Christ Gospel Churches International
|This article is an orphan, as no other articles link to it. Please introduce links to this page from ; try the Find link tool for suggestions. (January 2010)|
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 Christian mission in Louisville, Kentucky. Rev. Hicks still takes an active leadership in the church role despite her advanced age.
The Christ Gospel Churches affirm their acceptance of the Apostles' Creed as an expression of Christian faith. Their Pentecostal emphasis is seen in teaching the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of glossolalia, or speaking in tongues (Acts 2:4,11,38).¹ However, they do not believe that evidence of glossolalia is a requirement for salvation; rather, it is a gift that Christians can accept as they desire. The church also teaches that water baptism by immersion is a commandment for all Christians (Acts 2:38; 8:12; 9:5,18).¹ The church believes that worship should embrace all kinds of music (e.g., traditional hymns, choruses, country gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues, ragtime, urban gospel, classical) and musical instruments (e.g., drums, guitars, pianos, saxophones, trumpets, violins). The church welcomes all races and classes of people because it realizes the importance of people being united in Christ rather that being divided among themselves. The church teaches "old-fashioned Holiness" in matters of conduct and dress, but also understands there are different levels of commitment and regards this as a matter of the individual conscience.
The emphasis of Rev. 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, in order to be in the Bride of Christ. The core of her distinctive approach to Scripture is founded on the principle that the Old Testament Tabernacle was laid out in the form of a cross and serves as a picture or metaphor of Christian believers' spiritual experiences as they grow to maturity in Christ Jesus, as taught in the New Testament (Hebrews 9:8-11; Ephesians 2:19-22). A related core principle is that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head over all things, and that all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. These concepts can be found throughout Rev. Hicks's numerous publications and in church teachings.
Mission Outreach, spreading the Word of God throughout the world, is an important part of Christ Gospel Churches ministry. It started out as The Mexican Inland Missionary Society, where it has been supporting the work of Dr Graciela Esparza for over 60 years. The organization eventually changed its name to Christ Gospel Churches International (CGCII). It is among the fastest growing evangelical groups in Mexico, where there are currently over 500 congregations, an orphans' home, and two Bible schools. Today, over 1500 churches world-wide 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 Inc.
CGCII provides seed funds to many local affiliated churches world-wide 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 70 congregations in the United States, over 400 in India, about 500 in Mexico, and affiliates in several countries of Africa and Central America. There are congregations in El Salvador, England, the Faroe Islands, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, and various countries of South America, including Colombia and Ecuador. In all, the movement claims over 1,400 affiliated congregations in 160 countries (2014). 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.