Tag Archives: General Assembly

Callen Compiles General Assembly Comprehensive History, Reference Guide

By Carl Stagner

Anyone who has done even the most rudimentary research into the early days of the Church of God movement knows we have a fascinating history. We love to laud the honorable aspects of our past, but we acknowledge our missteps and failures, as well. Learning from yesterday—the good and the bad—helps us lean forward into the future God has planned for us together. In Barry Callen’s new book, Leaning Forward!, God’s unchanging involvement in the lives of his people is the thread that connects our heritage to who we are today. As a comprehensive history and reference guide to every resolution since the General Assembly’s humble beginnings in 1917, Leaning Forward! provides a panorama of the Church of God unlike we’ve ever seen. Continue reading

Movement to Pray for the Persecuted Church this November

By Carl Stagner

Christians in Western culture may not fully appreciate the cost of Christianity, but those who put their lives on the line in other parts of the world, just to share their faith or simply gather together, understand. Depending on the source, the numbers of believers imprisoned, tortured, and/or killed may vary, but one thing is clear—the need for our prayerful support of the persecuted church is tremendous. After Church of God leaders in Texas proposed a motion during General Assembly 2019 in Orlando to ask all local Church of God congregations to set aside a Sunday each November to pray specifically for the persecuted church around the world, overwhelming approval followed. Continue reading

Convention 2019 & General Assembly: Pivotal

By Carl Stagner

“It feels a bit like Christmas. You plan for it, you wait expectantly for it, and then it’s over. But, is it really over?” Jim Lyon’s words resonated not only through the grand World Center Marriott ballroom, but also in the hearts of hearers full of the spiritual feast consumed for four days straight. Prayers and plans had certainly preceded such Christmas-like celebration, as members of the Church of God family from coast to coast and across the globe descended upon Orlando, Florida, for the first international reunion since 2013. It was more than a reunion, though, more than a spiritual feast, and not just a passing highlight on the calendar. As featured speaker Lori Salierno-Maldonado put it, “When we embrace our unique place in history, in his larger transcendent story, we can make our contribution to God’s kingdom for such a time as this!” What happened at Church of God Convention 2019 and General Assembly in Florida will neither stay in Florida nor in the past. This really isn’t over. Continue reading

Jim O’Bold Selected to Succeed Jeff Jenness as President of Servant Solutions

Jim O’Bold with his wife Felisia.

Merv Bennett, chair of the search committee and board of trustees of Servant Solutions announced that Jim O’Bold has been selected to become the sixth president in the seventy-year history of Servant Solutions. The naming of Rev. O’Bold as president-elect is subject to ratification by the General Assembly of the Church of God at Convention 2019 in Orlando, Florida. Continue reading

Lori Salierno-Maldonado: A Marvelous Heritage, A Reclaimed Future

Lori Salierno-Maldonado

By Carl Stagner

The daughter of longtime evangelist Gerald Marvel really needs no introduction. In fact, her influence is so broad that family heritage needs no mention to solidify her place in Church of God history. Still, a telling of her story, without the impact her family, and her brothers and sisters in the Movement, have had on her life, is anything but complete. Lori Salierno-Maldonado has been in the company of such notable influencers like Mother Teresa, but she couldn’t be more excited to spend time with her Church of God family in June. Her marvelous heritage, unexpected journeys, and reclaimed future combine to position her well to breathe, speak, and give life this year at Convention 2019 & General Assembly in Orlando, Florida. Continue reading

Convention 2019 Welcomes Return of Beloved Heritage Sing

Joe Gregory leads the event back in 2011.

By Carl Stagner

At Christmastime, it’s music which inspires the heart and stirs the soul for the season. Throughout the year, music activates memories and improves mood. In worship, it’s a vehicle of praise, adoration, and thanksgiving to the Lord Most High. But perhaps like no other genre of music, it is the heritage songs, in particular, that communicate the theology and core doctrines of the Church of God movement. These songs resonate warmly with the Christian experience, telling in joyful tones all Jesus is, what he has done, and what he promises to do. Powerful new songs may be heard more often today in most of our congregations, but the heritage songs have proved timeless through the years. That’s why Church of God Ministries is excited to announce the highly anticipated return of the beloved Heritage Sing to the Church of God Convention next June. Continue reading

Convention 2019 Worship Leader Becoming Familiar Face, Voice

Josh Edington leading worship at CHOG Convention 2015.

By Carl Stagner

Some may not recognize his name, but most are beginning to recognize the face, the voice, the talent, and the heart of Josh Edington. On staff at Crossings Community Church for the past ten years, the pastor of contemporary worship arts for the largest Church of God congregation in North America has begun to build a reputation outside those walls. Beginning in 2015, at the second Church of God Convention outside Anderson, Indiana, Josh first strapped on his guitar and lifted his voice heavenward on behalf of the Movement. Then, when the traveling Regional Convention made a stop in Oklahoma City this year, Josh was there. CHOG Convention 2019 and General Assembly won’t be held in Oklahoma City, but Orlando, Florida, instead. Still, Josh will be there! Yet, as familiar as his excellence in worship leadership is becoming in the Church of God, many still may not know the young man behind the guitar. Continue reading

Statement from the General Director: Charlottesville

By Jim Lyon

Paul Goodloe McIntire was an investment genius, whose savvy management of stock portfolios in both Chicago and New York empowered him to be one of his hometown’s preeminent philanthropists. Inspired by the City Beautiful movement dramatically brought to life at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, he dedicated himself to funding monumental public spaces, city parks and squares, most often featuring heroic sculpture. He was born in 1860 and polished his fortune in New York City before retiring in 1918; he then returned to the beloved city of his birth: Charlottesville, Virginia. Continue reading

Just the Beginning: Convention 2017 Charts Course for Long-Term Kingdom Impact

Photo: “For the church triumphant is alive and well…”

By Carl Stagner

Trafficklight 2.0, set to advance freedom around the world over the next two years. Partnerships between Children of Promise, Warner Press, and Stephen Arterburn, created to protect the lives of children and touch the hearts of men and women. New missionaries commissioned, called by God to go to communities both domestic and international with the hope of Jesus. A lineup of speakers, illuminating God’s Word for such a time as this. The CARE Seminar, connecting our pastors and churches with an initiative designed to strengthen the financial health and spiritual vitality of the shepherds of our movement. Pastors young and old, ready to join the movement with renewed hope and enthusiasm for the direction we’re headed. The voice of the General Assembly, heard crying out against a historical culture of oppression, supporting a unified credentialing process, and affirming the need for a movement-wide structural review. And so much more. This was Church of God Convention 2017, and this was just the beginning. Continue reading

New Video feat. Jim Lyon Urges Pastors, Delegates to Attend General Assembly

More than three decades passed before the new movement known as the Church of God established the General Assembly. The engine of the movement then was the Gospel Trumpet Company. As the movement grew, competing agendas and dysfunctional operations became too much for even the catalytic Gospel Trumpet to handle. In 1917, it had become apparent to Church of God pastors that some recalibration of the movement was needed to keep it going and simultaneously breathe new life into its sails. Since 1917, the General Assembly has been the voice for the movement—not Church of God Ministries, not the various agencies and schools, not the general director. The voice of the General Assembly is the strongest, however, when its shepherds and lay delegates participate. In a new video released by Church of God Ministries, Jim Lyon, general director, urges pastors and lay delegates to make this historic year—one hundred since the GA’s inception—a priority.

View or download the video on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/209904704.

Wichita to Host Church of God Convention 2017

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By Carl Stagner

After a departure this year from the annual cycle of the Church of God Convention to three smaller-scale regional meetings over the span of five months, we’re excited to announce the seminal gathering of the Church of God and General Assembly returns in 2017. Central Community Church, one of the largest Church of God congregations in North America, will host the event, which is scheduled for June 20–23 (Tuesday through Friday). Building on the momentum of this year’s Regional Conventions and the previous two in Oklahoma City, Church of God Convention 2017 is sure to be yet another history-making, life-changing experience for the movement. Continue reading

General Assembly Makes Historic Convention Decision

Convention2015_crowd_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

For more than a century, the Church of God has convened almost every summer for worship, preaching, fellowship, and the General Assembly. In a historic vote, this year’s General Assembly decided overwhelmingly to make a change to the frequency of the Church of God Convention. Signaling a new day for the Church of God, the resolution paves the way for maximum General Assembly and convention accessibility and engagement. Continue reading

SCOTUS Decision: A Pastoral Letter from Our General Director

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By Jim Lyon

Comment Context: Why are you sending this, Jim?

(1) I have, in the last several days, received moving requests (heart-felt pleas, really) from Church of God pastors in the United States, asking me for some guideposts as they prepare to preach in the wake of the United States Supreme Court ruling (released 26 June 2015), asserting a constitutional right to marry for couples of the same gender (popularly dubbed “gay marriage”) in the same way couples of different gender (vernacular: “straight marriage”) have enjoyed since the nation’s founding. This Court ruling represents (or, perhaps, it might be said, acknowledges) a sea change in the social construct of our time. Continue reading

General Assembly 2015: Church of God Speaks Life, Hope into Future

Rebecca_2015GA_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Conducting the business of the church doesn’t have to be business as usual. In fact, this year’s General Assembly looked and sounded much like a worship service had broken out in the Venue at Crossings Community Church. Worship was expected during the times set aside for morning devotions led by Bart Riggins, Leslie Barnes, and Carron Odokara. But at this year’s General Assembly, the variety of business presentations were especially poignant, moving, and inspirational. Dialogue was gracious, the optimistic atmosphere was contagious, and the resolutions that followed exemplified the move of the Holy Spirit to unite the Church of God in 2015 and into the future. Continue reading

Church of God Convention 2015 Begins Today!

TuesEveCrowd_Convention2014

By Carl Stagner

It’s finally here. Church of God Convention 2015: Be Bold. Reclaim. officially kicks off this evening at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. From Washington State to Florida, Church of God pastors and laypeople have gathered to worship the Lord and rally together for the cause of Christ. Award-winning contemporary Christian artists Selah will lead the saints in times of inspirational worship until longtime Church of God speaker Timothy Clarke takes the stage to deliver the Word with power and clarity. But before the kickoff session, which will be broadcast live over the Internet at www.jesusisthesubject.org/convention-live-streaming at 7:00 PM CDT, a variety of pre-convention workshops and events are expected to draw the early-arrivals. Continue reading