Moving Forward While Stepping Back

Cleveland, TN: In light of the recent events surrounding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, Dr. Timothy M. Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God, issued the following statement:

“Having heard from so many of you over the last few days, I know that there is great disappointment among our pastors who are not going to be able to re-open their buildings as previously scheduled or are facing another shut down of church services following an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases. To many, I’m sure that it seems like we have taken one step forward and two, or maybe even three, steps backwards. However, I want to encourage and remind you that God has this all in control. While we may not understand His plan or purpose, He is working all things out for His and our good. We just have to trust Him.

Recently, I have held close the promise found in Isaiah 46:9-10 (NIV): ‘Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’

So, whether you are having to delay your reopening or whether you are having to close your doors once again, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. The health and well-being of our congregations and our ministerial staff are critically important during this trying time.

Pastor, please know that you have the support and complete confidence of the Church of God Executive Committee. You are the visionary and spiritual guardian that God has set over your congregation and no one is walking your unique journey, nor understands your particular context of ministry quite like you. As you pray, God will lead you and definitely provide for every need in your church and family.

Also, know that we are experiencing similar problems. The International Offices closed again this week because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in this area and we will continue to be closed next week as well, hoping that our International office family will shelter in place and remain safe from this new wave of the virus. Our staff is faithfully working from home and continuing to provide effective ministry during this unusual season.

Remember, God has promised us that He will provide a healing in our land if we will seek His face. I am calling on every member of our church family to pray for that healing. Only He can bring the healing that our nation and our world needs.”

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