Churches of Christ in the Apostles Doctrine
8425 Fenkell Ave., Detroit, MI 48238
The Apostolic Assemblies of Christ, led by Bp. G. N. Boone, was formed in 1970 by former members of the Pentecostal Churches of Apostolic Faith. During the term of Willie Lee, the presiding bishop of the Pentecostal Churches, questions arose about his administrative abilities. In the midst of the controversy, he died. The church splintered in the organizational disarray, and one group formed around Bishop Boone and Virgil Oates, the vice bishop. The new body is congregational in organization and continues in the doctrine of the parent body, because no doctrinal controversy accompanied the split.
The Assemblies is a covenant fellowship of pastors and churches who desire to achieve ministerial excellence, assist in developing churches, and serve as a refuge for independent churches. This goals are accomplished through training, mentoring, and producing resources that enhance leaders and their churches spiritually, holistically, and financially. The mission of the Apostolic Assemblies of Christ is to provide an organizational framework for the called, chosen, and sent to maximize their functions and enhance their callings. In 2008 district councils existed in Michigan, Ohio, Mississippi, Illinois, West Virginia, South Carolina, Louisiana, and California. The Assemblies holds an annual convention and national youth conference. In 2008 Bishop Boone continued to preside over the Assemblies.
In 2008 the Assemblies reported 77 member ministers in member churches nationwide. There were approximately 3,500 members and 23 churches in 1980.
Apostolic Assemblies of Christ, Inc. www.apostolicassembliesofchrist.com.
10807 Laurel St., Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
The Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus is one of the oldest Pentecostal churches, tracing its origins to the Azusa Street revival that launched the movement nationally in 1906. Juan Navarro, a resident of Los Angeles, participated in the revival meetings. Working in the Spanish-speaking community, in 1912 he baptized Francisco Llorente, who became the first bishop of the new Apostolic Assembly when it was formed in 1925. From its small beginning, the Assembly grew as more and more Spanish-speaking people, mostly from Mexico, relocated to southern California.
Doctrinally, the Assembly affirms the church as the sum total of all people who have accepted Christ as lord, the one God who manifests as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and salvation in Jesus Christ. The Bible is accepted as the Word of God and rule of faith.
The church has taken seriously its mandate to a global mission and has developed missionary work in most of the Latin American countries, and in Tanzania, Spain, and Italy.
Francisco Llorente was succeed as the church’s bishop and president by Antonio Castaqeda Nava (1929–1950, 1963–1966), Benjamin Cantu (1950–1963), Efrain Valverde (1966–1970), Lorenzo Salazar (1970–1978), Manuel Vizcarra (1986–1994), and Baldemar Rodriguez (1978–1986, 1994–2002). The current (2008) president is Daniel Sanchez (2002–).
National Apostolic Bible College/Colegio Bíblico Apostólic Nacional, Ontario, California.
Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus. www.apostolicassembly.org/.
2044 Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr., Winston-Salem, NC 27107
The Apostolic Church of Christ was founded in 1969 by Bp. Johnnie Draft and Elder Wallace Snow, both ministers in the Church of God (Apostolic). Draft, for many years an overseer in the church and pastor of St. Peter’s Church, the denomination’s headquarters congregation, expressed no criticism of the Church of God (Apostolic); rather, he stated that the Spirit of the Lord brought him to start his own organization. The church differs from its parent body in its development of a centralized church polity. Authority is vested in the executive board, which owns all the church property. Doctrine follows that of the Church of God (Apostolic). Bishop Draft serves as the church’s chief apostle.
In 1992 the Apostolic Church of Christ had six churches, 400 members, nine ministers, six elders, two licensed missionaries, and one bishop.
c/o Bethlehem Apostolic Church, 1217 E 15th St., Winston-Salem, NC 27105
The Apostolic Church of Christ in God was formed by five elders of the Church of God (Apostolic): J. W. Audrey, J. C. Richardson, Jerome Jenkins, W. R. Bryant, and J. M. Williams. At the time of the split, the Church of God (Apostolic) was formally led by Thomas Cox, but, due to his ill health, Eli N. Neal was acting as presiding bishop. The dissenting elders were concerned with the authoritarian manner in which Neal conducted the affairs of the church as well as with some personal problems that Neal was experiencing. Originally, three churches left with the elders, who established headquarters in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. J. W. Audrey was elected the new presiding bishop.
The new church prospered and in 1952 Elder Richardson was elected as a second bishop. In 1956 Audrey resigned and Richardson became the new presiding bishop. Under his leadership, the Apostolic Church of Christ in God enjoyed its greatest success. He began the Apostolic Gazette (later the Apostolic Journal), which served the church for many years. He also instituted a program to assist ministers in getting an education. However, his efforts were frustrated by several schisms that cut into the church’s growth, most prominently the 1971 schism led by (former) Bishop Audrey.
The church retained the doctrine and congregational polity of the Church of God (Apostolic).
In 1980 the church had 2,150 members in 13 congregations being served by five bishops and 25 ministers.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
In 1923, the Apostolic Church of Jesus was founded by Antonio Sanches, who had been converted in an evangelistic meeting led by Mattie Crawford in Pueblo, Colorado, and his brother George Sanches. The Sanches brothers began to preach to the Spanish-speaking population of the city and, in 1927, organized the first congregation of the Apostolic Church of Jesus. In subsequent years, congregations were established throughout the state in Denver, Westminster, Fountain, Walsenburg, Ft. Garland, San Luis, and Trinidad, Colorado; additional locations can be found in Palo Alto, California, and Velarde, New Mexico. The group, presently under the leadership of Raymond P. Virgil, has a weekly radio ministry.
Jesus Only News of the Apostolic Faith.
5019 N Lakeview Rd., Bloomington, IN 47404
The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, established in 1978, grew out of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World after the death of Garfield Thomas Haywood (1880–1931), who founded the “oneness” work in Indianapolis, Indiana. Headed by pastor Judson D. Sears, the church views its mission as continuing the work of Jesus Christ: to seek and save the current generation, to minister to people in need of hope, and to care for those who are hurting. Members believe that to be saved one must repent of one’s sins; be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The church offers a number of individual Bible studies as well as a morning Sunday school and a youth revival.
Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. acofjc.tripod.com.
1043 Middle St., Honolulu, HI 96819
The Apostolic Faith Church, known in Honolulu for its rooftop sign proclaiming “JESUS COMING SOON” and its prayer tower, was founded by the late Pr. Charles Lochbaum, who was called by the Lord to come to Hawaii from California in 1923. He and his wife, Ada Lochbaum, held revival services in a tent where many witnessed his preaching of the “Gospel of Jesus Christ, gift of the Holy Spirit, and Divine healing.” This early ministry was successful, and within a year a permanent church was erected. The ministry initiated an evangelistic tour of the island and baptized more than 4,000 converts in four years.
The church is headed by a board of trustees that includes Pr. and Chairman of the Board William M. Han Jr., Pr. Emeritus Rodney S. Asano Sr., Pr. Leonard K. Y. Asano Sr., Edwin H. Sproat Sr., and Evangeline L. Han. It is self-sufficient and independent, and has no affiliation with other national and independent church groups. One of its doctrines admonishes members to “stand up for the Name of Jesus Christ, not to join up with any other organization, and not to compromise the Gospel Truths found in God’s Word, the Bible.”
The first branch church was built in the district of Kaimuki on the island of Oahu in 1930. Another followed in Kaunakakai, Molaki, in 1944, and the Maui Branch Church was constructed at Lahaina in 1953. A 1,000-seat headquarters temple sanctuary was erected in 1959. That same year current Chief Pastor William Ha Sr., succeeded the late pastors Charles and Ada Lochbaum, and in 1973 the church dedicated a complex consisting of a parsonage, church office, and classrooms added to the headquarters. The following year a seven-story-high prayer tower was completed and dedicated for daily prayer services and weekly tarrying services. Since then, additional branch churches have been established in Molokai, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and the Philippine Islands. Upon the death of Pr. William Han Sr. in 2006, his son William Han Jr. assumed the pastorship.
In the 1960s the church began a radio broadcast over KIKI in Honolulu; television broadcast commenced in 1980 (it is the longest-running program in Hawaii), and has since expanded to stations in Seattle, San Diego, Chico/Redding, Palm Springs, Sacramento, Eureka, Los Angeles/San Bernadino, and El Centro, California; Yuma, Arizona; Eugene, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.
In 2008 the church reported five congregations in Hawaii and two in the Philippines, administered by seven pastors. In 1995 the church reported 144,000 members worldwide; it did not report its membership in 2002.
Kingdom of God Crusader.
Apostolic Faith Church. www.jesuscomingsoon.org.
Apostolic Faith Church of Honolulu. Kingdom of God Crusader. Honolulu, HI: Author, 1969.
3344 N Pearl Ave., Birmingham, AL 36101
Among the people who visited the early Pentecostal revival, which occurred between 1906 and 1908 in Los Angeles, California, was Frank W. Williams (d. 1932), a black man from the Deep South. He received the baptism of the Holy Spirit under the ministry of William J. Seymour (1870–1922) and returned to Mississippi to establish an outpost of the Apostolic Faith Mission. Not having great success, he moved to Mobile, Alabama, where a revival occurred under his ministry. Among those converted was an entire congregation of the Primitive Baptist Church. The members gave him their building as the first meeting house for the new mission parish. The church was organized on July 10, 1906.
In 1915 Bishop Williams became one of the first to adopt the oneness or nonTrinitarian theology, which had been espoused through Pentecostal circles. He broke with Seymour and renamed his church the Apostolic Faith Mission Church of God. He established the new church on October 9, 1915. The church continues to place a strong emphasis upon divine healing, allows women preachers, and practices foot washing with communion. Baptism is in the name of Jesus Christ, and without the use of the name, the baptism is considered void. Intoxicants, especially tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, are forbidden. Members are admonished to marry only those who are believed to be saved. The church is headed by the senior bishop and a cabinet of executive officers composed of the bishops, overseers, and the general secretary.
In 1989 the church reported 18 congregations (most of which were in Alabama), 6,200 members, and 32 ministers.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Apostolic Gospel Church of Jesus Christ was founded in Bell Gardens, California, in 1963 by the Rev. Donald Abernathy. During the next five years, four other congregations, all in the Los Angeles, California, area, were added and a new denomination emerged. In 1968, Abernathy reported a series of visions in which it was revealed to him that the entire west coast of North America would be destroyed in an earthquake. He reported the vision to the other congregations, and one pastor, the Rev. Robert Theobold, reported a confirming vision. As a result, the five congregations decided to move east. Abernathy took his congregation to Atlanta, Georgia. The church at Avenal, California, went to Kennett, Missouri; the church at Porterville, California, to Independence, Missouri; the church at Port Hueneme, California, to Murfreesboro, Tennessee; and the congregation in Lompoc, California, to Georgia.
The church accepts oneness doctrines, identifying Jesus with the Father. It believes only in divine healing and does not approve of the use of medicines, doctors, or hospitals. Foot washing is practiced. Members are pacifists. There is a strict code of dress that prohibits bathing suits, slacks, shorts, tightly fitting or straight cut skirts, dresses with hemlines shorter than halfway between the knee and ankle, jewelry, and short hair for women. Long hair, short sleeves, and tightly fitting pants are prohibited for men.
The church is ruled by bishops (or elders) and deacons, and includes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers in its structure. Their mission is to build a perfect church to which Christ will return. The perfect church will manifest both the fruits and gifts of the Spirit.
There are five congregations.
PO Box 311, St. Albans, VT 05478-0311
c/o City of Light Ministries Worldwide, PO Box 311, St. Albans, VT 05478.
The City of Light Ministries, an Apostolic Pentecostal church, was founded by Raymond Landis and his wife, Wendy Landis. They were both baptized in the name of Jesus in 1990, then subsequently founded a congregation in St. Albans, Vermont, that as it grew became the center of an expansive and global ministry.
The church affirms the authority of the Bible as God’s Word; the one God who manifested as the “Father in Creation, the Son of God in Redemption, and the Holy Ghost in Regeneration”; and Jesus Christ as both God and man and the only one able to reconcile humans to God.
As the work grew beyond St. Albans, the Landises founded the Apostolic Light Fellowship as the ministry’s licensing arm. The Fellowship offers licenses and ordination to ministers whose work is affiliated with it. Affiliated organizations are found in Canada, the United Kingdom, Myanmar, Malawi, South Africa, Liberia, and the Philippines. Distance-learning training is offered through the Center for Biblical Studies Worldwide. Licensed ministers are scattered around the United States.
Not reported. In 2008 there were 17 licensed ministers working in locations around the United States outside the center in St. Albans. There were also two ministers working in Alberta, Canada.
Apostolic Light Fellowship. www.apostoliclightfellowship.org/.
City of Light Ministries. www.colmww.org/.
1530 E Arizona Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88001
The Apostolic Ministerial Alliance is an association of Apostolic Jesus-only Pentecostal churches based in the Hispanic community of those states adjacent to the Mexican border. Members of Jesus-only churches are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ only without reference to the Father. Congregations are located in Texas, New Mexico, and California. Leadership is provided by Pr. Louis P. Rey, the pastor of the Fountain of Life Apostolic Church in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In 2002, there were six churches in the alliance.
2257 St. Stephens Rd., Mobile, AL 36617
The Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God was founded by William Thomas Phillips (1893–1973), the son of a Methodist Episcopal church minister. At a tent-meeting service in Birmingham, Alabama, Phillips was converted to the message of Pentecost and holiness under the ministry of Frank W. Williams of the Faith Mission Church of God. Williams ordained Phillips in 1913, and three years later Phillips launched his career as an evangelist in Mobile, Alabama. In 1916 he was selected by the people who responded to his ministry as the bishop of the Ethiopian Overcoming Holy Church of God. The new organization was incorporated in 1920. It adopted its present name in 1941 to signal that the church was for all people, not just Ethiopians, a popular designation for blacks in the early twentieth century.
The AOH Church of God follows the Oneness theology. It believes in One God who subsists in the union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The church, however, rejects any hint of tritheism and believes that the One God bears the name of Jesus, a name that can express the fullness of the Godhead. Out of this belief, the church baptizes members in the name of Jesus. Baptism is by immersion and considered necessary for salvation.
The church teaches that God acts in the believer both to baptize in the Spirit (which will be signified by speaking in tongues) and progressively over a lifetime to sanctify (make holy). Besides baptism, there are two other ordinances—the Lord’s supper and foot washing. The church also teaches divine healing and exhorts members to tithe.
The AOH Church of God has an episcopal polity, though each church manages its own affairs. Churches are grouped into districts presided over by bishops and overseers. A General Assembly, to which all churches send representatives, convenes annually and is led by the presiding bishop. After serving the church for 57 years, Bishop Phillips was succeeded by Bishop Jasper Roby. The current national and international presiding prelate is Bishop George W. Ayers, assisted by two presiders and ten associate bishops. The church’s publishing board puts out the church periodicals. It supports missions in Haiti and Africa. Bishop Ayers presides over a Sunday radio broadcast in Mobile, Alabama; other overseers conduct broadcasts in separate AOH locations. An AOH Pastoral Alliance Monday afternoon television program is broadcast on the Brighthouse Network. In addition, the AOH holds regional and youth conferences, and a national Sunday school convention.
In 2007 AOH reported an estimated 13,000 members; in 2008 it reported 13 bishops and 33 overseers. Half of the approximately 130 AOH churches are in Alabama, with the other half scattered across 20 states.
Berean Christian Bible College, Birmingham, Alabama.
People’s Mouthpiece, quarterly. • Young Educator.
Arrington, Juanita R. A Brief History of the Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God, Inc. and Its Founder. Birmingham, AL: Forniss Printing Co., 1984.
Manual of the Disciplines and Doctrines of the Apostolic Holy Church of God, 2nd ed. Birmingham, AL: Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God, 1997.
875 N White Station Rd., PO Box 22366, Memphis, TN 38122
The Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC) was formed in 1952 by the merger of three “Jesus only” groups that had sprung up around the country—the Assemblies of the Church of Jesus Christ, the Jesus Only Apostolic Church of God, and the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Assemblies closely resembles the United Pentecostal Church in doctrine. The group preaches two experiences—justification and the baptism of the Spirit— and emphasizes healing, washes feet, tithes, and forbids participation in secret societies. Although they respect the civil government, members do not participate in war. Worldly amusements are forbidden, as are school gymnastics and clothes that immodestly expose the body.
The government is congregational in form. There is an annual general conference. A general board oversees the church during the year. The church is divided into state districts that are located in the South, Midwest, and Southwest. The Foreign Mission Department oversees the mission program in Chile, India, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Russia, and Taiwan. ALJC also produces a weekly radio program that is broadcast internationally over two shortwave frequences. Webcasts and podcasts are available at the ALJC Internet site.
In 2002 there were 50,000 members in 600 congregations served by 1,000 ministers in the United States, and 300 members in 5 churches served by 8 ministers in Canada. There were an additional 10,000 members worldwide.
Apostolic Witness, monthly.
Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ, Inc. (ALJC). aljc.org.
PO Box 1112, Henderson, KY 42419
The Associated Brotherhood of Christians, Pentecostal in faith while Apostolic in doctrine, is a “oneness” Pentecostal body. In 1933, near Thomas Town, Mississippi, a small group of ministers and their wives (Rev. and Mrs. J. W. Johnson, Rev. and Mrs. H. A. Riley, Rev. and Mrs. E. E. Partridge, and Rev. and Mrs. L. W. Onstead) met to discuss forming a fellowship that would include all the brethren and churches who believed the “Bread of Life” message but not excluding those who did not believe it. Having been denied fellowship and credentials in other organizations because of this message, they resolved to form their own association and adopted the name Associated Ministers of Jesus Christ, with Rev. Partridge as chairman.
In the early years of World War II, the ministers requested military exemptions for the purpose of continuing their duties as ministers of the Gospel. Federal and state regulations required that they incorporate to be recognized as an official body. In 1941 the name adopted for the official body was the Associated Brotherhood of Christians.
The Association’s mission is to effect a brotherhood among Christians everywhere, promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Its conference convenes annually at their own Camp Mulberry in Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Association is headed by an official board; state presbyters are either board-appointed or elected by their states. Churches are located across the South and Midwest and along the Pacific Coast. The Association maintains missions in Mexico, France, India, Jordan, Germany, Israel, China, Bangladesh, Japan, Africa, Cuba, Canada, the Philippines, Haiti, and Thailand.
In 2008 the brotherhood reported a total of 150 ministers and 31 churches in the United States.
Associated Brotherhood of Christians. www.abofc.org/.
7055 Marker St., Indianapolis, IN 46227
The Bethel Ministerial Association (BMA) is a fellowship of ministers allied for the purpose of proclaiming the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was taught by the Apostles. Orthodox in doctrine and evangelical in practice, the BMA was founded in 1934 as the Evangelistic Ministerial Alliance by Rev. Albert Franklin Varnell to offer fellowship to ministers who held similar doctrinal views without the organizational pressures on the local church. Varnell began his ministry as a tent evangelist. In 1933 the church to which he belonged decided that speaking in tongues was the first evidence of the reception of the Holy Spirit. Varnell opposed this teaching. He believed that the new birth and the baptism of the Holy Spirit were the same, and that speaking in tongues was a subsequent, supernatural manifestation of the Spirit among those who had yielded to and been filled with the Spirit.
The BMA also teaches that God manifests in the flesh as Jesus, which is the name of the One God. It denies the traditional doctrine of the Trinity (God as three persons) but affirms that the One God (Jesus) expresses Himself in the Trinity personalities of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It accepts the Bible as the Word of God. Water baptism is by immersion in the name of Jesus.
Bethel churches are independent and slef-governing, and membership in the association is available to ministers only. The association has a publishing house in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. The Bethel Foreign Missions Foundation supports missionaries in Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Kenya, Nigeria, Haiti, China, and Japan, as well as prison and Native American missions in the United States. The association also operates the Bethel Youth Camp in southern Indiana; the Bethel Ministerial Academy, a ministerial training program; and Grace House (partnered with Teen Challenge) in Evansville, Indiana, a long-term residential program for women aged eighteen and over who are struggling with life-controlling problems.
In 2008 the BMA reported 22 churches and affiliated ministries in the United States.
International Bible Center, San Antonio, Texas.
Bethel Ministerial Association. www.daveweb1.com/bma.
Horath, David. It Does Make a Difference What You Believe! Decatur, IL: Bethel Ministerial Association, 1988.
261 Rochester Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11213
A Bible-centered organization of Apostolic congregations, the Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide was founded in 1957 by former members of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Prior to 1957, some leaders of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith decried what they saw as the autocratic leadership of Robert Clarence Lawson (1883–1961), the church’s bishop. They had suggested that Lawson consider sharing the leadership and consecrate more bishops for the growing denomination; when Lawson refused, a number of the leading ministers and their churches left to form the Bible Way Churches of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Among the leaders of the new church were Smallwood E. Williams (1907–1991), John S. Beane, McKinley Williams, Winfield S. Showell, and Joseph Moore. They were consecrated by John S. Holly, a bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. They selected Williams, for many years the general secretary of the parent body, as their presiding bishop. The name of the church derives from the name of the congregation Williams had led in Washington, D.C., since the 1920s.
Williams has been credited with taking the lead among Apostolic Pentecostal groups in the development of a social service and social justice ministry. He led the church to become involved in Washington politics, sponsored the construction of a supermarket near his church, encouraged the development of a housing complex, and worked for more job opportunities within the African-American community. His book, Significant Sermons (1970), was largely concerned with a Christian response to social problems. Williams also emphasized education, as signaled by his opening and maintaining a Bible school adjacent to the headquarters church in Washington, D.C. In this effort he was greatly aided by Dr. James I. Clark, who is remembered as the denomination’s great pioneer educator. Bp, Huie Lee Rogers is the current presiding bishop and chief apostle.
The Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus World Wide follows the non-Trinitarian Pentecostal doctrine of its parent body, which emphasizes the sole divinity of Jesus and thus baptizes in the name of Jesus only. It describes itself as “Pentecostal in experience, Apostolic in doctrine, and Ecumenical in fellowship.” The church operates a radio ministry heard on AM stations in New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.
In 1988 the church reported approximately 250,000 members in 250 churches. In 2008 there were 28 bishops on its executive board
Bible Way Training School, Washington, D.C.
The Bible Way News Voice.
Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide. www.biblewaychurch.org.
Official Directory, Rules and Regulations of the Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide, Inc. Washington, DC: Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide, 1973.
Richardson, James C., Jr. With Water and Spirit: A History of Black Apostolic Denominations in the U.S. Winston-Salem, NC: Author,1980.
Williams, Smallwood Edmond. Significant Sermons. Washington, DC: Bible Way Church Press, 1970.
———. This Is My Story. Washington, DC: William Willoughby Publishers, 1981.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Bible Way Pentecostal Apostolic Church was founded by Curtis P. Jones. Jones began as a pastor in North Carolina in the Church of God (Apostolic), but left that church to join the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith under Robert Clarence Lawson (1883–1961). He became pastor of the St. Paul Apostolic Church in Henry County, Virginia. Jones left during the internal disruption within Bishop Lawson’s church in 1957, but did not join with Smallwood E. Williams’s (1907–1991) Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, in 1960, with two other congregations in Virginia, he founded a new denomination. A fourth church was soon added.
In 1980 the church had four congregations, all in Virginia.
716 S Maple St., Siloam Springs, AR 72761
PO Box 88, Lancaster, TX 75146.
The Biblical Apostolic Organization (BAO) is an Apostolic Pentecostal church founded in 1983 by some Apostolic ministers under the leadership of Rev. Marvin M. Arnold, who felt that many within the older Apostolic churches were drifting morally and doctrinally. They felt that older Holiness standards were being compromised and that others were becoming associated too closely with Trinitarian Pentecostals and charismatics and accepting occult phenomena.
The Holy Bible is the basis for all doctrine and teaching for the Apostolic Church. The church believes that all doctrine must be be based upon and harmonize with the real Scriptures, because the original autographs written by the holy men of old were very much inspired by God. Members accept only the canonical 66 books of the Holy Bible; they do not accept any apocryphal scriptures or Gnostic writings. They do not believe in any of what they call the “false man-made Catholic Creeds,” asserting that parts of these creeds are actually pagan in origin. Neither do they accept any known interpolation as divinely inspired by God, because nothing can take the place or the authority of the real Scriptures.
The BAO adheres to the basic teaching of the Oneness movement described in Acts 2:1–4, 2:38, 19:5; Rom. 12:1–21; and Deut. 6:4. The church teaches that the One True God was in Christ and that there is only One Almighty God. The idea of a trinity is unbiblical, having been concocted by superstitious people who lived in the Dark Ages. They believe that the idea was forced upon the people of the Roman Empire beginning with the rule of Constantine. The church also affirms a four-part plan of salvation that includes: (1) faith in Jesus Christ that leads to (2) (death) repentance; (3) (burial) baptism in water by immersion in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins; and (4) (resurrection) the baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance to be saved (Acts 2:38; 4:12; 8:12–17; 10:43–48; 19:1–6). They believe faith and obedience work together in the grace of God to reconcile humans to God.
The BAO puts much emphasis on the family unit as God’s primary institution, and believes that the church is God’s redemptive fellowship for all believers.
In 2008 the BAO was headed by its president, Clinton D. Willis, two vice presidents, and 20 bishops. The church supports a school that allows its students to study at home by correspondence. Mission work is conducted in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Jamaica.
In 2008 the church reported 120 clergy.
Biblical Apostolic University Siloam Springs, Arkansas. Executive office: PO Box 88, Lancaster, TX 75146-0088.
The Christian Review, quarterly.
Biblical Apostolic Organization, Mississippi District. www.msbao.com.
PO Box 12187, Winston-Salem, NC 27107
The Church of God Apostolic, Inc., (COGA) was formed in 1897 by Elder Thomas Cox at Danville, Kentucky, as the Christian Faith Band. It was one of a number of independent Holiness associations of the late nineteenth century. In 1915 it voted to change its name, and in 1919 became the Church of God (Apostolic). In 1943 Cox was succeeded by M. Gravely and Eli N. Neal as co-presiding bishops. Headquarters were moved to Beckley, West Virginia. Two years later Gravely divorced his wife and remarried, and as a result he was disfellowshipped from the church. In 1964 Neal was succeeded by Love Odom, who died two years later and was succeeded by David E. Smith. These two bishops did much to put the national church in a firm financial position. They were succeded in turn by Bp. Ruben K. Hash, followed by the current (2008) presiding overseer, Bp. Cecil O. Reid.
It is a strict church, opposing worldliness and practicing footwashing with the monthly Lord’s Supper. Members accept the Bible as God’s inspired word, believe in the Trinity, the virgin birth of Christ, the atonement by Christ for the world, and justification by grace through faith in Christ. Baptism by immersion is in the name of Jesus. The church is headed by a board of bishops, one of whom is designated the presiding overseer to serve as the church’s executive head. There is a general annual conference.
In 1980, the most recent report, the church had 15,000 members, 43 congregations, and approximately 75 ministers.
Apostolic Leadership Newsletter, monthly.
Church of God Apostolic. www.cogainc.org/.
PO Box 29276, Baltimore, MD 21205
The Church of God in Christ Jesus, Apostolic, Inc., was founded in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland, by Randolph A. Carr and Monroe R. Saunders, both former ministers in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. The doctrine of the new church followed that of the parent body.
The church had very strict standards concerning divorce and remarriage, which led to complaints by Saunders that the standards were not being uniformly enforced. The controversy led him to break with Carr and take the majority of members to found the United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic). Carr continued to lead the Church of God in Christ Jesus (Apostolic) until his death in 1970. Bp. William S. Barnes then presided until his death in 1987, and was followed by the current presiding bishop, William J. Faison Sr.
Members believe in God’s standard of salvation; repentance and remission of sins; divine healing; the Lord’s Supper; footwashing as a divine command; and the Second Coming of Jesus. The church holds an annual youth congress.
In 2008 the Church of God in Christ Jesus, Apostolic, Inc., reported more than 50 churches throughout the United States and in Canada, Jamaica, Bermuda, and the West Indies.
Church of God in Christ Jesus, Apostolic, Inc. www.bibleway57.com/view/?pageID=75766.
DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African-American Holiness Pentecostal Movement: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.
Richardson, James C., Jr. With Water and Spirit. Martinsville, VA: Author, n.d.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bloomington) emerged when several churches withdrew from the Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport) in the late 1940s. It is similar in belief and practice to its parent body. It is under the leadership of its presiding bishop, Ralph Johnson.
In the 1980s there were approximately 500 members, 12 ministers, and eight congregations.
5836 Orebank Rd., Kingsport, TN 37662
The Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport) grew out of the Pentecostal ferment in eastern Tennessee associated with the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). The church became a chartered organization in 1927 under the leadership of Bishop M. K. Lawson. Formed at Cleveland, it moved its headquarters to Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1975. In 2008 its pastor was Ronald “Bo” Westmoreland, assisted by Sister Christi Westmoreland.
The church is similar to the United Pentecostal Church in its doctrinal stance. It holds to the King James version of the Bible as its creed; believes that the Bible teaches justification by faith, baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in tongues, and the imminent Second Coming of Jesus; and practices baptism by immersion, the Lord’s Supper, and foot washing in connection with the Lord’s Supper. The church believes in divine healing and calls members to holy living. Members refrain from the use of tobacco and alcohol and do not wear jewelry. Although generally following the laws of the state, members do not bear arms or take oaths before a magistrate.
The Church of Jesus Christ. www.tcojc.us/.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Church of Jesus Christ Ministerial Alliance was formed in 1962 by members who withdrew from the Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport) following the death of the founder and longtime leader, Bp. M. K. Lawson. There are no doctrinal differences between the two groups, their distinctions being solely administrative. In recent years there has been a friendly fellowship between the Church of Jesus Christ Ministerial Alliance and its parent body.
In 1990 there were 85 congregations, 300 ministers, and 6,000 members. Missionary work is supported in Canada, Jamaica, Trinidad, the Bahamas, England, and Australia.
The Church of Jesus Christ Message of Hope.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Georgia is a small group that, under the leadership of Elder Wilbur Childres, withdrew from the Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport) in the early 1960s. The church is similar to the parent body and still cooperates with its foreign mission program. It differs in its strict policy regarding marriage and divorce. It demands any minister who was divorced and remarried before conversion to the church to either return to their original spouse or live alone.
Not reported. There are two congregations, both in Georgia.
2081 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., New York, NY 10029
The Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith was founded in New York City in 1919 by Robert Clarence Lawson (1883–1961), who as a pastor in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World had founded churches in Texas and Missouri. At one point in his early life when he was ill Lawson had been taken to the Apostolic Faith Assembly Church, a leading church of the Pentecostal Assemblies, and its pastor, Garfield Thomas Haywood. There Lawson was healed, and he joined the Assemblies and adopted their non-trinitarian theology. In 1919 he left Haywood’s jurisdiction and, moving to New York City, founded Refuge Church of Christ, the first congregation in his new independent church. Under Lawson’s effective leadership, the organization grew quickly. Other congregations were established, and a radio ministry, a periodical, a day nursery, and several businesses were initiated. In 1926 he opened a bible school to train pastors.
In the 1930s Lawson began a series of trips to the West Indies that led to the formation of congregations in Jamaica, Antigua, the Virgin Islands, and Trinidad. His lengthy tenure as bishop of the church was a time of steady growth, broken only by two schisms, by Sherrod C. Johnson (1897–1961; Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, 1930) and Smallwood E. Williams (1907–1991; Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 1957). Lawson was succeeded by Hubert Spencer and by the current (2008) presiding apostle, Bp. William Lee Bonner.
Doctrine is like the older Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Members believe in the oneness of God, who was the father in creation, the son in redemption, and now the Holy Ghost in the church. Footwashing is practiced, and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is believed to be necessary for salvation. The Word of God must be proclaimed throughout the world, according to God’s commandment.
The church is headed by the presiding apostle, who is assisted by six regional apostles. There is an annual convocation. Affiliated churches can be found in Germany, England, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Guyana. The Foreign Mission Department sends monthly stipends to various mission fields. A radio ministry, initiated in 1932, continued in 2008 with an hourly broadcast every Sunday evening.
In 1992 the church reported 30,000 members in 500 churches.
Church of Christ Bible Institute, New York, New York.
W. L. Bonner Bible College, Columbia, South Carolina.
The Contender for the Faith, quarterly. Send orders to 2081 7th Ave., New York, NY 10027.
Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. www.cooljc.org.
Anderson, Arthur M., ed. For the Defense of the Gospel. New York: Church of Christ, 1972.
W. L. Bonner Literary Committee, with Bishop William L. Bonner. And the High Places I’ll Bring Down: Bishop William L. Bonner, the Man and His God. Detroit: Author. 1999.
701 S 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19146
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith was founded in 1933 by Bishop Sherrod C. Johnson (1897–1961), formerly of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Johnson protested what he felt was Bishop Robert Clarence Lawson’s too liberal policy of allowing female members to wear jewelry and makeup. Johnson insisted that women wear cotton stockings, calf-length dresses, and head coverings, and that they not straighten their hair. Johnson also opposed the observance of Lent, Easter, and Christmas. Upon Bishop Johnson’s death in 1961, he was succeeded by S. McDowell Shelton (1929–1991). When Shelton died in 1991, his legally adopted son, Bishop Omega Y. L. Shelton, assumed the position of pastor and general overseer.
The church is known for its “oneness” doctrine. It demands that baptism must be in the name of the “Lord Jesus” or “Jesus Christ,” but not just “Jesus.” This exacting formula is to distinguish the Lord Jesus from Bar Jesus (Acts 13:6) and Jesus Justas (Col. 4:11). The church members also believe one must be filled with the Holy Ghost in order to have the new birth. The church is known for its conservatism; women, who cannot become preachers or teachers, must dress modestly, and remarriage is not permitted after divorce.
The church is episcopal. There is a national convention annually at the national headquarters in Philadelphia. Laypeople have an unusually high participation level in the national church, holding most of the top administrative positions. There is a radio ministry broadcast on Sunday mornings over stations in Bala Cynwid, Pennsylvania; Falls Church, Virginia; and New York, New York. Missions are conducted in Liberia, West Africa, England, Honduras, Jamaica, Haiti, Bahamas, Jordan, Portugal, and the Maldives.
In 2008 the church listed nine congregations.
The Guiding Light.
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith www.tcljc.com/.
9501 SW 175th Ter., Miami, FL 33157
The Churches of Christ in the Apostles Doctrine is an Apostolic “Jesus Only” Pentecostal body that has a base in the Spanish-speaking community of southern Florida. It was founded in the 1980s by Bp. M. J. Hernandez. The church has found its purpose in proclaiming a gospel of Jesus Christ that includes the calling of everyone to believe in Christ, repent of their sin, be baptized by water (immersed), and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. People who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit will speak with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives the utterance. Those who receive the Holy Spirit will begin a life of spiritual growth to maturity. The churches place an emphasis on the oneness of God in a manner similar to the United Pentecostal Church International.
The churches sponsor an annual celebration, Apostolic Day; a ministry on college campuses, the Apostolic Crusaders; and an Internet Bible study course. Much of the work occurs within the Spanish-speaking community.
Not reported. There are five congregations in Florida, two in New York, and one each in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
Churches of Christ in the Apostles Doctrine. members.aol.com/afm238/.
2449 Calvary Rd., Hartsville, SC 29550-7167
The Church in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith was founded in Hartsville, South Carolina, in 1946 by Bp. L. Hunter (d. 1991), who was then a minister with the (almost identically named) Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. At the direction of that church’s founder, Bp. Sherrod C. Johnson (1897–1961), he had moved to South Carolina and begun preaching in Darlington County. Hunter operated out of a tent until a congregation was assembled and a church building purchased in 1948 in Hartsville. Hunter pastored the growing church and gradually split from the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Hunter retained the name of Johnson’s church, except for the change from “of the Lord Jesus Christ” to “in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Hunter’s ministry spread throughout the state and reached outward to New York, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Georgia, and Florida. Hunter began a radio show in 1956 that led to the formation of the Apostolic Faith Radio Network, which supports a nationwide radio ministry. Since 1980 the church has owned the White House for Senior Citizens, a home for the elderly. Hunter followed the doctrine of the parent body. He was strongly opposed to female ministers. Bishop Joe C. Tisdale succeeded Bishop Hunter as pastor and general overseer of the church after Hunter’s death in July 1991.
In 2008, the church reported 14 congregations scattered along the east Coast from New York to Florida.
The Whole Truth Gospel Herald.
Church in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. www.thechurchin.org/home.htm.
DuPree, Sherry Sherrod. African American Holiness Pentecostal Charismatic: Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1992.
3888 Fayetteville Hwy., Griffin, GA 30223
In 1920 a controversy over divine healing arose in the Georgia Conference of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, now known as the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. One faction contended that the healing provisions in the atonement were sufficient, and that human aids (doctors) were unnecessary. While this faction admitted the therapeutic value of effective remedies, such remedies were not considered necessary for God to heal. The other faction, led by Rev. Watson Sorrow, insisted that God had placed medicine on earth for man’s use. The group against doctors relied on the biblical phrase about Christ’s passion, “By his stripes you are healed.”
The names of the Revs. Watson Sorrow and Hugh Bowling were dropped from the ministerial roll of the Pentecostal Holiness Church without their first being tried by the board of the Georgia annual conference, of which they were members. A number of ministers withdrew with them, and together in 1921 they organized the Congregational Holiness Church. They expressed differences with their parent body about the concentration of power in a few hands, so they attempted to democratize the church government. Consequently their polity is not episcopal, like that of the Pentecostal Holiness Church. Instead, polity is a moderate connectional system: Local churches are grouped in associations that elect delegates to a general association with legislative powers. Pastors are called by vote of the congregation. Both men and women may be ordained.
At each quadrennial general conference a full-time general superintendent with the honorary title of bishop is elected to administer, lead, and direct the Congregational Holiness Church in its affairs and functions. In 2008 the general superintendent was Bp. Ronald Wilson. The general conference also elects a first and second assistant general superintendent. These three superintendents, along with an elected general secretary, general treasurer, and world missions superintendent, comprise the General Executive Board. Members of the General Executive Board serve four-year terms.
The Congregational Holiness Church in the USA is divided into nine districts, with each district electing a five-member presbytery. The District Presbytery is made up of a superintendent, a first and second assistant superintendent, a secretary/treasurer and an assistant secretary/treasurer. District officials serve four-year terms.
The General Executive Board, general trustees, district presbyters, world missions superintendent, brotherhood president and women’s ministries president make up the General Committee. The General Committee transacts any major business of the church between general conferences.
The General Conference of the Congregational Holiness Church is the highest governing body, with full power and authority to designate the teachings, principles, and practices of the local churches.
Mission work is active in Cuba, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, India, Nicaragua, and Spain.
In 1995 the church reported 7,000 members, 175 churches, and 429 ministers.
Congregational Holiness Church. www.chchurch.com/index.htm.
Cox, B. L. History and Doctrine of the Congregational Holiness Church. Gainesville, GA: Author, 1959.
———. My Life Story. Greenwood, SC: C. H. Publishing House, n.d.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Evangelical Churches of Pentecost emerged out of the early Pentecostal revivals that occurred in Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1913 as the Oneness non-Trinitarian perspective spread through the West. A camp meeting was founded at Trossachs. Some men converted at Trossachs became ministers and founded churches in various communities of the province. These ministers and churches were brought together in 1927 through the efforts of Rev. Alan H. Gillett (1895–1967), pastor at Radville, who secured a charter for the group as the Full Gospel Mission. Churches and ministers credentialed by the mission spread to the neighboring Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and British Columbia.
The Full Gospel Mission evolved into a substantial body by the end of World War II, and in 1946 it incorporated as the Evangelical Churches of Pentecost. In 1953 the Evangelical Churches of Pentecost merged into the other major Oneness church in Canada, the Apostolic Church of Pentecost. At the time of the merger, some of the ministers and churches of the Evangelical Church of Pentecost declined to enter the merged body. They were concerned that some of the affiliated churches would lose their sovereignty. Also, being amillennialists, they rejected the premillennial eschatology of the Apostolic church. Amillennialism is a position that suggests that the millennium talked about in the book of Revelation is a metaphorical time period rather than an actual thousand-year period to be expected to occur in the near future. Those who stayed out of the merger reorganized and continued as the Full Gospel Ministerial Fellowship, but in the 1960s reincorporated and reassumed their earlier name.
Apart from its position on the millennium, the Evangelical Churches of Pentecost is similar to the Apostolic Church of Pentecost and the United Pentecostal Church. It believes in one God, whose name is Jesus; baptism by immersion in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ; the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced by the believer speaking in tongues; the living of a Spirit-filled life of holiness; and divine healing.
The Evangelical Churches of Pentecost is organized as a fellowship of ministers, evangelists, and missionaries. Theirs is a strong belief in the autonomy of the local church and the congregations affiliated with the church are independent assemblies who happen to welcome pastors credentialed by the fellowship.
Not reported. In 1980 the churches reported approximately 50 ministers who served 19 churches in Canada and 3 in the United States with a combined membership of approximately 3,000. These churches support missionaries in Mexico, South India, and Burkina Faso in West Africa.
Piepkorn, Arthur C. Profiles in Belief: The Religious Bodies of the United States and Canada. Vol. III. San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1979.
1100 E. Lincoln St., Tullahoma, TN 37388
The First Church of Jesus Christ is a Pentecostal group that was chartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee, in 1965 by Bishop H. E. Honea (b. 1938), who has served as its chairman for thirty years. Honea grew up in Taft, Tennessee, and was called to ministry as a teenager. He began to preach when he was 16 years old and pastored churches in Alabama, Louisiana, Indiana, and Illinois before becoming pastor of the Tullahoma church, a position he still holds.
The Church of Jesus Christ is composed of those ministers, missionaries, and deacons licensed by the church and the members of the local congregations affiliated with it. It considers itself a company of baptized believers who adhere to the form of doctrine preached by Jesus and his Apostles, who have associated in the faith and fellowship of Jesus Christ, who are governed by the rules of the New Testament church, and who possess the gifts of ministry (Romans 12:6–8). The church believes that it continues the revival begun on the Day of Pentecost, 33 c.e. (Acts2).
The church affirms that Jesus Christ is the One True God, and reveals himself as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is not considered the third person of the Godhead, but rather the manifestation of the Spirit of God (the creator) coming to dwell in the hearts and lives of men. This position is generally termed Oneness or Jesus Only.
The church practices the ordinances of the Lord’s Supper, foot washing, tithing, and baptism in the name of Jesus Christ. It does not allow membership in secret societies and specifically decries the teachings of snake handling, the “seed in the serpent” doctrine, the spiritualizing of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, the denial of a physical resurrection, and the denial of marriage. This set of doctrines is similar to those of other Apostolic pentecostal churches, such as the Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport).
The First Church of Jesus Christ is headed by a chairman, assisted by a vice-chairman and assistant vice-chairman and the state bishops. Together, they constitute the board of bishops. The board of bishops holds the property of the church in trust. Missionary work is carried out in Jamaica, Haiti, the Philippines, Africa, and India.
In 2002 the church reported 10,000 members and 250 ministers in the United States and an additional 8,000 members and 175 ministers on the mission field.
Banner of Love.
The First Church of Jesus Christ. www.thefirstchurchofjesuschrist.org.
Articles of Faith and By-Laws of the First Church of Jesus Christ, Inc. Tullahoma, TN: First Church of Jesus Christ, n.d.
4703 Marlboro Pke., Coral Hills, MD 20734
The Free Gospel Church of the Apostle’s Doctrine (also known as the Free Gospel Church of Christ and Defense of the Gospel Ministries) was founded in 1962 in Washington, D.C., by Bp. Ralph E. Green, formerly of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ. The church is similar in doctrine and practice to its parent body. The church is built around a large, 8,000-member congregation in Washington, which Green pastors. Green has developed an aggressive outreach ministry that includes a prison visitation program, a publishing concern, and a popular radio ministry. The prison ministry publishes a periodical, From Prison to Praise, and a variety of tract literature. Green has recorded over 1,000 sermons, and the church choir has made several records. The church has a retreat center in King George County, Virginia, called the Free Gospel Church Retreat.
Not reported. In 2008 the church’s Web site listed nine congregations, including one in Nigeria.
Open Bible Institute for Christian Apologetics.
The Free Gospel Christian Academy.
Defense of the Gospel Newsletter.
Free Gospel Church of the Apostle’s Doctrine. www.freegospel.org.
Payne, Wardell J., ed. Directory of African American Religious Bodies: A Compendium by the Howard University School of Divinity. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1991.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Glorious Church of God in Christ Apostolic Faith was founded in 1921 by C. H. Stokes, its first presiding bishop. He was succeeded in 1928 by S. C. Bass who then headed the church for more than a quarter of a century. However, in 1952, after the death of his first wife, Bass remarried a woman who was a divorcée. It had been taught for many years that marrying a divorced person was wrong. Bass’s actions split the 50-congregation church in half. Those who remained loyal to Bishop Bass retained the name, but the founding charter was retained by the other group, which took the name Original Glorious Church of God in Christ Apostolic Faith.
436 W St. NW, Washington, DC 20001
The Highway Christian Church of Christ was founded in Washington, D.C., in 1927 by James Thomas Morris (1892–1959), formerly a minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW). Morris had been raised a Methodist and was called to the ministry in 1918. He received the Pentecostal gift of the Holy Spirit in 1923 under the ministrations of Bp. Samuel Kelsey, a leader in the Church of God in Christ. He was later baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and affiliated as a minister with the PAW. After the founding of the Highway Church, he remained on cordial terms with his PAW colleagues. After a decade of service to his church, during which time it moved out of a tent and store into its own building, PAW Bp. J. M. Turpin consecrated Morris to the bishopric. Following Morris’s death, he was succeeded by his nephew, J. V. Lomax (d. 2001), formerly a minister of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith under Bp. Robert Clarence Lawson. Bp. Samuel Redden replaced Lomax.
The church is among the most conservative of Pentecostal bodies. Members are encouraged to dress modestly as becoming the holy life and to be baptized in Jesus’ name and filled with the Holy Spirit as in Acts 2:38. The church will install women as deaconesses and will accept ordained women from other denominations, but will neither ordain nor install women as pastors. Bp. Herman Girwright is the current pastor.
In 2002 there were 19 congregations and about 2,000 members.
2075 Clinton Ave., Bronx, NY 10457
The Holy Temple Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith is a “Jesus Only” church under the leadership of Bp. Belton Green, who serves as apostle, pastor, and general overseer. The church operates primarily within the African-American community and shares a doctrinal perspective with the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, from which the church originated.
The church emphasizes that the New Birth consists of being buried with Jesus through baptism unto death, rising up to walk in newness of this life, and then being filled with the Holy Spirit, manifested by speaking in tongues. The church identifies the Jesus of the New Testament with Jehovah in the Old Testament.
The church is somewhat unique in its disavowal of several common Christian holy days. It discourages the celebration of Christmas and church members do not receive or give gifts on that occasion. The church also discourages the celebration of Lent and Holy Week (Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter). These are considered later pagan accretions to Christianity. It traces Christmas to Zoroastrianism.
The church also takes a conservative stance on the role of women and does not allow female members to teach, preach, or in any way usurp the authority of the male members or the church. Members are encouraged to pay a tenth of their gross income to the church (a tithe).
The church sponsors a radio broadcast ministry.
In 2008 the church’s Web site listed 28 congregations in the United States and affiliated foreign work in India, the Philippines, Jamaica, Haiti, Trinidad, the Cayman Islands, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Holy Temple Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. www.theholytemplechurch.org.
Continental Office—North America, 115 Hwy. 42 E, Bedford, KY 40006
The International Circle of Faith (ICOF) was founded in 2001 by Bps. Oswaldo Arroyo and Bernie L. Wade and a group of Apostolic Pentecostal ministers who called for a new effort to unify Pentecostalism across the boundaries of its Trinitarian, Charismatic, and Apostolic segments. Since 2001 it has seen significant growth in North America, but also especially in Africa and Asia. Central to its new call to unity was the adoption of a system of spiritual mentoring of junior ministers by senior ministers in a father-son (rather than boss-employee) relationship. The Circle offers its associates mentoring by experienced pastors and church leaders, assistance in creating their own independent ministries, access to education, and national and international contacts.
New ministers are invited into the larger presbytery that includes all the Circle’s ministries. Leadership is provided by the ICOF Leadership Association, which consists of the senior bishops and other officers who oversee the organization’s affairs, grant ordinations, and monitor the quality of its ministers. Educational assistance is given to young ministers through the ICOF International Educational Network, which connects students through distance-learning opportunities at all levels, from high school to college and seminary. In this regard, the Circle supports Harvard High School, based in Washington, D.C., and a number of Christian Bible schools and colleges both in the United States and abroad. True to its networking model, some of these schools, such as the Bernie L. Wade Seminary in India, are specifically related to the Circle, whereas others have an older and broader constituency.
Much of the growth of the International Circle of Faith has come from networking parachurch ministries rather than congregations. Growth in Africa, in particular, has been built around empowering ministers in chaplaincy positions. The Charity World Network includes all the ministries involved in the delivery of various social services.
In January 2008 IFOC Europe was formally organized at services held in the United Kingdom.
Not reported. The Circle unites ministries across the United States and overseas in Europe, Africa, and India.
Freedom Bible College and Seminary, Rogers, Arkansas.
Global Evangelical Christian College and Seminary, Wetumpka, Alabama.
International Circle of Faith Apostolic Ministries. www.icof.net/icofhome.html.
5201 W Homosassa Tr., Lecanto, FL 34461
The International Ministerial Association, Inc., was formed in 1954 by W. E. Kidson and 20 other pastors formerly with the United Pentecostal Church. It practices baptism by immersion and foot-washing. Tithing is believed to be the financial plan of the church. A strong belief in the Second Coming is taught, and the group believes in a distinct judgment during which only believers will be rewarded.
The Association is organized into12 districts across the United States. An annual international conference is the place for fellowship between the ministers, who hold credentials through the Association, and the members of the autonomous congregations that accept the statement of faith. The Association’s publishing arm, Herald Publishing House, is located in Houston, Texas.
Not reported. In 2008 the association reported 182 affiliated churches and ministries and missionaries operating in countries around the world.
The Herald of Truth.
International Ministerial Association. www.interma.net/index.html.
Mt. Hebron Apostolic Temple, 27 Vineyard Ave., Yonkers, NY 10703
The Mount Hebron Apostolic Temple of Our Lord Jesus of the Apostolic Faith was founded in 1963 by George H. Wiley III, pastor of the Yonkers, New York, congregation of the Apostolic Church of Christ in God. As his work progressed, Wiley came to feel that because of his accomplishments for the denomination he should be accorded the office of bishop. He had had particular success in the area of youth work, and his wife, Sr. Lucille Wiley, served as president of the Department of Youth Work. However, the board of the Apostolic Church denied his request to become a bishop. Wiley left with his supporters and became bishop of a new Apostolic denomination.
Wiley has placed great emphasis on youth work and on radio work, establishing an outreach in New York, one in North Carolina, and another in South Carolina. The temple continues the doctrine and polity of the Apostolic Church of Christ in God and has a cordial relationship with its parent organization.
In 1980 the temple reported 3,000 members in nine congregations being served by 15 ministers. There are two bishops.
Mount Hebron Apostolic Temple of Our Lord Jesus of the Apostolic Faith. www.myspace.com/iampersuaded.
21 Dayton St., Elizabeth, NJ 07202
The Mt. Zion Sanctuary was formed in 1882 by Antoinette Jackson, a member of the Baptist Church. Rejecting the idea that she was suffering as an invalid for the glory of God, she sought healing by prayer and fasting, and was believed to be cured on July 14, 1880. The sanctuary asserts that she became blessed with the gifts of the Spirit, particularly healing.
Mt. Zion Sanctuary members believe in the Trinity as God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is the executive power of God. Humans find deliverance from sin and sickness in the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus. Believers are sanctified as they obey the truth. Baptism by immersion is practiced and the Sabbath is kept. The church is considered to be the society of born-again believers who live a holy life. Church members believe in Christ’s premillennial Second Coming (i.e., Christ will return to find Satan prior to his 1,000-year reign on earth with his saints).
Jackson was succeeded by Pr. Ithamar Quigley, who was healed under her ministrations. The current president is Pr. Theodore Jordan.
In 1992 the sanctuary reported 100 members in two centers led by two ministers in the United States. Internationally, there were 10 churches in Nigeria and 11 in Jamaica. Two formerly affiliated congregations in England have become independent.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
In 1927, Rev. A. D. Bradley was admonished by the board of bishops of the Church of God in Christ to refrain from preaching the “Jesus-only” doctrine. (The Church of God in Christ was the oldest and among the largest of the predominantly black Trinitarian Pentecostal churches.) Bradley refused, and with his wife and Lonnie Bates established the New Bethel Church of God in Christ (Pentecostal). Bradley became the church’s presiding bishop. Doctrine is similar to other Jesus-only groups. The three ordinances of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and foot washing are observed. The group is pacifist but allows alternative noncombatant positions to be held by law-abiding church members. The group disapproves of secret societies and of school activities which conflict with a student’s moral scruples.
The presiding bishop is the executive officer and presides over all meetings of the general body. A board of bishops acts as a judicatory body and a general assembly as the legislative body.
995 Foster Ave., Elyria, OH 44035
The Glorious Church of God was founded in 1921. However, in 1952 its presiding bishop, S. C. Bass married a divorced woman. Approximately half of the 50-congregation church rejected Bass and reorganized under the leadership of W. O. Howard and took the name Original Glorious Church of God in Christ Apostolic Faith. The term original signifies the church’s claim to its history, demonstrated by the retention of the founding charter. Howard was succeeded by Bp. I. W. Hamiter, under whose leadership the church has grown spectacularly and developed a mission program in Haiti, Jamaica, and India. Hamiter has also led in the purchase of a convention center for the church’s annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
In 1980 the church had 55 congregations in the United States, 110 congregations overseas, 200 ministers, and approximately 25,000 members worldwide.
International Headquarters Offices, 3939 N Meadows Dr., Indianapolis, IN 46205
Oldest of the Apostolic or “Jesus Only” Pentecostal churches, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) began as a loosely organized fellowship of trinitarian pentecostals in Los Angeles in 1906. J. J. Frazee (occasionally incorrectly reported as “Frazier”) was elected the first general superintendent. Early membership developed along the West Coast and in the Midwest. From 1913 to 1916, the annual convention was held in Indianapolis, soon to become the center of the organization. Growth in the organization was spurred when it became the first group of pentecostals to accept the “Jesus Only” Apostolic theology, which identified Jesus as the Jehovah of the Old Testament and denied the Trinity. Many ministers from other pentecostal bodies joined the assemblies when the groups within which they held credentials rejected Apostolic teachings. In 1918, the General Assemblies of the Apostolic Assemblies, a recently formed Apostolic body that included such outstanding early movement leaders as D. C. O. Opperman (1872–1926) and H. A. Goss (1883–1964), merged into the PAW.
From its beginning the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World was fully integrated racially, though it was predominantly white in membership. In 1919, following the influx of so many ministers and members, especially the large newly merged body, the Pentecostal Assemblies reorganized. Four of its 21 field superintendents were black, among them Garfield Thomas Haywood (1880–1931), who would later become presiding bishop. In 1924, most of the white members withdrew to form the Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance, now an integral part of the United Pentecostal Church. The remaining members, who were not totally, but predominantly black, reorganized again, created the office of bishop, and elected Haywood to lead them. Haywood remained presiding bishop until his death in 1931.
Shortly after Haywood’s death, the Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ— as the former Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance, then in a phase of consolidating various Apostolic groups into a single organization, was briefly known—invited the Assemblies to consider a merger. The merger attempt failed, but the assemblies again lost individual congregations and members to the Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ, and a large group who formed a new church, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. In the face of these new losses, a third reorganization occurred in 1932. For several years, the church was led by a small group of bishops, enlarged to seven in 1935. Two years later, Samuel Grimes, a former missionary in Liberia, was elected presiding bishop, a post he retained until his death in 1967. Under his guidance, the Pentecostal Assemblies Church experienced its greatest era of expansion. Unlike most black Pentecostal bishops, Grimes did not also serve a parish; hence, he was able to devote himself full-time to his episcopal duties.
The doctrine of the Assemblies is similar to that of the Assemblies of God, except that the church does not believe in the Trinity. Holiness is stressed and the group believes that for ultimate salvation, it is necessary to have a life wholly sanctified. Wine is used in the Lord’s Supper. Healing is stressed and foot-washing practiced. Members are pacifists, though they feel it is a duty to honor rules. There are strict dress and behavior codes. Divorce and remarriage are allowed under certain circumstances.
There is an annual general assembly that elects the bishops and the general secretary. It also designates the presiding bishop, who heads a board of bishops. The church is divided into 30 districts (dioceses) headed by a bishop. The assemblies are designated joint members of each local board of trustees. A missionary board oversees missions in Nigeria, Jamaica, England, Ghana, and Egypt.
The presiding bishop in 2008 is Bp. Horace E. Smith.
In 1994 the Assemblies had reported 1,000,000 members/constituents in 1,760 churches served by 4,262 ministers, divided into 43 districts, each headed by a bishop. There are approximately 1,000 churches in the foreign missionary field.
Aenon Bible School, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. www.pawinc.org.
Dugas, Paul P., comp. The Life and Writings of Elder G. T. Haywood. Portland, OR: Apostolic Book Publishers, 1968.
Golder, Morris E. History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. Indianapolis, IN: Author, 1973.
———. The Life and Works of Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood. Indianapolis, IN: Author, 1977.
Tyson, James L. Before I Sleep. Indianapolis, IN: Pentecostal Publications, 1976.
9244 Delmar, Detroit, MI 48211
The Pentecostal Church of God (not to be confused with the Pentecostal Church of God of America headquartered at Joplin, Missouri) is a predominantly black Pentecostal body founded by Apostle Willie James Peterson (1921–1969). Peterson grew up in Florida, and though his family attended a Baptist church there, he was never baptized. The course of his life was interrupted in his early adult years by a dream in which he was in the presence of God and his angels. Peterson began a period of prayer, after which God called him to preach. He became an independent evangelist and came to believe in the Apostolic or non-Trinitarian position. He began to preach that doctrine in 1955 in Meridian, Mississippi, and to raise up congregations across the South. At the time of his death, Peterson was succeeded by the four bishops of the church, William Duren, J. J. Sears, C. L. Rawls, and E. Rice.
It is the belief of the Pentecostal Church of God that Peterson was an apostle, anointed by God for his task through revelation. The essence of the revelation was an understanding of the Kingdom of God. Peterson taught that conversion meant turning away from worldliness (the kingdom of this world ruled by Satan) to godliness (the kingdom of Heaven). Peterson identified the Roman Catholic Church with Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, spoken of in Revelation 17:3–5. Satanic doctrine was taught in that church and in its daughter churches, Protestantism. To accept the gospel of the kingdom is to turn from the false teachings of the Babylonian churches to God’s truths. These truths lead the believer to repentance as godly sorrow for one’s sins; baptism by immersion in the name of Jesus Christ; a rejection of the unbiblical doctrine of the Trinity; an understanding of heaven as the realm of God and his angels and hell as a place of confinement; the nonobservance of holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s Day; nonparticipation in human government (which includes practicing pacifism, not saluting the flag, and not voting); and holy matrimony performed by a holy minister.
Faison, Jennell Peterson. The Apostle W. J. Peterson. Detroit, MI: Pentecostal Church of God, 1980.
c/o Zion College of Theology, Box 110, French Lick, IN 47432
As a youth in Kentucky, Luther S. Howard (1903–1981) was converted by an independent Pentecostal minister and, in 1920, was ordained a minister of the Holy Bible Mission at Louisville. He served as a minister and then as vice president. Upon the death of its founder, Mrs. C. L. Pennington, the Mission was dissolved. Its ministers felt the need to continue their work and, in 1954, formed a new organization, the Pentecostal Church of Zion, Inc. Elder Howard was elected president and, in 1964, bishop. Because most of the work of the Holy Bible Mission was in Indiana, the new organization was headquartered at French Lick, Indiana.
The Pentecostal Church of Zion is like the Assemblies of God in most of its doctrine but differs from it on some points. The group keeps the Ten Commandments, including the Saturday Sabbath, and the Mosaic law concerning clean and unclean meats. (Cows and sheep are clean and may be eaten; pigs and other animals with cloven hooves may not be eaten because they are considered unclean). Most importantly, the group does not have a closed creed, but believes that members continue to grow in grace and knowledge. Anyone who feels that he has new light on the Word of God is invited to bring his ideas to the annual convention, where they can be discussed by the executive committee. By such a process, a decision was made in the 1960s to drop the Lord’s Supper as an ordinance. The church now believes in the celebration of Passover by daily communion with the Holy Ghost.
Church polity is episcopal. There is one bishop with life tenure and an assistant bishop elected for a three-year term. An annual meeting with lay delegates is held at the headquarters.
Zion College of Theology, French Lick, Indiana.
Zion’s Echoes of Truth.
PCAF Headquarters, 723 South 45th St., Louisville, KY 40211
The Pentecostal Churches of Apostolic Faith was formed in 1957 by former members of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World under the leadership of Bp. Samuel N. Hancock. Hancock was one of the original men selected as a bishop of the Assemblies following its reorganization in 1925. In 1931 he was one of the leaders in the attempt to unite the Assemblies with the predominantly white Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance, and he helped form the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ, a body whose polity was more acceptable to the Alliance. Within a few years, Hancock returned to the Assemblies as an elder and was elected as a bishop for the second time.
However, soon after Hancock’s return, it was discovered that he had deviated on traditional Apostolic doctrine in that he taught that Jesus was only the son of God, not that he was God. His position forced the Assemblies to issue a clarifying statement of its position, but Hancock’s teachings were tolerated. Hancock also felt that he should have become the presiding bishop. Disappointment at not being elected seems to have fueled the discontent felt throughout the 1950s. Hancock carried two other bishops into the new church formed in 1957, including Willie Lee, pastor of Christ Temple Church, the congregation pastored by Garfield Thomas Haywood, the first presiding bishop of the Assemblies. Lee succeeded Hancock as presiding bishop of the Churches upon the latter’s death in 1963. The following year, a major schism occurred when the majority of the Churches rejected the doctrinal position held by Hancock and also taught by Lee. Elzie Young had the charter and claimed the support of the Churches to become the new presiding bishop. The church returned to the traditional Apostolic theology.
The Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith are congregational in polity, and headed by a presiding bishop (Alfred Singleton in 2008) and a council of bishops. It is divided into 13 district councils. The Churches support missionaries in Haiti and in Liberia, where they have also built a school.
In 1980 the Churches had approximately 25,000 members, 115 churches, and 380 ministers.
Pentecostal Churches of Apostolic Faith. www.pcaf.net/us/main.
c/o Bethel Church of Jesus Christ, Hwy. 19 N, Inglis, FL 34449
The Primitive Church of Jesus Christ resulted from a split in the Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport). The occasion of the split was the decision by the church to move the location of its mid-season convention from Inglis, Florida, to Homosassa, Florida, a move opposed by many of the members. The church shares doctrine and practice with its parent body, the split being purely administrative. The church holds an annual Bible conference each June. It is headed by Elder John Wilson.
2222 Barhamville Rd., Columbia, SC 29204-1203
The Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ was founded in 1944 by Bp. Joseph D. Williams (d. 1966), who had been a minister with the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. The founding of the church was occasioned by the healing of a Sr. Helen L. Washington of Colombia, South Carolina, of leukemia through the prayer offered by Williams, then a pastor in Ohio. Washington later professed faith in Christ, received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and spoke in tongues. Williams subsequently moved to South Carolina, with the Washington family providing the initial resources. The church’s presiding bishop, R. C. Lawson, blessed the new work, which developed independently of, but on friendly relations with the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith. Its beliefs are identical with those of the parent body.
Following his death, Williams was succeeded by an early member, Bp. Joel G. Washington (d. 1987). By this time, the church had been established in Columbia, Killian, Mullins, Lugoff, Denmark, Florence, and Bishopville (all in South Carolina), and missions had been established in Barnwell, Edgefield, Greenville, and Johnson (also all in South Carolina).
Before he died, Williams appointed Elders Joel G. Washington, Edward Smith, Herman Jackson, Henry J. Breakfield, and Ernest Finkley as the church’s Board of Elders. This board operated until 1973, when its members were consecrated as bishops and it was transformed into a Board of Bishops. Bishop Washington served as presiding bishop until his death in 1987. He was succeeded by the present presiding bishop, Edward Smith. Serving along with him as members of the Board of Bishops are Bps. Theodore Jenkins, David S. Johnson, Paul C. Johnson, and Lang Priester, and Bp.-Elect J. D. Williams.
In 1987 Smith established the annual National Unity Conference, which brings church members together to consider issues related to maintaining the church’s spirit of oneness. This is in addition to the Holy Convocation held annually in Columbia, South Carolina. Smith oversaw the dedication of new church headquarters in 1999.
The church is organized into five districts, each with a district bishop and a district elder.
Not reported. In 2008 the Progressive Church consisted of approximately 25 churches and missions.
Progressive Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. http://www.progressivechurch.org/
c/o Bishop James F. Harris, 2200 Fairfax Ave., Richmond, VA 23224
The Redeemed Assembly of Jesus Christ, Apostolic was formed in 1979 by James Frank Harris and Douglas Williams, two bishops of the Highway Christian Church who rejected the leadership of that church by Bp. J. V. Lomax. They complained that Lomax made decisions in conference with the elders of the congregation he headed in Washington, D.C., bypassing other bishops and pastors. The new church is headed by a presiding bishop, an assistant presiding bishop, and an executive council consisting of the bishops and all the pastors. There was no doctrinal conflict in the split.
In 1980 the church had six congregations: one in Richmond, Virginia, one in New York City, and four in the Washington, D.C., area.
Redeemed Assembly of Jesus Christ, Apostolic. www.redeemedassembly.com.
1516 W Master, Philadelphia, PA 19121
The Shiloh Apostolic Temple was founded in 1953 by Elder Robert O. Doub Jr., of the Apostolic Church of Christ in God. In 1948 Doub had moved to Philadelphia to organize a new congregation for the Apostolic Church of Christ in God. He not only succeeded in building a stable congregation, Shiloh Apostolic Temple, he also helped other congregations throughout the state to organize. In light of his accomplishments, Doub felt that he should be made a bishop and so petitioned the church to be elevated. He believed that the state overseer was taking all the credit Doub himself deserved. When Doub’s petition was denied, he left the church in 1953, taking with him a single congregation. In 1954 he incorporated separately.
The energetic work that characterized Doub’s years in the Apostolic Church of Christ in God led Shiloh Apostolic Temple to outgrow its parent body. Doub began a periodical and purchased a camp, Shiloh Promised Land Camp, in Montrose, Pennsylvania. He also took over foreign work in England and Trinidad. Doctrine, not at issue in the schism, remains that of the parent Church of God (Apostolic) from which the Apostolic Church of Christ in God came.
In 1980 the church had 4,500 members, of which 500 were in the congregation in Philadelphia. The church reported 23 congregations, of which 8 were in England, and 2 in Trinidad.
Shiloh Gospel Wave
314 S Brookhurst St. #104, Anaheim, CA 92804
The True Jesus Church was established in 1917 in Beijing, China, after three of the early workers, Paul Wei (d. 1919), Ling-Shen Chang (b. 1863), and Barnabas Chang (1882–ca. 1960), once affiliated with other denominations, had received the Holy Spirit and the revelation of the perfect Truth concerning salvation. The True Jesus Church spread through missionaries who were commissioned and via gospel newsletters published and distributed to various provinces throughout China. The church spread to Taiwan and throughout Southeast Asia in 1926 and 1927, respectively. Church headquarters were established in Nanjing, China, in 1926, then relocated to Shanghai the following year. The first workers reached the United States—Hawaii—in 1930.
Like other Chinese churches, the True Jesus Church suffered following the Communist takeover of China in 1949, but it survived and prospered after moving its headquarters to Taiwan. This growth led to the formation of the International Assembly of the True Jesus Church by delegates at the World Conference in Taiwan in 1975. In 1985, the principal office of the international assembly was relocated from Taiwan to Los Angeles, California. Subsequently, under the jurisdiction of the international assembly, four evangelical centers were established: the America Evangelical Center, the Europe Evangelical Center, the North-East Asia Evangelical Center, and the South-East Asia Evangelical Center.
The True Jesus Church considers itself the restored Apostolic Church of the End Time. The church believes that through the Holy Spirit it has received a divine revelation of the Truth, confirmed through signs and miracles. Its name, “True Jesus Church,” also has a spiritual significance. The word True denotes that God is true (John 3:33, 17:3; 1 Thessalonians 1:9) and recognizes that Jesus referred to himself as the Truth (John 14:6), or the true Vine (John 15:1), just as he was regarded as the true Light (John 1:9).
Because church founders believed that God called and established the church (Acts 15:14–18), they also believed that the church should bear his name. The Bible indicates that God’s name was Jesus (Matthew 1:21; John 17:11, 26). The church exalts the name of God (Jesus), and as the body of Christ rightly has “Jesus” as her name.
Doctrinally, the church is aligned with the doctrine of the non-trinitarian Apostolic or “Jesus Only” movement, which practices baptism in “Jesus’ Name.” Baptism is by full immersion in living water, but unlike most pentecostal churches, infants are baptized. The church practices foot-washing (as a third sacrament beside baptism and the Lord’s Supper) and worships on the Sabbath. It is believed that the reception of the Holy Spirit is necessary for entering the kingdom of God, and that speaking in tongues is the sign of that reception.
In 2008 the church had 1.5 million members in 48 countries. The church’s Web site in 2008 listed 23 congregations in the United States and five in Canada.
True Jesus Church. www.tjc.org/landing.aspx.
The Five Biblical Doctrines. Garden Grove, CA: Words of Life Publishing House, 1995. 27 pp.
One True God. London: TJC Press, 1998. 163 pp.
Return to the True Church. Garden Grove, CA: Words of Life Publishing House, 1995. 30 pp.
Speaking in Tongues: A Biblical Perspective. Garden Grove, CA: Words of Life Publishing House, 1996. 33 pp.
Yang, John. Essential Bible Doctrines. Garden Grove, CA: Word of Life Publishing House, 1997. 215 pp.
931 Bethel Ln., Martinsville, VA 24112
Dr. Robert L. Hairston, who had been a pastor in several Trinitarian Pentecostal groups, is cofounder with William Monroe Johnson of the True Vine Pentecostal Holiness Church. However, in 1961 Hairston accepted the apostolic “Jesus-only” teachings. He left the church he had founded and formed the True Vine Penetcostal Churches of Jesus. Causal factors in the formation of the new denomination were differences between Hairston and Johnson over church polity and Hairston’s marital situation. Hairston rejected the idea of local congregations being assessed to pay for the annual convocation of the church. Also, he had divorced his first wife and remarried, an action frowned upon in many Pentecostal circles.
The church follows standard apostolic teachings. Women are welcome in the ministry. Growth of the group was spurred in 1976 by the addition of several congregations headed by Bp. Thomas C. Williams.
In 1980 the church reported 10 churches and missions, 2 bishops, 14 ministers, and approximately 900 members.
PO Box 1452, Aberdeen, WA 98520
The United Apostolic Church International was formed at the end of the 1990s by former members of various Apostolic and Pentecostal churches who felt that the Pentecostal movement had during the hundred years of its existence never completely left behind various false teachings of the denominational churches, the traditions of men, and even Roman Catholicism.
The church continues the Apostolic Jesus Only theology of the Oneness Movement. It identifies Jehovah in the Old Testament with Jesus of the New Testament and demands that baptism be by immersion in the name of Jesus only. The church has a liberal, tolerant view on many doctrines not considered essential to salvation, such as eschatology; however, it sharply disagrees over the ordination of females (which most Apostolic churches permit).
From its understanding of the scriptures, the church teaches that modest dress should prevail, and that males should wear their hair short and females should wear theirs long. It has no opinion on related issues not touched on in scripture, such as beards or women wearing their hair up or down, and so on.
The most important new truth leading to the founding of the United Apostolic Church is its understanding of church policy. It believes that both the episcopal and congregational forms of church government are unbiblical and that leadership should be exercised through a college of elders (similar to the presbyterian systems, but without the sharp distinction between teaching elders and ruling elders). In this regard, the church also disapproves of the use of titles for the clergy, such as Reverend or Bishop, which would imply a hierarchy within the church. The board of elders selects a general secretary and a general superintendent. Work in the United States is divided into six districts, each led by a district superintendent.
The church seeks an educated ministry to lead it, but has come to feel that a college or seminary may not be the best method to create such a ministry. It feels that many who might be qualified may not receive an education due to a lack of financial resources. In place of the seminary, the local assembly should be the environment in which leadership is developed.
In 2002 there were 32 ministers serving churches across the United States. There is also related work in Germany.
United Apostolic Church International. www.uaci.org.
5150 Baltimore National Pke., Baltimore, MD 21229
The United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic) traces its history to 1945, when Randolph A. Carr, an overseer in the Church of God in Christ, withdrew because of doctrinal differences and formed a new church, the Church of God in Christ Jesus (Apostolic). Carr had come to believe in the Apostolic doctrine concerning the Oneness of the Godhead (as opposed to the Church of God in Christ’s adherence to the doctrine of the Trinity).
In 1965 Monroe R. Saunders Sr., then the church’s general secretary and a member of its board of bishops, expressed serious objections over contradictions between church belief and certain actions by the church’s leadership— specifically, the actions of Bishop Carr in relation to teachings on marriage and divorce. In response, Carr forced Saunders out of the church. Many of the members and leaders left with Saunders and joined him in the formation of the United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic).
Saunders carefully put together a Book of Church Order and Discipline to guide the administration of the new church. The church is operated by a board of bishops, led by a presiding bishop or president and a vice-bishop or vice-president. The church observes the ordinances of baptism, Holy Communion, and foot washing.
Saunders has served as president since the church’s founding in 1965. One of the more educated leaders in the Apostolic Movement, Saunders completed postgraduate studies and has led in the cause of creating an educated ministry. He formed the Center for a More Abundant Life, which serves as an umbrella organization for a variety of social and educational services, such as the Center for Creative Learning, an early childhood educational facility; the Monroe R. Saunders School for elementary school children; and two high rise houses for the elderly and handicapped.
In 2004 Bp. Monroe Saunders Sr. was elevated to the position of Chief Apostle of the United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic). The new presiding bishop is Bp. Monroe Saunders Jr., who is also the pastor of the First United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic).
The church reports 80 congregations, 100,000 members, and 150 ministers in the United States and Canada, and it has missions in England, Africa, and the West Indies.
Institute of Biblical Studies, Baltimore, Maryland.
United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic). www.unitedchurchofjesuschrist.org.
Saunders, Monroe R., Sr. The Book of Church Order and Discipline of the United Church of Jesus Christ (Apostolic). Washington, DC: 1965.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The United Churches of Jesus, Apostolic was formed by several bishops of the Apostolic Church of Christ in God who rejected the leadership of presiding bishop J. C. Richardson, Sr. Richardson had married a divorced woman. The church is headed by a general bishop, J. W. Audrey (one of the founders of the Apostle Church) and a board of bishops. Doctrine is like the parent body.
In 1980 the United Churches of Jesus, Apostolic had 2,000 members, 20 churches, 30 ministers, and 6 bishops.
8855 Dunn Rd., Hazelwood, MO 63042
The United Pentecostal Church International was formed in 1945 through a merger of the Pentecostal Church, Inc. and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. Both organizations dated to a 1924 schism within the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. During the early 1920s, ministers within the Assemblies had become convinced that the Assemblies’ interracial makeup was hindering its functioning, due in part to various laws in the South concerning the mixing of blacks and whites. Members who left eventually formed three separate organizations.
Before leaving the 1924 Chicago, Illinois, conference at which the split occurred seceding members met in a separate hall to lay plans for a new organization. That organization was chartered the next year as the Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance. It continued to function under that name until 1932, when it became the Pentecostal Church, Inc.
Some who had participated in the formation of the Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance were upset over the Alliance’s final organization, as it provided only for the ministers and not for the members of the congregations. Meeting in Texas in October 1925, this group formed Emmanuel’s Church in Jesus Christ. A third group gathered in St. Louis and formed the Pentecostal Churches of Jesus Christ. In 1927, these two groups merged to become the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ.
In 1931 the Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ voted to merge with the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, the body from which it had originally derived. The newly merged interracial body was called the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. However, as the decade proceeded, racial tensions again arose. For example, many southerners (who constituted a significant part of the group) were concerned that the church’s conferences could never be held in the South because of racial laws. Beginning around 1936, black ministers and predominantly black congregations began to resign and return to the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, eventually leaving the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ an all-white body. It was as such that the latter entered the 1945 merger.
The distinctive doctrines of water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and the Oneness of God were taught in 1913–1914 by early Pentecostal leaders such as Frank J. Ewart (1877–1947), Robert McAleister (1880–1953), Glenn A. Cook (1867–1948), and Garfield Thomas Haywood (1880–1931). Many of these men became members of the Assemblies of God but left that organization in 1916 when differences arose over these doctrines.
According to the statement of faith issued by the church, its basic and fundamental doctrine is “repentance, baptism in water by immersion in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance.” The church’s statement also affirms belief in the one true God who manifested himself in the flesh as Jesus Christ and who also manifests himself as the Holy Spirit. The church practices foot-washing and healing and follows a holiness code that includes disapproval of secret societies, mixed bathing, women cutting their hair, worldly amusements, home television sets, and immodest dress. While strongly affirming loyalty to the government, the church is against bearing arms or taking human life.
Government of the church is basically congregational, with presbyterial elements. A general conference meets annually. A general superintendent, two assistants, and a secretary treasurer are members of a general board consisting of district superintendents, executive presbyters, and division heads. A foreign missions division oversees missions around the world in about 125 countries. Under the name Word Aflame Press, the Pentecostal Publishing House in Hazelwood, Missouri, publishes books, Sunday school material, and a wide variety of religious literature. The church is divided into 50 districts that include churches in every state and all Canadian provinces and territories. The church supports nine Bible colleges, the Tupelo, Mississippi, Children’s Mansion, the Lighthouse Ranch for Boys, the Spirit of Freedom Ministries, and Compassion Services. In 2008 Kenneth F. Haney was the general superintendent.
In 2008 the UPCI in North America (United States and Canada) listed 4,358 churches (consisting of 4,099 autonomous churches and 258 daughter works) and 9,085 ministers, and reported a Sunday school attendance of 646,304. Moreover, the church is also located in 175 other nations, where there are 22,881 licensed ministers, 28,351 churches and meeting places, 652 missionaries, and a foreign constituency of over 3 million, making for a total worldwide constituency of more than 4,036,945.
Apostolic Bible Institute, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Apostolic Missionary Institute, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada.
Christian Life College, Stockton, California.
Gateway College of Evangelism, Florissant, Missouri.
Indiana Bible College, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Jackson College of Ministries, Jackson, Mississippi.
Kent Christian College, Dover, Delaware.
Texas Bible College, Houston, Texas.
United Pentecostal Bible Institute, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
The Pentecostal Herald • The Global Witness
United Pentecostal Church International. www.upci.org.
Clanton, Arthur L. United We Stand. Hazelwood, MO: Pentecostal Publishing House, 1970.
Foster, Fred J. Their Story: 20th-Century Pentecostals. Hazelwood, MO: World Aflame Press, 1981.
Urshan, Andrew D. My Study of Modern Pentecostals. Portland, OR: Apostolic Book Publishers, 1981.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The United Way of the Cross Churches of Christ of the Apostolic Faith was founded by Bp. Joseph Adams of the Way of the Cross Church of Christ and Elder Harrison J. Twyman of the Bible Way Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ World Wide. The new church was formed when the two founders, both pastors of congregations in North Carolina, discovered that God had given each a similar vision to form a new church. Also, Adams had developed some concerns with the administrative procedures of his church, Way of the Cross Church of Christ. The church grew, in part, from the addition of pastors and their congregations who had previously left other Apostolic bodies.
In 1980 the United Way of the Cross Churches of Christ of the Apostolic Faith had 1,100 members in 14 churches. There were 30 ministers and 4 bishops.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
The Universal Church of Jesus Christ was founded in the 1950s by the withdrawal of some members of the Church of Jesus Christ (Kingsport). The immediate occasion of the split concerned the Lord’s Supper. The withdrawing members argued that communion was spiritual and that there was no mandate to continue the Lord’s Supper, or the accompanying practice of washing feet, as an outward ceremony. They also dropped several beliefs considered important by the Church of Jesus Christ, including the rapture of the saints and the imminent Second Coming of Jesus. It also does not believe in Sunday school programs.
There is no fellowship between the Universal Church of Jesus Christ and the other apostolic churches.
819 D. St. NE, Washington, DC 20002
The Way of the Cross Church of Christ was founded on February 27, 1927, by Henry C. Brooks (d. 1967), an independent black Pentecostal minister. Brooks had founded a small congregation in Washington, D.C., which became part of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, founded by Robert Clarence Lawson. At that time there was another small congregation under Bishop Lawson in Washington headed by Smallwood E. Williams, and Lawson wanted Brooks’s congregation to join Williams’s. Brooks rejected the plan, left Lawson’s jurisdiction, and founded a separate organization. A second congregation in Henderson, North Carolina, became the first of several along the East Coast. Brooks pastored the mother church for forty years and built a membership of over 3,000.
After Henry C. Brooks’s death, Bp. John Luke Brooks served as the interim pastor until his retirement in 1978, when he was replaced by Bp. Alphonzo D. Brooks, Henry C. Brooks’s son. In 1979, the church became an international body, adding 13 churches and missions in Ghana and Liberia.
In 2002 the Way of the Cross Church of Christ had 48 affiliated congregations and approximately 50,000 members.
Way of the Cross Church of Christ. www.thewayofthecrosschurch.org.
292 Vanduzer St., Staten Island, NY 10304
Philippine Headquarters: 104 Malaya St., Caloocan City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
The Worldwide Pentecostal Church of Christ is an independent Pentecostal body that originated in the Philippines. It was founded on March 13, 1984, by a small group of ministers under the leadership of John E. Ayudtud. The previous year, Ayudtud had visited the United States and had already decided to move there. In 1985 he left the Philippine work in the hands of the church’s assistant chairman, Bp. Cesar de la Cruz, and settled in America. He spent the next four years traveling the country and evangelizing before settling in New Jersey in 1989. At that time he founded the first American congregation of the Worldwide Pentecostal Church of Christ.
Worldwide Pentecostal Church of Christ is an Apostolic Pentecostal body that accepts the “Jesus Only” non-Trinitarian theology and baptism in the name of Jesus only. Its conventions are held at the international headquarters in the Philippines. An office for missions and church growth is located in San Jose, California. Ayudtud remains the bishop in charge of the work.
Not reported. In 2002 there were congregations in Alaska; Seattle, Washington; and Alameda and San Jose, California. There are also congregations in Japan, Australia, and Jerusalem, and there are 57 congregations in the Philippines.
WPCC Short Term Ministerial Studies, Caloocan City, Philippines.
Worldwide Pentecostal Church of Christ. www.angelfire.com/fl/WPCCayudtud/.
Current address not obtained for this edition.
Yahweh’s Temple was founded in 1947 as the Church of Jesus and has through the decades of its existence sought the name that best expresses its central doctrinal concern of identifying Jesus with the God of the Old Testament. In 1953 the church became the Jesus Church, and it adopted its present name in 1981. The temple is headed by Samuel E. Officer, its bishop and moderator, a former member of the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). The temple follows the “Oneness” doctrine generally, but has several points of difference from other bodies. From the Sacred Name Movement it has accepted the use of the Hebrew transliterations of the names of the Creator. It also keeps the Saturday Sabbath. It derives its name from a belief that Jesus is the “new and proper name of God, Christ, and the church.” Specifically rejected are names such as “Church of God,” “Pentecostal,” and “Churches of Christ.” The organization of the temple is based upon an idea that all the members have a special place to work in a united body. From Ezekiel 10:10, a model of four wheels within wheels has been constructed. Each wheel consists of a hub of elders, spokes of helpers, a band for service, and the rim of membership. At the center is the international bishop, who exercises episcopal and theocratic authority. There are national and state bishops and local deacons.
Not reported. In 1973 there were approximately 10,000 members.
Light of the World.