|Seal of the Church of the Nazarene|
|Polity||Mixed. Elements of Congregationalist,
and Episcopal polities.
|Associations||Christian Holiness Partnership;
National Association of Evangelicals;
World Methodist Council;
|Founder||Include: Phineas F. Bresee,
Hiram F. Reynolds,
William Howard Hoople,
Mary Lee Cagle,
Robert Lee Harris,
and C.W. Ruth.
|Origin||October 13, 1908
Pilot Point, TX, USA
|Merge of||15 Holiness denominations 1907-1988|
|Separations||Pentecost-Pilgrim Church (1917);
Bible Missionary Church (1955);
Holiness Church of the Nazarene (1958);
Church of the Bible Covenant (1967).
The Church of the Nazarene is an international evangelical Christian denomination that emerged primarily from within the Wesleyan-Methodist tradition of the 19th century Holiness movement. The denomination is commonly referred to as the Nazarene Church, and its members referred to as Nazarenes. The mission is "to respond to the Great Commission of Christ to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19)". In December 2006, this was expressed more succinctly as "to make Christlike disciples in the nations". This frames the global mission of the denomination. In 2009 the General Assembly indicated in its revision of Article XI of the Manual the means for accomplishing its mission: "making disciples through evangelism, education, showing compassion, working for justice, and bearing witness to the kingdom of God." Since 2001, the three “core values” of the Church have been identified as “Christian, missional, and holiness.”
At the end of September 2009, the Church of the Nazarene had 1,945,542 members in 24,285 churches in 155 different "world areas". It had the most Nazarenes in the USA (658,402); Haiti (116,000); and India (59,039). The denomination has the highest percentage presence in the nations of Cape Verde, Samoa, Barbados, Haiti and Swaziland.
The Church of the Nazarene supports 58 undergraduate and graduate educational institutions in 40 countries on six continents around the world.. Since 15 September 2008, the headquarters of the denomination is the Global Ministry Center (GMC) located at 17001 Prairie Star Parkway, Lenexa, Kansas.. The Nazarene Publishing House has been located in Kansas City, Missouri since 1912.
The Church of the Nazarene is currently a member of the Christian Holiness Partnership, the National Association of Evangelicals, the World Methodist Council, Mission Exchange (formerly the Evangelical Fellowship of Missions Agencies), the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, the Wesleyan Holiness Consortium, and the Wesleyan Holiness Study Project.
At the end of September 2009, the Church of the Nazarene had 1,945,542 members, (a 5.89 percent gain from the previous year) in almost 24,285 churches from around the world, of which there are 17,277 organized churches, a 6.55 percent net gain from the previous year. During 2008, total monies paid for all purposes was US$946,777,409. Worldwide per capita giving was US$515.28. Membership in the United States in 2008 was 658,402, the largest of any nation (35.8% of the total church membership), a decline of 4,862 since 2000. The largest number of Nazarenes in other nations are Haiti with about 116,000 members, and India with 59,039 members. There are more total members outside the U.S.A. with 1,178,991 church members in World Mission areas. In 2009, a total of 1,178 new churches were organized, and 165,661 new Nazarenes (with just over 131,000 added by profession of faith) were reported in 2009. Most of that growth took place outside of the U.S.A. (108,149 net increase in church members in 2009). The denomination has the highest percentage presence in the nations of Cape Verde (where its members constitute 2.5% of the population); Samoa (1.88% of the population); Haiti (1.28% of the population); Barbados (1.0% of the population); and Swaziland (0.96% of the population) . In 2000 there was the highest percentage of Nazarene presence in the USA, with 2.25 members for every 1,000 US people (0.25%). According to the Board of General Superintendents, "an average of 455 people came to Christ and joined the Church of the Nazarene every day last year".
The Church of the Nazarene is the product of a series of mergers that occurred between various holiness churches, associations and denominations throughout the 20th century. The most prominent of these mergers took place at the First and Second General Assemblies, held at Chicago, Illinois, and Pilot Point, Texas in 1907 and 1908 , respectively. The primary architect of these early mergers was C.W. Ruth.
The First General Assembly held in Chicago, Illinois from 10–17 October 1907 brought together the Eastern and the Western streams. The Western group was the Church of the Nazarene founded in October 1895 in Los Angeles, California by Dr. Phineas F. Bresee, a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Dr Joseph Pomeroy Widney, a Methodist physician, and the second president of the University of Southern California. The Eastern group was the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America, a denomination formed on 13 April 1897 through the merger of two older bodies: The Central Evangelical Holiness Association (organised 13–14 March 1890) and led by Fred A. Hillery and C. Howard Davis; and three churches organised by William Howard Hoople since January 1894, and formed into the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America. On 12 November 1896, these two groups met in Brooklyn, agreed upon a plan of union, which included retaining the name and Manual of Hoople's group. Prominent leaders included Hiram F. Reynolds, Davis, and Hoople. At the time of its merger with the Church of the Nazarene in 1907, the APCA existed principally from Nova Scotia to Iowa and the northeastern United States. The name of the united body adopted at the First General Assembly was Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, and Bresee and Reynolds were elected the first general superintendents.
In April 1908 Bresee accepted Edgar P. Ellyson, president of the Holiness University of Texas of Peniel, Texas, his wife, Mary Emily Ellyson (1869–1943), and many leaders and members of the Holiness Association of Texas into the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, with Emily Ellyson elected pastor of the new congregation at Peniel. In September 1908 the Pennsylvania Conference of the Holiness Christian Church under the leadership of Horace G. Trumbauer merged with the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.
At the Second General Assembly held at Pilot Point, Texas, the Holiness Church of Christ, located in the southern United States, merged with the Pentecostal Nazarenes. The Holiness Church of Christ itself was the merger of the New Testament Church of Christ founded in July 1894 at Milan, Tennessee by R.L. Harris, but soon led by his widow Mary Lee Cagle, and a group (also called the Holiness Church of Christ), that resulted in November 1904 at Rising Star, Texas from the prior merger of The Holiness Church' (founded in 1888 in Texas) and the Independent Holiness Church (formed at Van Alstyne, Texas in 1901, and led by Charles B. Jernigan and J.B. Chapman). The merger of the Holiness Church of Christ in the south and the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene took place on Tuesday, October 13, 1908, at 10:40 a.m., "amid great shouts of joy and holy enthusiasm." The newly-merged Church of the Nazarene began with 10,034 members, 228 congregations, 11 districts, and 19 missionaries, according to historical records. The latter date marks the "official" founding date. Bresee, Reynolds and Ellyson were elected general superintendents.
Other independent bodies joined at later dates, including the Pentecostal Church of Scotland (founded in 1909 by Rev. George Sharpe) and the Pentecostal Mission (founded in 1898 by J.O. McClurkan), both in 1915. At this point, the Church of the Nazarene now embraced seven previous denominations and significant parts of two other groups. In time, the Church of the Nazarene and the Wesleyan Church would emerge as the two major denominations to gather in the smaller bodies of the 19th century Wesleyan-holiness movement. In subsequent decades, there were new accessions and mergers. In the 1922, more than one thousand members and most of the workers led by Joseph G. Morrison, from the Laymen's Holiness Association (founded in 1917) located in the Dakotas, joined the Church of the Nazarene. In the 1950s, there were mergers with the Hephzibah Faith Missionary Association (founded in 1893 in Tabor, Iowa) in 1950; the International Holiness Mission (founded in London in 1907 by David Thomas) merged on 29 October 1952; the Calvary Holiness Church (founded in Britain 1934 by Maynard James and Jack Ford), united on June 11, 1955; and the Gospel Workers Church of Canada (founded in Ontario in 1918) became part of the Church of the Nazarene on 7 September 1958. On April 3, 1988, an indigenous Church of the Nazarene in Nigeria, established in the 1940s, merged with the denomination.
The 2009 General Assembly authorized a committee with "the responsibility to approach "like-minded churches in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition in order to pursue closer relations, with a goal of exploring the possibility of a merger or a collaborative relationship."
Throughout its history, there have been several groups that separated from the Church of the Nazarene to form new denominations. Among the new denominations formed by those seceding or being expelled from the Church of the Nazarene are: the People's Mission Church (1912), which had become part of the Church of the Nazarene in 1911, but subsequently became part of the Pilgrim Holiness Church in 1925; the Pentecost Pilgrim Church (1917), which merged with the International Holiness Union to form the Pilgrim Holiness Church in 1922; the Bible Missionary Church (1955), which subsequently split to create the Wesleyan Holiness Association of Churches (1959), and the Nazarene Baptist Church (1960) (later Nazarene Bible Church in 1967); the Holiness Church of the Nazarene (1961) in the Philippines; the Church of the Bible Covenant (1967); the Crusaders Churches of the United States of America (1972); and the Fellowship of Charismatic Nazarenes (1977).
Even before the merger of October 1908, the parental bodies of the Church of the Nazarene had a vision to be an international denomination. International expansion began in India in 1898 by missionaries sponsored by the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America. By 1908, there were churches in Canada and organized work in India, Swaziland, Cape Verde, and Japan, soon followed by work in central Africa, Mexico, and China. The 1915 mergers added congregations in the British Isles and work in Cuba, Central America, and South America. There were congregations in Syria and Palestine by 1922. General Superintendent Reynolds advocated "a mission to the world," and support for world evangelization became a distinguishing characteristic of Nazarene life. Taking advantage of new technologies, the church began producing the Showers of Blessing radio program in the 1940s, followed by the Spanish broadcast La Hora Nazarena and later by broadcasts in other languages. From the 1940s through the 1980s, indigenous holiness churches in other countries continued to join the church.
At the time of the 50th anniversary of the denomination in October 1958, a total of 19.8% of all Nazarenes lived outside the continental United States. In 1981 the figure was 28.3%. In late 1991 there were one million members of the denomination globally, with 43% living outside the USA. By 2000 the church's membership was just under 1.4 million, with the church's membership outside the USA doubling in the previous decade, and now comprising 53% of total global church membership. In June 2009, 64 percent of Nazarene members and 80 percent of the church's 429 districts are outside the United States. More than 20% Nazarenes are from Africa, and more than 20% Nazarenes speak Spanish as their first language.
In 2009, the church is located in 155 "world areas" (approximately equivalent to nations). At the 2009 annual meeting of the General Board, it was decided that the denomination would enter the following new nations: Guinea-Conakry (Africa Region), Niger (Africa Region); Moldova (Eurasia Region), and Norway (Eurasia Region). Each week Nazarenes worship in more than 212 languages or tribal languages, with literature produced in 90 of these. The Church of the Nazarene reaches out to persons around the globe through the Internet, radio broadcasts in 33 languages, and video and printed materials in 95 languages. In 2008, there were 794 General Board-funded missionaries (active, retired, regional, Mission Corps volunteers, and "tentmakers") for the Church of the Nazarene. These missionaries originate from 26 world areas. In 2008, 508 Mission Corps (formerly Nazarenes in Volunteer Service) volunteers, including 23 "tentmakers," ministered in 51 world areas.
The primary architect of Nazarene mission philosophy and practice was Hiram F. Reynolds, who had served as the foreign missionary superintendent in the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America (APCA) from its earliest years, and held a similar role in the Church of the Nazarene (under various titles) from 1907 until 1922. Influenced by the indigenous church mission theories of Anglican Henry Venn (1796–1873) and American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions secretary Rufus Anderson (1796–1880), from the beginning of the global expansion of the Church of the Nazarene (including its antecedent groups), there was a commitment to the development of indigenous churches and districts within the framework of a unitary global denomination under the authority of the Manual. As early as 3 March 1914, Nazarene mission policy developed for the work in Japan by Reynolds encouraged the creation of "self-supporting and self-governing churches":
When a Mission Church reaches a place where it can become entirely self supporting it shall be organized by the District Missionary Superintendent (SIC) Into a self supporting body according to the manual of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene adapted to the needs peculiar to the country, and shall be governed by the same. The church shall be granted a pastor whose duties and privileges (SIC) shall conform to the manual; and at this time all missionary control shall be relinquished except such superintendency as provided for in the manual.
Under the policy, foreign districts would be granted the same rights as US districts, with control passing from missionaries to local leaders. However, in 1919, all reference to the missionaries relinquishing control was removed, and the following substituted: "The pastor and delegates from the self-supporting church to the District Assembly must be able to enter into the deliberations of the Assembly in the English language until such time as a self-supporting district may be formed."
Gailey indicates, that by 1932 these policy statements had been broadened to full "three-self" language, with the instruction to missionaries to cultivate among local Christians "...self support, self leadership and responsibility for the propagation of the gospel in that field." The "language was unchanged for the next twenty years, and has remained essentially intact until the present time." By the 1930s, Nazarene missions leaders "did not aim toward the development of autonomous national churches, but a federation of districts. They did not plan for indefinite missionary control. Without a great deal of thought about whee this would lead, without consciously copying any other denomination's model of church government, and without much theological reflection, the Church of the Nazarene became an international body." The first non-missionary district superintendents were George Sharpe (born in Scotland in 1865; died 1948) in Britain (November 1915) and Vicente G. Santin (1870–1948), appointed district superintendent in Mexico in 1919. In January 1936 the General Board divided the declared the Japan District into two, and the Western or Kwansai district became the first regular district in the denomination, "with all the rights and privileges of any of the North American and British Isles districts subject to the Manual and the General Assembly," however the effects of World War II on the church in Japan saw it revert to a missionary-led district.
According to one denominational historian, W.T. Purkiser, the process of "internationalizing" the church began at the General Assembly in Portland, Oregon in 1964 with an eight-year study of the church's total missionary program." Soon after that General Assembly, E.S. Phillips was elected Executive Secretary for World Missions, who encouraged the self-study. In this period, a think tank comprising R. Franklin Cook, a former missionary to India and member of the World Mission department since 1961; missiologist Paul Orjala, pioneer missionary to Haiti; and Honorato Reza, long-time representative for the Hispanic church, was formed to advise Phillips. They were responsible for developing the denomination's first "National Church Policy" that was adopted in 1966, and indicated explicitly for the first time the steps towards achieving "regular" district status. At the General Assembly of 1972, held at Miami Beach, Florida, Phillips, influenced by the recommendations of the preceding self-study, recommended in his report that "The administrative bodies of the church must be internationalized....That portion of the church that lives overseas...must be given full voice in the councils of the church." Phillips advocated contextualization of the gospel and internationalization of denominational programs and structures. It was only in 1972 that the General Secretary began to include overseas membership in reporting totals, as prior to this time it had been difficult to collect the needed data.
In 1973 Phillips died, and was succeeded by former missionary to Germany Jerald Johnson (born 1916). In 1974 the Guatemala Northeast district achieved regular status, the first since Japan achieved this milestone in 1936 Also in 1974 the Nazarene Young Peoples Society (now Nazarene Youth International) in its desire to be more inclusive, held its first International Institute (now Nazarene World Youth Conference) on the campus of European Nazarene Bible College in Büsingen, Germany. At the 1976 General Assembly held in Dallas, Texas, a Commission on Internationalization was created to recommend "means by which the next stage of internationalization might be implemented." In 1976, concrete steps were taken to make possible an international church with the creation of three intercontinental zones outside the USA and Canada: Intercontinental Zone I (Europe, the Middle East and Africa); Intercontinental Zone II (the Orient and South Pacific); and Intercontinental Zone III (Central and South America). In 1977 the General Board had eight members (18%) from outside the USA among its 44 members. In 1978 the first international district superintendents' conference was held in Kansas City, Missouri, with 52 leaders from 35 nations represented.
At the 1980 General Assembly, held in Kansas City, the denomination formally committed itself to the process of internationalization, a deliberate policy of being one church of congregations and districts worldwide, rather than splitting into national churches like earlier Protestant denominations. The principle was set forth of “one church, one doctrine, one polity, and one policy.” At that time, the entire denomination was divided into fifteen geographical regions, with eight in the USA based around its regional college; one in Canada; and the three Intercontinental Zones subdivided into six regions: Africa; Asia; Europe and Middle East; Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean; South America; and the South Pacific. The General Board now included members from outside the USA, Canada and the other parts of the British Commonwealth. In 1980 the General Board had fourteen (27%) out of its 51 members residing outside the United States and Canada.
After the election of Jerald Johnson as a general superintendent in June 1980, the General Board elected L. Guy Nees as his replacement. During his six years of leadership, Nees appointed directors for each of the six missions regions, who supervised the establishment of administrative offices in each region. The 2nd Commission on Internationalization recommended that regional directors should be born in the region. The 1985 General Assembly allowed "cultural adaptations of local, district, and regional church government procedures", approved the creation of regional advisory councils and conferences, and national administrative boards. In 1989 the 3rd Commission recommended that the Church of the Nazarene should be a "denomination of districts (not nations)", and that districts and regions should follow geographical rather than racial or ethnic lines. The 1989 General Assembly stated three principles for internationalization: "(1) shared mission; (2) national identity; and (3) indigenization"; prohibited districts being constituted on the basis of ethnicity; explicitly rejected the idea of a commonwealth or federation of the denomination, in favour of it being a "global family"; and created a Commission on the International Church.
In 1999 incoming professor of missions at Nazarene Theological Seminary Mario Zani indicated that the biblical concept of koinonia, the fellowship "that transcended any differences, assignments, or titles", should be the basis of the development of the Church of the Nazarene. Zani critiqued the idea of internationalization as being too predetermined and focused on strategies and administrative policies, whereas he advocated the denominational goal should be globalization, which he defined as "that process by which we become sensitized and responsive to the multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, and multi-national world of which we are a part." Zani concluded that though the Church of the Nazarene was "international from its conception, it was not truly global."
By the 2001 General Assembly, held in Indianapolis, 42 percent of delegates present and voting were not native English speakers. Today 64 percent of Nazarene members and 80 percent of the church's 429 districts are outside the United States. However, General Secretary David Wilson reported that at the 2009 General Assembly that 562 delegates present and registered were from the USA and Canada (55 percent) and 461 delegates were from other world regions (45 percent). As many elected delegates from outside the United States could not attend the General Assembly due to financial, US immigration policies or other reasons, the General Assembly authorised the creation of "a committee to address the concern that a high percentage (as many as 40 percent in some world regions) of non-North American/non-United States delegates are unable to attend a General Assembly". Since the Church of the Nazarene's quadrennial General Assembly is based on representation from districts from 151 world areas, the 2009 General Assembly was probably one of the most racially and linguistically diverse general meetings of any religious body that originated on American soil. At the 2009 General Assembly the delegates voted to create a global Manual that would be streamlined in comparison to recent Manuals, consist of the Foreword, and Parts I, II, and III of the current Manual, and would also include parts of the Manual that are global in scope, retaining the universally appropriate polity and principles." The General Assembly authorised the different regions to adapt the Manual to fit specific cultural contexts and would function as a "regional Manual policy handbook."
For the quadrennium starting July 2009, the General Board currently has 44 members representing the church's 15 regions, and an additional four members were elected to represent Education (2), Nazarene Youth International, and Nazarene Missions International. Of the 48 members elected, 27 (56%) are from outside the USA, and 21 are US citizens. Five are women.
The current name of the denomination is inherited from the one of its primary antecedent groups, the Los Angeles, California based Church of the Nazarene founded in October 1895 by Dr. Phineas F. Bresee and Dr. Joseph Pomeroy Widney. The name of the denomination comes from the biblical description of Jesus Christ, who had been raised in the village of Nazareth (and was regarded consequently as "a Nazarene"). In the NASB translation, Jesus is called the Nazarene in Matthew 2:23; Mark 10:47; Mark 14:67; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:19; John 18:5; John 18:7; John 19:19; Acts 2:22; Acts 3:6; Acts 4:10; Acts 6:14; Acts 22:8. Consequently, the denominational name focuses on Jesus who was "The Nazarene". Additionally, the followers of Jesus were initially called "Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5), a term perhaps used by Jesus himself.
In 1895 the name of the denomination was first recommended by Dr. Joseph Pomeroy Widney, a former president of the University of Southern California and an influential figure in the early days of the Church of the Nazarene on the West Coast, where with Breseee, he was elected as a general superintendent for life. Widney explained that the name had come to him one morning after spending the whole night in prayer. He said that the word "Nazarene" symbolized "the toiling, lowly mission of Christ. It was the name that Christ used of Himself, the name which was used in derision of Him by His enemies, the name which above all others linked Him to the great toiling, struggling, sorrowing heart of the world. It is Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth to whom the world in its misery and despair turns, that it may have hope" The denomination started as a church that ministered to the homeless and poor, and wanted to keep that attitude of ministering to "lower classes" of society.
At the First General Assembly that united Bresee's denomination with the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America in October 1907, the denominational name that emerged was the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, reflecting the ancestry of both denominational tributaries. At the subsequent General Assembly (held in October 1908 at Pilot Point, Texas), which saw the merger with the Holiness Church of Christ, which was subsequently regarded as the natal date of the denomination, the 1907 decision was upheld.
The term "Pentecostal" in the church's original name soon proved to be increasingly problematic. In the Wesleyan-holiness movement, the word was used widely as a synonym simply for "holiness." But the rise of 20th century Pentecostalism, especially after 1906, gave new meanings and associations to the term—meanings that the Pentecostal Nazarenes rejected. At the fifth General Assembly held in Nashville in 1919, in response to resolutions from thirty-five district assemblies, the General Assembly voted to remove the word "Pentecostal" from the church name, leaving it simply "Church of the Nazarene."
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The official doctrines of the Church of the Nazarene are published in a book called Manual: Church of the Nazarene published quadrennially after the General Assembly, the primary convention and gathering of Nazarenes, at which leaders are elected, and amendments and suggestions are incorporated into the Manual. The Manual is published in print, and is available online at the Nazarene Church's website. Nazarenes have established 16 "Articles of Faith" as a guiding principle for living Christianity. The "Articles" include the following: one eternal self-existent God manifest in a three-fold nature; the divinity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit; the authority of the Bible; Original and Personal Sin; the work of atonement; prevenient grace; the need for repentance; justification, regeneration, and adoption; entire sanctification; the church; baptism by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring; the Lord's Supper for all believers; divine healing; the return of Jesus Christ; and the resurrection of the dead.
While there is no official theology text authorised by the denomination, there are several that have been widely used in the pre-ordination training course for ministers. The most influential theologians within the Church of the Nazarene have been Edgar P. Ellyson, author of Theological Compend (1908); A.M. Hills, author of Fundamental Christian Theology (1931); H. Orton Wiley, author of the three-volume Christian Theology (1940–1943); Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, author of A Theology of Love (1972) and Foundations of Wesleyan-Arminian Theology (1972); Richard S. Taylor; H. Ray Dunning, author of Grace, Faith & Holiness (1988), author ; and J. Kenneth Grider, author of A Wesleyan-Holiness Theology (1994). In the early years of the denomination, books by John Miley and William Burt Pope were used. Contemporary Nazarene theologians include Michael Lodahl, Thomas A. Noble, Thomas Oord, Samuel M. Powell, Bryan Stone, and Rob Staples.
The Church of the Nazarene stands in the Arminian tradition of free grace for all and human freedom to choose to partake of that saving grace. The Nazarene Church distinguishes itself from many other Protestant churches because of its belief that God's Holy Spirit empowers Christians to be constantly obedient to Him—similar to the belief of other churches in the Evangelical Holiness movement. The Nazarene Church does not believe that a Christian is helpless to sin every day. Rather, the Nazarene Church does teach that sin should be the rare exception in the life of a sanctified Christian. Also, there exists the belief in entire sanctification, the idea that a person can have a relationship of entire devotion to God in which they are no longer under the influence of original sin. This means that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, people can be changed so as to be able to live a holy life for the glory of God. The concept of entire sanctification stems from John Wesley's concept of spiritual perfection. This is interpreted on a variety of different levels; as with any denomination, certain believers interpret the theology more rigidly and others less so.
Both the doctrines of entire sanctification and prevenient grace are usually interpreted in less rigid fashion by most church members, viewing spiritual perfection as something to strive toward, being already sanctified and forgiven for their sins under the sacrifice of Christ. Hence, thinking in a circular and very Greek fashion, one would be perfect, since one would be forgiven; however, since Christ was also human, and one is still entirely alive and living in the world, then one would still need to continue striving to live the best, or most "perfect" life possible, because Christ was God and man. And so, the dilemma continues in theological interpretation.
In recent days, Nazarene theologians have increasingly understood the movement's distinctive theological doctrine, entire sanctification, as best understood in terms of love. Love is the core notion of the various understandings of holiness and sanctification found in the Bible. Christians are called to love when in relation to God and others (Oord and Lodahl, 2005).
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The spiritual vision of early Nazarenes was derived from the doctrinal core of John Wesley's preaching and the holiness movement of the 19th century. The affirmations of the church include justification by grace through faith alone in Jesus Christ, sanctification by grace through faith united with good works, entire sanctification as an inheritance available to every Christian, and the witness of the Spirit to God's work in human lives. The holiness movement arose in the 1830s to promote these doctrines, especially Entire Sanctification, but splintered by 1900. The Church of the Nazarene remains committed to Christian holiness. The key emphasis of Wesley's theology relates to how Divine grace operates within the individual. Wesley defined the Way of Salvation as the operation of grace in at least three parts: Prevenient Grace, Justifying Grace, and Sanctifying Grace.
Prevenient grace, or the grace that "goes before" us, is given to all people. It is that power which enables us to love and motivates us to seek a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This grace is the present work of God to turn us from our sin-corrupted human will to the loving will of the Father. In this work, God desires that we might sense both our sinfulness before God and God’s offer of salvation. Prevenient grace allows those tainted by sin to nevertheless make a truly free choice to accept or reject God's salvation in Christ.
Justifying Grace or Accepting Grace is that grace, offered by God to all people, that we receive by faith and trust in Christ, through which God pardons the believer of sin. It is in justifying grace we are received by God, in spite of our sin. In this reception, we are forgiven through the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The justifying grace cancels our guilt and empowers us to resist the power of sin and to fully love God and neighbor. Today, justifying grace is also known as conversion, "accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior," or being "born again." John Wesley originally called this experience the New Birth. This experience can occur in different ways; it can be one transforming moment, such as an altar call experience, or it may involve a series of decisions across a period of time.
Sanctifying Grace is that grace of God which sustains the believers in the journey toward Christian Perfection: a genuine love of God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and a genuine love of our neighbors as ourselves. Sanctifying grace enables us to respond to God by leading a Spirit-filled and Christ-like life aimed toward love.
Wesleyan theology maintains that salvation is the act of God's grace entirely, from invitation, to pardon, to growth in holiness. Furthermore, God's prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying grace interact dynamically in the lives of Christians from birth to death.
For Wesley, good works were the fruit of one's salvation, not the way in which that salvation was earned. Faith and good works go hand in hand in Methodist theology: a living tree naturally and inevitably bears fruit. Wesleyan theology rejects the doctrine of eternal security, believing that salvation can be rejected. Wesley emphasized that believers must continue to grow in their relationship with Christ, through the process of Sanctification.
The Church of the Nazarene also takes a stance on a wide array of current moral and social issues, which is published in the Manual and online. These issues have included stances regarding human sexuality, theatrical arts, movies, social dancing, AIDS/HIV, and organ donation. On some matters, such as human sexuality, the church remains relatively conservative, while its stance on scientific discovery might be considered comparatively liberal.
Consistent with the position of classical Nazarene theologian H. Orton Wiley, several contemporary Nazarene theologians, including Thomas Jay Oord, Michael Lodahl, and Samuel M. Powell, have endeavoured to reconcile the general theory of evolution with theology. Increasingly there are Nazarene scientists who support theistic evolution are Karl Giberson, Darrel R. Falk and Richard G. Colling, whose 2004 book, Random Designer, has been controversial within the denomination since 2007. At the most recent General Assembly held in Orlando, Florida in July 2009, there was extended debate on a resolution to adopt a more fundamentalist view of the doctrine of Creation based on a more literal view of the Bible, however this resolution was defeated.
Throughout its history, the Church of the Nazarene has maintained a stance supporting total abstinence from alcohol and any other intoxicant, including cigarettes. Primary Nazarene founder Bresee was active in the Prohibition cause. Although this continues to be debated, the position remains in the church. While the church does not consider alcohol itself to be the cause of sin, it recognizes that intoxication and the like, are a 'danger' to many people, both physically and spiritually. Historically, the Nazarene Church was founded in order to help the poor. Alcohol, gambling, the like, and their addictions were cited as things that kept people poor. So in order to help the poor, as well as everyone, Nazarenes have traditionally abstained from those things. Also, a person who is meant to serve an example to others should avoid the use of them, in order not to cause others to stray from their 'walk with God,' as that is considered a sin for both parties.
Alarmed by what they perceived to be the increasing influence of "emerging church philosophy that had crept into the Nazarene denomination", after August 2008 a group of church members formed an organization called Concerned Nazarenes. They believe that "The emergent ideology is a perversion of the Word of God and the doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene." The group circulated a petition to members of the denomination, which was presented by 500 members to the Board of General Superintendents in January 2009, with the desire that "Our fervent hope and prayer is that the General Superintendents will respond by purging our denomination of the emergent cancer before it is too late." Prior to the most recent General Assembly held in July 2009, the Concerned Nazarenes advocated revising the Articles of Faith to affirm biblical inerrancy: "Old and New Testaments are inerrant throughout and the supreme authority on everything the scriptures teach." Further, they are concerned about the teaching of open theism and biological evolution in Nazarene universities; invitations to emergent church leaders Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, and Doug Pagitt to speak at Nazarene institutions; and the use of "experiential works-based techniques for prayer", including prayer labyrinths, prayer stations and retreats to Roman Catholic monasteries. On 15 June 2009 the Concerned Nazarenes issued a press release indicating "Conservatives are pushing the church hierarchy to make a clear statement about Scriptural inerrancy at the Orlando gathering. Representatives from Indiana have put forward a resolution, urging delegates to affirm the Bible as totally free of error." During the General Assembly 6.000 copies of a two-hour DVD outlining the perceived dangers of the Emergent Church was distributed to delegates and visitors. Only one person on the DVD was a member of the Church of the Nazarene.
Nazarene scholars and historians have responded with articles that argue that Biblical inerrancy is not the traditional position the Church of the Nazarene. In 1984 Dr. Kenneth Grider, Nazarene professor, articulated reasons that biblical inerrancy is not a good fit for Wesleyans. Objections raised by the Concerned Nazarenes with regard to Postmodernism are answered in a book edited by Nazarene theologian Tom Oord entitled, Postmodern and Wesleyan?: Exploring Boundaries and Possibilities,, which was published by Beacon Hill Press, an imprint of the Nazarene Publishing House, which endeavors to show how Wesleyan thought can be applied to post modern culture in creative and hopeful ways. The intent of "emerging" and "Nazarene" is to reimagine Wesleyanism in post modern culture something the Concerned Nazarenes view as revisionist and false.
For many years Church of the Nazarene congregations had worship services (each lasting about an hour) three times a week: Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening. The Sunday evening service was more evangelistically focused with gospel songs sung rather than hymns, testimonies given, and often concluded with an altar call inviting those seeking either salvation or entire sanctification to come forward and kneel at that the altar. However, increasingly in recent years, the Sunday and Wednesday evening services in many Nazarene churches have changed from worship services to discipleship training, and many growing churches have utilized weekly small group meetings. Worship services typically contain singing a mix of hymns and contemporary worship songs, prayer, special music, reading of Scripture, sermon, and offering. Services are often focused toward a time of prayer and commitment at the end of the sermon, with people finding spiritual help as they gather for corporate praying.
Worship styles vary widely. Over the last ten years, an increasing number of Nazarene churches have utilized contemporary worship services as their predominant worship style. This may involve the use of a projector to display song and chorus lyrics onto a video screen. More traditional Nazarene churches may have a song leader who directs congregational hymns from the pulpit or platform. In some worship services, particularly the traditional Wednesday night prayer meeting, members are often encouraged to "testify," that is, give an account of some aspect of their spiritual journey. A testimony may describe a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit or speak to a particular event of meaning in a person's recent Christian life. Prayers offered during services are most often communal and led by a single person.
Annual revival meetings have long been a traditional part of Nazarene life, and are still encouraged in the Manual, though may be seen less today than they once were. An evangelist comes to preach the revival services. The Church of the Nazarene licenses and credentials evangelists, many of whom earn their entire living through their ministry of evangelism. Most Nazarene districts also sponsor an annual camp meeting for adults and their families as well as separate camps for both teens and children.
While Nazarenes believe that the ill should utilize all appropriate medical agencies, Nazarenes also affirm God's will of divine healing and pastors may "lay hands" upon the ill in prayer, either at the hospital or in a worship service. A prayer for divine healing is never understood as excluding medical services and agencies.
The Church of the Nazarene recognizes two sacraments: Christian baptism and the Lord's Supper, or communion. Nazarenes permit believer's baptism and infant baptism alike, although in recent times infant baptism has given way to more frequent infant "dedication" ceremonies, thus reserving baptism until after the time when the child makes a conscious decision to follow Christ. Every Nazarene church is required to administer the sacrament of the Lord's Supper at least four times a year. Some congregations offer Communion at least once a month. The Nazarene Manual also includes rituals for the reception of new church members, weddings, funerals, the installation of new officers, and church dedications.
The Church of the Nazarene combines episcopal and congregational polities to form a "representative" government. The salient feature of this structure is shared power between people and clergy as well as between the local church and the denomination. At the 1923 General Assembly, the following was stated in relation to the denomination's polity: "Our people have felt they did not want extreme episcopacy in the appointment of pastors, neither did they want extreme congregationalism. In the past, we have tried to find a middle ground, so as to respect the spirit of democracy and at the same time retain a degree of efficiency."
According to the denominational website, "The General Assembly of the church serves as the supreme doctrine-formulating, lawmaking, and elective authority of the Church of the Nazarene, subject to the provisions of the church constitution." Composed of elected representatives from all of the denomination's districts globally, since 1985 the General Assembly has met once every four years. All General Assemblies have been held in the United States. At the most recent General Assembly, held in Orlando, Florida, USA, in June 2009, a total of 1,030 delegates were finally registered, with 982 eligible to vote, and 48 non-voting delegates. The General Assembly elects the members of the Board of General Superintendents and considers legislative proposals from the church's 429 districts. Topics under consideration may range from the method of calling a pastor to bioethics.
The highest elected office in the Church of the Nazarene is that of General Superintendent. Every four years six ordained elders, who are at least 35 years old and are not over 68 years old, are elected by the General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene for a four-year term. Both ordained females and males are eligible to be elected to the office of General Superintendent. However of the thirty-nine persons who have served in this office, Dr. Nina G. Gunter (born 1940), who served for four years from 2005, is the only female has been elected. The youngest person elected General Superintendent was Roy T. Williams (1883–1946), who was only 32 when chosen to fill a vacancy caused by the deaths of Phineas F. Bresee (1837–1915) and William C. Wilson (1866–1915), both of whom died within weeks of the 1915 General Assembly. Wilson is the shortest-serving General Superintendent, dying only 33 days after his election at the age of 47. R.T. Williams was the longest-serving general superintendent, who served for just over years from January 1916 to his death in March 1946. Eight of the first eleven General Superintendents died in office. Dr Hiram F. Reynolds (1854–1938), one of the original two General Superintendents elected in October 1907, holds the record as the oldest person to serve in this office, retiring in 1932, at the age of 78.
Collectively these six elders constitute the Board of General Superintendents, which is, according to the denominational website, "charged with the responsibility of administering the worldwide work of the Church of the Nazarene. The Board of General Superintendents also interprets the denomination's book of polity, the Manual of the Church of the Nazarene." All official acts of the Board of General Superintendents are subject to the review of the General Assembly, the supreme legislative body in the denomination. At the 2009 General Assembly, General Superintendents Jerry D. Porter (born 1949), was re-elected to a fourth term; Jesse C. Middendorf (born 1942) was re-elected to a third term; and J. K. Warrick (born 1945) was re-elected to another four-year term. In addition, Eugenio Duarte, from Cape Verde, was elected the 37th general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene, thus becoming the first person elected to the Board of General Superintendents from Africa; David W. Graves was elected as the 38th general superintendent; and Stan Toler was elected the 39th general superintendent.
The General Board was created by action of the 1923 General Assembly to replace a system of independent general boards that often competed with one another for the church dollar. These independent boards became departments of the General Board. The General Assembly elects representatives from around the world to the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene. The General Board carries out the corporate business of the denomination." At the 2009 General Assembly a new General Board was elected to a four-year term. The General Board currently has 44 members representing the church's 15 regions, and an additional four members were elected to represent Education (2), Nazarene Youth International, and Nazarene Missions International. Of the 48 members elected, 27 are from outside the USA, and 21 are US citizens. Five are women.
The Church of the Nazarene has two orders of ordained ministry: the ordained elder and the ordained deacon. The ordained elder is a person, either male or female, who has been set apart for a ministry of "Word and Sacrament." Their primary assignment is to preach the Word, administer the sacraments, and lead the local church. The ordained deacon is a man or woman who has been set apart for full-time ministry in a role other than "Word and Sacrament." Those eligible to be ordained as deacons include those who are called to a full-time ministry of music, Christian social ministry, or director of Christian education, or another ministry that does not typically involve leading a congregation. The church also has district licensed ministers. Usually these are persons who are on the path toward ordination or who are strongly considering a call to ordained ministry. A licensed minister may, in some cases, be the pastor of a church.
The Church of the Nazarene also recognizes these specialized forms of Christian service and ministry. The Church of the Nazarene has 14,869 ordained elders, 684 ordained deacons and 7,435 licensed ministers.
The basic unit of organization in the Church of the Nazarene is the local church congregation, which may be either an organized church or church-type mission (often known as "New Starts"). The largest congregation in the denomination as measured by average weekly attendance each Sunday morning (as of February 2009) was the Central De Campinas church on the Paulista Sudeste district in Brazil, which reported 8,216 members and an average weekly Sunday morning worship attendance of 7,237. Last year it received 873 new Nazarenes. The next four largest congregations were the Casa De Oracion Paso Ancho church in Colombia (4,600 members; 7,000 worship); the Americana church in Brazil; Grove City Church of the Nazarene in Grove City, Ohio; and College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas.
Local congregations are grouped administratively into Districts, such as the Georgia District Church of the Nazarene. At the 2009 General Assembly a resolution was passed defining a district as "an entity made up of interdependent local churches organized to facilitate the mission of each local church through mutual support, and sharing of resources, and collaboration." Each district is led by a District Superintendent, who is usually elected by delegates from each local church in an annual meeting called the District Assembly. In embryonic districts, the District Superintendent may be appointed by the jurisdictional General Superintendent. There are currently 433 Districts worldwide. Of these, 174 are Phase 3; 85 are Phase 2; and 141 are Phase 1. There are also 33 pioneer areas. There are 85 Districts in the USA and Canada. The two Districts with the largest membership in the Church of the Nazarene are the Guatemala North Verapaz District, with 22,012 members, and the Korea National District, with 20,282 members. Districts may also be divided into several Zones, where local churches within a Zone may cooperate for various activities, particularly for youth events.
All Districts of the Church of the Nazarene are organized into Regions. In 2009, there were 15 Regions, with 8 in the United States of America, 1 in Canada, and the other 6 comprising the rest of the world. These 6 non-North American Regions are the Africa (410,816 members in 5,629 churches in 35 countries), Asia-Pacific (103,453 members in 1,585 churches in 24 countries), Caribbean (155,364 members in 1,078 churches in 23 countries), Eurasia (153,387 members in in 3,363 churches in 34 countries), Mexico & Central America (154,235 members in 1,698 churches in 7 countries), and South America Regions (201,736 members in 3,027 churches in 10 countries), which are administered through the denomination's department of World Mission, each with a regional Director. Existence of Regions in the United States and Canada is tied to church funds and higher education, as local churches pay budgets on a District level, and as Districts onto the Regional level, and a portion of the local and district budgets is alloted for Nazarene institutions of higher education (see "Higher Education" below). Educational Regions for the Church of the Nazarene were first established in 1918.
Districts in areas administered by the Department of World Mission are often grouped into "fields", with a field strategy co-ordinator providing strategic leadership. On 31 January 2008, India became the first field in the global Church of the Nazarene to be entirely indigenous with the field strategy co-ordinator, Rev Sunil Dange, and all 15 district superintendents, all ministry coordinators, and all pastors from India.
The Nazarene Manual states that "[t]he Church of the Nazarene, from its inception, has been committed to higher education. The church provides the college/university with students, administrative and faculty leadership, and financial and spiritual support... The church college/university, while not a local congregation, is an integral part of the church; it is an expression of the church." In holding to this philosophy, the Church of the Nazarene owns and operates 11 liberal arts institutions  in Africa, Canada, Korea, Brazil, and the United States, as well as 3 graduate seminaries, 38 undergraduate Bible/theological colleges, 3 nurses' training colleges, 1 junior college, and 1 education college worldwide. In 2008, there were 45,103 students enrolled in these 58 Nazarene institutions of higher education, an increase of 2,932 over the previous year. The largest Nazarene university is Korea Nazarene University, with over 5,300 students. On 16 October 2009 the Global Consortium of Nazarene Graduate Seminaries and Schools of Theology was inaugurated in Manchester, England. It comprised the following eight institutions: Africa Nazarene University (Nairobi, Kenya); Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (Manila, Philippines); Brazil Nazarene College (Campinas, Brazil); Korea Nazarene University (Chonan City, South Korea); Nazarene Theological College (Brisbane, Australia); Nazarene Theological College-Manchester (United Kingdom); Nazarene Theological Seminary (Kansas City, Missouri); and Seminary of the Americas (San Jose, Costa Rica). Nazarene educational institutions are overseen by the Nazarene International Board of Education (IBOE). Total assets of these educational institutions reached US$1,055,112,861. Church support to these institutions totaled $27,468,445.
A portion of the local church and district budgets is allocated for Nazarene higher education, and subsidizes the cost of each Region's (see Organization, Region above) respective institution. Hence, in the United States and Canada, there is one Nazarene liberal arts college per Region. Accompanying that logic of institutional support, there is a gentlemen's agreement between the Nazarene liberal arts colleges in the United States to not actively recruit outside their respective region, requiring that a Nazarene prospective college student must first seek information from any "Off-Region" institution on an individual basis. Bible colleges and seminaries are not associated with a Region in the same way as the liberal arts colleges.
There are several key ministries that focus on different aspect of the larger mission statement. The biggest of these are Nazarene Youth International (NYI), Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries, Nazarene Missions International (NMI), and Nazarene Publishing House (NPH).
Nazarene Youth International encompasses membership from young people aged 12–25. NYI membership globally at the end of 2008 was 415,041 (an increase of 18,318) in 13,706 societies (a increase of 671) worldwide.
At the end of 2008, Sunday School and Discipleship Ministries International (SDMI) reported an average global Sunday School weekly attendance of 812,672 (in Sunday School) and 47,001 including extension ministries. The Total Global Responsibility List stands at 1,499,335, a gain of 23,731.
The Church of the Nazarene has been committed to obeying the Great Commission since its inception. According to the 2005-2009 Manual, "Historically, Nazarene global ministry has centered around evangelism, compassionate ministry, and education."
Nazarene Missions International (NMI) is "the church-relations heart of World Mission within each local church" and "the local-church-based global mobilization and promotional arm of the Church of the Nazarene". has 916,470 members. NMI was founded in 1915 at the fourth General Assembly, as the Nazarene Foreign Missionary Society, with Susan N. Fitkin elected the first president. Fitkin remained in office until 1948.
The total amount raised for World Evangelism Fund in 2008 was approximately US$48.6 million (with nearly US$47 million coming from the U.S.A.). Mission Specials receipted were US$29,267,879 (a 9.54 percent increase over the prior year). This combined giving totaled $77,879,735, which is 3.52 percent above that of 2007.
In 2008 World Mission (WM) and JESUS Film Harvest Partners (JFHP) had 351 JESUS Film teams working with missionaries and local leaders, spreading the gospel in 273 languages and in 100 world areas. The cumulative total since 1998 is 50,576,397 evangelistic contacts with a reported 8,963,161 decisions made for Christ (17.7 percent of contacts) and 2,944,075 (32.8 percent of decisions) initial discipleship follow-ups. Since 1998, 17,700 new missions were started. In 2008, JFHP had a total of 3,875,777 evangelistic contacts; 728,900 (18.8 percent) of evangelistic contacts indicated a decision for Christ in 2008. Of these decisions there were 319,905 (43.9 percent of decisions) initial discipleship follow-ups. There were also 3,462 new mission churches started in 2008.
Since its inception in 1974, Work and Witness, an endeavor that sends teams of volunteers into cross-cultural situations primarily to construct buildings on the mission field, has 196,060 participants who have given 13,246,196 labor hours, which equals 6,564 years of labor. In 2008, there were 722 Work and Witness teams and a total of 10,750 participants. Teams served in 72 world areas.
The Church of the Nazarene has 245 full-time compassionate ministries centers and volunteer efforts around the world. Nazarenes have been instrumental in assisting people in every part of the globe who have been affected by war, famine, hurricane, flood, and other natural and human-made disasters. In 2008, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries' Child Development program had 123 Child Development Centers globally that provided more than 11,140 sponsorships in 77 countries, and met the needs of more than 50,000 children through nutritional programs. The church operates 64 medical clinics and hospitals worldwide.
Nazarene Publishing House (NPH), the publishing arm of the Church of the Nazarene, is the largest publisher of Wesleyan-Holiness literature in the world. NPH prints more than 25 million pieces of literature each year. NPH processes more than 250,000 orders each year from more than 11,000 churches.
The Third General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene held in Nashville, Tennessee in 1911 recommended that the infant denomination’s three publishing companies (then located in Rhode Island, Texas, and Los Angeles, California) each founded by a different Nazarene parent body, consolidate into “one central publishing company” and merge their three papers into one strong paper. The newly created Pentecostal Nazarene Publishing House was sited at 2923 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri, in 1912, with Clarence J. Kinne, a Nazarene ordained minister, as its first manager. The Herald of Holiness, the new weekly paper, edited by B. F. Haynes, appeared for the first time in the spring of 1912. The Other Sheep (later World Mission) magazine began publication in 1913 under founding editor Charles Allen McConnell (born 19 June 1860 in Valparaiso, Indiana; died c.1950), who was NPH manager from 1916 to 1918. Both magazines were published until 1999, when they were discontinued in favor of Holiness Today, a new publication. In the meantime, Spanish, Portuguese, and French editions of Herald of Holiness appeared over the years.
NPH is a separate corporate entity from General Church of the Nazarene, although it is accountable to the church. NPH has a Board of Directors and is also accountable to one of the six General Superintendents of the Church of the Nazarene who has oversight of NPH. NPH publishes a variety of books, music and materials. The primary label under which books are published is Beacon Hill Press. Sunday school curriculum is published under the label Word Action. Youth ministry resources are published under the label Barefoot Ministries. Consuming Worship is a new company that publishes materials for the Emerging Church. Spanish materials are produced by Casa Nazarena de Publicaciones.
Music and drama resources are published under the label Lillenas Publishing, which was founded in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1925 by Nazarene minister and composer Haldor Lillenas (born 19 November 1885 at Stord Island, Norway; died 18 August 1959 at Aspen, Colorado), and subsequently purchased by NPH in 1930.
The following are notable people those who have past or current affiliation or membership in the Church of the Nazarene:
Notable church historians include Timothy L. Smith, Stan Ingersol, Floyd T. Cunningham, Paul M. Bassett, and Randall J. Stephens. Biblical scholars of note include Olive Winchester, Ralph Earle, and William Greathouse.
The Zillah Church of the Nazarene is located in the Yakima Valley about 15 minutes from the city of Yakima, WA. For more information about our community go to the Zillah Chamber of Commerce or the Zillah.com website.
We are a family friendly church and desire to make a difference in our community. Our Sunday morning worship gathering has a contemporary feeling and appeals to a broad range of people. We try to stay away from religious language and would love to have you share with us what you are looking for in a church. The Zillah Church of the Nazarene is part of the Nazarene denomination that has churches all around the world, even though we have our own local leadership and individual vision for our community and the context we find ourselves in. It is our belief that God uses various churches to meet the needs of various people, so we pray for the other churches in our community and valley each week publicly.
There are exciting and growing youth and children's ministries at Zillah Church of the Nazarene. It is our goal to be a resource and encouragement to parents as you raise your kids and teenagers in our ever-changing world. It is a challenge to be sure, but with God's help we can have the kind of family and home God intended. Let us know how we can help.