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 denomination’s 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."

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.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE is America’s leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 1500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 30 major U.S. cities as well as South Africa, Operation Hope has raised more than $400 million in it’s pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. Through international initiatives and its three principal programs: Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline,        888-388-HOPE          , financial emergency preparedness and disaster relief), and Walk-In HOPE Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles) Operation HOPE has assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities.

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