San Antonio, Texas–For the first time in recent history, the Church of God Council of Eighteen will have eighteen new faces when it convenes for the first meeting this September at the International Offices in Cleveland, Tenn.
The Church of God is meeting this week in San Antonio for their 78th International General Assembly.
Due to a decision on Tuesday morning of this week by the General Council, and confirmed by the General Assembly later that morning, all former members of the Council of Eighteen were deemed to have completed full four-year terms due to the postponement of the Assembly from 2020 to 2022. Members are elected to two year terms and can be reelected one time.
Voting for the Council members began on Wednesday morning following the nomination of World Missions leaders M. Thomas Propes and John D. Childers.
According to the Minutes of the Church of God, the General Council must include specified representation by groups of ministers, specifically at least twelve pastors, three living outside the United States, and the remainder “at-large.”
By the second round of voting, members of the General Council had chosen the first seven members: William Lee, pastor Victorious Life Church in Conyers, Ga.; Scott Sheppard, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Athens, Ga.; Angel Marcial, Latin American field representative for Church of God World Missions; Anthony Pelt, overseer for the Florida-Cocoa region and pastor of Radiant Living Worship Center; Kip Box, state overseer of Michigan; Kenneth Hill, regional overseer of Southern New England; and Joe Dobbins, pastor of Twin Rivers Worship Center in St. Louis, Missouri.
In the next round of voting three more members were elected and included David Smith, pastor of Oak Park Church of God in Mobile, Ala.; Nick Park, overseer of Ireland; and Kelvin Page, senior pastor of Westmore Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee.
The General Council voted a fourth time and chose Lennox Walker, pastor/overseer in Ontario, Canada; Rick Whitter, state overseer of Illinois; R.C. Hugh Nelson, pastor of the Church of God of East Flatbush in Brooklyn, New York; and David Cooper, senior pastor of the Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta.
Two more rounds of voting completed the election process as the General Council satisfied the requirements of the diversity of the Council of Eighteen. Julio Olguin Melendez, pastor of Iglesia De Dios Central in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, fulfilled the international requirements. His election was followed by Ken Anderson, pastor in Minnesota and Regional Superintendent of South Asia for World Missions. Rounding out the final two positions were Mark Leonhardt, senior pastor in Fort Mill, South Carolina, and Timothy Brown, state overseer of Florida-Tampa.
“I so appreciate the diversity I see in this body,” General Overseer Tim Hill said after introducing the group to the Council.” This is a wonderful day in the Church of God!”
The General Assembly concludes Friday, July 29, following a closing commissioning service. The next Assembly has been set for July 8-12, 2024, at the Indianapolis Convention Center.