Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma)

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For other uses of "Church of God", see Church of God (disambiguation).

The Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma) is a Christian church with roots in the holiness movement.

History[edit]

George Winn, an ex-slave, founded the Guthrie congregation at Guthrie in 1905. Its early work toward racial integration gained it the pejorative title The Church of God (Holstein). The congregation at Guthrie hosts the Oklahoma State campmeeting each May and the Oklahoma State assembly meeting each December.

In 2003, the Church of God (Guthrie, Oklahoma) had 43 congregations in 18 states in the United States; (the largest concentrations being in Oklahoma and California). The church does not keep membership rolls. Faith and Victory (founded 1923) is a monthly (11 months per year) publication of the church. Through mission efforts the church has extended into 6 other countries outside of the U.S.

Theology and practices[edit]

This body attempts to closely follow the teachings of The Bible. They see an example in spiritual leaders such as Daniel Sidney Warner and others that were instrumental in bringing about the "Evening Light Reformation." They believe that God began to restore the church to the standards and light of the early morning church era through Warner and others in 1880. The Guthrie congregation and associated congregations are from a minority group that dissolved fellowship with Church of God (Anderson) in 1910-1911. This minority felt that the majority was compromising the original teachings of the Evening Light Reformation and chose to remain with what they believed to be the original standards. They felt that this could easily be ascertained by comparing the teachings of the Anderson Movement at that time with the original writings of the Evening Light Reformation.

Although Guthrie is home to one of the larger congregations in this fellowship, Guthrie is not the headquarters. The church teaches that Christ is the head of the church and that the headquarters is in heaven. An ecclesiastical hierarchy with one man having the preeminence over others is considered man-rule and not the pattern described in the Bible for church leadership.

The doctrines of the church are similar to those of the Church of God (Anderson) in its earlier days. In comparison, the church maintains a stronger emphasis on separation and holiness than the Anderson Movement. Sanctification[1] is held as a second work of grace after justification by faith. In keeping with the standard of holiness, a ministerial statement [2] was issued in 1959 taking a stand against people in leadership positions in the church having televisions in their homes. The church teaches that the committing of willful sin, and that alone, disqualifies someone from being a member.

Practices of the church include baptism by immersion, the Lord's supper, feet washing, lifting up holy hands, anointing with oil, divine healing, fasting and a cappella singing. Teaching on the end of time is that the second coming of the Lord represents the end of the world and the end of life on the world for all people, both good and evil, without there being a one thousand year reign on earth or second chance for the wicked to repent. Free-will offering is taught rather than tithing, and the ministry believes in living by faith rather than accepting salaries.

Camp[edit]

A campground for church of God meetings was built at Monark Springs, Missouri. The original tabernacle was constructed in 1940, and has been expanded more than once. The tabernacle at Monark is still in use today for the national Church of God campmeeting, with attendance from a number of States and international locations.

The Monark campmeeting begins the third Friday of each July and continues for 10 days. The grounds include dining and sleeping facilities. The Church of God ministry believes in Holy Spirit leadership in the services, allowing liberty for calling of songs, testimonies, and preaching in the general services, as the Lord leads rather than following a prepared schedule. Special services are usually set aside for missionary reports, for observance of foot-washing and the Lord’s supper, and for healing of the sick. The healing service coincides with fast day.

Two meetings are held in Guthrie each year - the Oklahoma State Campmeeting toward the end of May and the Assembly meeting toward the end of December. Both are ten day meetings. Other major meetings are held in California, West Virginia, and Louisiana each year.

A Church of God meetings link is provided below which gives upcoming meeting notices, details, contact information, and access to maps.

References[edit]

  • Birth of a Reformation - Life and Labors of D. S. Warner, by A. L. Byers
  • Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, editor
  • Profiles in Belief: the Religious Bodies of the United States and Canada (Vol. III), by Arthur Carl Piepkorn
  • Church of God Doctrines (1979 Edition), by Cecil C. Carver

External links[edit]