Resolutions, Items Adopted at Recent International General Assembly

Items debated by the General Council of the Church of God, as well as resolutions, were recently adopted at the 76th International General Assembly in Nashville, Tennessee.

The General Assembly, which consists of all registered delegates ages 16 and older, met in session on Friday, July 22 and eventually passed several pieces of legislation that will now be added to the Church of God MINUTES.

All leaders nominated by the General Council earlier in the week were easily adopted and included the five members of the Executive Committee and the directors and assistant directors of World Missions and Youth and Discipleship. Next, a report on the meaning and usage of the term “Bishop” was presented. This study will be brought back to the 2018 International General Council.

Qualifications for ordained bishops was amended so as to read: “An applicant for ordination as bishop may be ordained when he is twenty-five (25) years of age, provided he has had at least eight (8) years of active ministry, or he has three (3) years of active ministry accompanied by a ministry-related degree or its equivalency from an accredited institution or one certified by the Church of God Division of Education, or when he is thirty (30) years of age, provided he has had at least five (5) years of active ministry, if he is otherwise qualified.”
A report on Contemporary Ministerial Development was adopted by the General Council and a motion from the Motions Committee designated that a church planting fund be established, with guidelines for securing and disbursing monies, to serve as a church planting “bank” from which matching funds loans may be disbursed as funds are available to approved church planters who have met all established prerequisites. Furthermore, financial streams be developed to seed and grow the Church of God Church Planting Designated Fund with the goal of developing residual funding for perpetually assisting church planting. Further that this measure be inserted as an addition to the MINUTES, where appropriate in order to secure the priority, establishment and longevity of the Fund.

A final item of business for the General Assembly was the adoption of five Resolutions of Appreciation. Four were designated for the off-going members of the Executive Committee, specifically Mark Williams, David Griffis, Wallace Sibley and Thomas Propes. A fifth resolution expressed appreciation to the City of Nashville, the General Assembly cabinet and others involved in the successful production of the event.

Two other resolutions were presented and adopted dealing with contemporary cultural issues. The first was a rejection of transgender restrooms. The resolution stated in part that “churches and church-owned facilities or properties and Church of God educational institutions used by the Church of God for the fulfillment of all religious purposes maintain sex-differentiated restrooms, locker rooms, and related facilities for the exclusive use of men and women, ascertained solely by biological sex and by the gender identified on the birth certificate.” It further stated that “clergy and laity in Church of God congregations recognize the reality of gender confusion as an issue that should be treated compassionately and professionally, and that care be taken to offer or seek competent counsel for those who experience such confusion; and that the church accept anew its responsibility as a commitment to Christian discipleship to teach God’s creation design of male and female.”

A second resolution stated that “ministers credentialed by the Church of God not solemnize or participate in any manner in marriage ceremonies except those between one man and one woman as defined biologically at birth; and that facilities owned by the Church of God not be used for the conduct of weddings, wedding receptions, or any other ceremonies associated with marriages or blessings, except those between one man and one woman.” The resolution further stated that “the church and its ministers rely on the protections of the free exercise of religion granted by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and other applicable federal and state laws; to exercise due diligence in teaching and preaching the truth about marriage in the biblical model—between one man and woman for a lifelong union—as God’s divine plan for His people.”

These two final resolutions have been placed and can be read in their entirety on the Church of God website, All resolutions adopted by the Church of God are listed alphabetically under the BELIEFS tab of the website.

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