Pentecostal Church of God
|Pentecostal Church of God|
|Associations||National Association of Evangelicals, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America|
|Founder||John C. Sinclair|
|Official website||official Web Site|
The Pentecostal Church of God (PCG) is a trinitarian Pentecostal Christian denomination headquartered in Bedford, Texas, United States. As of 2006, there were 117,000 members and 2,870 clergy in 1,170 churches in the United States. Sixty churches and missions exist among the Native Americans. Worldwide, over 5,200 churches have been established outside the United States, and international membership is over 500,000 members in 52 different countries.
The PCG is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Pentecostal World Conference and the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America. The church's official publication is The Pentecostal Messenger.
First called the Pentecostal Assemblies of USA, the PCG was formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1919 by a group of Pentecostal ministers who had chosen not to affiliate with the Assemblies of God and several who had left that organization after it adopted a doctrinal statement. John C. Sinclair, an early Pentecostal pastor in Chicago, and a former Assemblies of God presbyter served as the first moderator. The Pentecostal Assemblies of the USA was dissolved in 1922, and the organization resumed under the name Pentecostal Church of God.
In the 1920s, the denominational headquarters relocated to Ottumwa, Iowa. It was then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in the 1930s and took the name Pentecostal Church of God of America. The headquarters moved to Joplin, Missouri, in the 1950s. Because of a continual decline in income due to churches and ministers leaving the organization, The Pentecostal Church of God could no longer keep General Headquarters, Messenger College, and Messenger Publishing House open separately. The decision was made to relocate all three in one building to Bedford, Texas. This decision was made mostly prior to the 2011 Joplin Tornado. The current name was formed by dropping of America in 1979.
The PCG has a Pentecostal and Evangelical statement of faith. It believes the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired word of God which is the only rule of Christian faith and practice.
It is Trinitarian, believing there is only one God who exists as three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who are of one individual essence, who are co-equal, co-existent and co-eternal. The Son, Jesus Christ, is eternally begotten of the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice to redeem and restore humanity to God. All who believe in him are justified. He rose again and will return to establish his kingdom.
Salvation is available through Jesus' work on the cross and is a gift from God made possible by grace through faith and not by human works. The PCG believes it is possible to lose one's salvation if one turns away from God. After salvation, a Christian can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The evidence of this baptism is speaking in other tongues. It believes in the doctrine of sanctification as a definite and progressive work of grace. It believes heaven and hell are real places. Heaven is for those who have received the gift of salvation, and hell is for those who have not.
The true Church is made of all true Christians. There are three ordinances: water baptism, the Lord's Supper, and foot washing. Water baptism is by immersion and is for believers only. Baptism is a symbol of identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. The Lord's Supper is a memorial to Christ's death and resurrection. The PCG only uses unfermented grape juice. Though not an ordinance, divine healing is believed to be provided for in the atonement of Christ and available to all believers. It also believes in the giving of tithes.
The PCG believes that Christ will return and that his return is imminent. It believes his coming will be personal, pre-tribulational, and pre-millennial.
The church is led by a General Bishop (formerly called General Superintendent and before that General Moderator and General Chairman) and a General Convention which meets biennially. It is divided into a number of districts, including four Hispanic districts in the United States. Each district is served by a district bishop, previously district superintendent. District conventions meet annually. In 2002, the General Convention came to a consensus to change the title of their overseer from General Superintendent to Bishop. The change was made because internationally, the term bishop is more commonly related to religious leaders than the previous title. In 2009, Charles Scott was re-elected as General Bishop for a two year term. Prior to 2011, the International headquarters were located in Joplin, Missouri where a college and a publishing house operated.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2008)|
- Our Story: The History of the Pentecostal Church of God ISBN 1-882449-36-3
- We've Come this Far by Faith ISBN 1-931393-24-9