Church of God
Statement of Identity
Since its beginning, the Church of God has been a "movement" a moving church with a mission of ministry to the world. In this new millennium, God is leading the Church of God as a global movement prepared to meet the demands and challenges of ministry in the 21st century.
The Church of God consists of people just like you. Every person who attends a Church of God function, event or local congregation is recognized as a valuable member of the church body. About the Church of God presents a concise ministry review of the Church of God, its programs and ministries. If after visiting this site you should have any questions or inquiries about the Church of God or its programs and ministries, please don't hesitate to contact the Church of God.
The mission of the Church of God is to perpetuate the full gospel of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20), in the Spirit and power of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4, 6, 13-18), through specific attention to and emphasis upon the centrality of God's Word, world evangelization, ministerial development, Christian discipleship, lay ministry, biblical stewardship, church growth, church planting, family enrichment, and servant leadership.
Our International Leadership
- General Overseer - Dr. Timothy M. Hill
- 1st Assistant General Overseer - Dr. Raymond F. Culpepper
- 2nd Assistant General Overseer - Dr. J. David Stephens
- 3rd Assistant General Overseer - Dr. David E. Ramirez
- Secretary General - Dr. John D. Childers
Click Here for a More Detailed List of International Church of God Leadership
The Church of God began on August 19, 1886, in Monroe County, Tennessee, near the North Carolina border. Former Baptist Richard Green Spurling preached in a millhouse along Barney Creek and eight persons formed a Christian Union for the purpose of following the New Testament as their rule for faith and practice, giving each other equal rights and privilege to interpret Scripture, and sitting together as the church of God. Twenty-one years later the growing movement formally adopted the name Church of God.
Ten years after the organizational meeting, a revival at the Shearer Schoolhouse in nearby Camp Creek, North Carolina, introduced the doctrine of sanctification to the community. Opposition to this doctrine led to severe persecution, but a spirit of revival prevailed and the Holiness believers experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that included speaking in tongues and divine healing. Such experiences prepared the way for the explosion of the Pentecostal movement in the early twentieth century.
Because of the large number of churches and the wide geographical spread, North Carolina was divided into two separate states for the Church of God. Property was purchased in Kenly and the Eastern North Carolina State Office was born.
Declaration of Faith
The Church of God believes the whole Bible to be completely and equally inspired and that it is the written Word of God. The Church of God has adopted the following Declaration of Faith as its standard and official expression of its doctrine.
- In the verbal inspiration of the Bible.
- In one God eternally existing in three persons; namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
- That Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. That Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. That He ascended to heaven and is today at the right hand of the Father as the Intercessor.
- That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that repentance is commanded of God for all and necessary for forgiveness of sins.
- That justification, regeneration, and the new birth are wrought by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ.
- In sanctification subsequent to the new birth, through faith in the blood of Christ; through the Word, and by the Holy Ghost.
- Holiness to be God's standard of living for His people.
- In the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart.
- In speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
- In water baptism by immersion, and all who repent should be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
- Divine healing is provided for all in the atonement.
- In the Lord's Supper and washing of the saints' feet.
- In the pre millennial second coming of Jesus. First, to resurrect the righteous dead and to catch away the living saints to Him in the air. Second, to reign on the earth a thousand years.
- In the bodily resurrection; eternal life for the righteous, and eternal punishment for the wicked. Doctrinal Commitments & Practical Commitments
More Information About the
Church of God
Church of God is:
First and foremost, the Church of God is a determinedly Christian church. It is built upon the person of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The doctrines and practices of the church are based upon His teachings.
The Church of God is founded upon the principles of Protestantism, although it is not a traditional follower of any specific leader of the Protestant Reformation. The denomination stands firmly for justification by faith, the priesthood of believers, the authority of the Bible, religious freedom, and the separation of church and state. It stands against abuses and extravagance of ecclesiastical ritualism and dogmatism
The Church of God subscribes to the following five foundational Christian doctrines:
- 1. The inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible.
- 2. The virgin birth and complete deity of Christ.
- 3. The atoning sacrifice of Christ's death for the sins of the world.
- 4. The literal resurrection of the body.
- 5. Christ's second coming in bodily form to earth.
Evangelical is the term used to describe those who affirm the primary doctrines revealed in the Scriptures. These doctrines include the inspiration and authority of the Word of God; the Trinity; the deity and virgin birth of Jesus Christ; salvation by faith in the atoning death of Christ; His bodily resurrection and ascension to the right hand of the Father; the ministry of the Holy Spirit; the second coming of Christ; and the spiritual unity of believers in Jesus Christ.
The Church of God has aligned itself with the basic statement of faith of NAE (National Association of Evangelicals) the largest association of Evangelicals in the USA. Members of NAE subscribe to a common statement of faith. The Church of God can be described as positioned in the mainstream of Evangelical Protestantism.
In 1896, many members of the Church of God experienced a spiritual outpouring they identified as the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Because it was so similar to the experience of the early Christians on the day of Pentecost, it came to be called a Pentecostal experience, an enrichment of the Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit that empowered believers to be effective witnesses of Christ. The principle distinctive of the Church of God as a Pentecostal organization is its belief in speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance and that this is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Mission and Vision
At the 2004 General Assembly, a set of seven commitments was adopted which reflects the Church of God's core values in regard to fulfilling its mission and vision.
Ministers and Laity
Ministers in the Church of God are ranked as ordained bishops, ordained ministers, exhorters, ministers of music and ministers of Christian education. They achieve these levels of ministry through a profession of faith, commitment to the church, training, internship and fulfillment of credential requirements. The Church of God emphasizes the doctrinal position of the priest-hood of all believers and encourages laity to assume a Biblical role in local church ministry.
A CARING CHURCH
From its beginnings, the Church of God has felt its responsibility to benevolence ministries. The church operates a number of specialized programs and institutions.
Homes For Children
The Church of God operates three homes for children in the United States. These include the Smoky Mountain Children’s Home, Sevierville, Tennessee, North Carolina Home for Children, Kannapolis, N.C., and the South Carolina Home for Children, Mauldin, S.C. There are also many children's homes and mission works around the world.
Widows / Retired Ministerial Couples / Widowers
The Iris B. Vest Widows Center recently changed its name to The Iris B. Vest SpiritCare Center so that widows, widowers, and retired ministerial couples can have a place for retirement living. Please view the website for an application or call Shane Smith 865.365.0225 to receive an application. The Center is located on the campus of the Smoky Mountain Children's Home, Sevierville, Tennessee.
Youth and Unwed Mothers
Heart of Florida Youth Ranch, Citra, Florida, and New River Ranch, Fayetteville, West Virginia, offer help and counseling for troubled boys and teens.
Several benevolence ministries including Helping Hands (providing medical assistance), Children of the World (children's needs worldwide) and Caravan of Compassion (inner city ministry) operate under the umbrella of Church of God Operation Compassion.
Hundreds of Church of God chaplains serve a worldwide ministry in full-time and voluntary positions. They are chaplains and counselors in hospitals, jails, prisons and countless other agencies and institutions.