The Church of God General Conference
Historically, the Church of God is not a result of the reformation, was not founded by one single leader and is not a splinter church, breaking off from other denominations. This denomination emerged from small groups of individuals in England and North America, who through personal Bible study, became convinced of certain doctrinal truths. Beginning in the mid-1800’s, though widely scattered, these groups began to publish papers which gained wide circulation. Through the leadership of Joseph Marsh in Rochester, NY, the Wilson family who had migrated from England to Geneva, IL and various groups in Texas, Minnesota, Iowa and Pennsylvania, these groups began to communicate with one another. Circuit preachers worked among these groups and new churches soon grew in various locations. Eventually, these churches began to form state and regional conferences with the original national organization becoming established in 1888. The current national conference was formed at Waterloo, IA in 1921, becoming the Church of God General Conference with headquarters in Morrow, GA.
Churches of God are congregationally ruled churches and maintain complete local independence, with pastors serving at the invitation of the local congregation. These cooperating churches work together to support Atlanta Bible College along with local and global mission efforts (India, Mexico, Peru, Africa, Russia, Philippines, Pakistan and Korea). In addition, the conference maintains professional standards for pastors, provides educational and support materials for the churches and coordinates a national youth ministry. Delegates from participating churches meet annually to elect a Board of Directors and establish goals and direction for the conference.
“Abrahamic Faith” is a descriptor that differentiates this denomination of Church of God from others. As a great man of faith, Abraham received many promises from God, including that his descendants would be many and would inherit the earth (Genesis 12, 13, 15). As believers in Christ, we believe that these promises made to Abraham will be fulfilled in the church. “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:29).
The Church of God is “adventist” in that it believes in the literal, visible, second coming of Christ. It is “Baptist”, in that it believes in adult immersion for the remission of sins. It is “congregational” in that it is governed by the members of the congregation. It is “conditionalist” in that it believes that man will inherit immortality at the second coming of Christ based upon acceptance of Christ as Savior. It is “Unitarian” in that it believes that God, as creator and above all, is one and that Jesus Christ is His Son who was born to the virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit is God’s presence that exists in the lives of all believers. It is “fundamentalist” in that it believes the Bible is only inspired Word of God and is the authority for faith and doctrine.
The Jaynes Street Community Church
The Jaynes Street Community Church began as a group of believers who held common doctrinal beliefs and felt the need for fellowship, first meeting in homes and then building its first church facility at 34th and Seward. As a growing congregation, the present facility was built in 1963 with an addition created in 1983. As a congregationally governed church, the congregation meets annually to vote on a Board which then guides the direction of the church. Because our church is affiliated with Atlanta Bible College and the Church of God General Conference, we support them financially and in turn receive educational materials, opportunities to become involved in mission work and consulting on church growth and development.