Great Commission church movement

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Great Commission Churches
Founded 1965 with no official name
1970 as The Blitz Movement
1983 as Great Commission International
1989 as Great Commission Association of Churches
2005 as Great Commission Churches
Founder Jim McCotter
Herschel Martindale
Dennis Clark
Type Evangelical Christian Church Association
Focus Planting and building churches
Location
Origins Plymouth Brethren
Area served
International
Members 43,000 (2005)
Official language
English
Key people
Herschel Martindale
John Hopler
Rick Whitney
Dave Bovenmeyer
Tom Short
Mark Darling
Brent Knox
Chris Martin
Dennis Clark
Slogan New Testament Christianity In Action Today
Website http://www.gccweb.org/

The Great Commission church movement is the entities broadly associated with an evangelical Christian movement formalized in the USA in 1970. The largest of these organizations today is Great Commission Churches (GCC). Other associated organizations include Great Commission Ministries (GCM), Great Commission Latin America (GCLA), and Great Commission Europe (GCE). The movement has grown in size and scope through its focus on church planting in the United States and abroad. Between 1978 and 1994, the movement attracted criticism for alleged authoritarian practices and a high degree of control over members (see Criticism). GCC formally acknowledged these criticisms in 1991 (see 1991 GCC Statement of Church Error). GCC is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, and one or more organizations within the movement has continuously been a part of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 1992.[1][2]

History[edit]

The Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC) is the current name of an Evangelical Christian association of churches that started as a movement in 1965, though not generally recognized as a movement until 1970. The movement at first avoided any denominational affiliation, becoming known in the early 1970s as "The Blitz" or "The Blitz Movement," then as Great Commission International (GCI) when leaders formed a formal organization in 1983. In 1989, GCI became GCAC ("Great Commission Association of Churches"), and Great Commission Ministries (GCM) was founded as the campus and international mission agency for GCAC; the campus ministry prior to this was known as Great Commission Students (GCS), although GCS did not employ full-time missionaries or do international work. Today, the "right hand of fellowship" ministry to international churches and ministries is known as the Great Commission Association (GCA). GCAC generally refers to itself as Great Commission Churches (GCC) in public communications.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Background[edit]

Roots[edit]

In 1965, 20-year-old Jim McCotter (James Douglas McCotter) left his home in Colorado Springs, Colorado and moved to Greeley, Colorado in an attempt to recreate the New Testament Church, a church model he believed no existing Christian denomination was emulating fully.[4][6][11]

McCotter, whose family's religious background was with the Plymouth Brethren, has stated that his desire to form the movement stemmed from his belief that God had shown him in the Bible's Book of Acts a strategy instructing Christians on how God wanted to use church planting to "reach the world for Christ" within one generation. This strategy came to be known as the "Heavenly Vision", and was a cornerstone belief of the early movement. McCotter also believed that the Bible was instructing every Christian to emulate the actions of the Apostle Paul's life as he imitated Christ and that this was the model life for all Christians to imitate based upon Paul's exhortation in 1 Corinthians 11:1.[4][12][13]

Early members believed they were returning to the lost lifestyle of the first century Christians. This lifestyle included a devotion to discipleship which has been criticized and compared to the "Shepherding Movement."[6]

After arriving in Greeley, McCotter attended and began sharing his faith at the University of Northern Colorado campus. According to McCotter, by the end of the first year 12 people had joined him, after 1966 there were thirty, and in the following years it "doubled and tripled."[4] The movement eventually spread to other cities in Colorado, as well as Las Cruces, New Mexico, in the form of missions or "works".

McCotter dropped out of college to focus on ministry full-time, and was planning to move down to Pueblo, Colorado to continue his efforts; however, in 1967, at the height of the Vietnam War, he was drafted into the United States Army. During basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, McCotter met Dennis Clark and on McCotter's return from Vietnam in 1970 he met Herschel Martindale. Clark and Martindale would become two of the founders of the movement in the summer of 1970.[4][6][11][14]

"Blitz Movement" Begins[edit]

In 1970, under the leadership of Jim McCotter, Dennis Clark, Herschel Martindale, and others, approximately 30 college-age Christians embarked on a summer-long evangelical outreach known as "The Blitz" to several university campuses in the Southwestern United States.[11][15][16] These 2 or 3 day events used singing, tract distribution, and sidewalk canvassing to draw crowds and spread the word.[17] As the movement expanded, additional mission outreaches and training conferences took place. In the summer of 1973, nearly 1,000 people attended the movement's national conference. The conference was followed by the "blitzing" of fifteen new campuses and by the end of 1973, about 15 "works" had been established.[15] In the late 1970s, selected newspapers, former members, and select watchdog groups began to publicly criticize the movement's practices. This continued into the 1980s and early 1990s. (See the Criticism section for more information.)

Vincent v. Widmar[edit]

In 1981, a freedom of religion case was won by the student group of a church (Cornerstone) which was a part of the Great Commission Church movement. The University of Missouri at Kansas City did not allow its facilities to be used by college students for religious meetings. In an 8-1 ruling, the United States Supreme Court stated that the First Amendment Establishment Clause did not require the university to limit the use of its facilities to religious groups.[18][19][20]

Great Commission International[edit]

In 1983, Great Commission International (GCI) was formed. Led by Jim McCotter and Dennis Clark, it was formed to provide services such as publishing and fund raising for the developing association.[15] That summer, GCI launched the first summer Leadership Training conference which attracted college students for a summer of intensive training in evangelism and discipleship. The LT program continues today under the leadership of Great Commission Ministries.[15][21]

In 1985, GCI undertook a mass outreach and expansion effort called Invasion '85. During this effort, teams were sent to 50 college campuses with a goal of starting new campus ministries. While many "works" were successfully established during Invasion '85, most of them did not continue. According to GCAC, "team members were not properly trained nor were they given adequate support."[15]

GCI continued to be scrutinized in some newspapers and by former members of the movement, and in 1985 several conferences were held with the purpose of helping former members of churches that were part of GCI "recover from the emotional and psychological damage they'd experienced" while in the movement.[22] Shortly thereafter, Wellspring Retreat and Recovery Center, a cult and abusive religion recovery center, was formed by several ex-members of the movement.[22]

In late 1986, founder Jim McCotter announced his resignation from GCI, stating a desire to utilize his entrepreneurial abilities in an attempt to influence secular media for Christ. Two years later, McCotter moved to Florida and has not since attended a church affiliated with the movement, with the exception of the 2003 Faithwalkers conference.[15][23][24]

At this point in GCAC history, its churches claimed approximately 5,000 members.[14]

GCAC and GCM formed[edit]

In 1989, Great Commission International changed its name to the Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC), and is known today as Great Commission Churches (GCC).[14][25] Also in 1989, Great Commission Ministries (GCM), under the initial leadership of Dave Bovenmyer, was formed. Its aim was to "mobilize people into campus ministry by training them to raise financial support and by equipping them for campus ministry."[15][26]

In 1996, the Internal Revenue Service selected GCM as a test case to eliminate the common practice known as "deputation," (which allows non-profit mission organizations to raise funds for its activities, while allowing contributors to claim income tax deduction).[27] The IRS reaffirmed GCM's non-profit status.

Today[edit]

The Rock worship team at Curtiss Hall on the Iowa State campus. Photographer: Kirsten Joyhill

Approximately 60 churches in the United States are affiliated with GCA, and approximately a dozen internationally in Europe, Asia and Latin America.[28] Together these churches claimed over 43,000 members in 2005.[14] According to a 2001 Ivy Jungle report as cited by John Schmalzbauer of Missouri State University, there were 6,900 college students involved in GCM.[29] GCA maintains an administrative support staff in Orlando, FL.

GCC publishes the periodical "Faithwalkers Journal" and other doctrinal papers, written principally by pastors within the movement.[30] Regional and national conferences are attended by both leaders and members of churches in the movement. Conferences include Faithwalkers, Ignite, High School Leadership Training (HSLT), and National Pastor's Conferences.[31][32][33]

Beliefs and values[edit]

Statement of faith and core values[edit]

GCC's Statement of Faith can be found on their website. GCC also maintains a Core Values Statement.

Other beliefs[edit]

Women and authority[edit]

GCC does not believe women should have authority over men in the church, or be in a position where they would teach men in the church.[34] In its GCLI materials, GCC reproduces a part of John Piper and Wayne Grudem book "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism" and endorses the Danvers Statement, an attempt at a consensus among Evangelical leaders representing the complementarian view in 1988, now advocated by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Authority of local leaders and church government beliefs[edit]

According to GCC, its churches are "independent under the Lordship of Jesus Christ", cooperating within the association in conferences, mission efforts and for accountability in doctrine and ethical practices. Being part of the association requires that a church agree to Biblical and ethical standards set by the association. Final authority rests with the pastors of each local church.[35]

Leadership education[edit]

GCAC states that it places great emphasis on raising leaders from within its congregation, based on the character qualities detailed in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. This is contrary to the more common practice among Christian denominations of hiring pastors from other churches/cities. It is not required that GCAC pastors have formal seminary training.[14][36] However, a number of GCC pastors and staff have received training from partnering with specific Bible Schools and Seminaries.[37] GCC also founded the Great Commission Leadership Institute (GCLI) in 1999 to support the development of pastors within the local churches. The GCLI program includes teaching materials written by pastors and leaders from across GCC as well as regional "Going Deeper" conferences for discussion of doctrine and values.[14][38]

Partnerships[edit]

GCAC, and its associated bodies, is a member of several evangelical organizations including the National Association of Evangelicals,[39] Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability,[40][41] Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies,[42] and the Interdenominational Foreign Mission Association.[43] GCAC works with a number of organizations that share its aims including Samaritan's Purse, Global Pastors Network,[44] Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. GCM maintains a Council of Reference.[45] These members do not run or manage GCM, but affirm their support for the ministry and serve as a source of counsel for GCM leaders. Chi Alpha, the campus ministry of the Assemblies of God, has suggested parents check out GCM, among eight others, if there is no Chi Alpha on their students' campus[46] and counts GCM among its founding ministries.[47]

Affiliated organizations[edit]

Great Commission Ministries[edit]

Great Commission Ministries' official logo

Great Commission Ministries (GCM) was founded as the subsidiary[6] campus and international mission agency for Great Commission Association of Churches, and began to serve other organizations without a mission agency of their own beginning in 2006.[7][48]

In 2004, Boundless webzine (associated with Focus on the Family) published an article listing GCM as one of the "ten top college ministries across the U.S.", saying that their strategy of "seeking to incorporate students into the starting of a church based campus ministry" "has been effective to attract and involve thousands of students." The article also stated that "Their outstanding Board of Directors and dedicated staff are committed to world missions and leadership development and thus supplying the church around the world with a fresh supply of equipped laborers."[49]

Following the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, GCM's Virginia Tech campus church New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF) received widespread media coverage. NLCF pastor Jim Pace, a GCM missionary, was a guest on Larry King Live and Good Morning America, CNN created a video[dead link] of their memorial service[dead link]. Several newspapers, magazines, and radio shows carried quotes from NLCF pastors.[note 1]

The largest financial supporters of Great Commission Ministries are individual donors. In 2002, 92% of GCM's income came from contributions of this nature.[50] GCM missionaries are required to raise 100% of their support goal, which includes base salary, benefits, and ministry expenses. Twelve percent of all funds raised goes toward administrative overhead. GCM has been a member of the ECFA since 1992.[51]

Other affiliates[edit]

Great Commission Latin America's official logo

Great Commission Latin America (GCLA) is a Latin American outgrowth of Great Commission Ministries founded in 1974 by Daniel B. Sierra, a Cuban-American missionary from Florida Bible College and directed by Nelson Guerra since 1981, a native Honduran and former president of the Honduran National Association of Evangelicals. As of 2007 it consisted of 25 member churches.[52]

Great Commission Churches (GCC) is a fellowship of churches in the Great Commission Association, which helps coordinate ministry activities in the U.S., including Great Commission Leadership Institute (GCLI), GCLI "Going Deeper" Regional conferences, Faithwalkers National Conferences, and national GCA Pastor's Conferences.[53] GCM missionaries Steve and Danelle Nelson have written for Great Commission Churches' Faithwalkers Journal.[54][55]

Great Commission Northwest (GCNW) is a regional association of North American GCA churches, spanning from Chicago to Seattle.[56]

GCC has several regional subsidiaries as well, including GCC Regional Ministries (GCC-RM) and Great Commission Northlands (GCN) (which coordinates church planting, leadership training, and church coaching in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin).[57]

Past ministries and organizations[edit]

During the 1980s, a number of ministries and organizations were formed and then discontinued by the late 1980s in an attempt to "penetrate key centers of influence,"[6][15] including: Americans for Biblical Government, Great Commission Academy, Alpha Capital, THEOS (The Higher Education Opportunity Service), Communication Forum, and Students for Origins Research. A campus ministry similar to the current Great Commission Ministries (GCM) existed prior to 1989 under the name of Great Commission Students (GCS).[9][verification needed][original research?]

Publications[edit]

Under the direction of Jim McCotter in the 1970s and 1980s, the movement started several magazines and newspapers, including The Cause, America Today, Today's Student, U.S. Press, Potential, and the Life Herald. These projects were short-lived or were discontinued in the late 1980s.[6][15][58]

Several Relevant Magazine articles have also been written by GCM staff and members.[59][60][61][62]

In February 2006, Exodus International published a Greg Van Nada article from the GCM Connect Newsletter in Exodus Impact.[63]

Criticism[edit]

Criticism in newspapers[edit]

In March 1978, the first public criticism of the movement and its practices was reported by the Iowa State Daily, after an Iowa State student who was later diagnosed as a manic-depressive spent 18 days in a psychiatric ward, followed by another 23-day stay in another, due to emotional problems his psychiatrist attributed to involvement with the movement's Iowa State campus ministry.[64] Subsequent criticism of the movement appeared eight months later in a front page article by the Des Moines Register, in which campus pastors expressed concerns over "manipulation" and "a kind of brainwashing."[65] Throughout the late 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, similar criticisms were published by newspapers in Ohio,[66][67][68] South Carolina,[69] Maryland,[70][71][72][73][74][75] New York,[76] Illinois,[77][78][79][80] Toronto,[81] nationally across Canada,[82] and in other locations, particularly those near college campuses where the movement was active. The movement was often accused of authoritarian practices, and some accounts quoted former members and cult researchers who accused the movement's leaders of "brainwashing" and "mind-control" techniques.[83]

Criticism in research papers and books and magazines[edit]

Two research papers critical of the movement were published between 1988 and 1995,[84][85] as were three books that included the movement in its lists of "abusive Christian groups",[23][86][87] one with a sequel which mentions dissatisfaction with the group's efforts.[88] In a 1992 Group Magazine article by Ronald Enroth, one ex-member described the movement as fostering a "learned helplessness" in members.[89]

University of Guelph ban, and excommunications[edit]

In 1989, the GC's campus ministry was banned from the University of Guelph, located in Ontario, Canada.[81][82]

Between 1976 and 1986, an estimated 500 individuals were excommunicated, or "shunned", by churches within the movement.[84][90] Several former members of the movement have stated that they were only able to leave the movement after family members intervened and hired a professional "deprogrammer."[69][71][91]

Maryland political controversy[edit]

In 1986, 12 members of a GCI church ran for state office in Maryland, prompting attention from the national media, and speculation from Maryland political leaders that it was a concerted effort by GCI to enter the political arena. None of the GCI church members running for office were thought to have had prior political aspirations, yet many filed papers to run on the same day, June 30. In a Washington Post article, GCI leaders denied formal involvement, stating that each person's decision to run was made independent of GCI leadership. Former and current members were quoted in the article as saying that GCI took an active interest in politics, was heavily involved in member's personal decisions, and had instructed members of GCI churches during a two-month training seminar to distribute campaign literature for church member candidates, with canvassers being advised to "cover religious bumper stickers on their vehicles with political ones." On August 30, at a news conference held by Republican and Democratic Party leaders, a "shouting match" broke out as the GCI candidates rebuked Democratic and Republican leaders for "raising religion as an issue in the election and labeling their beliefs as 'cults.'" Republican Chairman Albert Bullock accused GCI candidates of practicing "deceptive campaign tactics", and said: "If this (campaign) isn't orchestrated, then this is an incredible coincidence."[92] On September 11, 1986, The Montgomery County Sentinel reported that none of the candidates won election.[92][93][94][95][96][97]

See also: Dominionism

Cult and "Aberrant" labels[edit]

In 1988, the movement was classified as a cult by the American Family Foundation (AFF),[98] the (pre-Scientology) Cult Awareness Network,[99] and the Council on Mind Abuse.[81][82] The Council on Mind Abuse ceased its existence in 1992, while the CAN was taken over by Scientologists in 1996 after years of legal issues. The movement was classified as an "aberrant Christian group" by Martin J. Butz in his 1991 research paper and by Paul Martin, a former leader of the movement, in 1993.[23] [85][100]

However, the charge Great Commission has at any time in its history been a "cult" has been dismissed by Great Commission Churches.[101] In addition, William Watson, a writer of the book "A Concise Dictionary of Cults and Religions" defended Great Commission. Watson wrote in a letter dated August 1, 1991, "I am convinced that the Great Commission Association of Churches, formerly GCI, is not, and has not been a cult.[102]

In 2002, ex-member Larry Pile said he would not refer to the movement as a cult, but instead as a "Totalist Aberrant Christian Organization". Pile believed the movement was "Christian because they hold orthodox beliefs", and yet "aberrant on secondary issues."[85][100] In a 2006 statement, Pile stated that many of the concerns expressed by him in the past over aberrant teaching is "old news" and "no longer characterizes GCAC/GCM, at least not systemically," while acknowledging that concerns, expressed to him from 2000 to 2006 by members and former members, reveal "residual problems at least in individual churches and leaders. Furthermore, many of the old problems have still not been addressed fully or forthrightly."[103]

In December 2011, Larry Pile released a statement of reconciliation. Pile stated that "GCC has resolved to my satisfaction all issues of concern" and he requested that "the past remain the past." Pile went on to say "I urge that current members and leaders of GCC be evaluated fairly, according to how they teach and live out their faith in the present."[104] Along with Pile's statement, GCC released an account of the reconciliation process on its website.[105]

Responses to criticism[edit]

Tom Short, 'Setting Great Commission's record straight'[edit]

On April 21, 1988, "The Diamondback" published an article by GCI's National Student Director, Tom Short, in which he defended the movement against an article written by Denny Gulick, professor of Mathematics at the University of Maryland, which charged that the movement was a "destructive cult." He also defended the movement against charges from the Cult Awareness Network that the movement was a cult, stating that CAN was the avowed enemy of anyone who claimed to have a life-changing experience and implying that Gulick had not looked into GCI with an open mind as had his mother.[106]

1991 GCC Statement of Church Error[edit]

According to GCC, "During the late 1980s and early 1990s a concerted effort was made to reach out to people who felt that they had been hurt by GCI and its churches. At the initial urging of Tom Short, the GCI leaders and pastors published a paper as part of a plan to follow the Biblical standard of humility and reconciliation in relationships. This effort towards reconciliation, formally called Project CARE, was led by Dave Bovenmyer and was instrumental in building unity with Christians within and outside of Great Commission."[14]

In 1991, GCAC released a public statement acknowledging church error and weakness. [90] In the statement, GCC clarified its position on many issues, and admitted responsibility for mistakes grouped into two categories; problems resulting from a "prideful attitude", and problems as "a result of a misapplication or misinterpretation of Scripture." Issues discussed in the statement include:

  • Failing to distinguish between a command, and principle, and preference.
  • Authoritarian and insensitive leadership.
  • An "elitist attitude" towards other Christian organizations.
  • Excessive and unbiblical church discipline.
  • Improper response to criticism.
  • Lack of emphasis on formal education.
  • A belief that every man should become an elder.
  • Treating dating as a sin.

The statement also listed steps taken, or to be taken, to correct these issues.[90]

Response to statement[edit]

As of 1994, many former members felt the Weakness Statement was not enough or that it left out other concerns, according to Ronald Enroth's book Recovering From Churches that Abuse:

Dr. Paul Martin, director of Wellspring and a former member of Great Commission International (as the group was formerly called), concurs with the opinions of many other former members:

Some encouraging reforms have occurred in recent years after the founder, Jim McCotter, left the movement in the late 1980s. However, the current leadership has not yet revoked the excommunication of its earlier critics. The admissions of error so far have been mainly confined to a position paper, the circulation of which has been questioned by many ex-members. Furthermore, Great Commission leaders have not yet contacted a number of former members who feel wronged and who have personally sought reconciliation. There has been some positive movement in that direction, but most ex-members that I have talked to are not fully satisfied with the reforms or apologies and feel that the issues of deep personal hurt and offense have not been adequately addressed.

However, in light of developments since 1994, this statement by Dr. Martin is out of date,[101][105] and Dr. Ronald Enroth no longer has concerns about Great Commission Churches.[107]

2010 Explanation of Criticisms[edit]

In September 2010, John Hopler, Director of Great Commission Churches, posted an Explanation of Criticisms on the GCC website. This document serves to give insight into the continued criticisms of the movement, and specifically those against Jim McCotter. Hopler imples that the criticisms do not stand up to examination.

List of campus ministries[edit]

Collegiate Church Network[edit]

Great Commission Churches[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ New Life Christian Fellowship was a member of Great Commission Ministries Churches in 2007. Ecclesia Church Network which claims NCLF as a member, was founded the summer after the shooting. Great Commission Ministries Churches, as of 2012, is known as Collegiate Church Network (or Collegiate). It is a separate church network from Great Commission Churches. NCLF has dual membership in Collegiate and Ecclesia. See campus ministries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What Is ECFA?". Retrieved 2007-08-16. 
  2. ^ "Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability : GCC". Retrieved 2006-11-28. 
  3. ^ "Great Commission Churches". Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Jim McCotter (1984). "Church History" (Tapes 1-4). "Jim McCotter: "I had one suitcase and- over a hangup bag, and $400 dollars in my pocket, and that was all I started with back in 1965."" 
  5. ^ "Great Commission Association". Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Pile, Lawrence (2002). MARCHING TO ZION: A Personal History and Analysis of the "Blitz Movement" aka Great Commission Association of Churches (2nd ed.). Albany, Ohio: Christians United to Remedy Error (CURE). 
  7. ^ a b "History of GCC 2006" (PDF). 2006. Retrieved 2007-03-05. "The Great Commission church movement began in 1970 with a focus on planting and building churches that are devoted to Jesus Christ and to fulfilling the command given by Jesus to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28: 19, 20). ... In 1989 GCI changed its name to "Great Commission Association of Churches." (Today, the shortened name "Great Commission Churches" is used in public communications, in order to promote the central and historical vision of this movement.) ... In 2006 Great Commission Churches was clarified to be a membership association for US based churches and ministries only. The Great Commission Association (www.gcachurches.org) is a "right hand of fellowship" ministry to international churches and ministries which are united with Great Commission Churches in beliefs, values and in the mission of reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ." 
  8. ^ "Locations". Archived from the original on 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2007-03-05. "GCM is a member ministry of the Great Commission Association of Churches (GCAC) based in Columbus, Ohio, and acts as the international missions organization of GCAC." 
  9. ^ a b "...And beware of Great Commission". The Diamondback. 1986-09-22. "As someone who has experienced the Great Commission Students (GCS) from the inside, it pleased me to read Sue Ferrera's column warning against cults." 
  10. ^ John L. Guerra (1986-02-06). "James McCotter: How he brought GCI to Silver Spring". The Montgomery County Sentinel. "the "Blitz", as it was known before being renamed "Great Commission International", was started when McCotter and William Taylor, a high school friend of McCotter's, began evangelizing on the University of Northern Colorado campus in the mid-1960s. ... McCotter preached that a goal of the church was to have the gospel heard throughout the world within a generation." 
  11. ^ a b c Controversies in Iowa Christianity. Des Moines Sunday Register. 1980-03-16. "Taylor said when he and McCotter began evangelizing and proselyting at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley in the mid 1960s, McCotter left Northern Colorado after two years. McCotter, in an earlier interview, said he also spent time at the University of Southern Colorado at Pueblo and at the University of Maryland. ... In 1970 and 1971, according to some of McCotter's associates of the time, there was enough of a group to begin a "blitz movement", traveling in a school bus from campus to campus in the South and Midwest speaking and proselytizing." 
  12. ^ Jim Healey and Sherry Ricchiardi (1980-03-16). "Controversies in Iowa Christianity: The rise of a fundamentalist". Des Moines Sunday Register. ""They're all locked into what Jim calls 'the vision.' Whether it's official or not, he's the one most of them look to for leadership", Schooler said." 
  13. ^ Pile, Lawrence (2002). MARCHING TO ZION: A Personal History and Analysis of the "Blitz Movement" aka Great Commission Association of Churches (2nd ed.). Albany, Ohio: Christians United to Remedy Error (CURE). "Underlying even this basic fallacy of the "team church" was another more basic error, namely the "strategy" or "heavenly vision." ... A similar thing had happened within Great Commission International. In many of the churches associated with GCI the primary focus had been shifted off the full gospel of Jesus Christ and onto the "strategy" propagated first by founder Jim McCotter, and then by his disciples, the current board of directors of the movement, and the pastors of local GCI churches." 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Great Commission Churches". Retrieved 2012-02-20. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i GCAC Executive Director John Hopler. GCLI Document, Church History: Great Commission. Columbus, OH. 
  16. ^ Maria Agrelo (late July/early August 1973). "Have Bible-will travel". Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State Lantern. 
  17. ^ John Hopler (Herschel Martindale, guest speaker) (2006-12-30). Church planting and the 'ordinary' Christian (Speech). central Missouri. Retrieved 2007-03-21. 
  18. ^ Widmar v. Vincent (454 U.S. 263 (1981)
  19. ^ "Christian Student Groups Fight to Retain Use of Campus Facilities". Christianity Today. June 6, 1980. 
  20. ^ "Campus Access Upheld for Christian Student Groups". Christianity Today. September 19, 1980. 
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  22. ^ a b "Wellspring Journal Vol 3, No. 1, Spring 1992". Archived from the original on 2005-12-23. Retrieved 2006-12-03. 
  23. ^ a b c Martin, Ph. D, Paul (1993). Cult-Proofing Your Kids. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. ISBN 0-310-53761-4. 
  24. ^ Rick Whitney (January 2004). "Letter To Dads "On The Wall"" (DOC). "And Jim and Barb McCotter and their family were a surprise, late addition. It was good to talk with them. Jim wrote, 'How my heart was blessed to hear each of you share what God put on your hearts this last week. I felt so unworthy... and so humbled... and at the same time so overjoyed.'" 
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  34. ^ John Hopler (September 23, 2004). "Authority in the Church". "Paul is clear: Women shouldn't be in an authority position over men in the church. Nor should women teach in a way that places themselves in authority over men. One argues, "This makes women second-rate citizens in the church." Scripture is clear: A person's value is in Christ, not their position." 
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  41. ^ "summary profile". Retrieved 2007-08-05. 
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