The first State Convocation was held at Saints Home COGIC, 509
East 20th Avenue Gary, Indiana July 27th to August 5th 1927. This
meeting was hosted by Bishop C.E. Bennett and was graced with the
presence of Bishop C.H. Mason. Later that year Bishop Bennett was
appointed to the office of State Overseer.
Beginning with eleven small churches and missions, by 1948 the
numbers had grew to forty-eight churches. Shortly thereafter the
state was divided into northern and southern portions. Sixteen
churches were placed with Overseer Homer Worth and thirty-two
churches left with Overseer Bennett. The number soon grew to
ninety churches under Bishop C. E. Bennett.
On November 14, 1968, the General assembly of the COGIC elected
the first General Board and Presiding Bishop of the church. Bishop C.
E. Bennett was a member of the first General Board elected (1968-
1972). Bishop Bennett after out growing 509 East 20th Avenue,
relocated his congregation and church to it's new edifice at 833 East
21st Gary, Indiana. On June 27, 1972 the Lord called Bishop Bennett
home to rest from his labors.
In December of 1972, Elder William O. Blakely, Sr., pastor of Faith
Temple COGIC who had faithfully and loyally served Bishop Bennett
was chosen to succeed him as pastor of Saints Home and Bishop of
Indiana First Jurisdiction. Under Bishop W.O. Blakely leadership, the
Indiana First Jurisdiction grew to over 120 churches. The Lord moved
Bishop Blakely a spiritual and humble leader from labor to reward in
On December 10, 1988, Elder Rozelle Hammonds was appointed
pastor of Saints Home COGIC. Pastor Hammonds was saved, filled
with the Holy Ghost and later called to ministry in 1952. Pastor
Rozelle Hammonds was ordained by the late Bishop C. E. Bennett in
1956. Pastor R. Hammonds also served as Assistant Pastor to
Bishop William O. Blakely. Pastor R. Hammonds is presently the
owner/operator of Esquire Men's Clothing, where he has worked 69
Pastor Hammonds married his high school sweetheart Gladys
Marcella (Crawford) Hammonds. Pastor R. Hammonds a high school
drop, went back to school and earned his Bachelor Degree in
Business Administration. Mother Gladys Hammonds earned her
Bachelor's and Master Degree in Elementary Education. To this
union 5 sons were born, Supt. Rozelle (Ruby), Pastor Richard
(Gospel Experience),Peter (Vivian), Pastor Frank (Denine) and
Pastor Marcus and Alexis Hammonds (Saints Home COGIC).
Pastor R. Hammonds retired on November 17, 2012 and was
appointed Pastor Emeritus and his youngest son Marcus Hammonds
was appointed Pastor of Saints Home COGIC. He was officially
installed as Pastor on March 10, 2013 by Bishop Donald L. Alford Sr.
833 East 21st. Ave, Gary, Indiana 46402
Pastor Marcus and Lady Alexis Hammonds