Pentecostal Churches of Christ
This article is about a group or association of Christian churches in the United States of America, using the name Pentecostal Churches of Christ (or Pentecostal Churches of Christ, Cleveland, Ohio).
The "Pentecostal Churches of Christ":-
- are Pentecostal Holiness churches;
- are led by Bishop (now Archbishop) J. Delano Ellis;
- have their administrative office at 10515 Chester Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio;
- are associated with a Pentecostal congregation at University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio called Pentecostal Church of Christ (where Bishop Ellis and his wife are Pastors); and
- trace their origin from the formation in 1935 of the abovementioned Pentecostal congregation.
Historical background and information
Following a meeting on May 29, 1992 convened at Cleveland, Ohio by Bishop Ellis, several congregations affiliated together as United Pentecostal Churches of Christ. (Please notice that the word "United" formed part of the name of the organization then formed).
The then newly formed United Pentecostal Churches of Christ recognized Bishop Ellis as their general overseer and president on August 22, 1992.
Bishop Ellis continued in this role with United Pentecostal Churches of Christ for twelve years until he resigned in June 2004.
The present situation
There are now (2014) at least two distinct groups or associations or organizations that look to the May 29, 1992 meeting convened by Bishop J. Delano Ellis as their starting-point or as a particular landmark on their journey, and that regard the first twelve or more years of United Pentecostal Churches of Christ as part of their history; these two are Pentecostal Churches of Christ (the subject of this wikipage), and United Covenant Churches of Christ.
Bishop J. Delano Ellis is presiding bishop of Pentecostal Churches of Christ.
Bishop Eric Garnes is presiding bishop of United Covenant Churches of Christ.
When Bishop Garnes was installed as presiding bishop of United Covenant Churches of Christ (October 30, 2009), Bishop Ellis was chief installer at the ceremony of installation.
A notable characteristic of the Pentecostal Churches of Christ is that they have sought to combine Pentecostal Holiness teaching and practice with a much enhanced sympathy and openness towards the teachings and practices of the worldwide Christian community, including the teachings and practices of the ancient church over the two thousand years of Christian history.
The theological insights underpinning this are:-
- an aspiration that Christian Worship here on earth might more fully reflect, express and celebrate God's Glory, leading people to sense His Glory within their hearts, and preparing them for the glories of heaven and/or of the second coming; and
- deeper reflection upon Jesus's prayer in John: 17 concerning the unity of all Christian people, leading to a quest to express more fully the essential unity of the whole worldwide Christian community, past (over the two thousand years of Christian history) and present, and to a determination that the traditional barriers of yesteryear must never again keep saints of like faith apart from each other.
These distinctive characteristics are stated and explained in the Pentecostal Churches of Christ entry in the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2012.
As at 2012, the principal office-bearers of "Pentecostal Churches of Christ" were as follows:
- Presiding bishop: Bishop J. Delano Ellis
- Secretary General: Bishop Benjamin T Douglass
- General Treasurer: Elder Jessie R Woodson of Memphis, Tennessee.
Bishop Darryl D. Woodson of the El-Shaddai Pentecostal Church of Christ, Memphis, Tennessee is a diocesan bishop within this grouping, association or jurisdiction.
Bishop Ellis is archbishop-metropolitan of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops.
Apostolic Pastoral Congress (relations with)
In October 2013, when the Apostolic Pastoral Congress, a United Kingdom based organization, elevated its presiding prelate (Doyé Agama) to the status of archbishop, the Congress was supported in this by J. Delano Ellis and the Pentecostal Churches of Christ, in that Bishop Ellis issued a "Consecration Mandate" and sent a delegation of two Pentecostal Churches of Christ bishops (Bishop Darryl Woodson and Bishop Benjamin Douglass) to London, England where they took leading roles in the ceremony of consecration/elevation which was held in Southwark Cathedral. Archbishop Agama is a member of the House of Bishops of Pentecostal Churches of Christ.
- Pentecostal Church of Christ, Cleveland, Ohio, the church that is now the Pentecostal Church of Christ at University Circle
- United Covenant Churches of Christ
- Pentecostal Churches of Christ entry in Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2012, edited by Eileen W. Linder, published by National Council of Churches of Christ in USA.
- The seal of Pentecostal Churches of Christ carries a formation date or date of origin of 1935.
- http://www.thearda.com [Association of Religious Data Archives]
- reports published on June 9th 2004 by Associated Press and Worldwide Religious News. The Worldwide Religious News article reported the resignation on June 8, 1992 of Bishop Ellis, leader and co-founder of United Pentecostal Churches of Christ. It stated that the then 59 year old bishop had leukemia. The report went on to say that the fellow bishops had appointed Bishop Larry Trotter, then 47, of Chicago as successor and that Bishop Trotter had said he would be moving the organization's headquarters from Cleveland to Chicago. The full text of the Worldwide Religious News article may be viewed at http://www.wwrn.org/articles/3455/?&place=united-states&sction=pentecostals
- The 2012 Yearbook entry cited above expressly states that a group of men and women came together on May 29, 1992 at the Pentecostal Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio to form what it states "is now called the Pentecostal Churches of Christ". The entry goes on to refer to the Pentecostal Churches of Christ as organized and established by Bishop J. Delano Ellis. The same Yearbook also contains an entry in respect of United Pentecostal Churches of Christ. However, the entry for United Pentecostal Churches of Christ is extremely brief in that it is merely a re-direct; it signposts the reader to please see Pentecostal Churches of Christ.
- A New Paradigm a pamphlet published (circa 2004-08) by United Covenant Churches of Christ International summarizes that organization's origins and history from the May 29, 1992 meeting, and goes on to express that organization's aims as regards both continuity and development. The title on the front page of the pamphlet expressly states that United Covenant Churches of Christ International was "formerly" United Pentecostal Churches of Christ. Within the body of the pamphlet, an explanation is given as to the rationale for changing the word "Pentecostal" in the organization's name to "Covenant". The full text of the pamphlet can be downloaded at www.envisager.net/pdf/broch_uccc.pdf
- entry for Pentecostal Churches of Christ in Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches 2012, edited by Eileen W Linder, published by National Association of Church of Christ in USA.
- http://www.eagleslandingsummit.com website of Eagles' Landing Summit.
- http://www.collegeofbishops.org website of the Joint College of African-American Pentecostal Bishops
- The 2013 Ordinal booklet of the Apostolic Pastoral Congress refers.