Cleveland, TN—Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, leaders at the Church of God International Offices have announced the cancellation of nearly a dozen previously-scheduled denomination and department-wide events.
In the last few days, Church of God General Overseer Tim Hill has been communicating electronically with selected groups of leaders to keep them informed of the Church of God response to the crisis. He has met via Zoom Conferences with the Council of Eighteen and all state/regional overseers twice, and on Thursday morning with the Church of God International Offices Administrative Ministries Council (AMC), which consists of all department leaders. During these sessions Hill gave the latest developments and updates were given by Benefits Board President Art Rhodes and Church of God Legal Counsel Dennis Watkins.
Smoky Mountain Winterfest, perhaps the largest annual gathering within the Church of God, was cancelled last weekend following a decision by the University of Tennessee to close the primary venue, Thompson-Boling Arena. In less than a week since, conditions nationwide have progressed to a state of widespread closures and cancellations as medical and government officials seek to “flatten the curve” of the spread of the virus.
In consultation with church leaders and the Executive Committee, Hill announced cancellation of the following events (in date order):
Ozark Winterfest (March 27-29)
Frontier Kidfest (April 3-5)
Midwest Kidfest (April 17-19)
Carolina Kidfest (April 24-28)
Smoky Mountain Gathering (April 28-30)
National Youth Leaders Association (NYLA; April 30-May 2)
Smoky Mountain Kidfest (May 1-3)
Ministerial Internship Program Commissioning (May 14-16)
Eagles Youth Summit (July 1-4)
During the sessions, General Overseer Hill also announced other actions that are being enacted or pending relative to Church of God ministries. As the dynamic changes day by day, Hill and the Executive Committee, which has met every day this week, will consider further decisions as the situation evolves.
Hill urged overseers, department leaders, and member of the Council of Eighteen to seek ways to cope and encourage others in this unprecedented time. He encouraged state overseers to “stand by and support our pastors and the local church,” and provide a “responsible response” for assistance. First Assistant General Overseer Raymond Culpepper referenced the importance of checking on retired ministers and widows during this period.
Hill referred to Genesis 9:28 that speaks of Noah living 350 years after the flood.
“There is life after every crisis and there will be life after (this) flood,” Hill stated. “This is an opportunity for all of us to draw closer to God and to each other. We (Executive Committee) will be with you every step of the way.”
For the latest information on the Church Of God’s response to Covid-19, please visit coronacog.com .