ABOUT THE CHURCH
OUR BEGINNING . . .
The Church of God (Seventh Day) grew from the efforts of dedicated advent believers living in Michigan and Iowa in the late 1850’s. In 1863, the Michigan church began to extend its influence into the eastern and central U.S. through a publication called The Hope of Israel. This magazine invited fellow Christians to assemble at conferences and camp meetings, and created interest in their distinctive doctrines: the second advent of Christ and the seventh-day Sabbath.
Through these means, the General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) was organized in 1884 and incorporated in Missouri in 1899. Its offices were located in Stanberry, Missouri, until 1950, when they were transferred to Denver, Colorado.
Over the years, The Hope of Israel also moved from Michigan to Iowa, then to Missouri. After several name changes, it is now known as the Bible Advocate. More than 100 years later, this flagship publication of the Church continues to be published and mailed eight times a year from the Denver offices.
. . . AND NOW
The Church of God (Seventh Day) recognizes more than 200 congregations in the United States and Canada. It also has affiliated ministries in more than 25 countries outside North America, with a worldwide fellowship of over 300,000 members. As an agent of God’s grace, the Church offers warm-hearted fellowship and willing support for people everywhere who trust and obey the same Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. It is in serving people that the Church finds relevance for its Bible-centered message and its God-inspired mission.
WHAT SHOULD THE CHURCH BE CALLED?
“Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:1-3
The Church of God (Seventh Day) believes that . . .
the BIBLE is the dependable and authoritative Word of God. No other writing is of such divine origin or is necessary for Christian faith and practice.
GOD the Father is the almighty Creator and loving Provider, eternal King and Judge of the universe.
JESUS CHRIST, the preexistent Son of God, is the Savior, Lord, and eternal Redeemer of all who truly believe.
the HOLY SPIRIT is the presence of God in believers – convicting, converting, teaching truth, prompting obedience, bearing fruit, distributing gifts, and empowering witness.
Humans are sinners by birth and by choice. Because our first parents disobeyed, sin and death follow on us all. We also have sinned in thought, word, deed, and in omission.
SALVATION is the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. It originates in God’s grace, is achieved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is personally received by faith.
Saving faith includes repentance, which activates obedience and good works through love – all produced by the Holy Spirit within. The regenerate Christian is obedient to the terms of the gospel, to the words of Christ, and to the enduring law of God summarized in the Ten Commandments. All the commandments remain as standards of holiness, including observance of the seventh-day Sabbath.
All people who have trusted Christ unto obedience are members of the spiritual body, the church of God. The mission of the church is to proclaim the gospel, introduce others to the Lord, teach them to obey His Word, and nurture spiritual growth in all believers.
Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church that confirm faith in Him: baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper, accompanied by footwashing.
Jesus Christ shall return from heaven at the end of this age. The dead shall be raised from their sleep in the grave, and all humans shall be judged according to their works. The righteous shall be changed to immortality to live forever with the Lord; the wicked shall be completely consumed in the lake of fire. There shall be a new heaven and a new earth as the home of the redeemed for all eternity.
OUR FELLOWSHIP AND SERVICE
As servants of Christ, we believe and practice . . .
Local church attendance that provides warm and lasting friendship with fellow Christians.
Opportunities for worship, preaching, and Bible study that strengthen the Church in living for Christ.
Wholesome social and recreational activities, with emphasis on the family.
Educational instruction for children and youth.
National and international association through conventions, district conferences, and summer youth camps in several places.
Financial stewardship on the personal and organizational level.
Member participation in the ministry and polity of the Church, through the exercise of personal gifts and talents.
OUR COLLECTIVE WORK…
The greatest ministry of the Church is performed by members serving others in Christ’s name, while scattered among thousands of workplaces, schools, markets, and communities all over North America and around the world. To assist the members and congregations in accomplishing this mission, the Church’s General Conference offers these primary Conference ministries:
PUBLICATIONS (Bible Advocate Press) produces and distributes a wide range of literature on behalf of the gospel message and scriptural truth. This literature includes the Bible Advocate, Bible study lessons for adults and youth, tracts and booklets on various topics, a church hymnal, and a church newsletter. Most of these publications are provided in both English and Spanish.
MISSIONS ABROAD assists in establishing and maintaining sister churches and missions outside North America. It provides literature, training, and salaries for many workers in several foreign fields. Missions Abroad also distributes Bibles and constructs churches and medical clinics as funds permit.
MINISTRIES TRAINING SYSTEM lifts the level of biblical understanding and Christian ministry for any member of the Church, and serves to prepare men for pastoral and vocational ministry within the Church. It provides this training through twenty or more regional classrooms across the continent, through intensive sessions in key locations, and through other means.
OTHER SERVICES of the Church of God (Seventh Day) include Conference ministries for youth, young adults, and women. Also associated with the Church are the LITES ministry and Spring Vale Academy, a boarding high school near Owosso, Michigan.
You are always welcome in any local congregation of the Church, even without a personal invitation!