By Carl Stagner
“Most individuals, corporate or nonprofit organizations, and churches fail because they major in the minor things. Jesus is the major person and his mission is the major thing that God and the Holy Spirit are focusing on in the world. ‘Jesus is the Subject’ calls me back to a consciousness of why I am saved, and what is my God-given mission.” Before ‘Jesus is the Subject’ gained traction in the Church of God, Milton Grannum’s God-given mission centered on Jesus. Since 1982, the Christ-centered leadership he and his wife Hyacinth have provided New Covenant Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has propelled the church to its place as one of the largest congregations in the Church of God. As this Regional Convention speaker for 2016 returns to his home church to speak to the “Reclaim Your Neighborhood” theme one more time near the end of September, a glimpse into the church he and Hyacinth founded reveals a church that is truly changing the world by making Jesus the subject.
How does a church go from a startup to a congregation of more than 1,200? Milton Grannum knows that multiple factors play into church growth and that church growth is not the sign of church health. But he has some thoughts about what has led to the church being blessed so abundantly. “A clear sense of the divine call to establish New Covenant and the conscious seeking of God’s guidance and wisdom,” he cites. “Also, a clearly perceived and communicated vision connecting people to their purpose, a commitment to building a strong leadership team where people’s gifts make room for them, and building a model of faithful stewardship, sacrifice, and serving.”
The church certainly didn’t grow overnight, and it didn’t come about by ignoring the needs of the city. Looking back over the past year of outreach at New Covenant suggests the congregation understands that when Jesus is the subject, you make outsiders a priority. This year’s Vacation Bible School was held at an incredible nineteen different locations across the Philadelphia metro area! This year they celebrated twenty-five years of providing scholarships and academic support to graduating high school seniors through their Education Resource Endowment Committee. Participating in community festivals, meal distribution, assisting needy families, Angel Tree, a community leadership development initiative, and even a dance ministry reflects the outreach-oriented DNA of New Covenant Church.
On behalf of New Covenant Church, Milton and Hyacinth Grannum welcome in advance the Church of God Regional Convention to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With great anticipation they await the first-ever Regional Convention of the Church of God in Philadelphia. “It is a powerful opportunity to bring the national church to the people,” Milton explains. “It is an opportunity to bring many of the congregations in the region together for the first time, and an opportunity to share an international vision for missions, evangelism, and leadership connectedness.”
Come hear this man of God tell his story of personal reclamation that began in Guyana and now bears fruit week after week in the City of Brotherly Love and around the world. You won’t regret it.
Visit http://www.chogconvention.org to register today! The third-and-final Church of God Regional Convention and CHOG Table (on the subject of racial unity) is September 27–29 at New Covenant Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.