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Update – Tomlinson College

Update – Tomlinson College

Tomlinson College served a key role in leadership development in the Church of God of Prophecy from 1966 to 1992. Even though the college has been closed for almost 25 years, the impact can still be felt today with Tomlinson College graduates serving in leadership at every level of this Church.

Leadership Development is a core value of the Church of God of Prophecy and we feel it is very important to provide affordable, relevant, and accessible educational opportunities. The idea of reviving the college as Tomlinson Center on the old campus was attempted, but there was not sufficient interest or funding. While Tomlinson Center did not prove feasible, there have been strategic partnerships developed that permit us to offer degree level educational programs with a reach far beyond anything in our history.

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

  • Since 2010, we have seen 958 COGOP students/leaders take classes through our GCTS program.
  • Over 500 COGOP students/leaders have taken a class since 2014.
  • To date we have seen 80 COGOP students/leaders graduate from GCTS with a Master of Arts Degree in Religion
  • We currently have 29 COGOP students/leaders pursuing a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Global Pentecostalism with GCTS (all 29 are set to graduate by 2019).

Pentecostal Theological Seminary

  • COGOP now offers a Certificate in Wesleyan-Pentecostal Ministry, a Master of Arts Degree in Christian Ministry, and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
  • In October of 2016 COGOP held its first certificate level class in the MTC with 15 students.
  • New cohort groups are forming in 2017 for online and onsite masters-level classes through our partnership with PTS.
  • Our partnership with PTS allows us to offer a 90 credit-hour accredited certificate in Wesleyan-Pentecostal Ministry.

These programs allow students to pursue higher education without leaving their home or place of ministry. With online opportunities, on-site instruction, and the development of the new Ministry Training Center at the International Offices, the former Tomlinson College Campus is utilized only as a rental property. In July 2016, the Finance and Stewardship Committee presented a report to the 99th International Assembly regarding the Tomlinson College property. As a matter of good stewardship, the committee requested and received approval for the International Offices to pursue a sale of the property.

On January 17, 2017, the Church of God of Prophecy reached an agreement with the Tennessee Christian Preparatory School (TCPS) for the purchase of the Tomlinson College property. TCPS has rented the majority of the campus for approximately 20 years and they feel that God has opened this door for the property to become their permanent home. Should circumstances arise that would prevent one or both parties from fulfilling their part of the agreement, the Church will pursue other potential buyers.

We are thankful for the era of Tomlinson College. The leaders developed there continue to positively impact the Church of God of Prophecy and the kingdom of God while friendships made at Tomlinson College still endure. What a legacy! It is our prayer that the legacy of developing young leaders who impact the kingdom of God will continue through TCPS.

I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy

I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy

Joy and Happiness: Initial Observations

I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart! Where?
Down in my heart! Where?
Down in my heart!
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart! Where?
Down in my heart to stay!
And I’m so happy! So very happy!
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!
And I’m so happy! So very happy!
I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!

In a recent International Offices chapel service, I was asked to preach a message based on this familiar old song, mostly sung in children’s meetings. With the goal of mining deep spiritual truths from Christian children’s songs, the first truth we encounter is a close relationship between the words “joy” and “happy.”
In Scripture too, these words are closely related. The same Hebrew and Greek words are at times variously translated either as joy or happiness. Also, the Greek word for joy comes from the same Greek root from which we get the word grace. The children’s song shows that joy is a matter of the heart produced in us by the Holy Spirit: “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” “And I’m so happy, so very happy, I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart.”
Could we also say that happiness is joy manifested? I think so. Happiness ought to be lived out. Joy manifested blesses others. Another old children’s song says, “If you’re happy and you know it, say Amen! (and clap your hands, and stomp your feet).” If joy is manifested in our lives the happiness that others see will certainly bless others who are on the journey.
Joy, happiness, well-being, favor, grace. What a concept! What a word! In the Scripture text below, Peter will literally say that you can’t put words to the feeling of joy (“joy unspeakable”in the KJV). But can I tell you that joy is Jesus!

Joy – Not as a Feeling, But as a Person

joy-is-jesusJoy is best described, not as a particular type of feeling but as a particular person: Jesus Christ. His birth announcement promised joy to the whole world. “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10 NIV). During his earthly ministry Jesus brought great joy to his followers. Again in Luke, “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name” (Luke 10:17 NIV). Jesus spoke of the joy of answered prayer. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24 NIV).
As Jesus prays for his followers, including us, in John 17 he says to His heavenly Father, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they (his disciples) may have the full measure of my joy within them” (John 17:13 NIV). Joy is Jesus!
After his resurrection and ascension, His ministry continued in the person and work of the Holy Spirit. In Acts we find, “. . .the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52 NIV). “The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household” (Acts 16:34 NIV11-GK).

Our Joy is Jesus

This theme is revealed in 1 Peter 1:3-9. Let’s look at the first few verses:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice.
1 Peter 1:3–6a NIV)

The “all this” Peter mentions is all that God has done for us through Jesus Christ. Joy is Jesus. And. . .

Biblical joy is experienced by certain people: God’s elect, born again people.
“In all this you greatly rejoice” (1 Peter 1:6a). And no wonder. We, as God’s people, are elect, chosen, sanctified and able to be obedient, having received great mercy from God, born again into a living hope because Jesus rose from the dead. In all this you greatly rejoice: We are born again into an inheritance that is imperishable. An inheritance that God is keeping in heaven for us while we trust in God, and are shielded by God’s power until our full salvation is revealed at the end of time. No wonder we rejoice! The problem with our joy is that it does not banish trials and problems once and for all. As a matter of fact, the joy the Lord gives to his born again children often occurs in spite of and in the midst of great trials. Our text goes on to say, “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials” (1 Peter 1:6 NIV).

God’s people experience both joy and difficulties in this life.
We often look for something that God does not promise in this life: constant joy. We may preach on joy because we perceive a lack of joy amongst God’s people, but constant joy is not part of this life. The psalmist reminds us of reality: “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5 KJV). In this life we find a mixture of weeping and joy. Our joy may be temporary and intermittent in this life but so are our trials and troubles. The text says “for a little while you may have had to suffer.”But these temporary trials serve a good and godly purpose in us.

These trials, that is, have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7 NIV

There will be rejoicing in God’s presence not because there has been an absence of trouble in our lives, but we will rejoice because we have come through those troubles by trusting in God. Rejoicing will fill our hearts for God has brought us through. “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith. . .may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (v. 7). We will rejoice because we made it. . . by faith in Jesus!

Joy is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit

Concerning this Jesus:

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8–9 NIV).

Joy is found in believing in Jesus Christ and, by that same faith, being filled with joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Faith in Jesus in the best of times and the worst of times brings joy to our lives. You may have some trials but they’re temporary. And in the midst of trials and trouble, when we trust our lives to the Lord we “are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (v. 8). The Holy Spirit produces the joy of Jesus in our hearts. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. . .” (Galatians 5:22 NIV).

Joy cannot be taken from our lives

rejoiceIn our text, Peter mentions that we experience joy in the midst of trials. Later in the same epistle he writes, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12–13 NIV). For the believer it’s rejoice now, even in the midst of fiery ordeals, and in the future we will be “overjoyed;” a word that literally means “jump for joy.” As believers, rejoice now in Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, and later, in a new heaven and a new earth, be overjoyed. Literally, “jump for joy!” Sounds like a plan! Joy is in Jesus! James of course echoes the same theme of rejoicing in the midst of trials in his familiar passage: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2–3 NIV).
Whatever happens to you cannot take from you the joy that God produces in you. Joy is in Jesus! No matter what our circumstances, our destiny is eternal life, and knowing that will manifest the joy that God has produced in us through our faith in Christ. Paul would tell us as he told the Philippians, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4 NIV11).
So, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.”“And I’m so happy. . .” And, “If you’re happy and you know it. . .then your life will surely show it.” To quote another song “It is Joy Unspeakable and Full of Glory.”
Summarizing God’s Word through his apostle Peter to us: A real experience of salvation through faith in Jesus, plus an ongoing faith in Jesus, (a faith without sight, often in the midst of difficulty) will yield times of joy that are produced in us not by our circumstances, (and often in spite of our circumstances) but produced by the Holy Spirit that lives in us as born again children of God. Joy is Jesus!
Don’t pray for more joy, or less trouble, but ask for more faith and the grace to persevere in Jesus who fills us with inexpressible joy through the Holy Spirit. May we have more faith in God in the midst of trials. More faith to welcome the Holy Spirit to work in us in the midst of life. Faith in Jesus produces something in us: inexpressible and glorious joy, because joy is Jesus.

Haiti Relief Update

Haiti Relief Update

As soon as the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Matthew became apparent in Haiti, Bishop Dorlean immediately came up with a 3-phase Action Plan to help our pastors, leaders and members. Phase one is to provide for the short term needs of our people. This includes food, water, clothes, toiletries, bleach and more over the next several months. Phase two is to provide for the medium term needs which include church members and workers of the church helping each other to repair damaged churches and houses with metal sheets, wood, and nails. The last phase is the long term goal of reconstruction of the destroyed churches.

Through the quick actions of our church family, phase one was immediately implemented. We received these photos from Bishop Dorlean that show the distribution of bundles of rice and other supplies being given out to some of our people who experienced the most loss during Hurricane Matthew. Along with the pictures, Bishop Dorlean sent us this message.

“We have been able to distribute food, clothing, and financial assistance to our pastors, leaders, and some church members in the districts of Cayes, Baraderes, Cotes-de-Fer, Jeremie, and Grand Goave. We thank all of you for your prayers and support. We also thank Bishop Martin, the Caribbean Finance Committee, and Bishop Williams who sent in Bishop Octa into Haiti with money to help our pastors, leaders, and members.”

The need is still so considerable. Will you join us by donating to the relief work to help our family in Haiti? Individuals may give through the Helping Hand Ministry or churches can give through Project Giving with all donations marked Haiti Disaster Relief – Hurricane Matthew. Remember that gifts are tax deductible and 100% of your donation will be given to the need you specify.

Click here to view photos of the Haiti relief project

2016 Assembly Business Acts

2016 Assembly Business Acts

The Assembly Business Acts are now available for download in English, Spanish and French translations. These documents contain the final reports from the Administrative, Biblical Doctrine and Polity, and Finance and Stewardship committees presented and approved during the 2016 International Assembly in July.

Downloads
Click here to download the 2016 Assembly Business Acts
Haga clic aquí para descargar Actas de la 99a Asamblea Internacional
Cliquez ici pour télécharger Procès-Verbaux de la 99ème Assemblèe Internationale

Haiti Relief Rummage Sale

Haiti Relief Rummage Sale

It’s time! Time to clean out your closets and bring it to us for a rummage sale that will benefit the hurricane relief efforts in Haiti.

Haiti Relief Rummage Sale
November 19, 2016
8:00 AM EST
Keith Street Ministries Gymnasium (Cleveland, TN)

We will have the giant sale on Saturday, November 19th, 8AM at Keith Street Ministries gymnasium. Thanks to KSM for making this space available as our MTC is busy during this time!

So, get ready!

  • Print the flyer and post it EVERYWHERE you go.
  • Bring your items directly to the KSM gymnasium on Thursday or Friday before the sale
  • Volunteer yourself for set up before and sales the day of the event
  • Bake something amazing for the Bake sale/auction
  • Consider a donation if you’re unable to participate
  • Spread the word!

You were such a blessing to our COGOP family in Ukraine when we had our first sale – I believe we can bless our brothers and sisters in Haiti through this!

rummage-sale

First Class of AMD Has Launched

First Class of AMD Has Launched

Last week, Accredited Ministry Development hosted its inaugural certificate course, The Epistles of John, through Pentecostal Theological Seminary instructor Dr. Karen Holley. Today I received phenomenal reviews from several students about the instructor, course, and interactions with fellow students. We’re off to an exciting start. Follow us on Facebook as our programs continue to develop and new opportunities to learn and grow as a student of God’s Word become available.

Disaster Relief – Hurricane Matthew

Disaster Relief – Hurricane Matthew

As the hurricane known as Matthew passed through the Caribbean, we all witnessed the violent winds, rain, and increasing intensity thrust on those islands. We have heard from the Island of Hispaniola, which is home to both Haiti and Dominican Republic. We also have a report front Cuba.

You can donate to the Dissater Relief from Hurricane Matthew by clicking the button below.

Haiti

Some news reports are estimating more than 800 deaths in Haiti. This nation has limited government or social infrastructure to respond to crisis as they are still rebuilding their nation and strength after the earthquake of 2010.

UPDATE Assessment:
1) About 53 churches damaged and destroyed.

2) About 50 of our members have died. Among them a church Minister Responsible with his two children and 35 of his members.

3) More than 300 houses of Ministers and Members are completely destroyed.

4) About 4000 Ministers and members are victims.

5) Among our 20 Districts, 7 of them are stricken and they are :
a) Grand-Anse
b) Les Cayes c) Baraderes
d) Vieux-Bourd d’Aquin
e) Cotes-de-Fer
f) Grand-Goave

From Bishop Dorlean, National Overseer of Haiti, Here is a partial assessment of the hurricane Matthew:

1) At Cotes-de-Fer: Six (6) churches are totally destroyed and some others are damaged. The roofs of some churches are blown away. The presbytery is completely crushed and hundreds of members are devastated.

2) At Miragoane and at Baie-Dumesle: the roofs (tiles) of these churches were swept away by the wind and many members are devastated.

3) The church of Beanos is totally destroyed. Again, hundreds of members are devastated.

4) At Leogane: Things are terrible, but the orphanage sustained no damage. God saved our children.

dr2dr3

Cuba: Baracoa, Cuba

I just received word from Cuba. This is the area of Cuba that was hit the hardest. We have 18 members of the church who have all lost their homes. Since we received the news, we have lost communication with them. Moices Hernandez, the national overseer is working with the government trying to get to them, but at this point, the roads are not accessible.

Dominican Republic

dr1From Ben Feliz: This photo is from the church in La Altagracia, La Romana in the Dominican Republic that is under construction. The local church has been using the shell for worship services. As you can see, the front wall collapsed due to the intense rain and sustained wind. They will need to repair the wall so they can move forward in worship and in construction.

Thank you for your prayers for each of these regions and for others who were in the path of the Hurricane and were affected by the destructive rains and wind.

The needs are great for immediate recovery to assist with drinking water, food, and shelter. After recovery, the needs to rebuild will rise to replace roofs, walls, homes, and church buildings. To respond in giving to help our family in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and other disaster areas, local churches may give through Project Giving (HPL2) to Disaster Relief – Hurricane Matthew. Individuals may give through the Helping Hand Ministry to Disaster Relief – Hurricane Matthew. Please note the nation to which your gift should be sent. Remember, giving through Global Missions Ministries in The Church of God of Prophecy insures that 100% of your gift gets to the nation for assistance.

Thank you for your compassion and consideration.

Cathy Payne
Global Missions Ministries.

You can donate to the Dissater Relief from Hurricane Matthew by clicking the button below.

Clergy Appreciation Month 2016

Clergy Appreciation Month 2016

1 Timothy 5:17 says, “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”
Today, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for the men and women who serve as pastors in the Church of God of Prophecy. Far too often, these servants of God go unrecognized and uncelebrated; yet, their assignment is one of the most important ever given—the spiritual well being of God’s people. These men and women prayerfully and faithfully deliver truth from God’s Word, seek opportunities to lead the lost to Christ, make themselves available to minister to the hurting, visit the sick, and so much more.
Our pastors and their families often give sacrificially of themselves and their resources so that we can receive multiple blessings that come from their ministry. That’s why we have set October aside as Pastor Appreciation Month.
Throughout this month, I am asking you to make a special effort to express your appreciation to your pastor. Think of ways to affirm him or her, either through your words, gifts, or special offerings. Make or renew a commitment to pray for your pastor and their family every day for the upcoming year. You will never know just how much your kindness and prayers will minister to these gifted leaders.
Linda and I join a grateful church in saying “thank you” to our pastors throughout the global ministries of the Church of God of Prophecy. We are praying that God will richly reward you for your faithful service to His people. May He renew your strength, courage, and commitment as you continue to pursue His call in your life.

October Mission Drive 2016

October Mission Drive 2016

October Mission Drive begins Sunday, October 2nd. It is a month-long, semi-annual opportunity in which to invest specifically in Mission Giving, providing support to international and mission leaders to supply ministries within 135 nations. It is also one of two annual opportunities to spotlight, celebrate, and intentionally support the work of the Gospel among our International network in the Church of God of Prophecy. This is always an exciting time to connect our local churches worldwide.


English

Spanish

French

This year in preparation for the October Mission Drive we are providing a pastoral mailing to local churches who are partnered with mission nations and/or regions. Enclosed in that mailing, among other items is a full-color copy master in order to produce five weeks of bulletin inserts highlighting some of the Gospel work ongoing throughout our missions network. There is also a grey-scale copy master of bulletin inserts if you would prefer. These will also be available on our website soon for download, as well as a digital greeting designed for second Sunday mission’s emphasis at your local church.

We are thankful to express our gratitude to each local church for prayer and giving to Missions, and to remind you that 100% of your Mission Offerings go directly to the mission field. Through your prayer and giving, vital indigenous ministries have been supplied and lives around the world have experienced the life-changing message of the Gospel of Christ. This expectation is a reflection of our heart of harvest among our people and our faith in Jesus that drives and compels us to reach the nations with the Gospel.

We express our appreciation to each pastor and local church fellowship for your commitment to and partnership in missions. We also desire to help your local church connect to a mission nation if you are not currently a part of the Harvest Partner effort.

Also enclosed in this mailing are the new Global Missions Ministries Prayer Map and the 2017 Global Missions Calendar that may be displayed on a church bulletin board or in a designated prayer room in your local church. With few exceptions, both pieces have the names and/or photos of our current leadership listed from every area of the world.

The Psalmist wrote, . . . I have trusted in the LORD without wavering . . . for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth . . . proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds (Psalms 26:1b, 3, 7 NIV).

One of the great blessings of our fellowship is the relationship we share with one another. As we pray for our Global family throughout this month, may the Lord lead you to lead your people to a place of service and connection in the global task of sharing the whole Gospel to the entire world. This is our family. These are our stories. And this is our great joy to serve together.

Cathy Payne, Global Missions Ministries

bulletin-en bulletin-sp bulletin-french
Click here to download the English bulletin Insert Click here to download the Spanish bulletin insert Click here to download the French bulletin insert
Bishop Gary Smith Appointed Overseer of Kentucky

Bishop Gary Smith Appointed Overseer of Kentucky

image002Bishop Gary Smith and his wife Cynthia have accepted the appointment of overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy in Kentucky effective November 1, 2016. Gary and his wife, Cynthia have been serving as Lead Pastor of the Tilghman Road Church in Salisbury, Maryland for nearly thirty years. During this time, that congregation has experienced transformational growth at all levels including relocation to new facilities, a new parsonage, family center, sanctuary, and educational wing. He has been an integral part of leadership development in the Mid-Atlantic Region and under his vision the East Coast School of Ministry became a reality. He and Cynthia are both relational leaders who will seek to build on the initiatives already in place while also leading with fresh vision and inspiration.