APPENDIX A (July 2013)

Churches of God, General Conference
Historic Statements of Faith

1844, 1926, & 1975

The Churches of God, General Conference (CGGC) acknowledges the Bible as the “only and all sufficient rule of faith and practice” and affirms no creed as obligatory. However, from time to time the CGGC approved a statement of faith as a declaration of the “things believed among us.” These statements serve as a summary of the biblical doctrine commonly accepted within the fellowship. As such these expressions of faith have varied from statement to statement based on the needs and theological challenges at the time of writing. Nevertheless a comparison of these statements will show the core teachings of the CGGC have remained soundly biblical and consistent.

THE STATEMENT OF 1844

John Winebrenners Twenty-Seven Point Statement of Faith

John Winebrenner, History of the Churches of God, All Religious Denominations (Harrisburg: 1848),, 170-180. First published in An Original History of the Religious Denominations, I. Daniel Rupp (Philadelphia, 1844). The multiple scripture references are not quoted below for the sake of brevity.

  1. 1.     She [The Church of God] believes the Bible, or the canonical books of the Old and New Testament to be the word of God, a revelation from God to man, and the only authoritative rule of faith and practice.
  2. 2.     She believes in one Supreme God, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that these three are co-equal and co-eternal.
  3. 3.     She believes in the fall and depravity of man; that is to say, that man by nature is destitute of the favor and image of God.
  4. 4.     She believes in the redemption of man through the atonement, or vicarious sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
  5. 5.     She believes in the gift and office-work of the Holy Spirit; that is, in the enlightening, regenerating, and sanctifying influence and power of the Spirit.
  6. 6.     She believes in the free, moral agency of man; that he has moral ability, because commanded, to repent and believe, in order to be saved; and that the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation, has no foundation in the oracles of God.
  7. 7.     She believes that man is justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, or by works of his own righteousness.
  8. 8.     She believes in the necessity of regeneration or the new birth; or, in the change of mans moral nature, after the image of God, by the influence and power of the word and spirit of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.
  9. 9.     She believes in three positive ordinances of perpetual standing in the church, viz., Baptism, Feet-washing, and the Lords Supper.
  10. 10.  She believes two things essential to the validity of baptism, viz., faith and immersion; that faith should always precede immersion; and that where either is wanting, there can be no scriptural baptism.
  11. 11.  She believes that the ordinance of feet-washing, that is, the literal washing of the saints feet, according to the words and example of Christ, is obligatory upon all Christians, and ought to be observed by all the churches of God.
  12. 12.  She believes that the Lords Supper should be often administered, and, to be consistent, to Christians only, in a sitting posture, and always in the evening.
  13. 13.  She believes in the institution of the Lords Day, or Christian Sabbath, as a day of rest and religious worship.
  14. 14.  She believes that the reading and preaching of Gods word, the singing of psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs, and the offering up of prayers, are ordained of God, and ought to be regularly and devoutly observed by all the people and churches of God.
  15. 15.  She believes in the propriety and utility of holding fast-days, experience meetings, anxious meetings, camp meetings, and other special meetings of united and protracted efforts for the edification of the church and the conversion of sinners.
  16. 16.  She believes that the gospel ministry, Sabbath schools, education, the religious press, the Bible, missionary, temperance, and all other benevolent causes, ought to be heartily and liberally supported.
  17. 17.  She believes that the church ought to relieve and take care of her own poor saints, superannuated ministers, widows and orphans.
  18. 18.  She believes that the manufacture, traffic, and use of ardent spirits, as a beverage or common drink, is injurious and immoral, and ought to be abandoned.
  19. 19.  She believes the system or institution of involuntary slavery to be impolitic or unchristian.
  20. 20.  She believes that all civil wars are unholy and sinful, and in which the saints of the Most High ought never to participate.
  21. 21.  She believes that civil governments are ordained of God for the general good; that Christians ought to be subject to the same in all things, except what is manifestly unscriptural; and that appeals to the law, out of the church, for justice, and the adjustments of civil rights, are not inconsistent with the principles and duties of the Christian religion.
  22. 22.  She believes in the necessity of a virtuous and holy life, and that Christ will save those only who obey him.
  23. 23.  She believes in the visibility, unity, sanctity, universality, and perpetuity of the church of God.
  24. 24.  She believes in the personal coming reign of Jesus Christ.
  25. 25.  She believes in the resurrection of the dead, “both of the just and the unjust;” that the resurrection of the just will precede the resurrection of the unjust; that the first will take place at the beginning, and the second at the end of the millennium.
  26. 26.  She believes in the creation of new heavens and a new earth.
  27. 27.  She believes in the immortality of the soul; in a universal and eternal judgment; and in future everlasting rewards and punishments.

THE STATEMENT OF 1925

The Centennial Statement based on Winebrenners 27 Points (1844)

S. G. Yahn, History of the Churches of God (Harrisburg: 1926), 112-119. Scripture references are not quoted below for the sake of brevity.

We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God; that the inspiration of its writers enabled them to record truth without error; and that it is our only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice.

We believe in one supreme Godthe Father, Son and Holy Ghostand that they are co-equal and co-eternal.

We believe in the miraculous conception, the virgin birth, the vicarious sacrifice, the bodily resurrection, the triumphant ascension and the second coming of Jesus Christ.

We believe in his deitythat he was, and is, God the Son as well as the Son of God.

We believe in the gift and work of the Holy Spirit.

We believe that God made man by an original specific act of creation.

We believe in the fall of man, and that his only possible redemption is through the atonement of Christ.

We believe that man is justified by faith in Christ, and not by works of the law, or by works of his own righteousness.

We believe in the free moral agency of man, as opposed to his unconditional election or reprobation, i.e., that a man must accept Jesus as his Savior, and of his own free will continue in the goodness of God to be numbered with the elect.

We believe that only those who have been born again by the word and Spirit, and who continue to manifest repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and to live virtuous and obedient lives will be saved.

We believe that sanctification of the person (personality) is instantaneous and simultaneous with regeneration; that the sanctification of the nature, is a gradual growth in grace and truth.

We believe in Baptism, Feet-washing and the Lords Supper as church ordinances.

We believe in Christian unity, in the Lords Day as a time of rest and worship, and that civil governments are ordained of God.

We believe in the immortality of the soul (that when a believer departs from the body he is consciously at home with the Lord).

We believe in the resurrection of the dead, in a judgment following the resurrection, and in everlasting rewards and punishments.

Yahns comment on the 1925 statement: It will be noticed that the foregoing statements are substantially the same from a doctrinal viewpoint, thus showing that our people have held fast to the faith of the fathers without wavering. A few of the paragraphs in Winebrenners statement-from 14 to 20 inclusive-pertain to church methods and public questions, and are not included in the statement of 1925, which is strictly doctrinal. On the other hand, the latter statement emphasizes the scriptural account of mans creation and the doctrines of Christs miraculous conception, his virgin birth and his deity, because these were the doctrines against which modernism was making its special attack.

THE STATEMENT OF 1975

The Sesquicentennial Statement based upon the 1925 Statement of Faith

We believe in one supreme God—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal and co-eternal: and in the miraculous conception, the virgin birth, the vicarious sacrifice, the bodily resurrection, the triumphant ascension, and the second coming of our Lord. 

We believe in the gift and work of the Holy Spirit; the divinely inspired Word of God as our only and all-sufficient rule of faith and practice; and in the free moral agency of man.

We believe God created man; man has fallen; and his only possible redemption is through the atonement of Christ.

We believe in the forgiveness of sins; rebirth by the Word and Spirit and justification by faith.

We believe baptism, feetwashing, and the Lord’s Supper to be ordinances of the church.

We believe in the holiness of the Lord’s Day; and God’s appointment of civil governments.

We believe in the resurrection of the dead; the final judgment; and life everlasting.