“History Matters” was the keynote message during the First Assembly Commemorative Service held on Tuesday, January 26, 2016.
Adrian L. Varlack, Sr., church historian for the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP), spoke to a crowd of 40 congregants gathered in the historic First Assembly House near Murphy, North Carolina, recalling the first meeting held 110 years ago in 1906 and the advancements of the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy since that time.
Speaking of the 21 original attendees of the first meeting who would go on to establish the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy, Varlack said, “They believed God, embraced the Gospel, and gained insights into God’s purposes for the Church. It may be too much to say that our Movement has ‘turned the world upside down’ but its impact on Christianity as a whole and on Pentecostalism in particular, cannot be denied.”
The service also included comments from special guest Dr. David Roebuck, director of the Pentecostal Research Center, who spoke on the spiritual legacy from that first meeting, a video presentation of the First Assembly Minutes by the COGOP media department, remarks by Paul Holt, director of Heritage Ministries of the COGOP, and worship led by Darren Schalk, curriculum editor. Bishop Sam N. Clements, general overseer for the COGOP, gave closing remarks.
“Every time I come to this place for a meeting such as this and look back at the beginning of where this all started at, I’m always humbled and I’m always convicted,” Bishop Clements said. “When you talk about passion, the zeal, the drive that drove them from their comfortable homes and to say, ‘We will go willingly, we will take this Gospel message.’ It’s through that beginning we come to where we are today.”
From that original January 26 and 27, 1906, meeting, the Church of God and the Church of God of Prophecy have grown into worldwide movements encompassing the globe with more than seven million members collectively. Both organizations will hold their biennial Assemblies this summer, with the Church of God meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Church of God of Prophecy meeting in Orlando, Florida.
For more information on Heritage Ministries of the Church of God of Prophecy, along with videos from the First Assembly Commemorative Service, visit www.cogop.org/heritage.
View Bishop Varlack’s sermon: