Church of God Delegates Celebrate 125th Anniversary
|Tim Hill at left Preaching At Barney Creek|
Starting at 9:00 a.m., a service was held at the site of the Barney Creek Meeting House where a handful of people met for the first time and launched the Christian Union, the forerunner of the Church of God. The site is marked with a small metal sign and an engraved plaque on the opposite side of the creek.
“From this small stream flows the river that became the Church of God we know and love today,” said Tim Hill, first assistant general overseer for the Church of God. “From that day 125 years ago the Church of God now reaches over 7 million members and adherents and is in 181 nations around the globe.”
After a time of prayer and singing the group caravanned to the site of the Shearer Schoolhouse, where the 1896 outpouring of the Holy Spirit took place. Several led in prayer and scripture, and others led a prayerful declaration. From the site the group also recognized the history of the first log meeting house where those who were persecuted gathered and worshipped until a band of rebels dismantled the building.
The celebration group then traveled a few miles to the First Assembly House where in 1906, twenty-one delegates gathered for what would be the first Church of God General Assembly. Events at that location last Friday included a lunch on the grounds, an outdoor singing, scripture and a final historical sketch delivered by Roebuck and Dr. James Beaty.
The final stop of the 125thcelebration took place at Fields of the Wood, not far from the first assembly house location, on the border with North Carolina and Tennessee. Here the delegates gathered under a pavilion not far from the site of the home place of W.F. Bryant where early church pioneers came together in 1902 to organize the Holiness Church at Camp Creek. A welcome to Fields of the Wood and scripture reading was given by Wade Patterson who oversees the well-known religious park for the Church of God of Prophecy. On behalf of the Church of God Executive Committee, chairman of the Historical Commission Floyd Carey presented a resolution to Rev. Paul Holt, who represented the leadership of the Church of God of Prophecy led by General Overseer Randy Howard. Carey read a resolution of Appreciation for a Common Heritage between the two movements.
Doug Small brought closing comments and a prayer to end the celebration. Special thanks goes to Small and his organization Project Pray which organized the event. To learn more or to download resources from the 125th celebration, visit projectpray.org or visit the Church of God Web site churchofgod.org.
Posted by: Faith News Staff