THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY
San Diego New Life is a part of The Church of God of Prophecy which, is a vibrant, worldwide body of believers, united in worship, working hand-in-hand to share God’s love and a message of hope to the broken-hearted. Every 24 hours around the globe:
Over 500 people receive salvation
Over 200 people are baptized in water
Over 10,000 preaching venues are actively declaring the gospel.
At least one new church opens its doors every day to touch a local community through the efforts of this movement.
The Church of God of Prophecy has over one million members, worshipping in over 10,000 churches or missions in 125 nations of the world. Nearly 90% of our global membership is outside of North America.
THE CHURCH BEGAN…
The Church of God movement began over one hundred years ago in the humble hearts of earnest believers in the rural mountains of Cherokee County, North Carolina. Following a miracle-filled revival that took place in a schoolhouse near Camp Creek in 1886, a small congregation formed a Christian Union to pray and study the scriptures.
Soon led by an energetic young pastor from Indiana named A.J. Tomlinson, the group was more formally organized in 1903 into the Church of God and relocated its headquarters to neighboring Cleveland, Tennessee the following year. From Appalachia to the World, the century that followed saw great growth in all the branches of this movement.
From the beginning, these spiritual pioneers traced their roots to the New Testament church and considered themselves a continuation of the Spirit-filled Christianity exhibited in the book of Acts. This desired connection with early Christian expression continues today with a mandate that all church decisions be committed to prayer and based on scripture.
In contemporary theological terms, the Church of God of Prophecy is a Protestant, Evangelical, Wesleyan holiness, Pentecostal movement that believes in man’s freewill regarding salvation.
THE CHURCH TODAY…
Today, the organizational structure of the Church of God of Prophecy exists and operates at three interdependent levels – international, regional or state, and local.
THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL...
...functions to provide a vast global network of support and interaction for the church’s ministries in all 50 United States and the many nations where it is established. It is guided by a gifted group of experienced leaders referred to as General Presbyters. Selected from Church leadership around the world, General Presbyters provide spiritual oversight, vision, and direction to the church as a whole. They are led by the General Overseer, a bishop selected to serve as moderator of the Church’s General Assembly. He is responsible for a broad range of inspirational leadership and administrative duties.
The church’s International Offices, located in Cleveland, Tennessee, are designed to deliver essential support services and unique ministry activities. Presently, there are four inter-related divisions within the International Offices serving the church at large–Inspirational Leadership, Global Outreach Ministries, Leadership Development and Discipleship Ministries, and Finance and Publishing Ministries.
THE REGIONAL OR STATE LEVEL...
...provides leadership and support within a defined area to accomplish the work of the church in an efficient manner. Overseers are appointed to guide these territories as servant-leaders. Their duties include ministering to, overseeing, and appointing qualified pastors within their designated areas as well as encouraging their region in evangelism outreach.
THE LOCAL LEVEL...
...is the heartbeat of the church, providing for the immediate needs of congregations in the thousands of cities, towns and communities where the church’s mission is carried out on a daily basis. It is at the local level that people are won to Christ, baptized, brought into fellowship, and discipled into victorious Christian living.
Local churches are led by a qualified licensed pastor, appointed by the respective overseer who works in cooperation with the local body. The pastor serves as the spiritual and administrative leader of his congregation, and seeks God’s direction for shepherding the flock.
Participatory worship, dynamic preaching, practical evangelistic outreach, activities that support today’s family, biblical teaching, personal growth through ministry involvement, and an accepting family atmosphere that communicates God’s love are all woven into the fabric of local Church of God of Prophecy life.
Many independent congregations have been welcomed into the Church of God of Prophecy in recent times. They have found a Church with Biblical purity, a sound organizational structure, a relational accountability network and a church-wide commitment to minister to people in today’s contemporary setting.
OUR GENERAL CONFERENCE
Every two years, leadership and laity from around the world come together to form the General Assembly, the doctrinal decision-making body of the Church. General Assemblies address ongoing Biblical revelation as well as International practical concerns and provide a vehicle for the movement to corporately receive direction as a church family. This weeklong global homecoming, open to all, provides every church member an opportunity to participate with equal voice in business proceedings as well as be enriched by diverse, Spirit-filled ministry from around the world.
Not only are biblical truths such as repentance, regeneration, sanctification and holiness of life preached during the Assembly, but they are also lived out in local churches around the world. Many people have found that in order to understand this church you simply must experience the General Assembly.
The Church of God of Prophecy was raised up by God to be a dynamic expression of New Testament Christianity. A verbal covenant visibly and publicly joins believers to the Church of God of Prophecy both to the local and international body. This covenant does not bring about salvation, but it does serve a needed role in personal development and spiritual maturity by placing the believer in community with others.