Cephus McGee, Jr.
Elmira - Bishop Cephus McGee, age 90, departed this life unexpectedly at his home on December 16th, 2018. Born in Geridge, Arkansas on August 26, 1928 to the late Reverend Cephus McGee, Sr. and Missionary Beatrice McGee, he was the eldest of 6 children. He was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Verlene McGee; siblings Jeremiah McGee, Dorothy Ragin, Mable Broughton, and Naomi Wilson. Survivors include his three daughters: Phyllis McGee Fields, Dr. JoAnn McGee, and Michelle McGee, all of Elmira. Survivors also include his grandchildren: Elijah McGee of Elmira, Tiffany Fields of Philadelphia, PA, and Pherin Fields of Baltimore, MD; and great-grandchild, Jayla McGee. In addition, surviving are his brother, George McGee of Las Vegas, NV and brother-in-law Walter Freeman of Buffalo, NY, niece Laura Freeman Chapman (Marcus) and their 3 children of Chicago, IL, and goddaughter Frances Moray Harris of Hoover, AL, as well as a host of nieces and nephews. Bishop McGee received his Bachelor's Degree from Houghton College and a Master and Doctorate Degree from Trinity College and Seminary. He successfully obtained certificates in pastoral clinical training, hospital clinical training, institutional clinical training, as well as having taught in Houghton College's evening school. Bishop McGee began serving at All Saints Home Church of God in Christ (C.O.G.I.C.) in Elmira in 1960. He was officially installed as pastor in 1961 and served until his retirement in 2014. Upon his retirement, Superintendent Kenneth W. Reed was installed as pastor. The New York State Department of Corrections appointed Bishop McGee as Protestant and Senior Chaplain at the Elmira Correctional Facility where he faithfully served for 22 years. He became the first African American appointed as chaplain in New York State. Bishop McGee was officially ordained as Auxiliary Bishop in 2012. Prior to his ordination, he served as executive secretary of the C.O.G.I.C. International Sunday School Department and as a member on the C.O.G.I.C. General Assembly Executive Board as well as a member of the General Assembly Commissioner of Bishops Jurisdictional Extensions. He is a former president of the Corning and Elmira Branch of the N.A.A.C.P. and was a lifetime member. He was also a former president of the Auxiliary of Interdenominational Ministers (A.I.M.) of Elmira. He served on numerous boards and committees in Elmira, Chemung County, and in C.O.G.I.C., local and national. He received numerous awards during his lifetime. Family and friends are invited to visit Faith Temple Community C.O.G.I.C. on the corner of Harper and Sullivan Streets, Elmira, on Saturday, December 22nd from 10 to 11:30 am. His funeral service will begin at 11:30 am. Committal prayers and interment will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery on Monday, December 24th at 9 am. and is open to the public. Walter J. Kent Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Published in Star-Gazette from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21, 2018.