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The Church of God An Introduction. Chapter 1 The Christian Union: The Baptist Womb.

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Presentation on theme: "The Church of God An Introduction. Chapter 1 The Christian Union: The Baptist Womb."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Church of God An Introduction

2 Chapter 1 The Christian Union: The Baptist Womb

3 Landmark Baptist Movement 1820—1893 Most influential person in Baptist life in 19 th century South Editor of weekly The Tennessee Baptist (1848-1893) Prolific publishing company James R. Graves

4 “Remove not the ancient lamdmark” Proverbs 22:28 Graves wrote An Old Landmark Reset (1854) Accused Baptists of setting aside “old landmarks” Rejected all non-Baptist baptisms Believed unbroken continuity of baptism back to New Testament Taught other churches are “societies” Taught Christians in societies are in rebellion

5 The Quest for Revival Richard Spurling [father] Born ca. 1810 Bought property on Barney Creek in Monroe County, Tennessee Farmer/Millwright Richard Spurling (1810-1891)

6 The Quest for Revival Richard Green Spurling [son] Born July 28, 1857 Moved to Monroe, County, Tennessee Operated grist and lumber mills with his father Richard Spruling R.G. and Barbara Spurling

7 Call for Reformation Two year period (1884-1886) Prayer Bible Study Study of church history John Plemons was companion of Spurlings Called for Conference at Barney Creek Meeting House

8 Call for Reformation Four Concerns: Churches failed to reform from human creeds Churches adopted “Law of Faith” [=faith in a creed] rather than “Law of Love” Churches failed to reserve a right of way for leadership of the Holy Spirit and freedom of human conscience God’s Church exists where His law and government are observed

9 Barney Creek Meetinghouse August 19, 1886 Call to union by R.G. Spurling [son] Took “Christian Union” as name Richard Spurling [father] moderated meeting R. G. Spurling

10 Restorationist Impulse “As many Christians as are here present that are desirous to be free from all man-made creeds and traditions, and are willing to take the New Testament, or law of Christ as your only rule of faith and practice; giving each other equal rights and privilege to read and interpret for yourselves as your conscience may dictate, and are willing to set together as the Church of God to transact business as the same come forward.” R.G. Spurling

11 Chapter 2 The Holiness-Pentecostal Revival

12 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival 1896 Camp Creek in Cherokee County, North Carolina Lay evangelists Preached Sanctification Shearer Schoolhouse

13 Holiness Evangelists: Preaching the Revival William “Billy” Martin (Methodist) Joe M. Tipton (Baptist) Elias Milton “Milt” McNabb (Baptist) William “Billy” Hamby (Baptist) Milt McNabb Billy Martin

14 W. F. Bryant: Conserving the Revival Prayer meetings Sunday school Divine healings Some experienced speaking in tongues Healings William F. Bryant

15 Holiness Church: Fruit of the Revival Organized May 15, 1902 Camp Creek, NC Conservation of revival W.F. Bryant home 16 charter members R.G. Spurling called as Pastor W.F. Bryant home

16 Chapter 3 A New Leader: A.J. Tomlinson

17 Early Life 1865-1943 Quaker Immediate family not religious Interested in sports and drama Businessman Conversion

18 Early Life Married Mary Jane Taylor April 24, 1889 Lighting struck house Studied Bible and Prayed Wedding Day

19 Colportage Work in N.C. American Bible Society American Tract Society From about 1897

20 Missionary Evangelist “We are waiting here in Ohio for God to give us the money to go to the mission fields in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.”— A. J. Tomlinson (May 8, 1899)

21 Missionary Evangelist Established School Clothing Distribution Attempted Orphanage Culberson, North Carolina

22 The Holiness Church Tomlinson joined June 13, 1903 Had known and observed for several years Introduction through Bryant’s son Dad (W.F. Bryant) is “powerful religious”

23 Holiness Church “If you take the whole Bible rightly divided, that makes it the Church of God.” A. J. Tomlinson W. F. Bryant Home

24 The Holiness Church Joined June 13, 1903 Tomlinson selected as Pastor Bryant and Spurling free for evangelistic work W.F. Bryant and R.G. Spurling (c. 1907)

25 Cleveland, Tennessee Tomlinson relocated to Cleveland, TN December 1904 50 miles from Camp Creek Tomlinson home at 2525 Gaut Street

26 Chapter 4 The Development of Polity

27 First Assembly: Circumstances Churches Camp Creek, NC Union Grove, TN Drygo, TN Jones, GA Ministers Biblical Basis 21 Delegates Pastor Tomlinson moderated Union Grove, Tennessee

28 First Assembly: Location Camp Creek, North Carolina J.C. Murphy Home (Owned by Dickson Kilpatrick)

29 First Assembly: Topics of Discussion Assembly record keeping Local church record keeping Communion and feet-washing Prayer-meetings Evangelism

30 First Assembly: Topics of Discussion Use of tobacco Family worship Sunday school Letter of recommendation Annual assembly

31 First Assembly: Conclusion “It seemeth good to the Holy Ghost and us, being assembled together with one accord, with the Spirit of Christ in the midst, and after much prayer, discussion, searching the Scriptures and counsel, to recommend these necessary things and that they be ratified and observed by all the local churches. It is the duty of The Church to execute the laws given us by Christ through His Holy Apostles.” Assembly Minutes

32 Second Assembly January 9-13, 1907 Community church Near Cleveland Key leaders living in Cleveland R.G. Spurling preached opening service Union Grove Community Church

33 Second Assembly Preachers’ Conference Selected name of the church: “Church of God” Christian Union (1886) Holiness Church (1902) Church of God (1907) Determined method of credentialing ministers

34 Third Assembly (1908) Met at Cleveland church Largest church in movement Cleveland (North) Church of God

35 Shift to Episcopal Polity Congregational polity (1906) General Assembly of local congregations Local Moderator and Clerk General leadership General Overseer (1909) Elders Council (1916/1917) State overseers (1911) Appointment of pastors (1913)

36 Chapter 5 A Pentecostal Theology

37 Tomlinson and Spirit Baptism: Awakening “Where did Dr. Seamore [sic] get the Pentecostal doctrine that he preached in Los Angeles, Cal., a few years ago…?” A.J. Tomlinson Last Great Conflict William J. Seymour

38 Tomlinson and Spirit Baptism: Awakening “In January 1907, I became more fully awakened on the subject of receiving the Holy Ghost as He was poured out on the Day of Pentecost. That whole year I ceased not to preach that it was our privilege to receive the Holy Ghost and speak in tongues as they did on the day of Pentecost.” [continued]

39 Tomlinson and Spirit Baptism: Awakening “I did not have the experience, so I was always among the seekers at the altar. The Lord gave great revivals, and souls were converted and sanctified, and some really went through and were baptized with the Holy Ghost evidenced by the speaking in tongues.” A.J. Tomlinson, Last Great Conflict

40 Tomlinson and Spirit Baptism: Awakening Tomlinson visited revival in Birmingham AL June 1907 M.M. Pinson was preacher M.M. Pinson

41 Tomlinson and Spirit Baptism: Experience G.B. Cashwell invited to Third Assembly (1908) Preached two times January 12, 1908 Tomlinson received Spirit-baptism experience G.B. Cashwell

42 Tomlinson and Spirit Baptism: Experience “This was really the baptism of the Holy Ghost as they received Him on the day of Pentecost, for they all spake with tongues. With all I have written it is not yet told, but judging from the countries I visited I spoke in ten different languages.” A.J. Tomlinson Last Great Conflict

43 Chapter 6 The Developing Movement

44 Church of God Evangel First titled The Evening Light and Church of God Evangel March 1, 1910 Name changed to The Church of God Evangel in 1911

45 Early Education R.G. Spurling was a teacher A.J. Tomlinson God’s Bible School Holy Ghost and Us Bible School School for children in Culberson 1917 Assembly approved a training school R.G. Spurling

46 Education: Lee University First opened: January 1, 1918 Called Bible Training School Nora Chambers was first teacher Lee College (1947) Lee University (1997) Bible Training School--1918

47 Chapter 7 A Painful Division

48 Assembly Auditorium Cleveland 1920-

49 Expansion of Responsibilities: General Overseer for Life 10 th General Assembly (1914) Cleveland, Tennessee Messages in tongues and interpretations Human agreement A. J. Tomlinson

50 Diversification of Responsibilities Elders Council Suggested 1915 Created 1916 Selected 1917 First Meeting October 4-17, 1917 Advisory or decision making? Recommendations to General Assembly

51 Diversification of Responsibilities Executive Council (1922) [renamed Committee] A.J. Tomlinson General Overseer F.J. Lee Superintendent of Education J.S. Llewellyn Editor and Publisher

52 Road to Exclusion Investigation Committee “The June Council” June 12-21, 1923 Impeachment The Guilty Verdict (July 26, 1923) Elders select F.J. Lee as General Overseer

53 Aftermath of Division A.J. Tomlinson begins new movement Church of God Tomlinson Church of God Church of God, Over Which A.J. Tomlinson is General Overseer Church of God of Prophecy Battle in the courts Bible Place on Central Avenue

54 Chapter 8 A Faithful Doctrine

55 Doctrinal Development Doctrinal tradition Protestant Baptist Wesleyan Holiness Pentecostal Historically anti-creedal Development of diversity R. G. Spurling

56 Church Teachings Committee to assist ministerial candidates Printed in Evangel August 15, 1910 “The Teachings” Modified from time to time

57 Our Statements of Faith “ The Teachings” divided in 1974 Doctrinal Commitments (1-21) Practical Commitments (22- 34) Practical Commitments revised in 1988 Resolution on Holiness (1960, 1976, and 2002)

58 Declaration of Faith 1948 General Council Committee appointed to draft Declaration of Faith Chairman: James L. Slay 14 items approved James L. Slay

59 Sources

60 Like A Might Army by Charles W. Conn (1996) The Last Great Conflict by A.J. Tomlinson (1913) Minutes of the Church of God General Assemblies

61 The End


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