I am Mother Herminia Cole, Jurisdictional First Lady to North Dakota. On behalf of my husband (Bishop Michael R. Cole) and me, we welcome you. This is our "About Our History Page." It's an excellent opportunity to give a complete background on who we are, what we do, and what our website offers. Thank you in advance for returning to our site and sharing it with others. God bless you.
Supervisors Of The North Dakota Jurisdiction Department Of Women
1st State Supervisor, Mother Ella J. Melvin (Right) & 2nd State/Jurisdictional Supervisor, Mother Cheryl J. Rountree (Right)
This is our "About History" Page. This space will be our opportunity to give a full background on who we are, what we do, and what our site has to offer. We pray that you are genuinely interested in learning more about us, so don’t be afraid to tell someone about us. It's not that often you will meet and know the saints and their leaders from the North Dakota Jurisdiction. Every Jurisdiction and Women's Department has a story, and we know our visitors want to hear it. Therefore, we are looking forward to your return to our site. May God bless you.
The history of the State Women’s Department began when Bishop Michael R. Cole and Mother Herminia Cole arrived in September 1976. Elder Perry, who started the “Gospel Hour,” formed a small Bible study on Grand Forks Air Force Base. Shortly after establishing the Bible study, he was reassigned to another air force base, passing the “torch of the Gospel” to Bishop and Mother Cole.
Bishop Cole is from Summerfield, North Carolina, and came from the Philippine Islands to Grand Forks Air Force Base along with his wife, Herminia Cole, who is Native Filipino. Through prayer and fasting, and evangelism, the Bible study grew. Soon the services were held at the Air Force Base Chapel #2. Bishop C. L. Moody, International President of Missions, watched over the progress of the work as the overseer.
However, Bishop Joseph R. Willis, Philippine Jurisdictional Bishop, was instrumental in mentoring the young congregation, Pastor, and first Women’s Department headed by Mother Herminia Cole.
Many other Saints came to North Dakota to support the work. These included the following: Bishop W. H. Reed from the Hawaii Jurisdiction, Bishop C. L. Moody, Elder Louis Spencer, Missionary Althea Smith, Evangelist Mary E. Dunn, missionary Joyce Small, Evangelist Judy Shaw, and Evangelist Charlotte McIntyre. In 1989, the Regional Missions Department held its annual conference in North Dakota, and Saints poured in from five different states!
Mother Herminia Cole, Sister Peggy Johnson, Sister Cynthia Strickland, Sister Shirley Faison, Evangelist Glady Russ, Sister Jackie Jackson, Evangelist J. Ella Melvin, and others served the Lord by being dedicated to the work of the ministry in the Women’s Department.
As God used Bishop Cole across the State, Churches were formed elsewhere, such as in Minot by Elder Clifford Terrell and his wife, who later passed the Pastorate to Elder James Henderson in 1981. In 1994, a church was established in Whiteshield, North Dakota, in which Ben and Aldine Everett were appointed as lay workers in the ministry at the Shield of Faith Church of God In Christ. Additionally, a church was founded by Bishop Cole in Emerado, North Dakota. Elder David Washington, Elder Donald Haydel, Elder Victor Rountree, and Evangelist Cheryl Rountree supported the work until Bishop Cole appointed the first pastor and first lady.
In 1995, Elder Jimmy Pierce and his wife, Phyllis Pierce, and family took on the work in Emerado full-time. In July 1996, an outreach fellowship was started in Fargo and Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. In 1998, the pastorate at Emerado was passed to Elder Derrick Jackson and his wife, Evangelist Jackie Jackson as the first lady with their family of five children.
Mother Ella J. Melvin served as the first Jurisdictional Supervisor of North Dakota from 1993 until 1998. Before that time, there had never been a combined State Women’s Department under the auspices of a State Supervisor. She hosted six annual state women’s conventions, building the work of the ministry and encouraging women within the State.
In November 1998, Mother Melvin resigned as State Supervisor, and Mother Herminia Cole stood in the interval period between the troublesome times of 1998 to September 2001 as Acting State Supervisor. She represented the Jurisdiction well as the Lord gave her grace as stood in the multi-role as Pastor’s Wife and Bishop’s Wife.
On September 3rd, 2001, Evangelist Cheryl J. Rountree was named Bishop Cole’s Designated State Supervisor to the General Supervisor during a Women’s International Convention Committee meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was immediately thrust into the work of the Women’s Department at an International Convention in 2002, and North Dakota was one of the supporting Jurisdictions to the Minnesota Jurisdiction.
Life for Mother Rountree moved quickly. Through fasting and praying, she organized her first personal executive staff. Her team comprised Sister Merrita Bristow, Executive Secretary: Sister Lucinda Trotter, Financial Secretary, and Treasurer: and Mother Janet Covington, State Convention Coordinator. After not having a State Convention for three years, she and her staff began planning her first State Women’s Convention with the guidance and help of Bishop Cole. Mother Rountree opened the first State Women’s Department checking account and procured the first post office mailing address, and obtained a state letterhead for the department. It would be at a future date, however, that she would build a state cabinet as directed by the Lord Jesus.
On April 8th, 2002, while attending the Church of God In Christ “April Call Meeting” in Memphis, TN, Evangelist Rountree met the National Women’s Board of Examinations and passed a grueling supervisory exam. The following day, she was officially appointed as the new State Supervisor of the North Dakota Jurisdiction!
In May 2002, Supervisor Rountree participated in the 52nd International Women’s Convention held in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, as North Dakota, was listed as one of the supporting Jurisdictions to Minnesota. Bishop Cole and other local delegates were in attendance as North Dakota was well represented.
In July 2002, Mother Rountree, along with Bishop Cole and the support of the Jurisdiction, hosted Youth On A Mission, an international team of 160 members from the Nation Missions Department, many on their first-ever visit to North Dakota. Bishop Cole and Mother Rountree guided the team as they ministered on the Native American Reservation at Little Tokio, Fort Totten, Whiteshield, and New Town. The team also ministered at Gospel Outreach Ministries COGIC in Grand Forks and Gospel Tabernacle Community COGIC in Minot.
During the 95th International Holy Convocation in November 2002, Mother Rountree was ceremonially appointed as the Supervisor of North Dakota before the General Board members and the General Assembly. Thirteen supervisors from various jurisdictions were also appointed. The Rountree Family, along with the Cole Family, attended the ceremony. Sister LaShondra Rice represented our jurisdiction as a member of the National Choir!
December 2002 brought inevitable change for the Jurisdiction. Because of military necessity, Mother Rountree and her family received orders to Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, for an extended time. By the divine direction of the Lord, through prayer and fasting, He gave Mother Rountree and Bishop Cole new plans for the Jurisdiction, expansion and growth, planting, and building. The old wineskin has been stripped away, and the Lord put on new wineskin for the Jurisdiction with new wine.
Today, she is going forward with the vision from the Lord, her staff, and the Department of Women. Yes, Lord, the State Women’s Department is truly “Moving On” with growth, vision, expansion, and purpose.
The primary focus of this meeting is soul-winning and bringing hope to Women in North Dakota. Hope for the housewife, hope for the college woman, hope for the military woman, hope for the career woman, hope for the single woman, and hope for the married woman. It’s because of this hope that we can “move on.”
Written and Revised May 6-10, 2003
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)