Milestone 90,000th Church of God Credential Presented

Cleveland, TN—An historic moment took place last week as Ashlyn Taylor Sanford became the 90,000th minister to receive credentials in the Church of God.

Sanford was welcomed by all five members of the Executive Committee on October 10 during a special ceremony taking place in the General Overseer’s office at the International Offices. She and her husband, Cody, serve in ministry at the New Life Church of God in Harriman, Tennessee, where her father, Jeffrey Blackburn, is senior pastor. Blackburn also serves as district overseer and had the privilege of officially signing his daughter’s historic exhorter certificate during the ceremony, along with Tennessee State Overseer T. Wayne Dority. Ashlyn was surreptitiously transported to Cleveland from Harriman by her parents and husband for the event.

General Overseer Tim Hill presents certificate #90000 to Ashlyn Sanford. Assistant General Overseer David Ramirez looks on. (click photo to enlarge)

Ashlyn Sanford, who turns 25 this month, holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in Bible, as well as a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Lee University. She currently serves, together with her husband, as the Children’s Pastor and Multimedia Directors at New Life. Earlier this year she successfully completed the process for obtaining the exhorter’s certificate, the first level of ministry in the Church of God. Upon submission to the state office, the paperwork was processed and a ministerial file number assigned by the Business and Records Department at International Offices. Present at the surprise presentation was Director of Business and Records for the Church of God Dr. Raymond Hodge who reiterated the process of credentialing to Ashlyn and those in attendance.

“Each minister who has ever done ministry in the Church of God gets an individual file number; sort of like a Social Security number,” Hodge stated. Speaking to Ashlyn, he said, “You are the 90,000th person to hold credentials in the Church of God. When you’ve gone on to Jesus, it will still be your number”

“To put this into perspective, my number is 24395,” General Overseer Hill said as he personally presented the certificate to Ashlyn. “This is also significant because of Harvest ’24, an initiative that includes emphasis on credentialing younger ministers, and females who feel a call upon their lives to carry out the Great Commission. We have a lot to celebrate on this day.”

“I am so honored by the covering and blessing of the Church of God,” Ashlyn said in response to the presentation. “I am so looking forward to what God has in store for my ministry and the Church of God.”

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