Pentecostal Church of God
|Pentecostal Church of God|
|Associations||National Association of Evangelicals, Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America|
|Founder||John C. Sinclair|
|Official website||official Web Site|
The Pentecostal Church of God (PCG) is a trinitarian Pentecostal Christian denomination headquartered in Bedford, Texas, United States. As of 2010, there were 620,000 members, 6,750 clergy in 4,825 churches world-wide.
The PCG is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, the Pentecostal World Conference and the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America. The church's official publication is The Pentecostal Messenger.
First called the Pentecostal Assemblies of USA, the PCG was formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1919 by a group of Pentecostal ministers who had chosen not to affiliate with the Assemblies of God and several who had left that organization after it adopted a doctrinal statement in 1916. John C. Sinclair, an early Pentecostal pastor in Chicago, and a former Assemblies of God presbyter served as the first moderator. The Pentecostal Assemblies of the USA was dissolved in 1922, and the organization resumed under the name Pentecostal Church of God.
In 1927, the denominational headquarters relocated to Ottumwa, Iowa; in 1933, to Kansas City, Missouri; in 1951, to Joplin, Missouri in 1951; and in 2012, to Bedford, Texas.
Although the relocation to Bedford, TX followed the 2011 Joplin Tornado, the decision to move had started at least three years earlier when the 2009 General Convention voted to explore relocating to a larger metropolitan area. The reason for the move was because of lower income due to declining membership and Messenger College could no longer support itself. The Bedford building solved this problem by combining the national office and college into one building.
The PCG has a Pentecostal and Evangelical statement of faith. It believes the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired word of God which is the only rule of Christian faith and practice.
It is Trinitarian, believing there is only one God who exists as three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit who are of one individual essence, who are co-equal, co-existent and co-eternal. The Son, Jesus Christ, is eternally begotten of the Father, conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of the virgin Mary. Jesus died on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice to redeem and restore humanity to God. All who believe in him are justified. He rose again and will return to establish his kingdom.
Salvation is available through Jesus' work on the cross and is a gift from God made possible by grace through faith and not by human works. The PCG believes it is possible to lose one's salvation if one turns away from God. After salvation, a Christian can receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The evidence of this baptism is speaking in other tongues. It believes in the doctrine of sanctification as a definite and progressive work of grace. It believes heaven and hell are real places. Heaven is for those who have received the gift of salvation, and hell is for those who have not.
The true Church is made of all true Christians. There are two ordinances: water baptism, and the Lord's Supper. Water baptism is by immersion and is for believers only. Baptism is a symbol of identification with Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. The Lord's Supper is a memorial to Christ's death and resurrection. The PCG only uses unfermented grape juice. Though not an ordinance, divine healing is believed to be provided for in the atonement of Christ and available to all believers. Members practice tithing.
The PCG believes that Christ will return and that his return is imminent. It believes his coming will be personal, pre-tribulational, and pre-millennial.
The church is led by a General Bishop (formerly called General Superintendent and before that General Moderator and General Chairman) and a General Convention which meets biennially. It is divided into a number of districts, including four Hispanic districts in the United States. Each district is served by a district bishop, previously district superintendent. District conventions meet annually. In 2002, the General Convention came to a consensus to change the title of their overseer from General Superintendent to Bishop. The change was made because internationally, the term bishop is more commonly related to religious leaders than the previous title. In 2009, Charles Scott was re-elected as General Bishop for a two year term. Prior to 2011, the International headquarters were located in Joplin, Missouri where a college and a publishing house operated.
At the 2015 PCG General Convention held in Arlington, Texas, June 22-26, the theme of which was "Be Transformed," Scott proposed to the denomination a "massive visionary organizational transformation that split the convention, so he decided to step down." Ostensibly, however, the rejection of his proposal coupled with the coinciding termination of his term as top leader forced Scott's resignation. Rev. Loyd Naten, who was serving as General Secretary/Treasurer of the PCG was elected as General Bishop replacing Scott.
- Servants of the Spirit. Des Moines, Iowa: OBC Publishing. 2010. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-9608160-7-1.
- Servants of the Spirit. Des Moines, Iowa: OBC Publishing. 2010. p. 219. ISBN 978-0-9608160-7-1.
- General Bylaws (2012 ed.). Bedford, TX: Pentecostal Church of God. 2012. pp. 111–112.
- Justice, Jessilyn. "Pentecostal Church of God Head Steps Down". Retrieved 2015-07-28.
- Our Story: The History of the Pentecostal Church of God ISBN 1-882449-36-3
- We've Come this Far by Faith ISBN 1-931393-24-9
- Pentecostal Church of God – official Web Site
- Profile of the Pentecostal Church of God on the Association of Religion Data Archives website