Bible Missionary Church

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BMC Logo Picture.jpg
Bible Missionary Church
ClassificationProtestant
OrientationEvangelical, Holiness
OriginSeptember 5,1955
Separated fromChurch of the Nazarene
Members18,000 roughly worldwide[1]

Bible Missionary Church, founded in 1955, is an evangelical, holiness Christian denomination headquartered in the United States. The church is part of the Conservative Holiness Movement and has roots in the teachings of John Wesley. The church is Wesleyan in doctrine and Arminian in theology.

History[edit]

The denomination was founded in 1955 with a total of 126 members. Reverend Glenn Griffith whom was a former Nazarene Pastor left the Nazarene Church due to the church becoming too "worldly" held a tent revival in 1955 felt that there needs to be a preference of old-fashioned Holiness in churches and since the revival they gathered together forming the denomination quickly transitioning their churches from the Nazarenes to now the Bible Missionary Church. [2] The church traces its roots to Methodism with direct ties to the Church of the Nazarene. In 1958, the denomination began Bible Missionary Institute, a then-three year Bible college offering basic theology degrees.[3] Bible Missionary Institute is located in Rock Island, Illinois.

In 1959, founder Glenn Griffith and many others severed ties with the Bible Missionary Church over what they perceived to be an overly-lenient view of divorce, forming the Wesleyan Holiness Church.[4] Although the split devastated the church and slowed its growth, the Bible Missionary Church has grown with international branches in Canada, Mexico, the Philippine Islands, Germany, Guyana, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Japan, Peru, Nepal, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala, Barbados, and Venezuela.

Beliefs[edit]

The Bible Missionary Church holds a monotheistic, Trinitarian theology in the Wesleyan tradition.

The BMC teaches that believers are cleansed from inbred sin and rebellion to God by a second definite experience referred to as entire sanctification, as taught by the historic Methodist Church and the Church of the Nazarene. In conjunction with entire sanctification, the BMC teaches that believers are to live godly lives, manifesting this by compliance to an outward standard of holiness. Many of these standards are codified in the rules contained in the church manual. They believe that complete obedience to God is a joy and delight.[5]

In 1999, the Bible Missionary Church adopted a resolution against same-sex marriage, forbidding its ministers to perform the wedding ceremonies of same-sex couples.[6] Unlike many other conservative churches, however, the Bible Missionary Church allows women to fill leadership positions on church boards, although it is not widely practiced. Observance of Christian Sabbath, Sunday, is also expected by abstaining from unnecessary work or commerce and setting the day aside for worship and service to humanity.[7]

The Bible Missionary Church holds a strong premillennialism view of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but its adherents hold a variety of views on the timing of the Rapture of the Church.[8]

The Bible Missionary Church believes in aggressive evangelism[9] and in addition to its worldwide missionary efforts is currently expanding in North America with several new churches in the United States and Canada.

Church government[edit]

The Bible Missionary Church government is patterned on the Church of the Nazarene. Its form of government is republican in nature giving equal representation to local churches, lay members, and elders.

The church holds a general conference every four years at which major policy issues for the denomination as a whole are addressed. The most recent general conference took place in 2015. The general conference elects general officers, including two general moderators, and a general board. The current General Moderators are Rev. Roger Moyer and Rev. Timothy Lawton. The general conference also governs additions and deletions to the manual (termed "memorials"). General conference business follows Parliamentary Procedure and Robert's Rules of Order.

In addition, the American church is composed of the following self-governing districts:[10]

Arkansas District (Arkansas), California-Arizona-Nevada District, Intermountain District (Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Alaska, West Kansas), Iowa-Illinois District, Louisiana-South Texas District, Great Lakes District (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario) Midwest District (Missouri, East Kansas) Northeast District (New England, Pennsylvania, and Eastern seaboard), Northwest District (Idaho, Montana, East Oregon), North Pacific District (Washington, West Oregon), Southeast District (Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida), Southwest District (Oklahoma, Texas),

Although most foreign churches come under the jurisdiction of the foreign missions committee (appointed by the general board), the churches in Mexico, Japan, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines are self-governing, organized districts of the Bible Missionary Church, while the churches in Canada are included with American districts.

Educational Institutions[edit]

The Bible Missionary Church's schools include Bible Missionary Institute, a 4-year Bible college in Rock Island, Illinois. Bible Missionary Institute offers four-year degrees in Theology, Missions, Religious Education, Music, and General Studies, as well as associate degrees. The Bible Missionary Church also operates a Spanish Bible college in Houston, Texas as well as Beulah Mountain Christian Academy in Whitley City, Kentucky, a K-12 boarding school for at-risk children.

In addition, the denomination maintains schools in Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Ghana, Guyana, and Nigeria.

Controversy[edit]

In 2002, the boarding school, Beulah Mountain Christian Academy, was temporarily shut down due to allegations of physical and emotional abuse. Allegations included banging heads together and kicking the children for sleeping at inappropriate times. One case sent a 9-year-old boy to Lake Cumberland Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for bruises on his shoulder, arm, back, buttocks and leg, according to the court document. Corporal punishment was being used and sometimes administered by other students rather than staffers. 30 students were bused from the academy to a crisis center in Louisville.[11]

All alleged charges were dropped after the trial jury ruled to acquit the accused. Another judge ruled against the state agency that brought the charges and the Academy reopened in 2003.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Although the most relevant information is contained in the 2007 General Conference Journal of the Bible Missionary Church, not all churches report; therefore, accurate information is not available.
  2. ^ The Bible Missionary Union. 2003 Manual
  3. ^ Bible Missionary Church, Inc. 2003 Manual, "History"
  4. ^ Moyer, Ina: The Way It Really Was, pp 15-18
  5. ^ For an introduction to this doctrine, http://www.classicholinessermons/ is invaluable.
  6. ^ General Conference Journal, 1999
  7. ^ King, Lucille: Remember the Sabbath http://wesley.nnu.edu/wesleyctr/books/1901-2000/HDM1972.pdf
  8. ^ Manual of the Bible Missionary Church
  9. ^ The Missionary Revivalist, November 2007, page 3
  10. ^ Bible Missionary Church Manual
  11. ^ https://culteducation.com/group/936-christian-fundamentalists/7321-boarding-school-temporarily-closed-after-alleged-abuse.html
  12. ^ https://www.corpun.com/usr00304.htm

External links[edit]