Rev. Ronald Wilson, General Superintendent of the Congregational Holiness Church, wrote an article in the June/July 2008 issue of The Gospel Messenger that is worth sharing. Wilson reminded readers that Pentecostals must be careful to not despise small things – including our humble roots where God transformed the lowliest of sinners into the unlikeliest of Gospel messengers. Importantly, Wilson also called for a revival of evangelism and holiness — encouraging believers to set aside personal agendas so that souls might be won. Thank you for helping to keep what is most important in focus, Rev. Wilson!
Days of Destiny
by Ronald Wilson, General Superintendent of the Congregational Holiness Church
I recently came across a quote from Leonard Ravenhill that I want to share with you this month. It really stirred my heart, and I believe it should cause each of us to pause and think. He said, “Do the Pentecostals look back with shame as they remember when they dwelt across the theological tracks, but with the glory of God in their midst? When they had a normal church life, which meant nights of prayers followed by signs and wonders, and diverse miracles, and genuine gifts of the Holy Ghost? When they were not clock watchers and their meetings lasted for hours, saturated with holy power? Have we no tears for these memories or shame that our children know nothing of such power?”
We Believe [2nd ed.]. Griffin, GA: Congregational Holiness Church, 2003.
The Life Story of Rev. B. F. Duncan, 1874-1949 [rev. ed.]. Griffin, GA: Congregational Holiness Church, 2004.
My Earthly Pilgrimage, by Cullen L. Hicks. Augusta, GA: Augusta Printing Center, 2004.
Vision Caster: The Story of Hugh B. Skelton, by E. Amelia Billingsley. Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2000.
The Congregational Holiness Church (CHC) (www.CHChurch.com) made its entrance onto the Pentecostal scene in 1921, resulting from a disagreement within the Pentecostal Holiness Church (PHC) over the role of medicine in divine healing. Many early Pentecostals, including PHC leaders, eschewed human remedies (such as physicians or medicine) and instead encouraged believers to seek divine healing, which they taught was provided for in Christ’s atonement. This rejection of modern medicine was not universally held in the PHC. When evangelist Watson Sorrow and Hugh Bowling disagreed with the PHC on this and other issues, they were forced to leave the PHC in 1920. They — along with a handful of other ministers and churches — organized the CHC in High Shoals, Georgia in 1921. The CHC was organized along congregational lines, differing from the PHC’s episcopal polity, in an attempt to democratize church governance.
The CHC has grown from 12 churches in 1921 to over 5,200 churches in 12 states and 19 countries in 2007. The CHC’s growth reflects the growing importance of the emerging Pentecostal movement in non-Western contexts. Like the Assemblies of God, fewer than five percent of CHC churches and members are located in the United States. The CHC claims 25,000 adherents in 225 churches in the U.S. and almost one million adherents in about 5,000 churches outside the U.S. (primarily in Central and South America). Continue reading