Christ Gospel Churches International
Christ Gospel Church is a fundamentalist, Pentecostal Christian denomination. It was founded in the 1950s by Reverend Berniece R. Hicks and fellow believers, starting in a small storefront mission on skid row in Louisville, Kentucky, and is now headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Rev. Hicks still takes an active part in the church despite her advanced age.
Christ Gospel Churches affirm their acceptance of the Apostles' Creed as an expression of Christian faith. However, the version of the Creed on the Christ Gospel Churches website omits the phrase "...the holy catholic church...". Their Pentecostal emphasis is seen in their teaching of the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4,11,38).¹ They teach that water baptism in Jesus' Name is a commandment for all Christians (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 9:5,18).¹ However, salvation comes only through faith in the atoning death and resurrection of Christ. Baptism in the Holy Spirit and in water are not prerequisites for salvation, but are gifts freely given by God to help believers grow spiritually. They teach that God is a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The churches welcome all races and classes of people. They teach "old-fashioned holiness" in matters of conduct and dress, but also that there are different levels of commitment among believers and regard this as a matter of the individual conscience.
The emphasis of Berniece Hicks' teachings is that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and that it calls on Christians to grow to spiritual maturity, both in their moral development and in their spiritual love relationship with Jesus Christ. The Old Testament and the New Testament are in perfect harmony to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, the Mosaic Tabernacle in the Old Testament was laid out in the form of a cross, and serves as a picture or roadmap of believers' spiritual experiences as taught in the New Testament to grow to maturity in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 9:8-11; Ephesians 2:19-22). A core principle found throughout the Bible is that God is the Head over all things, and that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. The Bible reveals degrees of glory for believers, and only those who seek a deeper walk with Jesus Christ in this life will enter into the Bride of Christ to be in His Personal Presence in eternity in the New Jerusalem. Other believers will be kings and priests on the New Earth and in the New Heavens.
Mission Outreach, spreading the Word of God throughout the world, is an important part of Christ Gospel Church's ministry. Christ Gospel was originally incorporated as the Mexican Inland Missionary Society, and has been supporting the work of Dr Graciela Esparza in Mexico for over 60 years. The organization eventually changed its name to Christ Gospel Churches International, Incorporated (CGCII). It is among the fastest growing evangelical groups in Mexico where there are currently over 500 congregations, an orphans' home, and a Bible school. Today, over 1,000 congregations worldwide are affiliated with Christ Gospel Churches. Each country's Christ Gospel affiliated organization is an independent legal entity run by local church leaders. All follow the ecclesiastical model of faith expressed by Christ Gospel Churches International.
CGCII provides seed funds to many local affiliated churches worldwide for the development of Christian congregations, church buildings, and many charitable works. Depending on local needs, CGCII also supports schools, orphanages, and feeding programs in Haiti, India, and Africa.
Christ Gospel Churches International claims some 80 congregations in the United States, over 400 in India, about 500 in Mexico, and affiliates in numerous countries in Africa, Central and South America, Europe, and the Far East. That includes congregations in Belarus, Colombia, DRC Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, England, Ecuador, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Myanmar, Mongolia, New Zealand, Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its international offices are located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where it operates a Bible Institute, publishing ministry, broadcast ministry, and audio ministry.
Hicks, B.R. Articles of Faith. Christ Gospel Churches International, 1991.
Hicks, B.R. Confirming Our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ Gospel Churches International.