Church of God (Holiness)

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Church of God (Holiness)
PolityMixed. Elements of Congregationalist, Presbyterian and non-sacramental Episcopalian polities.
Centralia, Missouri
Congregationsabout 120

The Church of God (Holiness) is an association of autonomous holiness Christian congregations. It is an outgrowth of the 19th-century conservative holiness movement.


The Church of God (Holiness) began on March 29, 1883 with the founding of a church in Centralia, Missouri with 44 members.[1] Those involved in this effort were: J. F. Watkins, N. T. Sneed, H. A. Foster, G. R. Sneed, F. H. Sumter, J. B. Ceighton, J. H. Allen, D. C. Brenneman, G. W. Petty, Isaiah Reid, T. B. Bratton, A. L. Brewer, A. M. Kiergan, and W. T. Bean. The movement grew out of a group of former members of the Methodist Episcopal Church that had been participating in the Southwestern Holiness Association. The leading cause of their departure from the Methodist Church was their zealous propagation of the doctrine of entire sanctification, and Methodist opposition to the Church of God interpretation of that doctrine. One of the early leaders was John Petit Brooks (1826–1915), who was editor of The Church Witness, which subsequently merged with The Good Way, to become the Church Herald, which later merged with the Church Advocate and Holiness Banner to become The Church Herald and Holiness Banner. He left the Methodist Episcopal Church circa 1886.[2]


The doctrines of the Church of God (Holiness) are revealed in a ten-article statement of faith, emphasizing the triune God, the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, the sinfulness of man, salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Christ, and entire sanctification as a second work of grace. Two ordinances are observed – water baptism and the Lord's supper.[3]


The Church of God (Holiness) has about 120 congregations in the United States, with the majority in Missouri and Kansas.[4] Additionally they have 12 congregations on the Navajo Reservation, 13 Spanish-speaking congregations in California, Texas, New York and Colorado, a Korean ministry in Overland Park, Kansas and two Haitian works in New York and Florida. The church also has a sizeable outgrowth in the Cayman Islands.[5] Ministry departments of the church include Home Missions, World Missions, Harmony Hill Youth Ministries, and the Herald and Banner Press. Headquarters are located in Overland Park, Kansas. A general church conference is held annually in Overland Park. World missions works are found in Bolivia, the British West Indies, the Virgin Islands, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Colombia, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, and Ukraine.[6][7]


The Church of God (Holiness) is associated with Kansas Christian College in Overland Park. This institution gives degrees in ministry and education. The headquarters for the church is located on the campus and the General Camp and Convention are also held here. The church is also associated with several private elementary and secondary schools. These are El Dorado Christian School in Eldorado Springs, Missouri; Fort Scott Christian Heights in Fort Scott, Kansas; Gravette Holiness Bible School in Gravette, Arkansas; Lowry City Christian School in Lowry City, Missouri; Mount Zion Bible School in Ava, Missouri; Mountain State Christian School in Culloden, West Virginia; and Overland Christian Schools in Overland Park.[8]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ A History of the Church of God (Holiness) by Dr. C. E. Cowen, p. 26
  2. ^ A History of the Church of God (Holiness), by C. E. Cowen
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, editor
  4. ^ Roster of Accredited Ministers and Church Directory 2009-2010: Church of God (Holiness)
  5. ^ Roster of Accredited Ministers and Church Directory 2009-2010: Church of God (Holiness)
  6. ^
  7. ^ Handbook of Denominations in the United States, by Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, and Craig D. Atwood
  8. ^ Roster of Accredited Ministers and Church Directory 2009-2010: Church of God (Holiness)