In an effort to further develop and equip its leaders, the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) has signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” agreement with the Pentecostal Theological Seminary (PTS), expanding educational options for the Church’s leaders and members around the world.
Bishop Sam N. Clements, general overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, and Dr. R. Lamar Vest, president of Pentecostal Theological Seminary, signed the agreement Tuesday at the COGOP International Offices in Cleveland, Tennessee, surrounded by the Church’s General Presbyters and International Offices staff.
“This is a very exciting and wonderful day for the Church of God of Prophecy,” Clements remarked. “We join hands with our brothers and come together in an agreement, this Memorandum of Understanding, so that we can work together to help educate our ministers and spread the Gospel message across this whole world.”
The new agreement will see increased promotion of the seminary at Church of God of Prophecy events, scholarships and the option of cohort groups around the world offering certificate programs, graduate studies and even a doctorate of ministry. The programs will include: Diploma in Wesleyan Pentecostal Ministry (90 units), Master of Arts in Christian Ministry (48 credit hours), Master of Arts in Counseling (48 credit hours) and Doctor of Ministry (36 credit hours).
“This is an incredible opportunity,” said Dr. Vest. “We’re in the business of training people, our young men and women, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is going to give us a grand opportunity to train a new generation to preach the Gospel.”
Vest also remarked on the new partnership being a homecoming of sorts for the seminary, which is a Church of God institution, and the Church of God of Prophecy, a sister organization, both headquartered in the same city. Vest said the seminary offers the chance for COGOP members to learn from instructors in the Wesleyan Pentecostal tradition.
“These two organizations have grown up together,” he said. “Our photo albums look alike.”
The Church of God of Prophecy has educational arms already active, such as the Center for Biblical Leadership and agreements with Lee University Online and Massachusetts-based Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which will continue.
Brian Sutton, an alumnus of PTS and lead pastor of Peerless Road Church in Cleveland, Tennessee, is serving as partnership coordinator and program coordinator for the COGOP along with Dr. David Han, vice president of academics for the seminary.
“With this, we can go into any part of the world and offer certificate, graduate, and post-graduate programs. With our focus on reaching the young harvest and developing them into leaders for the Church, this is a tremendous inroad to that,” Sutton said.
Dr. Han also said he was “personally and professionally” excited about the agreement.
“This helps the seminary to fulfill its mission, which is to build the resources for the kingdom of God, but it also helps the Church of God of Prophecy working with us to provide the kind of education that its ministers would need,” he said. “It’s a win-win situation for us and I’m really excited about this collaboration that really carves a new path both for the seminary and the Church of God of Prophecy.”
Along with Bishop Sutton and Dr. Han, additional members of the steering committee include Bishop Clements, Dr. Vest, Dr. J. David Stephens, Bishop Tim Coalter, and Bishop Clayton Endecott.
The first classes under the new agreement will launch in the fall of 2016, following recruiting and promotions that will culminate at the Church of God of Prophecy’s International Assembly in July 2016 in Orlando, Florida.
More information will be forthcoming and available at www.cogop.org
Below Global Missions Ministries shares a recent report from the overseer of our ministries in Belarus:
Greetings to you our dear friends! We want to share with you some good news from Belarus!
The church in Berezino has resumed the teenage club “Freedom.” Every Saturday we do a movie night with 10-12 teenagers coming. On Sunday they return and we have a Bible study with them.
We continue to serve financially challenged families. Now we bless them clothes that are being given from individuals in Minsk and Berezino. Our social service is successfully developing. At the moment, we constantly support two families. One family has a girl 12 years old who suffers from cancer. Her name is Alana, and they particularly need prayer. Please pray for Alana!
In Berezino the church bought a heater for the winter that is coming. It is much needed and thank you very much for your financial support!
The church in Mogilev also devoted a lot of time and energy for social ministry. Year after year people from the church visited people with addictions, sick, and the outcasts by society. During this time the city, hospitals, rehabilitation centers got to know people from the church who have been helping. Now a group of ministers help not only in Mogilev, but they go to the nearby towns and villages. We have a plan to open new home small groups in these places. People want to know God more and they ask how they can attend church. Through this ministry new people came to the church, people who are holding on to God and who have found a new happy life. These people are ready to go and help those who are going through the same difficulties of their past.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!
Pastor and Overseer of Belarus
In August 2015 the Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) announced the approval and formation of a Prayer Commission. The Commission’s purpose is to encourage intentional prayer leadership in member organizations toward the goal of building houses of prayer for the nations with Great Awakening impact in view.
Additionally, the vision of the PCCNA Prayer Commission is to inspire and encourage denominational prayer coordinators in their mission to bring prayer to the heart of the denominational mission and to undergird the prayer movement across the denominational continuum.
As participants in the Prayer Commission, General Overseer Sam Clements has selected Shaun McKinley, Media and Special Projects Coordinator for the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices, to serve as the Prayer Coordinator and church’s representative on the Commission. McKinley will work with international, national, regional, and state offices to connect and resource prayer initiative leaders at all levels of ministry.
“In our initial meeting, I was pleased to share with our fellow PCCNA organizations the recognition, advancement, and priority of prayer as a core value of the Church of God of Prophecy,” said McKinley. “We continue to live in a desperate time and this Commission believes that our only hope is for a Great Awakening. I believe our participation in the Prayer Commission will assist us in being intentional in developing and mobilizing a culture of prayer in our movement.”
In a letter to members, PCCNA President Dr. Jeff Farmer stated, “The modern Pentecostal movement was birthed and sustained in the womb of a deep dependence on prayer. These are perilous times! We dare not default to programs alone to accomplish our mission. Pentecostal/charismatic movements and churches need a fresh baptism of prayer dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit. Revival in the Church and spiritual awakening in North America is our only hope.”
The stated values of the PCCNA Prayer Commission are:
We value unified prayer.
We value prayer that is transformational, worshipful at its heart, and missional at its edge.
We value biblical, Scripture-based prayer that moves us to incarnate Christ and empowers us to proclaim Him with Pentecostal power.
We value prayer in our homes—the family altar, daily and personal prayer, prayer between couples, blessings over children, prayer integrated into the fabric of daily life.
We value corporate prayer through congregational prayer gatherings.
We value intercession and intercessors, and urge pastors and congregations to identify them, train and direct them, team them together, debrief them, and honor their commitment to prayer.
We value prayer evangelism and believe that a praying intercessor is behind each soul saved, if none other than Christ himself. We value the church as a cultural change agent, and believe that the penetrating intensity of the church as “light” and its potency as “salt” is a result of time spent with God.
We value praying in the Spirit, by and with the anointing and enabling of the Spirit.
We value holiness and believe that the great evidence of time in the presence of God is transformation into His likeness.
Additional information and resources will soon be available through the Church’s website, www.cogop.org, as well as in monthly updates in 2016 issues of the White Wing Messenger.
The COGOP is a significant classical Pentecostal denomination with over one million members in over 130 countries worldwide. Established in 1903 and with headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee, the COGOP shares a common history with another classical Pentecostal denomination, the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). In recent years, the COGOP has been forging closer relationships with its sister Pentecostal fellowships.
The digitization of the White Wing Messenger was itself a cooperative effort across the denominational divides. The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (the archives of the Assemblies of God) completed the digitization of the project. The idea for the project originated with Tim Carter, Director of the Arise Shine Pentecostal Historical Center. Carter suggested to Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Director Darrin Rodgers that the White Wing Messenger needed to be digitized. The Arise Shine Pentecostal Historical Center is the archives of the [Ephesus] Church of God, a small denomination which has its roots in the COGOP. Rodgers approached Dr. David Roebuck, Director of the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center (the archives of the Church of God [Cleveland, TN]), and asked him if he could make contact with the appropriate person within the COGOP to secure permission. Roebuck contacted Paul Holt, who serves as Executive Director of Finance and Administration for the COGOP, who agreed to allow the magazine to be digitized. Through Roebuck’s encouragement, the COGOP became a member of the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives (CPA), a cooperative effort of Pentecostal archives, denominations, and publishing houses. Other CPA members include the denominational archives of the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland, TN), the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. The digitized issues of the White Wing Messenger are now accessible and text-searchable on the CPA website.
The years of the White Wing Messenger that have been digitized (1923-1954) are important because of the rarity of those issues and their importance to the formation of the COGOP. During these early years, the White Wing Messengerwas published in a large newspaper format and very few copies survived. Starting in 1955, the magazine changed to a magazine format, and the denomination began selling annual bound volumes of the magazine. Bound volumes of these later years are located in various libraries and archives and are accessible to researchers. However, the years 1923 to 1954 were not very accessible to researchers.
Paul Holt expressed gratitude for the assistance in preserving and promoting the COGOP’s heritage. He stated, “we are deeply appreciative to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center for their willingness to digitize this historic material. We are also pleased to join hands with our friends in the Pentecostal movement to celebrate our rich heritage while also moving forward to touch the world with the good news of Jesus Christ.” Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Digital Archivist William Molenaar supervised the digitization project and was assisted by Archives Specialists Michelle Rahmoeller and Caleb Whitlow.
There is no more prominent theme set forth in all the Holy Scriptures than the coming of the Lord. There are more than 300 passages in the New Testament dealing with this all-important event. The second coming of Christ is the stabilizing hope of the Christian. Someone has said that more than six million saints have given their lives in hope for this coming.
Yet, it is possible for men to die in error. Pure sincerity about a thing is not enough. In order to be true and factual, the second coming of Christ must be a valid belief. How then can we know?
Consider the following:
Jesus Christ said He would return again.
Prophecy of the Bible says He will come again.
The signs of the time indicate the end of the age.
If His second coming is not true, Jesus Christ is an imposter. He said, “. . . I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again. …” John 14:2, 3.
He emphasizes the point even more in His parable about the ten virgins. In that parable the Bridegroom did come. Those who were ready to meet Him went to the marriage.
Perhaps even more pronounced are the words of the two men who appeared to the disciples on the Mount of Olives as they stood looking after their ascended Lord. “. . .ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner. …” Acts 1:11.
The prophecy of the Bible clearly states that Jesus will come again—this time as Ruler and Judge. ”… Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all. . . .” Jude 14, 15.
It shall be at this time that the prophecy of Zechariah 14:3, 4, 5 is fulfilled. Prophecy in the New Testament portrays His coming as one of “power and great glory.” Matthew 24:29, 30. Then will the prophecy of Matthew 25:31, 32 be completed, for He shall ‘‘sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all n aliens. …”
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth. . . .” Revelation 16:15. “Behold, he comoth with clouds; and every eye shall vsee him. …” Revelation 1:7.
These Scriptures speak of the second coming of the Lord. But they speak of two different aspects of that coming. The first passage speaks of His Advent when He comes to resurrect the dead saints and catch away His Church. Many will be caught napping; but His Church will be awake, ready and waiting.
The second passage speaks of the last phase of His coining, when He comes with His Church to rule the world. Without a careful examination of all Scriptures about the second coming of Christ, it would appear that there are contradictions. But by careful analysis, we learn that the second coming has two well-defined parts: first, to resurrect the dead in Christ and rapture the Church; second, to return to earth and rule the world in a thousand year reign of peace.
The signs of His coming are all around. The arise of false christs, antichrists, demigods, cults and isms are but paving the way for the crowning of all false systems —the emergence of the antichrist. The war spirit that permeates the whole world must also be a “sign.” Jesus says, ”… for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Matthew’ 24:6.
Another sign of the end of time will be the increase in famines, pestilences and earthquakes in different places. The writer Luke assures us that “. . . there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.” Luke 21:25. Never in the history of man has he known more about outer space. Man not only is able to predict with precise accuracy the schedules of the planets, but also he walks on the moon and has target dates for Mars and other planets.
Finally, and perhaps foremost, the reestablishment of Israel and the control of Jerusalem have brought the world breathtakingly close to the fulfillment of Luke 21:24. Even a casual study of the prophecies in Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah point clearly to the arise of Israel at the time of the end.
While not even the angels of heaven know’ “that day and hour”—it is reserved for God alone—we may be certain that the Church of God will not be caught sleeping. The Church will be ready, for it is a certainty that the Lord will return for His Church and the dead in Christ. Ephesians 5:25, 27.
The Church will be ready. The prophecy of Revelation will then be fulfilled: “… the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” Rev. 19:7.
Many people have all sorts of fake ideas about for whom the Lord is returning. But we must agree to accept God’s Word on the matter. It declares that He is returning for His own —the Church.
We recognize that the dead in Christ will be raised first as the Word declares. The living saints, who at that time will be united in faith, doctrine, and government in God’s Church, will be “changed in a moment” and caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. Nothing will keep it from happening; it is a certainty! God has spoken.
Jesus is the Son of God. It is He who came to redeem us from the power of sin and of death. He conquered the grave and pulled the stinger out of death, and He shall put down death totally as the last enemy of man. It is this same Jesus who is coming again to catch away the Church and to raise the “dead in Christ.”
Preparation by both individual and Church is necessary. You should not delay. The first step for the individual is a born again experience. Read John 3:3.
The contents of this tract are from The Promise of His Coming.
On Wednesday, September 2, 2015, Dr. Jeff Farmer, President of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America released a statement to member organizations asking that they unite with upcoming prayer observances.
“Rarely has there been a season in history when such urgency and desperation beckons God’s people to pray!” stated Dr. Farmer. ” I want you to be aware that our Canadian brothers and sisters will be uniting in The Cry, a national day of prayer and fasting, on September 11-12. Also you should know by now that on Patriot’s Day in the USA (September 11), Cry Out America will be observed by Christians across our nation. God’s people in North America will be crying out to the Lord for forgiveness, healing and mercy in this hour of need. Please humble your hearts – and fast and pray – as together we seek the Lord. The Lord says, ‘Return to me…’ The Lord says, ‘Rend your hearts…’ The Lord says, ‘Humble yourselves and pray…’ Amen.”
A member of the PCCNA, the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices encourages our local ministries in the United States and Canada to connect with these prayer opportunities as possible.
About the PCCNA
The purpose of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America is to provide a framework for fellowship, dialogue, and cooperation between the various Pentecostal and Charismatic denominations, churches, and ministries in North America that agree with the purposes and goals of the organization. Since these churches and fellowships share a common history of Holy Spirit renewal and an overriding goal of evangelizing the world, they wish to join in a common witness to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon all flesh in the last days.
It is the desire of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America to give expression to the inherent principles of spiritual unity and fellowship among Pentecostal believers, leaving inviolate the existing forms of government adopted by its members and recognizing that every freedom and privilege enjoyed by any group shall remain its undisturbed possession.
The Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America are committed to the message of reconciliation through the cross and unity in the power of the Holy Spirit, which became a reality on the Day of Pentecost and was demonstrated at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Azusa Street at the beginning of the twentieth century.
PCCNA frequently hears from believers around the world, often requesting prayer or seeking funding. Because we staff with volunteers, and our mission statement is limited to Canada, United States, and Mexico, please do not regard our failure to respond as uncaring, but rather a reality of limited time and specific ministry focus. PCCNA rejoices in the global harvest and prays daily for Christians around the world.
The Sanctuary Church in Akron, Ohio, has been honored in recent months by local media for its food pantry ministry, which serves a great need in the community. In 2015, the church is projected to distribute more than 2 million pounds of food, feeding more than 6,000 people a month. Pastor John Klapp recently shared with White Wing Messenger staff the heart behind the ministry.
How did the food pantry ministry begin?
The church teamed with the Akron Canton Food Bank in 2001. This was four years before I was appointed as the pastor. The food pantry was small, and like all food pantries, food distribution was done on non-service days. I always supported the food pantry; Jesus made it clear in Matthew 25:31–46 we are mandated to feed the poor, but the food pantry never brought new people into the church. Sure, they came for food, but they never returned to attend church. It took a few a years, but I finally realized having food distribution on non-service days was the wrong way to do it, so we decided to start having food distribution on service days and use the food pantry as our main outreach, and that’s when everything changed.
What effect has it had on our local church? Why is an important part of your ministry?
The biggest effect the food pantry has had on the church is the ability to bring people to the church. Jesus said in Luke 14:23, “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” And the Akron church is always filled. In fact, there are times when there are more people outside the building than inside the building. Even the Fire Marshal and local police have had to come out and assist us because of overcrowding.
What are some of ministry moments you’ve witnessed through this effort?
Using a food pantry to bring people to a church is like casting a giant fishing net over the city. You bring in every type of person there is, including the meanest, nastiest people you will ever meet. But that’s exactly what you want. Jesus said in Matthew 9:12, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.”
And when you see the Lord take these lost souls and transform them into sons and daughters, it is truly amazing!! On Easter Sunday alone, 98 people accepted the Lord. There are a lot of lost souls out there and it’s our job to go get them and bring them to the Lord.
If a local church was considering starting a food pantry ministry, what advice would you have? What should they do? What should they avoid?
Before starting a food pantry, the church body must fully understand the Biblical principles behind it. They also must understand, a church is not a social club for the righteous, but a spiritual hospital for the lost. I call our church, “The Church of the Misfits.” And that’s because most churches wouldn’t want the people we have in our church. Many are homeless, and some don’t bathe, but Jesus said in Luke 4:18, 19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Along with seeing many souls saved, we’ve also witnessed the Lord do many incredible miracles. Most recently, the Lord healed a four-year-old deaf boy. But don’t fool yourself; running a food pantry is a lot of work and it takes money. Yes, the rewards are great, but the challenges are there, too.
The National Overseer of Congo-Brazzaville recently shared a report of his travels throughout the works in the nation. Enjoy this first-hand account of our work that continues to experience blessing and growth:
In June, Pastor Zacchaeus and I were able to visit the local church of Mantsiene located in the countryside district of North Pool which is about 90 kilometres from Brazzaville City. Travelling by rental car, we found the trip quite challenging as this church is located in the bush, and there is no asphalt road. At any rate, the Mantsiene local pastor and his committee, along with some other leaders from the Liko and Mwana-Mboka local churches welcomed us for the meeting.
We had a vibrant worship service in the hangar of the local church. I preached on the subject taken from Hebrews 11:6, ”And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Throughout the message, the Lord convinced and touched many hearts, one brother gave his watch to the preacher, and some ran to their houses and brought an offering. The Holy Spirit of the Lord performed many wonders and signs among the people to confirm the supreme power and presence of JESUS CHRIST among His believers. We encouraged everyone to meet with us and attend our upcoming 7th National Convention in Ngo during the last weekend of July.
Early in July, we journeyed to visit the Invouba church which is about 150 kilometres from Brazzaville. My traveling companions were Minister Dieudonné and Pastor Zacchaeus. Local Pastor Ngami and his committee warmly welcomed us at our arrival near the local church hangar, and shared that they were prepared for a night worship service. There wasn’t enough room inside for all believers and some stayed outside of the hangar listening through the windows. My message was drawn from Exodus 3:5 and Joshua 5:15,”Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground….”
Everyone who will follow this way, will be guided by Holy Spirit from victory to victory, for being the “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,” the LORD of lords and the KING of kings. I explained that the holy ground is everywhere the LORD can meet us, and also it is our bodies and spirits that belong to Him [1 Corinthians 6:19-20]. Many were convinced by Holy Spirit speaking to the church and dedicated themselves to God. We praise God that 26 received Jesus Christ and 52 joined the church during this meeting as the LORD confirmed His Word through many signs and wonders.
Before we departed the next day, those having particular problems gathered together in the church hangar and I prayed with them. After the prayer, our local Pastor Aimé Ngami, showed me the piece of land which they would like to buy for the local church. Presently, the place where they worship costs the congregation $400, so they would like have their own building. Please join with us in prayers to believe with them for their own property and worship facility.
7th National Convention
The last weekend of July, Congo Brazzaville COGOP held our 7th National Convention in the city of Ngo, in the Department of Plateaux about 300 kilometres from Brazzaville. Conducted by National Overseer Bitchy, we welcomed attendees from five of our districts: Gamboma, Pool Nord, Ngo, Djambala, and Brazzaville. As 27 of us were travelling from Brazzaville, our car broke down and I negotiated with a truck driver going to Owando City [passing by Ngo] who accepted to tow our car to Ngo. Upon arrival, I led a leadership meeting at the hotel before the convention began for all the pastors and leaders who were present.
We were blessed to have the commission of restaurants serve food to all the delegates. Then, we had a parade of all districts present which was led under the vibrant melody of the singers from district of Brazzaville. And, because the hall could not contain everybody who came for the convention, we glorified our LORD outside.
After welcoming everyone, we rejoiced and were moved by Holy Spirit through the songs and dances of the youth from Okiene and Ngo churches, as well as, by the music of the worship group from Brazzaville. The Ngo district superintendant preached a deep message about “Remember Your Creator in the Days of Your Youth…” taken from Ecclesiastes 12:1. After this message, the youth from Mbe-Okala and Nsah local churches marvelously sang and danced for the glory of Jesus Christ, the Lord of lords and King of kings. Pastor Florent then directed a procession of evangelists, pastors, and others workers of the harvest, afterwards delivering a powerful message entitled, “No Path Without Jesus Christ” taken from John 3:36; John 14:1-6; and Acts 4:12.
National Overseer Bitchy delivered a vibrant message themed, “You Have Made Your Way Around This Hill Country Long Enough, Now Turn North,” sharing his text from Deuteronomy 2:3. The consequences of getting lost are going into devil prisons and possessions, satanic oppressions, curses and many other social calamities that men are facing presently. Today, to turn north means to give up bad ways and thoughts, repent and have your heart circumcised in Christ, and to have the bath of renewal. [Acts 3:19-21; 17:30; Colossians 2:10-15] Everyone who will follow this way will receive the grace and mercy of God and will be restored in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. After this powerful message, we experienced the visitation of our LORD who confirmed His Word through wonders and many signs that Holy Spirit performed among the people gathered. Many testified about what God did for them. Praise God that 63 people received Jesus Christ as their Lord when the invitation was given to come forward.
On Sunday morning, it was time for our Women’s Ministry program led by Pastor Julienne. After a marvelous women’s processional, she delivered a great message entitled, “But only one thing is needed, Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her,” from the passage in Luke 10:42. Afterwards, each district formed processionals, entered, and presented their reports to the National Convention. We praise God for these good reports.
In his closing message, National Overseer Bitchy presented another edifying and encouraging word to the people that relayed, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” according to Galatians 3:29. His in-depth description of what it means to be born again, become a new creature, and belong to Christ stirred the hearts of many souls. He shared that we should be made new in the attitude of our minds, put on a new self, be like God in true righteousness and holiness, examine self to see if you are in true faith, and take the washing of rebirth and renewal by Holy Spirit. Just as Abraham left his country and went to the country which God showed him and then possessed it, those who will leave the lusts and desires of this world for the sake of the kingdom of God will be “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” At the close of his message, 38 people came forward and received Christ, and 28 joined the church. To God be all the glory. Many brethren witnessed the hand of Jesus Christ touching them during this 7th National Convention, and there were unnumbered signs performed by Holy Spirit to confirm the supreme power of God, His grace and mercy. After vibrant songs and dances by the musical worship group from Brazzaville, the convention concluded with a final prayer of blessings by National Overseer Bitchy. All attendees were commissioned to go forth in this new missionary year proclaiming it as a YEAR OF REVIVAL IN CONGO BRAZZAVILLE, according to John 4:31-36. We truly praise God for more than 600 people in attendance, witnessing 28 new covenanted members of the church, and 104 receiving Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour. All glory goes to God for what He has done. We sincerely desire your prayer support for this next season of ministry.
Thank you, Harvest Partners, for the bread and water support you generously give to support Congo-Brazzaville through your monthly Mission Giving (HPL1). The ministry of Congo-Brazzaville is deeply grateful for your love, encouragements, and faithful support. Churches and Individuals can also give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project.
If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Congo-Brazzaville, please contact the Global Missions office.
Sunday, July 26 was a special date for the Church of God of Prophecy in Castanhal, Pará. After teaching a group of seven (7) new believers on the teachings, biblical principles and beliefs of the Church of God of Prophecy, they were baptized by our licensed minister, Elias Francisco with the assistance of our lay minister Sayle Torres. This was the first baptismal service we celebrated since the church went through a crisis and had to undergo a change in our leadership in January. On Sunday night, nine (9) people were added to the membership of the local church in Castanhal. Among these people were two individuals who had previously been pastors of the Church of God of Prophecy and had decided to rejoin the church. This was a day of great celebration and fellowship among these brothers and sisters. The day began with the baptisms, followed by a fellowship lunch, and concluded with communion and the covenant service for our new members.
We thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for restoring a church that the enemy had attempted to declare “closed”, but God has brought it to life once again.
￼It is unfortunate that the EBOLA epidemic came to Sierra Leone and interrupted many good works which were underway and added more problems to handle. Needless to say, the country has been suffering many months from the ongoing EBOLA crisis. Families have been left fatherless and motherless. It is not unusual today to see a home with a child acting as mother or father since all their adult relatives are dead—moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Some of our churches’ members have now taken in children that were left orphaned, and are caring for them. But, I am happy to inform you that our immediate COGOP membership was spared any extreme loss, as we only lost three or four people. So, we give God praise for His mighty hand of protection and grace over our precious church family.
Although the ugly EBOLA claimed the lives of a reported 3,951 people in Sierra Leone thus far, and has left over 3,000 children orphaned without either parent, the work of the church has still remained faithful, functioning, and ongoing. We were able to undertake and provide much needed psychosocial counseling for many, and provided some safety materials such as chlorine, soap, and washing basins or buckets. Some of our local congregations and a new mission field were able to receive food items with funds provided through your help. Thank you.
Our church under the guidance of the Liaison Team set up by Bishop Clarke was able to conduct seminars and teaching sessions to sensitize and educate the entire church membership of Sierra Leone as to the attack and danger of this disease. We were able to provide and set up hand washing stations at all our churches. This surely helped lessen the spread of EBOLA among our own church people. We are ever thankful for God’s guidance and protection.
Several orphans are being cared for by members at the Kuntoloh Church:
￼￼Please pray for these orphaned children and their needs to be met.
￼￼The EBOLA crisis caused a huge strain on the already suffering economy and, especially, on the access of food. There were sanctions on movement from our homes and from traveling place-to-place. Funds have been distributed to the pastors and churches as they have become available to help out in this long, long crisis. We truly extend many thanks to our donors who helped our people be able to purchase food.
All schools were shut down by the government during this crisis, but praise to our God, they have now re-opened and most students have been able to return to their classes. However, some are still reluctant because of the lack of information and lingering fear.
Government officials have stated the situation of the EBOLA has decreased and is under control and that they are very confident all will be cleared up soon. However, inasmuch that our political leaders are announcing a decline on the rate of infection, please know that the numbers are still great and, sadly, the death rate has now increased among infants and younger children. According to my recent findings from the Waterloo Cemetery where all EBOLA corps are buried in the Western area, 78% of every day’s burials are now children. Thus, we still need your prayers for protection and healing grace as we continue the battle against this dreadful EBOLA epidemic.
The issues of so many complications afterwards on those that actually survived the epidemic are also increasing. After survivors are discharged from the treatment center, many complain of serious joint pains, kidney problems, and vision issues. These people are found in all communities where we have operating churches. Please help us know how to encourage them to place their trust in our mighty God who is far bigger than the crisis they’ve been through. And, help us to pray healing and miraculous prayers for these people to come to the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
While things were very hard and movement from our homes was restricted, the National Overseer was the only source of financial relief to our ministers and their families. Both he and Sister Clarke sought for information about everyone and they responded to all. Truly, we convey our special thanks and deepest appreciation to them and all that they were supporting in order to reach us. It was also such an encouragement to know that we were being cared about, supported, and prayed for by our church family around the globe. Thank you.
Despite the isolation of this crisis, we were able to still evangelize in some areas. Churches were kept alive through home prayer meetings and, at least once per week, we met in the church buildings when possible. We are trusting God that very soon everything will be back to normal.
Since our last report, two church buildings have been completed—Hasting and Calaba Town churches.
￼￼￼￼These photos are of the Hasting church showing the completed structure, including the tile, electrical, and painted church. Below shows the toilet project that is in process. ￼
Calaba Town ￼￼￼￼
New Mission at Songo ￼
￼￼Portee School ￼
We also want to share that the Portee school has 4 new classrooms that have been completed during this time.
Songo Primary School
Previously, the well had mechanical problems that rendered it out of operation, so we are grateful to have the water source running again. This new well not only provides the needs of our Songo Primary School, it also serves our community in this area. We praise God that the water well at the Songo Primary School has now been completed. ￼
Our sincere appeal is that you continue in faithful prayers for Sierra Leone. Your partnership means so much more than we could ever express in this newsletter. Again, please receive our grateful, heartfelt thanks to our many friends and donors who are praying for us, and also lovingly supporting us financially. And, please know that our prayers are with you as well. May God bless each of you abundantly as we await Christ’s return to gather us all as one big family together.
Thank you, Harvest Partners, for the bread and water support you generously give to support Sierra Leone through your monthly Mission Giving (HPL1). The ministry of Sierra Leone is deeply grateful for your love, encouragements, and faithful support. Churches and Individuals can also give to special needs through Project Giving (HPL2 or HH) by designating your gifts for a specific project.
If you would like to know more about Project Giving for Sierra Leone, please contact the Global Missions office.
Harvest Partners Ministry
Church of God of Prophecy International Offices
PO Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910
Content provided by: Pastor Issa L. Bangura, Sierra Leone, and Floreth M. Clarke, National Overseer’s Wife
All gifts are tax deductible and 100% of your gift is applied to the need you specify. ￼￼￼￼