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January 01 2008

The Church of God in Christ and Operation HOPE Collaborate to Deliver Financial Literacy to Youth and Adults

COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake and HOPE Founder John Hope
Bryant sign a historic partnership as part of COGIC’s Urban Initiative

Los Angeles, CA – August 18, 2008 – Empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE (HOPE) has partnered with the Church Of God In Christ, Inc. (COGIC) to bolster the denominations efforts to provide financial literacy to youth and adults throughout its 6 million-member congregation nationwide. Motivated by HOPE’s ability to deliver quality training to its immense population, COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake sat down with HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant to sign a historic memorandum of understanding, (MOU) during the Auxiliaries In Ministry Convention in Detroit on July 1, 2008.

This partnership will play a significant role in COGIC’s Urban Initiative, a 5-point program covering 1) education, 2) employment, 3) crime reduction and prevention, 4) strengthening family values and 5) financial literacy, centered on improving the quality of life in underserved communities.

“I realize the importance of financial literacy in the advancement of a person’s life. This part of the COGIC Urban Initiative will help our people gain those so needed skills and this partnership is critical to making our mission a success.” said Bishop Blake.

Through the national MOU, HOPE’s free financial service products, which include the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, a service to help homeowners resolve subprime mortgage issues, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) awareness and qualifications, first time home-buying assistance, credit management and financial goals achievement. The classes and seminars will also include youth and young adult financial literacy conducted by Operation HOPE employees and volunteer COGIC members who will be trained by HOPE.

John Bryant said, “I am pleased to sign this historic agreement with a special visionary, community leader and the presiding Bishop of more than 12,000 churches, who is also a person I have admired for 20 years. This strategic alliance will improve the lives of individuals throughout the United States by helping them make informed financial decisions, save for the future and also enhance economic activity in their communities.”

About COGIC
The Church Of God In Christ is the fourth-largest Protestant religious denomination in the United States with an estimated membership above 6.5 million members. COGIC headquarters are located at Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.