Tag Archives: hymns

Carols of a Reformation

By Carl Stagner

Editor’s note—This article from December 2010 was one of the first feature stories Church of God Ministries’ staff writer Carl Stagner ever wrote for the CHOGnews. This year, we bring it back for your Christmastime delight. Enjoy!

The Church of God is known for its singing. Early pioneers of the reformation movement expressed their joy in the Lord through the writing and singing of songs, such as “I’m Redeemed,” “A Child of God,” and “I Will Praise Him, Hallelujah!” Many of the heritage songs of the Church of God are still being sung today. But did you know that these heritage composers wrote Christmas carols? 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

Grant Gives Movement Opportunity to Participate in Worship Arts Symposium

By Carl Stagner

Want to attend a preaching clinic, church health seminar, or theological dialogue in the Church of God today? You’ll find plenty of options throughout the year. Want to be a part of an experience designed for worship leaders and their praise teams? Those opportunities may be hard to find—until now. The Church of God Ministries U.S. and Canada Strategy team is excited to spread the news of the first-ever Worship Arts Symposium offered by the National Association of the Church of God (NACOG). The event, scheduled to take place August 2–4 at the National Association Campground in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, will offer theoretical and practical insights to strengthen the worship ministry of the local church, give opportunity to practice those insights during the NACOG Camp Meeting that follows, and return worship ministers back to their home churches refreshed and renewed. Continue reading

The Clerical Collar-Wearing Pastor Who Planted a Church at Age 77

Pastor Dick Ogle

By Carl Stagner

Dick Ogle’s preferred daily dress is clerical attire—characteristic among some denominations, but certainly not common in the Church of God. Funerals are one of his primary methods of outreach—unusual, but surprisingly potent. Perhaps the most unconventional thing about this eighty-eight-year-old pastor is that he came out of retirement at age seventy-seven to plant a church in Hoisington, Kansas. Today, First Street Church of God is a healthy, growing, multi-ethnic congregation that proclaims the gospel with boldness, and sings straight out of the hymnal. Continue reading

How a Growing Nontraditional Traditional Church Plant Began in Arkansas

Packed house for worship at Faith Fellowship.

By Carl Stagner

They have no formal training in church planting, but they’ve planted a church. Their worship and ministry style is neither flashy nor trendy, yet they’ve attracted a crowd. There was no market research conducted before their launch service, yet they’re already making disciples. Kevin and Danielle Edgar recently returned to a community they knew and loved, and simply began preaching the Word of God, singing a few gospel songs and hymns, and building friendships. Faith Fellowship Church of God is a growing, nontraditional, traditional church plant in Paragould, Arkansas. They may be doing things differently, but they’re certainly getting things done, and the results are both God-glorifying and hell-shaking. Continue reading

The Church of God in the U.S. Celebrates Thanksgiving

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Photo: Turkey giveaway at Jubilee Christian Church, Boston, MA (courtesy jubileeboston.org).

By Carl Stagner

In the Church of God in the United States, Thursday, November 24, 2016, will not just be another day to stay home from work. While many must clock in on Thanksgiving Day, others who don’t have to are choosing not to sleep in, kick back on the sofa, and watch football all day. Instead, they’re choosing to give back. Ephesians 2:10 is written on the tablet of their hearts, and their appetite for serving others is greater than their appetite for turkey and all the trimmings. They understand that thankfulness and giving go hand-in-hand, and that such values must not be restricted to the fourth Thursday in November. Nevertheless, in worship, in teaching, in good works, and in fellowship, the Church of God loves to celebrate Thanksgiving. 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

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

Heritage Sing-Along 2014 Promises Unity and Harmony

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Photo: Joe Gregory leads the Heritage Sing-Along at NAC 2011.

By Carl Stagner

Nearly every Church of God Convention since the turn of the century has featured a Heritage Sing-Along. From its humble beginnings inside Anderson University’s Byrum Hall, to the golden years at Park Place Church of God, Reardon Auditorium, and Madison Park Church of God, the Heritage Sing-Along has remained a constant. As a special activity during the Church of God Convention 2014, the Heritage Sing-Along will take place at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. Host Joe Gregory looks forward to another great opportunity to worship the Lord in unity—and four-part harmony. Continue reading

Isaacs Release Fresh Rendition of B.E. Warren’s “Child of God”

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By Carl Stagner

As featured on TV (and DVD) with the Gaither Homecoming Series, the bluegrass-gospel music of the Isaacs family has won the hearts of listeners of all ages over the past thirty-five years. This August, they released a CD called The Living Years featuring fourteen inspirational tracks. The Church of God will no doubt recognize the tenth track, which begins, “Praise the Lord, my heart, with his love is beaming, I am a child of God!” Continue reading

Renewing Our Foundations

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By Carl Stagner

More and more young people are discovering the reformation message of the Church of God. Where are they finding it? Dale Oldham, former pastor and CBH speaker, is noted to have said, “If people do not sing great truths then those truths will soon be forgotten.” Young people are discovering these truths through song. It all began just two years ago with an idea, the means to realize a dream, and two young men at a camp meeting in central Ohio. Continue reading