Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Early Life Of Bishop Charles Harrison Mason

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By Scott Bennett

This man is honored by many as a prominent religious figure in the Pentecostal Holiness denomination. His many achievements throughout his lifetime of working to preach the word of God have led to many great things that still have resonating effects today. The church Bishop Charles Harrison Mason founded in Lexington, Mississippi has grown to be the largest of its kind.

Mason's life had humble beginnings in a small area in Tennessee habitated by sharecroppers that had not been incorporated into a town. His father Jerry and his mother Eliza has both been slaves before getting their freedom and becoming sharecroppers. His early life did not include a regular education, but rather gleaned all the knowledge he could from his parents' religion.

The first time anyone joins a church is a very special experience, and it can change a person's life. It can be all the more special when the person carrying out the baptism is a relative or someone special in the person's life, and so it was a very special ceremony when Mason's half-brother baptized him. This was in 1879 at a Baptist church, and he was twelve.

Trouble arose in 1880 when both tuberculosis and yellow fever were spreading around the area of Shelby County, and Mason fell sick to tuberculosis when he was fourteen. In those days, hospitals would not treat African Americans, and the medical centers for African Americans didn't have enough money or trained experts. The result was many people needlessly dying, including Mason's father Jerry.

Sharecropping turned out impossible to carry on after the loss of Jerry, so the family then moved to the town of Preston. Moving was very hard for Mason since he was still very sick with tuberculosis, and at one point it seemed he would die. His family sat and prayed for him, and very quickly after that, he returned to full health.

While this many devoted almost all of his life to God's Ministry, he did not always want to be a clergyman. When he was young, he told his parents that he only wanted to be a regular member of the church. However, after he was amazingly healed of tuberculosis after his family's prayers, he decided that God had saved him for the purpose of calling him to his ministry.

It was in 1893 that Mason's license to be a minister was acquired. He was 27, and it marked the first step of his career that would last the rest of his life. From there, his work took him to a Baptist church in Arkansas, which would be his first hands-on experience as a minister.

One of the hardest things to do in professional situations is to disagree with one's peers. Since Mason knew firmly what he believed in and wanted to represent it and nothing else, he was able to take action and left the first Baptist church he was working at after only being there a short time. He felt that their views were too liberal.

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