Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A.

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Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A.
Classification Protestant
Orientation Holiness
Polity Episcopal
Region United States
Founder Charles Price Jones
Origin 1896
Jackson, Mississippi
Separations Church of God in Christ (separated 1907), Associated Church of Christ Holiness (separated 1947) Church of God, Holiness (based in Atlanta, GA - 1922)

The Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. is a Holiness body of Christians headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi. In 2010, there were 14,000 members in 154 churches.[1]

History[edit]

The Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. shares a common early history with the Church of God in Christ. Charles Price Jones, a Missionary Baptist preacher in Alabama and later Mississippi, accepted the doctrine of Holiness around 1896. During this time C.P. Jones became associated with W. S. Pleasant, J. A. Jeter, Charles Harrison Mason, along with other Holiness leaders. In 1897, C.P. Jones conducted a Holiness convention from June 6-15 at the church he pastored, Mt. Helm Baptist Church, in Jackson, Mississippi. In 1898, the name Mt. Helm Baptist Church was changed to Church of Christ. This new group of Holiness leaders was expelled from the Jackson Baptist Association. From that expulsion, they adopted the name Christ Association of Mississippi of Baptized Believers in Christ in 1900, and the national Holiness movement accepted the name by C. H. Mason—Church of God in Christ—in 1906. In that same year, an annual convocation selected J. A. Jeter, C. H. Mason, and D. J. Young to investigate the Azusa Street Revival conducted by William J. Seymour. C.H. Mason and D. J. Young accepted William Seymour's teaching concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit and returned with such doctrinal message with great enthusiasm. After an extended discussion on the issue of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, at the 1907 convention, a right hand of fellowship, a separation occurred, with C. H. Mason, D. J. Young and others leading a Holiness, Pentecostal group. C. P. Jones retained its Holiness emphasis when other early African-American leaders such as C. H. Mason embraced Pentecostalism.

The name Church of God in Christ was widely held by both groups until 1907, when Bishop C. H. Mason had the name COGIC, incorporated. Churches of the Holiness division began to use the name Church of Christ Holiness, and in October 1920 was chartered in the state of Mississippi as the Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A..

Theology[edit]

The Church of Christ (Holiness) U.S.A. is trinitarian with a Holiness emphasis. Water baptism of believers by immersion and the Lord's supper as a memorial are held to be ordinances of the church. Foot washing is also practiced, but it is not regarded as an ordinance. The church does not reject speaking in tongues (glossolalia). The church emphasizes that the Holy Spirit is an indispensable gift to every believer, but places no emphasis on an initial evidence as speaking in tongues to be the results of such gift.

Core Values[edit]

  • WORSHIP

We are committed to being a community of worshippers who, led by the Holy Spirit, glorifies God, magnifies His son and edifies His people as every member celebrates in our worship service.

  • HOLINESS

We are committed to a life of holiness, which must be the focus of each member. We will strive to obey all of God's commandments, apply the principles of Jesus' teachings, and follow the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

  • EVANGELISM

We are committed to evangelism that is conducted with a compassionate vigor as we inspire and equip our members to be witnesses for Christ by seeking the lost and unchurched.

  • ACCOUNTABILITY

We are committed to accountability and to pursuing excellence in our administration through skillful stewardship of our talents, time, facilities, finances, and all resources entrusted to us by God and His people, at every level of the church.

  • TRAINING

We are committed to training ministers and lay persons to be skilled in leadership and the work of the church, through training that is biblically based, contemporary in its application and aimed at realizing the vision of our church.[citation needed]

Leadership[edit]

The church is episcopal in structure with a Senior Bishop as the highest official and spiritual leader. The church in the United States is divided into eight dioceses - Eastern, North Central, Northern, Pacific North West, South Central, South Eastern, South Western, and Western. In 2008 the Church of Christ (Holiness) had 15,000 members in 167 congregations in the United States, the Dominican Republic and Africa.

Board of Bishops

  • Bishop Maurice Bingham – Senior Bishop Emeritus
  • Bishop Emery Lindsay – Senior Bishop and Presiding Bishop of the Western Diocese
  • Bishop Vernon Kennebrew – National President and Presiding Bishop of the Southwestern Diocese.
  • Bishop Lindsay E. Jones – First Vice President and Presiding Bishop of the North Central Diocese
  • Bishop Joseph Campbell – Second Vice President and Presiding Bishop of the South Central Diocese
  • Bishop Dale Cudjoe - Northern Diocese
  • Bishop Maurice Nicholson – Eastern Diocese and South Eastern Diocese
  • Bishop Robert Winn – Pacific North West Diocese
  • Bishop Victor Smith - Retired
  • Bishop James Mitchell - Retired
  • Bishop C. B. Jordan - Honorary
  • Bishop Carl Austin - Retired

Its annual "National Convention" is held during the month of July. The church will celebrate its 115th convention in Chicago, Illinois in 2011.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2008 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches". The National Council of Churches. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  • Handbook of Denominations in the United States, by Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, and Craig D. Atwood