Church of God (Holiness)

The Church of God (Holiness) is an association of autonomous holiness Christian congregations. It is an outgrowth of the 19th-century Holiness movement.


The Church of God (Holiness) began in 1886 with the founding of a church in Centralia, Missouri. The movement grew out of disaffected Methodists that had been participating in the Southwestern Holiness Association. The leading cause of their departure from the Methodist Church was their zealous propagation of the doctrine of entire sanctification, and Methodist opposition to the Church of God interpretation of that doctrine. The churches were originally referred to as Independent Holiness People. One of the early leaders was John Petit Brooks (1826-1915), who was editor of the Banner of Holiness, and later The Good Way and The Church Herald. He left the Methodist Episcopal Church circa 1886.


The doctrines of the Church of God (Holiness) are revealed in a ten-article statement of faith, emphasizing the triune Godhead, the divine inspiration of the Scriptures, the sinfulness of man, salvation by grace through faith in the blood of Christ, and entire sanctification as a second work of grace. Two ordinances are observed - water baptism and the Lord's supper.


The Church of God (Holiness) has about 120 congregations in the United States, with the majority in Missouri and Kansas. Additionally they have ten congregations among the Navajo Indians and 11 Spanish-speaking congregations. Ministry departments of the church include Home Missions, World Missions, Harmony Hill Youth Ministries, and the Herald and Banner Press. Headquarters are located in Overland Park, Kansas. A general church conference is held annually. World missions works are found in Bolivia, the British West Indies, the Virgin Islands, Nigeria, and the Ukraine.

External links


  • A History of the Church of God (Holiness), by C. E. Cowen
  • Encyclopedia of American Religions, J. Gordon Melton, editor
  • Handbook of Denominations in the United States, by Frank S. Mead, Samuel S. Hill, and Craig D. Atwood

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