Church Of God Of Prophecy Gears Up For 100th Gathering July 18-22 In Chattanooga
Thursday, July 12, 2018
The Church of God of Prophecy, a Pentecostal denomination reporting membership of a million constituents around the globe, will hold its biennial International Assembly in Chattanooga July 18–22. The Assembly expects to draw a capacity crowd of more than 10,000 people from around the globe to celebrate the growth of the Pentecostal denomination.
The primary role of the Assembly is to conduct business meetings for the denomination, and those sessions will take place on Wednesday morning and afternoon.
The event also includes nightly worship services, workshops and activities targeted to children, teenagers, mission workers, pastors and members.
Speakers include Bishop Sam N. Clements, general overseer for the COGOP; Dr. Cathy Payne, Global Missions Ministries coordinator; Bishop Jeffery Davis, state overseer for North Carolina; Dr. Tim McCaleb, general presbyter of the Asia/Oceania area; and Bishop Ernesto Velasco, pastor of Centro Cristiano Amor, Fe y Esperanza Church, Greensboro, NC. Special guests for the event are recording artist Tauren Wells and Dr. Harold Hunter, director of the International Pentecostal Holiness Archives.
Officials said the 2018 Assembly is noteworthy for the following reasons:
- Historic gathering: The first Assembly of the Church was held outside of Murphy, N.C. in 1906, with 21 in attendance. This year’s event, with a projected attendance of 10,000+, will feature dramatic recreations of that first meeting.
- Capacity attendance: This will be the first time returning to the area since 1991 when it was held in nearby Cleveland. They have convened in locations such as Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina and, most recently, Florida. Based on hotel reservations and interest, leaders are projecting an attendance of 10,000+.
- Diversity of attendees: With a majority of the denomination’s membership being from outside of the United States, the biennial meeting is marked by strong international representation. Of the 10,000+ expected, leaders estimate more than 2,000 will be of international origin, representing such countries as Australia, Finland, South Korea, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Egypt, Nepal and the Bahamas.
Throughout the week, events will highlight the denomination’s diversity, which was noted in the Encyclopedia Of Religion In The South as the “most racially inclusive at the leadership level in the USA.” It will include a Celebration of Nations on Wednesday evening showcasing all 135 flags of countries the church does ministry in, as well as three new nations (to be revealed on Wednesday evening); a Mission Breakfast on Saturday morning allowing donors to interact with mission workers; and the Mission Encounter on Friday afternoon, which will include 92 booths with cultural artifacts, music and fashion from around the world.
Beyond the onsite activities, the Assembly general sessions will also be broadcast in high definition via an interactive webcast at the church’s site. Based on statistics, the website audience is expected to exceed the in-person attendees.