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Former Head of Pentecostal Denomination Dies

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(RNS) Bishop Chandler David Owens, a former presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ known as an orator and international leader, died Sunday (March 6) at the age of 79.
Owens served as leader of the nation’s largest black Pentecostal denomination from 1995 to 2000 and was a member of its general board for more than 35 years.
COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake said Owens’ contribution to the denomination will be remembered with “gratitude, fondness, and respect. Though we mourn his passing, we celebrate his life.”
Owens helped establish churches and schools in India, the Philippines and Africa and was known for sometimes provocative oratory, especially when opposing same-sex marriage.
“I don’t care what another church does,” Owens once told church members, according to The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn. “In the Church of God in Christ, a man, a real man, a ‘sho’nuff’ man knows the difference between the smell of Old Spice and Chanel No.5 … COGIC won’t ordain sissies.”
Owens also made an unusual analysis of President Bill Clinton in a 1996 address.
“President Clinton,” Owens said, “is a man that was just born white, but on the inside, he’s a brother.”
During leadership battles in his denomination, Owens became the first presiding bishop to be unseated in 2000.
The denomination scheduled three funerals for Owens, the last on Saturday in Newark, N.J., where he served as a pastor for more than three decades.
- ADELLE M. BANKS, Religion News Service

Comments read comments(9)
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posted March 11, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Bye Bishop. No longer can you rant and rave against the rights of same gender people who want to marry.

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posted March 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm

The difference between channel #5, and Old Spice? What did he mean? They don’t ordain sissies, because they know the difference between the perfume and shaving lotion? No matter which way I turn that it doesn’t equate. What do you think he meant PS?

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posted March 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm

pagan your singular interest in the church is pretty sad at times. The man’s life was about much more than his beliefs concerning homosexuality.

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posted March 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm

I don’t know what Bishop Owens was worried about. I’ve been to a Pentecostal church. Gay people aren’t exactly going to be lining up to get ordained there anytime soon. Though if he thought gays (of all people) couldn’t tell the difference between Chanel and Old Spice, he couldn’t have been too bright.

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posted March 12, 2011 at 6:18 pm

mordred he was a little brighter and much more accomplished then a lot of critics :-D

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posted March 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm

cknuck—Of course his life was worth something—but now he can’t continue to spread his view of inequality. He’s probably in his heaven now—where life is good (or whatever the propaganda is). Maybe he will meet some gay’s there and find out God loves and understands them too, as they are also his/her creations. Sad? Maybe but that’s the way it is.

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posted March 12, 2011 at 7:53 pm

H22, I think Owens meant that the church wouldn’t ordain a man who was attracted to another man, because a “real MAN” wouldn’t be gay, or want someone who wore “Old Spice”, the Manly Man scent. Only “sissies” are gay. A real MAN would only be attracted to a female, or Chanel #5.

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posted March 12, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Gay or straight, if you wear Old Spice, you deserve hell-fire.

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posted March 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

My Dad wore Old Spice, it smelled good on him. My husband can’t stand it. ;)

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