Tag Archives: heritage

History in the Making: Arizona Church Unearths Time Capsule

Digging up the time capsule.

By Carl Stagner

At 5536 N. 6th Street in Phoenix, Arizona, you’ll find sacred grounds. On these grounds, souls have been won to Christ. Believers have been baptized. Lives have been transformed. Memories—of both challenge and triumph—have been made. Of course, it’s not the address, the parking lot, or the building that make it so special; it’s the Lord, whose providential hand has preserved that space for his glorious work for three decades. And it’s the believers themselves, who had worshiped at another location even longer—since the 1940s. Though the name over the door has changed over the years, the Lord over all has remained the same. In view of The Gathering Place Church of God positioning itself for expansion, congregants from generations past-to-present recently reunited to unearth a time capsule, whose contents not only bring back cherished memories, but speak of an unchanging, eternally faithful God. Continue reading

Trusting the Healer: A South Dakota Woman’s Testimony

By Michael Smith

Editor’s note—The belief in divine healing has been a long-emphasized doctrine in our movement, from before the days of the “crutches on the wall” in E. E. Byrum’s Gospel Trumpet prayer room, to modern-day testimonies of healing around the world shared in person, in books, through videos, and in CHOGnews articles. Though perhaps not understood the same way it always has been, healing certainly continues to come from a merciful, all-powerful God. The following is a story of healing from Rustic Hills Community Church of God in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Our prayer is that it will encourage you and serve as a reminder that God still works miracles today. Continue reading

From the Archives: Christmas—A Divine Mission Statement

By Arlo Newell

Christians too often view the Christmas celebration as excessive commercialism. Deluged by advertising and pressured by promotion, we find it extremely difficult to discover the true meaning of the season.

It was while crying over this commercialization of the Christmas season that I was convicted to look for the good and the positive rather than to criticize. I began by giving thanks for the beauty of the season. I began by giving thanks for the beauty of the season. Lights become more meaningful in the dark, depressive days of December. The contrast makes them more distinct and the cold, crisp winter air allows the sound of silver bells to be heard more clearly. And who can fail to experience the joy of children as they anticipate this most magical of all holidays; laughter fills the air as they live in a world of expectancy. Even in the ringing of the Salvation Army bell and the iron kettle help to accentuate the carols sung by choral groups along the street. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Glue That Holds Us Together

By Merle Strege

I have often observed and said that the Gospel Trumpet Company, publishing house of the Church of God movement, has provided its way of being together, its polity, for much of the movement’s history. Furthermore, I have stated that certain virtues are necessary for a church that has such a polity.

If I might slightly alter my metaphors here, the publications of the Gospel Trumpet Company/Warner Press have been the pot that contains the glue that has held together the rich and diverse fellowship called the Church of God movement. That glue is composed of several elements, but three in particular are the moral virtues of love, courage, and presence. Continue reading

Truth, Love Preached and Practiced at Pastors’ Fellowship 2017

Photo: Pastors’ Fellowship 2017

By Carl Stagner

Another Pastors’ Fellowship has come and gone, yet its impact on those who attended, the movement, and the culture remains. As it always does, this year’s gathering of pastors and laypeople at First Church of God in Winchester, Kentucky, featured dynamic doctrinal preaching and wholehearted singing of heritage hymns. The fellowship was as sweet as the iced tea, and the moments of prayer were powerful and potent. What really left a lasting impression, however, was the way these men and women of God responded to the Spirit. When word got out about the devastating floods wreaking havoc across Missouri, directly affecting Church of God brothers and sisters, God’s love turned into action. Continue reading

Church of God Family’s Museum in Convention Host City a Must-See

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Photo: The Museum of World Treasures, founded by the Kardatzkes.

By Carl Stagner

In Philadelphia last year, many convention-goers were privileged to see the Liberty Bell and sink their teeth into mouth-watering cheesesteak. Near Vancouver, the breathtaking Multnomah Falls received a lot of attention before and after the first Regional Convention of 2016. Two years in Oklahoma City afforded the opportunity to solemnly remember victims of the 1995 federal building bombing, but also the chance to taste some of the best barbecue around. While in Wichita this June for Church of God Convention 2017, you may want to plan a visit to one Old Town Wichita museum which sprang forth from the story of one influential Church of God family. Continue reading

From the Archives: Looking Across the Years

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By Earl L. Martin

Fact Number One: We are all going to live all the rest of our lives in the future. Fact Number Two: There will be changes in that future. I am not a prophet or the son of a prophet, nor do I want to speculate. But I have here state two simple facts which no one can successfully contradict. Continue reading

MACU Holds Celebration of Culture, Highlights Hispanic-Latino Community

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Photo: Cultural attire enhanced the celebration.

By Whitney Knight

Last weekend, Mid-America Christian University held its semi-annual Celebration of Culture event, highlighting Latino-Hispanic heritage with a weekend of festivities and service projects. Beginning at 10 AM on October 7, students and community members were addressed in the university chapel by local leaders like Josue Chavez of the Oklahoma City Family Church and Rev. Mark Inscoe, a teacher from Capitol Hill High School. After chapel services concluded around 11:30 AM, an inspired Latino-Hispanic lunch highlighted with traditional fare such as quesadillas, enchiladas, tres leches cake and Mexican street corn. Traditional dancers provided entertainment. Continue reading

Church of God Historical Society Releases New Film

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By Carl Stagner

Several Church of God pastors and lay leaders arrived in Anderson early for the June Regional Convention to watch a special pre-screening of a new film. A few weeks later, the Historical Society of the Church of God was excited to announce the release of Anderson University Roots: The Workers’ Home Years (1906–1918) on DVD. The film documents stories of the early days of the Church of God as early leaders settled in Anderson, Indiana. Unlike From Heaven to Earth and other historical snapshots of the movement’s history, this new offering virtually transports the viewer to the present-day campus of Anderson University and shows exactly where our pioneers trod. Fascinating, thought-provoking, and inspiring, this new film about a portion of our history speaks life into our future by revealing a mighty God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Continue reading

The 50th International Youth Convention: History to Repeat Itself

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Photo: IYC1948 in Charleston, West Virginia.

By Levi Scott

On June 20, 1924, what we now call the International Youth Convention of the Church of God was just beginning to take shape. For the first time in the history of the Church of God, there was an entire day of Anderson Camp Meeting devoted to young people. Back then it was called the Convention Youth Day. Influential leaders of the time, such as J. A. Morrison, Frances Tallen, and others spoke to both youth and other church congregants about the challenges that youth faced in their context. These speakers encouraged, warned, and ministered to many young people that day, but they were likely unaware of the plans that God began to put into action at that time. Shortly thereafter, Convention Youth Days became an annual occurrence. A look back over the past fifty IYCs reveals an experience that has shaped not only the life of young people who attended these services, but the Church of God itself. Continue reading

Convention Artists Equip Church of God with New Worship Resource

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By Carl Stagner

These young women and men are not in it for the entertainment. If they were, you might see them come and go, offering little more than a performance. But these featured worship leaders for the Regional Conventions and IYC2016 are going way beyond providing convention-goers with a temporary worship experience. Alanna Story, products of the Church of God themselves, have set out to resource the Church of God with practical tools for the local church. Continue reading

From the Archives: Does it Matter?

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By David C. Shultz

Editor’s note—It’s a bright new day in the Church of God, and our future looks even brighter. But we as the Church of God have a rich heritage that must not be forgotten. We thank God for blessing us with dynamic and inspirational voices throughout our history, voices that spoke into the direction of our movement. Many of these voices still need to be heard. The wisdom of their words speaks volumes to us today, just as it did then. Thus, we invite you to take a journey back in time through select monthly articles “From the Archives.”

Some time ago, I read a helpful article on ways to reduce stress. The author’s point was that too many of us worry too much about too little. His answer was this: Learn to say, “It doesn’t matter,” to the trivial and overblown in your life. In other words, spend your time on what counts. Continue reading

Church of God Band Bridges Generational Gap with Fresh Take on Hymns

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By Carl Stagner

They’re Church of God, born-and-raised. They’ve sung the hymns and let the truths therein sink deep into their hearts. The harmony and conviction resonating from the saints of old still ring in their ears. Sadly, so does the clanging of discord and disharmony caused by worship wars. Though worship wars may not be as prevalent as they once were, there still exists a generational gap in many churches across the country surrounding worship styles. Alanna Story, known for their gifts of worship leadership at the Church of God Convention and numerous youth conventions, is doing something about it. Recognizing that the younger generation often misses out on the depth of the hymns, while the older generation often overlooks the value of the new, Alanna Story is set to release an album that bridges the gap. Continue reading

Quartet Takes CHOG Heritage Music Beyond the Movement

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By Carl Stagner

One night at a little Baptist church in Tennessee, a team of Church of God musicians, worship leaders, and pastors proclaimed the message of Christ and the Church of God in song. After a particularly meaningful song, the quartet’s pianist spoke up regarding the problem of suicide in our culture today—how two young ladies had recently committed suicide back home. Responding to the tugging of the Holy Spirit, a lady within the sound of the pianist’s voice stood up to testify that she had come to that same depressed place in her life—it seemed like giving up was the next step. But God had told her to come to church that night, and this young lady’s life was forever changed. The quartet’s name is Common Bond, and theirs is a bond of perfectness reflecting the love and power of Jesus wherever they go. Continue reading

Ohio’s Wauseon First Church Celebrates 125 Years

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By Tammy Allison

Editor’s note: As the Church of God movement nears its 135th year, more and more congregations have celebrated, or will soon celebrate, their centennial. We rejoice with each one as such milestones are reached, affirming generations of hard-working families and individuals, altogether representative of God’s faithfulness through the years. One local church that has reached its 125th year is First Church of God in Wauseon, Ohio. They recently held special festivities to commemorate and honor the Lord on this landmark occasion.

In a society where things seem to come and go, the Wauseon First Church of God has been a constant in the lives of many local Fulton County citizens. On April 25 and 26, the church celebrated their 125 anniversary with a combination of celebrating the past and looking forward to the future. The Wauseon First Church of God is the oldest active Church of God, Anderson, Indiana-affiliated church in the state of Ohio. Continue reading