What is the Assembly of God?

In Austin, Texas while I attended Glad Tidings Assembly of God and was on staff at Master’s Commission of Austin (MCA), I took some courses through the Berean University which we did as a group in MCA. We had to pay a separate fee for the textbooks and the testing materials, but the goal of finishing Berean University classes was that we could become a Certified Minister, which was the first step of a several tiered level of ministry through the Assemblies of God.

Berean University was unaccredited, but could possibly transfer some credits to an Assembly of God University.

I finished my courses and passed all of them. One of the steps in becoming a Certified Minister, or Reverend, was to be interviewed with some Assembly of God South Texas Board Members. My pastor at the time, Vic Schober, was one of them members. I always liked him a lot. He and his wife were very friendly to me and the other MCA students and as far as I know, were not aware of the abuse that went on in MCA.

During my interview with the Board Members, I remember telling them I wanted to be a missionary. They said it was very rare that the Assemblies of God sent a single woman overseas to be a missionary. In fact, they said, they didn’t have any positions for women, currently.

As my time in the church lengthened, I realized that positions for women were not ever available. Actually, women weren’t ever put in a position, with the rare occasion that they were married to someone who was well-known in the Assemblies of God. Even then, they were only allowed to minister under the “banner” of their husbands ministry.

The following is taken from the Assemblies of God website:

“The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas with 300 people at the founding convention. Today there are more than 12,300 churches in the U.S. with nearly 3 million members and adherents. There are more than 63 million Assemblies of God members worldwide, making the Assemblies of God the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination.

The U.S. Assemblies of God headquarters complex is located at 1445 N. Boonville Avenue, Springfield, Missouri. It houses the denomination’s executive and administrative offices, service divisions and departments, and the Gospel Publishing House printing plant which produces over 12 tons of literature daily.

History And Polity Of The Assemblies Of God

Origin

Assemblies of God Headquarters
Assemblies of God Headquarters
Springfield, MO

The Assemblies of God, founded as a result of a religious revival which swept around the world in the early 1900’s, has become the largest Pentecostal group. It was organized in a constitutional convention at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914.

Doctrine

Doctrinally, the church emphasizes personal salvation, water baptism, divine healing, the baptism with the Holy Spirit accompanied by the evidence of speaking in tongues, and the pre-millennial second coming of Jesus Christ. The Bible is recognized as the inspired word of God and provides the rule for faith and practice.

The church’s four-fold mission is expressed through

  1. Evangelism
  2. Discipleship
  3. Worship
  4. Compassion

Government

Assemblies of God government is a combination of congregational and Presbyterian principles. Each church is sovereign in the choice of pastor, owning and holding property, maintaining membership rolls, management of all local business or activities, and voluntary participation in denominational programs.

To assist local churches, 61 district councils (most following state boundaries) have been formed in the United States. Each district conducts an annual business meeting called a district council, and elects a district superintendent and other officers. District councils have oversight of churches and ministers in their areas.

There are 14 language districts in the United States, organized similar to but overlapping geographic districts.

The General Presbytery is the second highest policy-making body for the church and serves as an advisory board for the Assemblies of God. It meets annually.

Between these annual sessions, the church’s interests are cared for by a 20-member board of directors called the Executive Presbytery. This board includes the church’s top elected officials together with regional representatives and language and ethnic representatives.

The Assemblies of God is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF), and the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF).

General Council

The General Council is the biennial business meeting of the U.S. Assemblies of God. General Council is held to conduct important church business, elect top church officials, and to convene ministries and activities of the church. Voting membership at the General Council consists of all licensed and ordained ministers and a lay delegate elected from each local church. The next General Council meeting will convene in Phoenix, Arizona, August 2-5, 2011.”

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