He is now the Chief Apostle. Apostle Bonner currently pastors churches in Detroit, Michigan, New York City, Washington, D.C., Jackson, Mississippi, and Columbia, South Carolina. Under his administration, the assembly has grown from 155 churches in 1961 to over 500 churches and missions throughout the world. Apostle Gentle I. Groover  became the 4th presider and reigned from 1995 to 2001. Apostle James I. Clark was the 5th presider and reigned from 2001 to 2007. Apostle Matthew Norwood reigned from 2007 to 2013, Apostle Robert L. Sanders, Sr.. reign from 2013 to 2016 and the current presider is Apostle James I. Clark.

Mission Statement

“To evangelize the world for Jesus Christ; to equip every believer to become true disciples of Christ; and to engage those social problems that challenge the communities we have been called to serve.”


"People Matter"

Statement of Faith

We believe in one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism. Ephesians 4:5

We believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God. It is true. It contains the keys to inheriting eternal life, and it reveals the mystery of our faith. John. 5:39; Deuteronomy 29:29

We believe in the oneness of God, who was the Father in creation, the Son in redemption, and today, He is the Holy Ghost in The Church. I Timothy 3:16

We believe that Jesus is God, for in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. We proclaim LORD Jesus Christ is the name of God that was given to this generation as the only Name whereby the people of this Grace dispensation of time can be saved. Colossians 2:9; Acts 4:12.

We accept God’s plan of salvation of baptism by water and spirit. Jesus Christ, who was our perfect example, though sinless, was baptized to fulfill righteousness. John 3:5; Matthew 3:15

We believe that water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is essential for forgiveness of sins, and confirms our belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts 2:38; Acts 8:37

We believe that rebirth by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential today as it was in the days of the Apostles. Acts 2:4

We believe that the Word of God must be proclaimed throughout all the world, according to God’s commandment. Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Romans 10:18

Our Blessed Hope lies in Christ Jesus our LORD who has given us the victory over death and hell. Therefore, standing firm on His promise, we anticipate the second coming of Jesus Christ–that great day of resurrection which shall surely come. On that day, the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then, we which are alive and remain will be changed, and caught up together with them in the air. And so shall we forever be with our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ. John 14:3; I Corinthians 15:51-58; I Thessalonians 4:15-17