Magazine article The Christian Century

Assemblies of God Posts Impressive Numbers

Magazine article The Christian Century

Assemblies of God Posts Impressive Numbers

Article excerpt

The Assemblies of God, a denomination rooted in rural and small town America, appears to have leaped into the 21st century in a dramatic way.

At its General Council meeting in Orlando, Florida, August 5-9, the denomination touted its formula for defying the downward trend affecting other religious groups: contemporary music, arts and high-tech communication and outreach to young people, immigrants and ethnic minorities.

The denomination reported a 1.8 percent increase in U.S. membership to 3 million adherents. Globally, the gain was 1.5 percent, to 66 million, making it the largest Pentecostal group in the world.

Why are the Assemblies of God defying the odds? "We have been flexible when it comes to culture--music, dress, pulpit attire--while remaining consistent on that which has not changed, which is doctrine," said George O. Wood, the newly reelected general superintendent who is also chairman of the World Assemblies of God.

Wood, 71, an attorney as well as a minister, said other denominations have "shifted in their doctrinal focus, and softened their reliance on the authority of God's word, especially as it relates to scripture and sexuality morality."

For example, the denomination's boys' youth group, the Royal Rangers, appears to have benefited from the Boy Scouts of America's recent decision to admit gay scouts.

"Since the May 23 BSA decision, Royal Rangers has received many inquiries from families, churches, and denominations seeking an alternate way to mentor future men," said Doug Marsh, national Royal Rangers director. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.