Church of God Mountain Assembly
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|Church of God Mountain Assembly|
|Founder||J.H. Parks, Steve Bryant, Tom Moses, and William Douglas|
Whitley County, Kentucky
|Congregations||320 total; 105 USA|
The Church of God, Mountain Assembly (CGMA) is a holiness Pentecostal Christian body formed in 1907, with roots in the late 19th-century American holiness movement and early 20th-century Pentecostal revival. The denomination maintains headquarters in Jellico, Tennessee and is a member of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (formerly the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America).
The main geographical strength of the body (about 65% of the churches) is in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. But, they are also in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Indiana, New Jersey, West Virginia, Alabama, and Michigan. There were over 10,000 members in over 105 USA churches in 2010, and nearly 460 churches in 21 nations. The denominations World Missions Department serves foreign nations with children's homes, schools, pastors, and churches.
In the late nineteenth century, several ministers of the South Union Baptist Association of United Baptists embraced the holiness movement. At its annual session in 1903, the South Union Baptist Association excluded all ministers preaching what they called "apostasy" (the possibility of losing one's salvation). On August 24, 1907, representatives met at the Jellico Creek church in McCreary County, Kentucky and formed a new association. They chose the name Church of God. The early leaders were Reverends J. H. Parks, Steve Bryant and Allen Moses. Shortly after organization, they accepted the Pentecostal Revival. After discovering that other bodies were holding property and transacting business under the name Church of God, this body added the words "Mountain Assembly" to "Church of God" for identification and legal purposes in 1911. In 1917 the body was incorporated, and in 1922 permanent headquarters were established in Jellico, Tennessee.
The Gospel Herald, official publication of the Church of God Mountain Assembly, was first published in 1942. A new form of governance was adopted in 1944, including the offices of General Overseer, Assistant General Overseer, and General Secretary and Treasurer.
The Church of God Mountain Assembly has endured three divisions since its formation, resulting in the existence of the Church of God General Assembly (org. 1914 in McCreary County, Kentucky), Church of God of the Union Assembly (org. 1920 in Jackson County, Georgia) and the Church of God of the Original Mountain Assembly (org. 1946 at Williamsburg, Kentucky).
The church utilizes the Church Covenant of its United Baptist forebears (omitting the last paragraph), and holds a twelve article Statement of Faith. Doctrines of the Church of God Mountain Assembly include:
- the Bible as the inspired, infallible Word of God
- God in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Ghost
- the deity, virgin birth, sinless life, sacrificial atonement, and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ
- salvation by faith through regeneration by the Holy Ghost
- sanctification as a second work of grace
- the full Gospel of the New Testament including divine healing and other gifts of the Spirit
- water baptism by immersion, The Lord's Supper as Ordinances
- the pre-Millennial second coming of Christ
- In speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives them utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost
- Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, editor
- Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, 2009, American Council of Churches
- The History of the Church of God Mountain Assembly, Inc., Luther Gibson
- A Goodly Heritage: A History of the Church of God Mountain Assembly, Inc., Michael Padgett
- CGMA Bylaws, CGMA Executive Board