The Church of God with which Alexander Jackson Sr. as General Overseer has concluded their historical 110th General Assembly. The Pre-Assembly rally, moderated by the Cleveland, TN local church pastor, Cary W. Ryan, was held Tuesday, September 1, 2015. Esteban Rivas Zamora, National Overseer of Nicaragua, spoke about the importance of receiving the promise written in God’s Word during his spirit filled message.
On Wednesday morning excitement filled the air, as many members from the United States and around the world, gathered outside the Assembly Tabernacle for the beginning of a dedication service. General Overseer Jackson noted that this was the third Tabernacle in the history of the Church which meant the Church was walking in accordance to prophecy. The Cleveland Mayor, Bradley County Mayor and Sheriff greeted the delegates. During the message given by Gerardo Monroy from TN, the Holy Ghost moved in a mighty way as the Church dedicated the tabernacle to the Lord. A message and interpretation noted how God had moved upon the General Overseer while calling him by his name and stated the work of the Church and that God would help us to grow.
The official opening of the 110th Assembly took place around 10:22 am by the sound of the gavel, as General Overseer Jackson presented the Church with the new Assembly theme, “Receive the Promise.” Wednesday afternoon session began with worship in song by Jocelyn Jackson from TN. A special time of remembrance took place for those ministers who had received their reward this past year. A message entitled “But Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work” was brought forth by Ralph L. Lester of Cleveland, TN.
At 3:05 pm the trumpet sounded as a call was made to the nations for the annual reports from around the world. Benigno Torrez, National Overseer of Bolivia, reported growth in the Church in his country and over 400 were present at their National Convention. Jose L. Castellanos, Regional Overseer from the West Region, noted that they had grown strong in California this past year. This region presented the International Offices with a plaque in honor of the new Assembly Tabernacle. Cary W. Ryan, National Overseer of Canada, recounted events of his trip to Canada’s National Convention and how the brethren there were faithful in the work of the Church. Reports were also given of the growth of the Church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo under National Overseer Shamba Mbambi and of the potential of more growth in the Dominican Republic by National Overseer Vicente Vilorio.
Wednesday night service began with the annual World Language Department program directed by General Coordinator, Jose L. Castellanos, from CA. The program began with some words from Jose L. Castellanos, but the presence of the Lord was so strong that no message was needed due to the Holy Ghost taking over as Berenice Bonilla from TN began to sing in worship. The building began to shake as many were being healed and miracles were taking place. Many testified towards the end of this session of miracles. A lady who was praying testified of being healed of asthma. Another who could not walk because of knee problems ran across the Assembly Tabernacle with no pain; one gentleman suffering from vision problems, testified of being healed and could now see. Families were being restored as young and old alike sought God at the altar. Souls gave their lives to the Lord, others were sanctified, and others received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. Shouts of praise surrounded the inner walls of the tabernacle as an old time flag march took place. A man who had trouble walking because of having surgery on his foot testified that the power of God fell on him as he ran across the tabernacle praising God.
Thursday morning began with more progress reports from the countries such as Kenya, Dubai (UAE), and Tanzania by National Overseer, Justol Ngurukire of Kenya. Justol Ngurukire spoke of the dangers which the Church was facing in Africa due to terrorism and how the Church lost a fellow member in the recent college massacre in Kenya. Reports were also given from Mexico, and the Northeast Region of the United States. Thursday afternoon began with the annual Financial Report given by the General Accountant, Jessie Vee Cordeau. It was clearly seen how God was blessing the Church financially when the people acted by faith.
More reports were given for the countries of Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras as well as Peru and Chile. A wonderful report was sent by Fred Kavuma concerning the orphanage in Uganda and the work of the Church in Burundi and Rwanda. Reports were given by the Southeast and North Central Regions of the United States.
Thursday night began with the Public Relations program directed by H. L. and Sue Cannon of Cleveland, TN. Time was given in recognition to those who had been members of the Church for 30 plus years. Ralph L. Lester has been a member of the Church, for more than 70 years. Following was the Evangelism Program directed by Joel E. Stewart, General Coordinator, spoke about the importance of going and accepting the calling to evangelize the world.
Friday morning began early for many ladies as they gathered for the Annual Women’s Missionary Band breakfast and fellowship which took place at the International Offices fellowship hall facilities at 7:30 am. This event was directed by Shilia T. Hale, Women’s Missionary Band General Coordinator.
Friday’s morning session began with the Annual Address given to the Church by General Overseer Alexander Jackson Sr,. He spoke of the growth of the Church and of reaching new areas for the gospel. Bishop Jackson noted that the Church was walking in accordance to the will of God and this was evident in the giving of the new Tabernacle by God himself. Bishop Jackson also noted that, “It was now time for the Church and its membership to do all that they can, and see how God will fulfill His promise.” Bishop Jackson stated “From this day forward we, as The Church of God, have been given opportunity to move up a little closer to heaven.” This Annual Address is meant to challenge and encourage our commission – to finish our purpose in this present world. He challenged The Church of God to stop crying, “Come,” but to go. He will not come until we go! Church of God, we can, Receive the Promise, but not until after ye have done the will of God. For us to receive every promise in the blessed old Book, we must have unwavering faith. The annual address was followed by a powerful rendition of “At the Battles Front.”
Friday afternoon session was filled with excitement as Brandon Hale of TN, and Juan N. Bonilla of TN, spoke briefly about the new design of the General Church websites in both English and Spanish. Plans were presented to have a multi-language platform for all nations to see the progress of the Church online. Following this report was the beginning of the Church of Prophecy Marker Association by General Coordinator, Donald L. Brown of IL. He spoke about the new Tabernacle and donated the original flags which flew over the second Tabernacle of the Church on Keith Street. These flags were presented to the General Overseer. Brown invited James E. O’Quinn of TN to bring a lesson on “God’s Tabernacles” in which James O’Quinn spoke about the Tabernacles in the history of Israel and of the Church; pointing to the first Tabernacle of the Church on Central Avenue in Cleveland under General Overseer A.J. Tomlinson and the second Tabernacle on Keith Street in Cleveland under General Overseer M.A. Tomlinson and now of the third Tabernacle on Runway Drive under General Overseer Alexander Jackson Sr. He pointed out that the Church was walking in prophecy. This was followed by a message by Marshall Lackey of Alabama, who spoke of the importance of doing God’s will and walking in his paths.
During the Friday night session, the call was made as the Parade of Nations began with 20 countries being represented in this Assembly. Cary W. Ryan of TN, General World Missions Coordinator, gave a welcome to the country of Nigeria which was organized this past year. As the ladies marched in with the flags of Nations a spirit of reverence took over. Many shouted and praised God for what He had done for the Church this past year. No message was needed during this program as the Spirit of God took over. A prayer line was formed by the ministers and many were anointed and prayed for. Many testified of God’s healing power, mothers carrying their babies passed through the line, elders who could not walk due to sickness shouted and ran with joy as God’s healing power took over their bodies. Many were saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost, as we experienced the promise being given to His Church.
Saturday morning began with the Assembly Band Movement program directed by Mandy Slack, General Coordinator. She spoke of the love we should have for the General Overseer and his family. Many lined up to present a special offering for the General Overseer and thanked him for the work that had been done this past year. This was followed by the Annual Praise Service directed by Edna Wamsley from TN, during which many testified of healings, salvation and restoration.
Saturday afternoon was followed by an Ordination service and the annual Bible Training Institute program by General Director James E. O’Quinn of TN. He was thankful that B.T.I. was held this year at the new International Office facilities. He also spoke about many Bible Schools that took place all over the world. There was an increase of interest concerning our Bible Schools around the world.
Saturday night session began with the Victory Leaders Band program directed by Jill Ryan of TN, General Coordinator. “Focused” was the new theme presented as worship began; old and young alike marched in victory for Christ and His Church. Once again after only two exhortations from Ana Monroy of TN and Ivon Pontanillo of CA, the Spirit of God took over as the altar was flooded with old and young alike, crying out to God to receive His promise.
The last day of the Assembly began Sunday morning with the Sunday School Department program directed by Juan N. Bonilla of TN, General Coordinator. As the program got underway a skit portrayed the Church throughout the ages, from her organization, apostasy to the Arise Shine. Great emphasis was placed upon the divisions of the Church from 1923, 1993 and 2006 and the three different flags that the Church has used. Eva Jackson of TN was invited to sing “When the Church of God Arises.” The Spirit began to move as an old fashion Church of God flag march took place. Many shouted and praised God. God’s approval was sounded as a message and interpretation said; “I am pleased with thee.” Many shouted and worshipped God. Juan Bonilla brought forth a message entitled “Arise” and spoke of the importance of the Church arising in these last hours before the rapture. This was followed by a report from Eva Jackson of TN, General Sunday School Literature Editor, as she spoke about the Sunday School literature being printed and translated in various languages. This session ended with a wonderful program by the Children’s Assembly directed by Jessie Vee Cordeau of TN.
The last session of the Assembly took place at 1:30 pm as Shilia T. Hale of TN, General Women’s Missionary Band Coordinator, began her program. As a few ladies marched in with their cap and cape representing the W.M.B., the Spirit of God began to move. Shilia Hale emphasized the need to have a heart for Missions, and a great offering was gathered for this purpose. She brought forth a message on intercessory prayer and the need to get into a prayer and fasting life in order to open up the promises of God toward His people. As the Assembly was coming to a close, a special song was sung by Alba Castellanos of CA, as she sang that we were standing on holy ground. Many testified of the feeling of angels surrounding the assembly delegates as we worshipped in song. Reports from the assembly committees were presented. General Overseer Jackson made the new Assembly appointments. As the gavel sounded, the 110th General Assembly of The Church of God came to a close.
Something wonderful did take place as the Assembly ended. God’s confirmation was upon The Church of God as pictures were taken of a rainbow which stood over the Assembly Tabernacle at the conclusion of the Assembly, with no rain in sight, once again proving that the Church was walking in God’s Will and ready to receive His Promise.