Special to the Banner
Special to the Banner
The 100th historic gathering of the Church of God of Prophecy Assembly gets underway July 18, and continues through July 22 in Chattanooga.
The historic celebration is expected to be marked by strong international and racial diversity and capacity attendance.
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. However, the event will include nightly worship services as well as workshops and special activities targeted to children, teenagers, mission workers, pastors, and members.
Speakers will 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, North Carolina. Special guests for the event include recording artist Tauren Wells and Dr. Harold Hunter, director of the International Pentecostal Holiness Archives.
When the first assembly was held in 1906 outside of Murphy, N.C., there were 21 people in attendance. This year’s event is expected to draw between 8,000 and 12,000. The assembly was held in Cleveland until 1991.
This will be the first time the assembly returns to the area since 1991, having convened in previous locations such as Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, and most recently, Florida. Based on hotel reservations and interest, leaders are projecting an attendance of 8,000-12,000, placing the event as the second-largest event to be held in Chattanooga, according to the Chattanooga Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
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.
Through 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 cogop.org/assembly. Based on statistics, the website audience is expected to exceed the in-person attendees.
The Church of God of Prophecy — whose core values include prayer, the harvest (evangelism), leadership development, and stewardship — is a vibrant, worldwide body of believers, united in worship, working hand-in-hand to share God’s love and a message of hope to the broken-hearted. The Church of God of Prophecy has a million members, worshipping in over 10,000 churches and missions in 135 nations of the world. The majority of its global membership is outside of North America.
For more information, visit www.cogop.org.
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