What Is The Church of God?
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.
Under the leadership of our first General Overseer, A. J. Tomlinson, the Church of God adopted a centralized form of Church government with an inclusive International General Assembly (1906), launched a world evangelization effort beginning in the Bahamas (1909), inaugurated the Church of God Evangel (1910), and established educational opportunities for ministers and members (1918). Today Church of God ministries include more than 7 million members in 178 nations and territories. Some 36,000 congregations serve around the world, while regional and international ministries provide resources and support through our divisions of World Evangelization, Care, Discipleship, Education, and Support Services.
- 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 premillennial 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.