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James R. Horne

Alabama State Overseer

P. O. Box 650

Bessemer, AL  35021

(423) 310-2702


The Church of God

General Headquarters

P. O. Box 450

Charleston, TN  37310

(423) 339-8624

General Website

Welcome to The Church of God!

The Church of God, International Offices located in Cleveland, Tennessee, is the worldwide headquarters of The Church of God. Our vision and mission is to keep and guard the truth, to evangelize the whole world with the full Gospel, to gather God's sheep into one Body, and to strive for the perfection of the saints.

This website is the home of The Church of God in the state of Alabama. It is our desire and endeavor to see the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of His Church grow and flourish throughout our state.

From our State Overseer:

Keeping The Church of God Pure

(Excerpt from the General Overseer’s Annual Address in 1973)

The Psalmist David said, “And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto theLord. Hear, OLord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me” (Psa. 12:6, 7).

Since we do not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God, His pure words will produce pure lives for all who live by them. Considering the kind of life the Lord expects of His people, it seems profitable to examine the meaning of purity in the light of the Scriptures.

Pure means: free from anything that adulterates, taints, or impairs; unmixed; free from defects; perfect; faultless; free from sin or guilt; blameless.

Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8).

Paul wrote to Timothy, “neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22). It seems that the responsibility for purity of life is upon the individual. The pure Word of God will keep us only if we obey and live by that Word.

There are evidences of some changes of opinion today concerning right and wrong. Standards seem to not be interpreted the same as they once were. The Bible reads just like it always has, and the teachings of the Church have not been altered, but the attitude toward some things indicates that some are not thinking in the same vein in which Church of God people once thought.

We are against sin, but some do not consider some things to be sin that once there was no question about. Many things are being branded as tradition which we used to feel were evidences of holiness and separation from the world’s way of living. We may have practiced a few traditions or customs unnecessarily, but I am afraid we stand in danger of going to extremes in the other direction. This thought may need pursuing even further, but I am mainly concerned with the subject of Christian purity or cleanness at this time.

We cannot afford to close our eyes and minds to the fact that we are living in a time of shameful impurity. It is possible that these times can be equaled only by those of the days of Noah, or of the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah. At any rate, every nation in history has fallen when its people gave themselves over to low morals or shame.

The Church of God is a holy nation. We are told in Philippians 2:15, 16, “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life...” This perverse world is steeped in the darkness of sin. It does not like the light of truth because it exposes its evil deeds. We are told to shine as lights, and to give the people the Word of life. We cannot do this if we fellowship their words of darkness.

Efforts have been made a number of times in our Assemblies, and through the White Wing Messenger the past few years, to inspire our people, especially the younger generation, to resist the temptation of conformity with the world, and to hold to the pure standards laid down in the Scriptures and practiced by the Church in all past generations. I quote from the Address in the 64th Annual Assembly (1969), under the subject, “Sin and Shame”:

“The world is going deeper and deeper into sin, and with the sin is an increase of shamefulness. Sin is now so open and unrestrained that its captives seem to have no sense of shame. Many evil things are not counted sin as they once were. This attitude has become so prevalent that few have escaped its influence in some form or another. Many so-called Christians are condoning sinful practices, though they deny that they are sinful…

“The Church of God has been reasonably successful in maintaining its high standard of faith and doctrine. From time to time, some of the membership have preferred a looser rein and have taken the liberty to indulge their preference, even in the face of the Assembly’s advice against it. Others, momentarily led astray, became ashamed of their ways and have prayed through, while the more contentious ones have lost the victory and left the Church of God for an easier way…

“Wherever there is sin, worldliness, and disrespect for the teachings of the Church and the kindly advice of the Assembly, there is cause for same. But it is possible to ignore the preaching of our faithful ministers, and to persist in our own way until the cunning spirit of this evil day will deafen us to the warnings.”

Now, four years later, I am wondering if some of our ministers have not just about quit warning our people against worldly things because they have come to like them a little too well themselves.

From the Address to the 66th Annual Assembly (1971), under the subject, “A Challenge to the Younger Generation,” here are some words to our young people:

“I challenge you to be different from the world by holding to the Church’s standards and advice.  Also, as Church of God young people, I challenge you to be different from others in the religious world…

“I challenge our steadfast young people to be leaders who are not ashamed to be different from the world. Clothes and hair do not make one a Christian, but a deeply spiritual experience almost always prompts the Christian to separate himself from the outward things which do not become holiness…

“Young people, will you accept the challenge to stand by the Church’s teachings and advice, both in faith and practice? Will you be strong in the face of temptation and reproach?”

At that time, several hundred young people present stood and accepted the challenge. I believe that many who stood have kept their word faithfully. Many thousand were not in that Assembly, and I do not know if they were ever approached about it, or if they read it in the White Wing Messenger and the Assembly Minutes. But now, after another two years, it is very disturbing to note that there is no noticeable change for the better. In fact, the age-scope for some of these things seems to take in some not so young.

Besides the worldly trend in the things we can see, it keeps coming to our attention that there are other careless practices among us, such as: impure words and actions toward the opposite sex; apparent enjoyment of vulgar television shows and programs; off-color jokes; and such like. We have heard that improper things of a suggestive nature have crept into the entertainment in some of our church activities, and they seem to be enjoyed.

Right along with these things, we notice that there is a tendency to exalt the name of Jesus in word and song. There is nothing wrong in exalting the name of Jesus, but it is even more important to exalt His holiness and purity, and this can only be done by following His example—walking even as He walked. We cannot even imagine an impure word coming from the pure lips of the Son of God, or an impure act being performed by Him who did no sin. Nor can we imagine the heavenly Master taking the least pleasure in these wrongs while others are doing them.

We then, as ambassadors for Christ, cannot afford to misrepresent Him to others by careless speech and conduct that is not consistent with our testimony.

Think on Paul’s words to Timothy: “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). I don’t suppose that “youthful lusts” need defining here, for the young face them every day, and we who are older were young once. But the admonition is clear—flee these things! Run away from them! Do not be taken in by them!

The same apostle wrote to the Romans, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14). If we set the stage for the flesh, so to speak, it will take its opportunity.

The Church recognizes the value of its youth. We know that the young heart is more tender toward the gospel. But the enemy also recognizes these things; therefore, he begins his deadly work at an early age. He may be too subtle to launch his evil designs right in the Church, but he knows that innocent minds are easily drawn away when they are not properly guarded and instructed. Then, when they become entangled, they will feel that the Church should be lenient instead of feeling that they should cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit (2 Cor. 7:1).

It will not do for the Church to seem approving, even by our silence, of the impure moral standards of the world. Instead of trying to gear our activities to worldly patterns—alike in appearance but without the impure element—it looks like we are going to have to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thess. 5:22).

In order to stand approved in the sight of God, our people—young, middle-aged, and old—will have to learn to submit to the clear teachings of the Bible, and the Assembly’s voice of interpretation.

The Church is not in doubt as to what constitutes adultery and fornication. For several years there was an unwillingness to accept the truth, but when it was fully accepted in 1923, the Holy Ghost put His approval on the decision in an outstanding way. Now it is up to us to hold to the truth without compromise.

The Church has known all along of the many pitfalls along the way to heaven. The “Advice to Members” was offered and accepted by the Assembly with the spiritual safety of our people in mind. There has been some opposition to it through the years, but it is only a testimony to its true worth. Those who have ignored it have done so to their own hurt. It may not be receiving the attention which the Assembly asked that it receive, but there is always a price to be paid for disobedience.

God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. If we will obey this high and holy calling, we will be the light to this world that Jesus said we must be.

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