Bishop Jacob Cohen, born in Miami, Florida, is the ninth son and twelfth child born to Bishop Amaziah Melvin Cohen (the first Eastern Florida State Bishop and founder and pastor of Miami Temple Church of God in Christ) and Mother Mamie Cohen.
Bishop Cohen was educated in the Dade County Public School System. After graduating high school, he attended Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, Florida. He decided to interrupt his educational pursuit and serve his country in the United States Army, stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and serving in the 82nd Airborne Division. Aware of the importance of education, upon his honorable discharge from the military, he enrolled in Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Education.
Marriage and Family
The providence of God placed him in Fayetteville to “find a good thing – a wife.” He met and married the late, lovely Josie Jackson, the daughter of the late Deacon John and Mother Josie Jackson. This union has been blessed with four children: Cheryl, Joel, Melvin, and Shawna. Bishop Cohen is a devoted grandfather to Quincy, LaToya, Joshua, and Brenden, and great grandfather to Quincy, Jr., Isaiah, Joy, and Isaiah.
North Carolina provided many memorable experiences for the young Jacob Cohen; for, it was in Fayetteville where he was saved, baptized, and called to the ministry at the Anderson Temple Church of God in Christ under the pastorate of the late Elder J. R. Anderson.
The love of a son for his father prompted Elder Jacob Cohen to return to Miami to assist his father, Bishop A. M. Cohen when he became ill. Along with his ministerial duties at the Temple, Elder Jacob Cohen taught in the Dade County Public School System. Upon the demise of his father in 1959, Elder Jacob Cohen was appointed pastor of the Miami Temple, now known as the A. M. Cohen Temple.
Elder Jacob Cohen’s upward mobility in the church continued with his appointment as Superintendent of the Miami District and subsequently with his appointment in 1971 as Jurisdictional Bishop of the Eastern Florida Jurisdiction. In order to fulfill his leadership responsibilities to the jurisdiction, Bishop Cohen culminated his tenure with the school system. Promotion continued for Bishop Cohen and in November 1972 he was elected to serve on the General Board of the Church of God in Christ, the governing board of the international church, serving a total of 14 years with this august body.
Accomplishments and Accolades
- Wrote the financial plan for the National Church of God in Christ
- Served 4 years as secretary of the General Board
- Established the clergy bureau for the Church of God in Christ
- Served as Chairman of the Constitution Committee
- Significant contribution to the successful building and operation of a radio station in Brasilia, Brazil
- Sponsored Labor Task Force for the renovation of Saints Industrial Junior College
- Spearheaded the growth of the Eastern Florida Jurisdiction from 8 districts to 17 districts
- Served on many national, state, and local boards and advisory councils including the NAACP, YMCA, Governor’s Committee on the Black Family (1986), Boy Scouts, Overtown Development, SCLC, and OIC
- Presented with an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Saint Thomas Christian College, Jacksonville, Florida on March 11, 2006
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