PENTECOSTAL LEADERS REPRESENTING MILLIONS MEET TO DISCUSS CRITICAL TOPICS
February 23, 2015 (Los Angeles, CA) Leaders from six global Pentecostal denominations, representing over 90 million members combined, recently met in Los Angeles to discuss a wide range of international and domestic topics.
The Pentecostal Leaders Summit convened for three days last week in Los Angeles, California to discuss a number of topics including the effects of terrorism, the church’s role in racial harmony, religious freedom, and same-sex issues facing the church just to name a few.
The leaders in attendance included Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ; Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God; Dr. Glenn C. Burris President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent/Presiding Bishop, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Dr. Mark Williams, General Overseer, Church of God; Rev. Randall A. Bach, President, Open Bible Churches and Dr. Jack W. Hayford, Former President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Additional persons in attendance included other elected officials from each organization.
A goal of the summit was to provide an opportunity for each leader to listen and discuss the various national and international crisis-facing Christians around the globe, while also seeking to help bring unity to the Body of Christ globally.
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “This gathering of Pentecostal leaders has provided each person with a unique opportunity to come to Los Angeles and dialogue with their contemporaries in other denominations, with similar beliefs, about issues that are confronting us all.” He further states, “This summit has shown us what we, as Christian leaders, have said and known for some time now: We are all better when we come together as one.”
Dr. George O. Wood states, “This was truly an historical meeting. We are all the grandsons and granddaughters of the Azusa Street revival, and in these days, the Holy Spirit is drawing us together in united witness, fulfilling the prayer of Jesus that the world would know us by our love for one another.”
Dr. Glen Burris emphasized, "There is a strong sense that the conversations among us have resonated much like the early church, that experienced a 'one accord' dynamic. An African proverb says, 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' Finishing the Great Commission will require all of us.”
The last discussion topic of the summit was how the six denominations can continue in dialog with one another and provide opportunities to include additional Pentecostal denominations and enlarge the representation from each group.
Bishop Doug Beacham shares, “People are so thankful that we are meeting like this. Whatever steps we take are important for us, for our country and for revival . . .”
Dr. Mark L. Williams declares, “Our shared history along with the collegiality and genuine respect we have for one another holds great promise and unlimited potential for fulfilling the mission for which Jesus died. Only a united church can reach a divided world. We must be one.”
Rev. Randall A. Bach explains, “It is always meaningful to gather with leaders of like faith. It is particularly joyful, however, to fellowship and collaborate with leaders of like experience, who love and pursue the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Our family of ministers and churches embrace and value our sister fellowships with love and respect. Unity in the Spirit glorifies the Lord.”
This is the first time in history a conference of this kind, with these leaders representing such a large and diverse membership, has ever taken place.
Letter from George O. Wood, General Superintendent – Assemlies of God
The Church of God in Christ would like to take this time to Thank God for the Extraordinary Life and Awesome Legacy of Pastor Andraé Crouch. He touched many lives with his God-given gifts that he used for God’s Glory. We are praying for his family, his friends and all who mourn the loss of this Gospel Music Legend.
As Christians, it is our nature to want to give, to solve problems and help fulfill the needs of others. Psalm 112: 5 states, “It is well with the man who is gracious and lends,” and I Timothy 6:18 instructs us “to be generous and ready to share.” Who would not want to be benevolent with those biblical promises and directives? With that being said, we must also exercise wisdom in our online giving so that we do not fall victim to scams and frauds. Before making an online donation, you would be well-served to consider the following “Do’s and Don’ts of Online Giving.”
For starters, legitimate ministries will not send you direct messages via social media. Additionally, they do not send emails saying they are in a dire situation and need you to send them money ASAP. If this happens, you can rest assured it is a scam. However, sometimes the scammers are crafty and a bit harder to identify. If a donation was requested on social media, try to ensure that the page is official. There are many people who create fake profiles impersonating leaders in order to solicit funds. A few key indicators of a fake profile is:
If there are no red flags, and you are still considering giving an online donation, find the official website and donate from there.
Legitimate ministries will not ask for personal information, such as your social security number, date of birth or banking information.
It is OK to ask questions about the ministry into which you are considering sowing. What is the official website? Is there a number I can call to speak to someone at the ministry? All of these pieces of information can be easily verified by a quick Google search.
When it comes to online giving, it is always best to start on the official site for the ministry. If a link is shared about a giving opportunity, which takes you to an unfamiliar site, do a bit of research before proceeding. It is so easy to just click and input your credit card information, but a couple of extra minutes can make all the difference.
These four basic protections can ensure you do not fall victim to online fraud. This is not being shared to incite fear or to give you a drawback spirit, but rather, to help ensure we are all being good stewards of the resources God has entrusted us with. There is no doubt that we should give to others as it truly is more blessed to give than to receive. And when we sow seeds into good ground, people will be tremendously blessed and God will receive all the glory!
Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.
Church of God in Christ
Pastoral Statement on Police Executions
The brutal execution-style ambush and killing of two New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos is a horrifying tragedy. Our prayers are for their families at this time. We pray also for the vast majority of police officers across this country who risk their lives on a daily basis to defend the public. The injustices suffered by black men can in no way justify this act of insanity. All who are committed to advancing the necessary systemic reforms of police practices and procedures must condemn this murder in no uncertain terms. It is essential to pursue justice for black men in a way that does not create an atmosphere that encourages violence or a disregard for the rule of law. This outrageous murder is sickeningly reminiscent of the avalanche of black-on-black murder that plagues our young men. We must be as determined to address the roots of this violence as we are to correct the injustices visited upon us by others. As Christians we are called to seek peace and pursue justice and to stand in compassion with the grieving families of these brave men who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the community.
The Assemblies of God has announced today that it will unite with the Church of God in Christ, Inc. for “Black Lives Matter” Sunday.
In today’s day and time, our children need godly role models. You may feel like there so few. However, today a video was posted online which showed that we have many excellent role model especially within the Church of God in Christ, Inc.
Take, for example, Kelvin Beachum, who is an offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is also a member of Greater Harvest COGIC in Dallas, TX. under the Pastoral Leadership of Bishop Corby Bush, Sr. As the smallest offensive lineman in the NFL, many people did not believe that Kelvin Beachum would do well. Despite the naysayers, God continues to bless him and grant him favor. He is doing so well that even Benjamin Roethlisberger, the Quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, say “it is reassuring to know a guy that cares so much about the game and my health is back there.”
Kelvin gives God the credit by saying, “If you’re not on that solid rock. Jesus is that solid rock. If you’re not on that solid rock you’re easily tossed and turned… That foundation has the be Jesus Christ.” Take a moment to watch this inspiring interview with Kelvin:
COGIC PRESIDING BISHOP CHARLES E. BLAKE, SR. CALLS FOR PEACE IN THE WAKE OF MICHAEL BROWN SHOOTING
St. Louis, Missouri (August 12, 2014) The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) joins the family of Michael Brown in asking for calm and peace in the aftermath of the shooting and killing of their son. Eighteen year old Brown, known as a “gentle giant,” was only days away from beginning his college studies.
It is imperative that the community resist the temptation to retaliate by looting and rioting in our own neighborhoods. Instead, we must allow the St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI’s investigations, regarding the senseless death of this young African American male to go forward.
The destruction of property in Ferguson, Missouri only hurts our communities and places more lives at risk. Furthermore, this riotous behavior takes away attention and resources from these extremely critical investigations.
I ask that we all remain patient and wait for the results of the investigations. During the next few days, please avoid settings that may put you at risks in any way.
Most importantly, please remember to pray for Michael’s family, especially his parents, Michael Brown, Sr. and Lesley McSpadden, as they prepare to lay their son to rest.
About the Church of God in Christ:
The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in 63 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.
The Official Statement from the family of Bishop Samuel L. Green, Jr. is found below. Please take some time to read this update on Bishop Green’s recovery and feel free to leave your prayers and words of encouragement in the comment section below the statement.