Elder Eugene C. McCown, Jr. honorably and humbly serves as the Pastor and Founder of the Praise Center Church Of God In Christ, a multicultural, spirit-filled church located in Dumfries, Virginia. As the Servant Leader of Praise Center Church, Pastor McCown has dedicated his life to Empowering Believers and Changing Lives through sound biblical teaching and spiritual development and empowerment. He uses his God-given gifts of organization, service and helps to be a blessing to others within the church at-large and to areas extending beyond the church. Pastor McCown has been ordained for a time such as this.
Pastor McCown was born in Bellflower, California to Eugene C. McCown, Sr. and EverLena Dean McCown. Initially reared in the Baptist Church where he received his hunger for the Word of God, He would later be introduced to holiness while attending Goodwill COGIC under the leadership of his future father-in-law, Asst. Supt. Joseph M. Guilford. It was here that the seeds of servanthood were sown as he watched Asst. Supt. Guilford and Evangelist Athalina Guilford serve at the local church, District, Regional and Jurisdictional levels. After completing his education at San Diego State University, Pastor McCown and family joined Greater St. Luke COGIC in San Diego, California where he served diligently for over ten years. After relocating to Virginia, they joined Holiness Tabernacle COGIC in Woodbridge, Virginia where he served for six years.
It was under the ministry of Supt. Gary Watkins, Sr. and Greater St. Luke Church that the seeds of servanthood began to blossom. Pastor McCown served in various capacities, but most importantly as Supt. Watkins’ armor bearer. Through the training of Supt. Watkins, Pastor McCown grew to become a great organizer, a gifted administrator, an honorable and trusted servant, and a godly example to men, women and children. Without the need for fanfare, he ministered on the local, District, Jurisdictional and National levels of the Church.
While in Virginia, Pastor McCown accepted his calling to the ministry while at Holiness Tabernacle while under the leadership of Asst. Supt. Eddie Pruitte, and served with excellence, honor, and favor, wherever needed. It was here that his prayer life grew stronger and the anointing of God was over everything he touched. He would grow to become a godly example not just to members, but to leaders across the nation as well, and in 2013, he was ordained by the late Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr. to be an Elder in the Church Of God In Christ. With God’s anointing and the permission of his leaders, Pastor McCown planted Praise Center Church in Dumfries, Virginia in December 2014.
Pastor McCown continues to serve and minister to many on the local, District, Jurisdictional and National levels of the Church.
On August 2, 1997, Pastor McCown was blessed to marry his lovely wife, Yolinda McCown (affectionately known as “Lady Yo”), who serves faithfully by his side and supports him in ministry and in business. He encourages her to pursue her passions in ministry and in life. She is the owner of “A Time N Place” Event Planning Services and serves in many capacities on the local, District, Jurisdictional and National levels. To their union, they’ve been graced with Dymond, Eryck, Crystal and Eryn, who also work closely with him in ministry.
Called to Serve
Pastor McCown serves in various capacities throughout the church. Locally, in January 2014, he was appointed as the YPWW President of the Great Northern District and in December 2018 he was appointed as the Assistant YPWW President for the Virginia First Jurisdiction. Pastor McCown also served as the Asst. Jurisdictional Secretary, Holy Convocation Registration Lead, and Webmaster for Virginia First Jurisdiction. He served faithfully in these positions until December 2020 when he was selected as the Chief Operating Officer of the Historic First Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction under the leadership of Bishop Marc A. Thomas, Sr.
Since July 2005, Pastor McCown has been a dedicated National Adjutant and armor bearer where he was blessed with the privilege of serving the late General Board Members Bishop George Dallas McKinney and Bishop Ted G. Thomas, Sr. In November 2013, he was appointed by Adjutant General Bishop Matthew Williams to the office of Overseer of Operations in the National Adjutancy. In March 2017, Pastor McCown was re-appointed to this office by Adjutant General Bishop Robert Rudolph, Jr. where he served of the Chief Operating Office and Logistics Coordinator for the National Adjutancy until March 2021. From July 2018 to November 2020, he had the honor to teach and train the Male New Adjutants during the New Adjutants Training Academy.
In May 2015, Pastor McCown was appointed to serve as the Registrar for the General Council of Pastors & Elders for the Church Of God In Christ. Because of his faithfulness and godly work ethic, in April 2022, he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Executive Committee for the General Council of Pastors & Elders.
Pastor McCown continues to allow his gifts to make room for him. In addition to these national appointments, he continues to provide technical support to the General Secretary’s Office, Financial Secretary’s Office, the General Assembly, and the Church Of God In Christ at large.