Notable COGIC Women from the Tulsa Area

Tulsa’s Black Pentecostal community has a rich history. As Tulsa’s black population thrived along side the development of the Greenwood District known as “Black Wall Street,” Pentecost also took hold with at least two Church of God in Christ Churches by 1921 with over 100 members each. In doing research for my book, Pentecost in Tulsa, I found many of the stories of women and men of the Church of God in Christ who were significant to the tradition, but their roots in the Tulsa area were unknown. The most notable was Bishop Travis B. Sipuel, who survived the 1921 Race Massacre whose family was instrumental in the Civil Rights Movement. His daughter, Ada Lois Sipuel, I profiled in another blog for her pioneering fight for civil rights that led to Brown vs. Board of Education. Other individuals I found have been known in the COGIC community but their Tulsa roots were not documented, most of whom were significant women. Here are the stories of these Pentecostal women from Tulsa who made an impact on the movement.

Mother Mattie McCaulley

Tulsa was the home of Mother Mattie McCaulley, the first female missionary commissioned by the Church of God in Christ. Though details about her life are scarce, we do know she lived in Tulsa during the Race Massacre era, but we are uncertain how her family was affected. McCaulley felt called to missions and left Tulsa in 1926 to plant churches in Trinidad.[1] She and several other pastors and evangelists also established churches in Costa Rica and Panama.[2] McCaulley later became the supervisor for COGIC missions work throughout the region. 

Dr. Mattie Carter McGlothen

(credit: McGlothen Library and Museum)

One of the most influential Tulsa women in the Church of God in Christ was Dr. Mattie Carter McGlothen. McGlothen was born in Dallas, but her parents, Evins and Crecy Carter, moved to Sapulpa right after she was born in 1903 or 1904.[3] She attended Sapulpa Public Schools and she graduated from Quindaro College, in Kansas City, Kansas in 1922. In 1921, Mattie was saved, filled with the Holy Ghost and healed of tuberculosis in a Pentecostal revival in Sapulpa’s COGIC church. [4] 

In 1923, she married Bishop George McGlothin and together they founded a COGIC church in Tulsa in the late-1920s as well as churches in Sawyer, Hugo, and Idabel.[5] She later served as the Women’s Department Supervisor in California for sixty-one years and became the 4th General Supervisor of the International Department of Women in the Church of God in Christ 1967–1994. Her accomplishments were many. She founded, organized or reorganized the International Hospitality. She also founded the Education and Scholarship Fund, the Bishop’s Wives Scholarship Fund, the Screening Committee for Jurisdictional Supervisors, the McGlothin Foundation, the Emergency Relief Fund, the Lavender Ladies, the Leadership Conference for Jurisdictional Leaders and National Workers, and Business and Professional Women’s Federation.[6] She passed away in 1994.

Mother Mary J. (Patterson) Hopkins

Mother Mary Jane (Patterson) Hopkins, another important COGIC survivor, was born March 7, 1887 in Fayetteville, Texas. At fifteen years old she was saved and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit in the early days of the Pentecostal Movement. Mary Patterson married Pike Hopkins on March 23, 1912. Shortly after, possibly in 1914, they settled in Tulsa, making them some of the earliest known Black Pentecostals in Tulsa.

After the massacre, the Hopkins moved to Detroit, Michigan where Pike joined the Detroit Police Department. He served until his death in 1939. Mother Hopkins later became involved in COGIC Women’s Department leadership and established churches in Texas and Michigan.[7]In 1964, Hopkins was appointed Supervisor of the Northeast Michigan Women’s Department, where she served for many years and was known as “Amen Mother” for her anointed preaching and Bible teaching.[8] In 1973, Hopkins founded the United Sisters of Charity, a benevolence ministry serving Detroit Michigan. Mother Hopkins lived to be 108 years old.

Reatha and Leatha Morrris, the “Twin Evangelists”

There are few details about the earliest COGIC congregations in Oklahoma. But, we know that the 1907 Convocation listed at least two congregations in Oklahoma.[9] With the number of congregations growing over the next few years, Bishop O. T. Jones and his brother, Bishop Arthur Jones, were sent by Elder Mason to Oklahoma to help set churches in order in 1912.[10] When Jones came to Enid, he met a young Baptist minister named John Morris who established the first Pentecostal work near Enid in 1910.[11] His twin daughters, Reatha and Leatha Morrris were known as the “The Twins” who became early church planters in the Church of God in Christ.[12]

Recognizing the calling on Reatha and Leatha, and Mother Lizzie Robinson commissioned them to the ministry of evangelism. As Anthea Butler has documented, Mother Lizzie Robinson and her team of Church mothers were largely responsible for early COGIC church planting efforts, including in Oklahoma. [13] The Twins first crusade was held in Nowata, a community north of Tulsa, alongside Bishop O. T. Jones.[14] Mother Reatha Herndon recalls,

 “We’d put them on that Mourner’s Bench and then we’d get over those people, casting out devils, praying for them and blessing them. … Sometime in the meetings there would be 15 and 20 people who would get saved. Most of them would be filled with the Holy Ghost.” [15]

Over her ministry career, God used Mother Reatha to establish seventy-five churches around the United States and is recognized as one of the greatest church planters in the early Church of God in Christ. 

There is a Facebook page dedicated to the Twin Evangelists. You should check it out.

Amplifying Tulsa’s Black Pentecostal Story

Each of these women made their mark not only on Tulsa, but on Pentecostalism in general. They are each unique and their stories need to be told. It is especially important to tell stories of Black Pentecostals when stories like this have been overlooked for so long because of racial and social divides that have often neglected the amplifying Black History. I am glad these important leaders are part of Tulsa’s history and proud of their legacies. This is OUR story.

I want to thank the Pentecostal scholars like Glenda Goodson, Sherry Sherrod DuPree, Anthea Butler, and Estrelda Alexander for documenting these women in their work. I hope these additional details I uncovered add to that story.

[1] Glenda Williams Goodson, Royalty Unveiled: Women Trailblazers in the Church of God in Christ International Missions, 1920-1970 (Lancaster, TX: HCM Publishing, 2011), 78-79.

[2] Yearbook of the Church of God in Christ (1926), 61.

[3] Sherry Sherrod DuPree, “McGlothen, Mattie Carter,” Biographical Dictionary of African-American, Holiness-Pentecostals (1880-1990) (Washington, DC: Middle Atlantic Regional Press, 1989), 184-85. See also Nancy A. Lashawn Deville, “Brief Biography of Dr. Mattie McGlothen,” Church of God in Christ, Inc. 39th Annual Women’s International Convention, Portland, OR, May 16-21, 1989, 6. 

[4] Dr. Mattie McGlothen Library Museum, (accessed 7 March 2021).

[5] It is unclear which church was started by the McGlothlins in Tulsa as mentioned in her bios, but the Yearbook of the Church of God in Christ (1926), 135, mentions the churches they pastored in Hugo and Idabell.

[6] “Mother Mattie McGlothen,” Church of God in Christ, accessed December 2, 2020,

[7] “Michigan Woman, 108, Dies,”, August 7, 1995, accessed December 2, 2020,

[8] Church of God in Christ 50th Women’s International Convention (Los Angeles, CA: Church of God in Christ, 2000), 418. USC Libraries, accessed December 21, 2020,

[9] Clemmons, Bishop Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ, 66. See also, Census of Religious Bodies 1926, Church of God in Christ, 9, Department of Commerce, United States of America (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1929).

[10] Clemmons, Bishop Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ, 84; Bobby Bean, This is the Church of God in Christ (Atlanta: Underground Epics Pub., 2001), 175.

[11] Glenda Williams Goodson, “The Church of God in Christ Transforms Women’s Ministries through the Positive Influence of the Chief Apostle Bishop C. H. Mason,” in With Signs Following: The Life and Ministry of Charles Harrison Mason, ed. Raynard D. Smith (St. Louis: Christian Board of Publication, 2015), 92.

[12] Doris J. Smith, Roots Out of Dry Ground: The Mother Reatha Herndon Story (Brooklyn, NY: Welstar Publishing, 2014), 1.

[13] Anthea D. Butler, Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making a Sanctified World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), 50.

[14] Smith, Roots Out of Dry Ground, 82, refers to it as “Newwater,” but that is likely mistaken for Nowata, where an established church is said to be connected to O. T. Jones’ work in the town.

[15] ibid.89.

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