Congregations across the Church of God will celebrate one of the most iconic documents of the denomination as “Declaration of Faith Sunday” takes place in the Church of God on January 5, 2020. It will be the first denominational event of the new year.
The Declaration of Faith, with its 14 statements and 281 words, is perhaps the most enduring statement of beliefs ever adopted in the Church of God. According to Like A Mighty Army by former General Overseer and Church Historian Charles W. Conn, it was at the General Assembly of 1948 when a committee was appointed to begin work on such a document. Conn went on to say that, “So manifest and unified was the faith of the Church of God that the committee was able to draft a brief statement of faith and report to the same meeting. The proposed Declaration was incomplete, and the committee was urged to draft an exhaustive statement of faith. The (Declaration of Faith committee) remained intact for several years and endeavored to expand the doctrinal instrument, but there has been neither addition to it nor expansion of it.”
“In 281 words that can be recited in less than two minutes, the Declaration of Faith affirms the foremost beliefs of our church,” said Church of God General Overseer Tim Hill. “It is a basic key for understanding the bedrock doctrinal convictions of the Bible. The Declaration of Faith helps us seize and easily remember the basic essentials of our trustworthy message.”
Conn summarized the history of the document by saying, “The Declaration of Faith, written 42 years after the first General Assembly, manifested that in those years of change and expansion there had been no change in the faith of the Church of God. Truths that possessed the hearts of twenty-one Pentecostal believers in 1906 still possessed the hearts of the eight thousand in 1948.” (Like A Mighty Army Definitive Edition, page 337).
General Overseer Hill encourages local churches to observe Declaration of Faith Sunday by offering a sermon series or otherwise drawing attention to the document. A video message from Hill about the Declaration of Faith will be available later this month.
To read more about the Declaration of Faith and the 14 statements contained within it, visit www.churchofgod.org and click on the “Beliefs” tab. In addition, a number of resources related to the Declaration of Faith are available at www.pathwaybookstore.com including study guides, banners and framed copies suitable for lobby display.