Welcome to Church of God (Australia) Ltd
An Australian Church with a Rich International Heritage
Since its humble beginnings, the Church of God has been a "
" - a moving church with a mission of ministry to the world. Where is God leading the Church of God? He is directing the church as a global movement prepared to meet the demands and challenges of ministry in the 21st century.The church consists of people just like you. Every person is recognised as a valuable member of the church body. You and Your Church, the Church of God, presents a lifestyle and fellowship with Jesus and His Holy Word. The church must be a driving force of Pentecostal witness united with one accord. What will it take? It will take "you" and your church - together!
Church of God General Executive Committee
August 19, 1886 Official forming of the Christian Union
May 15, 1902 Official name change to Holiness Church at Camp Creek
January 11, 1907 Officially registered under the name Church of God
January, 1976 Official registration of New Testament Church of God, Campbelltown, NSW
A Season of New Beginnings
The Church of God in Australia was officially formed in 1976 upon the principles of Christ Jesus as they are revealed in the Holy Bible, the Word of God. It has its foundation of faith and practice in the Holy Scriptures and the vital experience of its constituents is Spirit-filled.
The theme of "
" has captivated out attention. This is happening not only on a National Office perspective, but also among a number of individuals. It is interesting how God is speaking to His people in similar ways.
The wonderful truth is that our God is the God who continually presents to His people new opportunities, new blessings, and new beginnings daily.
Humanly speaking, the old things seem to be more familiar and comfortable. However, for those of us in the work of the Lord, it is the old things that lull us to sleep and keep us in our comfort zone. God needs to stretch us occasionally, and to take us down some new paths in order to keep us fresh and focused in the work of the Lord. The foundation of our faith will never change, but we know that occasionally our methods and approach to the Lord's work needs to be changed.
May I encourage each of us to tell God that we are available to Him to do a new thing in our lives? Open your life to Him and expect Him to do a new work in you that can bring about a
in your life and ministry.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
The Church of God Believes the whole Bible to be completely and equally inspired and that it is the written Word of God.
The Declaration of Faith is the official expression of Church of God doctrine.
1. In the verbal inspiration of the Bible.
2. In one God eternally existing in three persons; namely, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
3. That Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father, conceived of the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. That Jesus was crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. That He ascended to heaven and is today at the right hand of the Father as the Intercessor
4. That all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and that repentance is commanded of God for all and necessary for forgiveness of sins
5. That justification, regeneration, and the new birth are wrought by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ
6. In sanctification subsequent to the new birth, through faith in the blood of Christ; through the Word, and by the Holy Ghost
7. Holiness to be God's standard of living for His people
8. In the baptism with the Holy Ghost subsequent to a clean heart
9. In speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
10. In water baptism by immersion, and all who repent should be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost
11. Divine healing is provided for all in the Atonement
12. In the Lord's Supper and washing of the saints' feet
13. In the premillennial second coming of Jesus. First, to resurrect the righteous dead and to catch away the living saints to Him in the air. Second, to reign on the earth a thousand years
14. In the bodily resurrection; eternal life for the righteous and eternal punishment for the wicked
How we got the name 'Church of God'
Although the Church of God is 121 years old, the name Church of God was not officially adopted until the second annual Assembly held January 9-13, 1907, at the Union Grove Church twelve miles in the country from Cleveland, Tennessee. One account of the special Assembly session provides this insight, "The name Church of God was (harmoniously) adopted amid great rejoicing, not as a new name, but as a discovery of how the church was spoken of in Apostolic days, just as other blessings were being discovered in these last days."
Christian Union (1886-1902)
Union signifies oneness, being united, coming together for a specific purpose. That's what happened on August 19, 1886. "
A small group of like-minded believers gathered in the rough-hewn Barney Creek Meetinghouse
." Their efforts for spiritual renewal and reformation in the traditional churches had been spurned and met with hostility. They were seeking new directions in serving the Lord in "spirit and in truth." Richard G. Spurling gave a powerful discourse on departing from man-made creeds and traditions and to unite in taking the New Testament as their only rule of faith and practice. Eight people "came forward" at the invitation of Spurling and a new organization was birthed. Christian Union was the name accepted by the young organization, even though it was understood to be the Church of God. The people were in union with Christ and with each other to move forward in what was called the "last great reformation."
The Holiness Church (1902-1907)
Up until 1902 the young organization did not have plans for government, practices, or accountability. This resulted in false teachers, false doctrines, a falling away, and persecution. There was a need for both spiritual and governmental structure. On May 15, 1902, a meeting led by R. G. Spurling was conducted in his mountain home in Cherokee County, North Carolina, to discuss the state and direction of the young organization. Charles Conn states, "
The church was restructured with a simple plan of government and regulation designed to safeguard the future from interlopers
(people who meddle)." The name was changed to The Holiness Church at Camp Creek. Here again, the name '
The Holiness Church
,' indicated purity in doctrine, living a sanctified life, and the empowerment of the baptism of the Holy Spirit to perform God's work with balance and vision.
Church of God (1907)
The Second Annual Assembly convened at the little Union Grove Church, near Cleveland, Tennessee. At a session held at 8:30 on Friday morning, January 11, 1907, the name was changed from the '
' to '
Church of God
It was agreed by all present that this was the appropriate biblical name and supporting scriptures
(1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1)
were included in the measure. Their attitude was that the body of Christ should maintain the ideal of Christian union and proclaim the doctrine of holiness-but its name should be Church of God
The young church had always considered herself to be the Church of God and the name in doctrine and practice had been embraced from the beginning. The church had used the name Holiness Church at Camp Creek in spite of the fact that it had been agreed on June 13, 1903, that it was the Church of God. "
There was a strong desire to use the scriptural name, just as there was a desire to be scriptural in all actions of the church
***(This article was adapted from the complete article written by Dr. Floyd Carey scheduled to be released in the Winter 2007 issue of Covenant Resources magazine)