The Adjutancy, as it is known today, in Pentecostal churches was formed in 1970 by the current president of the Joint College of African American Pentecostal Bishops, Most Reverend J. Delano Ellis II. Bishop Ellis’s desire to blend order and ardor within the black Pentecostal church created a “corps of servants” to the Leadership in the Church of God in Christ. Therefore, it is impossible to discuss adjutancy in the black Pentecostal church without mentioning its founding father.
Having received much of his education and exposure in the Episcopal/Anglican communities, Bishop Ellis inspired the Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ to adopt a similar tonsorial (dress or vestment style) and many African-American Pentecostal Communions followed their example. As our churches found greater expose in the broader community of organized believers, so did the need for those who would assist leaders in serving the Lord’s church; hence the adjutancy was born.
The word “Adjutant” comes from the Latin word Adiutare, which means; “to aid or assist” or more appropriately stated; “to keep on helping”. The latter definition used in the military means; “a staff officer who assists the Commanding Officer; the Officer-In-Charge of administrative affairs for the Commanding officer.”
In the “ecclesial” sense, an Adjutant is “a servant who assists and advises a bishop on liturgical, ceremonial and protocol matters; and, administratively organizes and executes ceremonies, services and the directives of the bishop.” The Adjutancy, among us, is the group of men and women who are charged with the task of standardizing and enacting the fundamentals of our ceremonial, liturgical and protocol traditions.
The Mission of the Adjutancy is very widespread, but can be characterized as a twofold purpose; “to sanctify the leader in the eyes of the people and lend great support and service to Elijah.” In large part, this message is seen in the Adjutant’s Coat of Arms; “…and he poured water on the hands of Elijah.”
Through dignified and reverent ceremonial decorum we unveil the beauty of the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ and the sacredness of the Office of the Bishops and subordinate Prelatures. We labor to produce an atmosphere of reverence and holiness that is conducive to the full expression, manifestation and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Adjutancy endeavors to arrange a divine encounter between God and his people through preserving the sacred mysteries and Holy things which are the rich traditions of our faith. We further strive to serve the successors of Christ’s apostolic ministry in their faithful execution of their ministry.
It is with great pleasure that our founder and organizer of “Adjutancy” within 20th and 21st Century Pentecost, extends this formal invitation to all adjutants, armor bearers and those who desire to grow in this servant-ministry.