Isaiah 40:4 was the theme for The Church of God General Assembly held in Kingsport, Aug.6 – 11: “… say unto the cities of Judah, Behold Your God.”
General Overseer Oscar Pimentel sounded the gavel for the official opening Tuesday evening at the Meadowview Conference Center. The first thing on program was the pledges of allegiance to the Bible and the Church flag.
The message by Earl Little, overseer of South Carolina, set the spiritual pace for the weeklong assembly, with “House of Prayer” from Isaiah 56:7. The message was followed by an hour of prayer.
Beginning on Wednesday morning, the program was interspersed with a segment titled “Like a Might Army Moves The Church of God,” as reports were given from all over the world.
Church auxiliary programs began on Wednesday evening, the first, Church of Prophecy Marker Association led by coordinator James R. Horne of Pennsylvania.
On Thursday, Bible Training Institute program was given by Paul Horton, general director, with music by the BTI Choir from the Cleveland school led by Deborah Perkins.
Kryss Barick, Assistant Editor of The Evening Light, gave a presentation on the church publications. This was followed by a message and media update by Grayson Kent: “Lift Up Thy Voice With Strength,” as he told of the many opportunities to send the Gospel through technology available to everyone.
The Parade of Nations, which is a highlight of the assembly, took place on Thursday evening during the World Mission Program, arranged by Robert J. Hawkins Jr. of Tennessee, General Coordinator. Also on the program were music and singing by the Spanish delegation, and others representing Equatorial Guinea and Indonesia.
Friday morning is the traditional time for General Overseer Pimentel’s annual address. His emphasis was on the church’s young people and reaching the urban population in larger cities. He presented a plan (Gideon’s Army) for holding youth rallies and asked for 300 to give $100 a month to be able to do that. He also urged the people to reach out to those who live in the urban sections of their countries or states.
General Evangelism Director E. Roger Ammons of Cleveland directed the Evangelism program on Friday afternoon. He introduced several groups who conducted revival campaigns during the year. Ammons is the national overseer of Haiti. During one of the “Like a Mighty Army” presentation, he told of the need there and the challenges and dangers the people face.
As in the past, the Friday evening service focused on prayer for healing. This year, however, as Victoria Griffin sang “The Blood Has Never Lost Its Power,” along with playing her violin, prayer began throughout the auditorium, lasting for hours. Many gave their testimonies of salvation and healing amid the rejoicing and praying.
On Saturday, the delegates were treated to more inspirational programs: the Ordination Service was held Saturday morning followed by the Assembly Band Movement directed by Deborah Perkins of North Carolina.
On Saturday afternoon, the assembly was blessed by the Women’s Missionary Program, led by Sharon Griffin of Indiana, General Coordinator. The W.M.B. choir was directed by Janet Talley of Tennessee, singing “Here Comes the Bride,” “Days of Elijah,” and arrangement of “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There.”
Hundreds of young people – “Young Warriors” – burst into the auditorium Saturday evening, dressed in red, white and black and carrying signs showing the logo of the Victory Leaders Band. Coordinator Josh Farthing of Georgia directed the program and preached a message on “Breaking the Chains.”
The Sunday School program, directed by coordinator Bettie Marlowe of Cleveland, began with a parade into the auditorium. A Sunday school yell was given by young cheerleaders and states and national coordinators introduced their locations as they passed by the microphone.
Michael Steptoe of Georgia preached on “Learn of Me,” the Sunday School theme for 2019-2020 and presentations were given by Amarie Solis, Roger Ammons and Anthony Dyer. A testimony of a miracle was given by Terry Marlowe.
The Sunday School program was followed by the Children’s Church directed by Debra Wantulok and family of Arkansas. The rostrum was filled with children. The program ended with a special presentation of the bride and groom – with a 21-foot veil filling the front of the auditorium.
The General Overseer made the annual appointments before adjourning the Assembly on Sunday afternoon. Ray Dupree of Louisiana gave the closing prayer for the appointees. Tentative dates for the 2020 Assembly are Sept. 1 through 6, 2020.
This article originally appeared in the Cleveland Daily Banner on Friday, August 16, 2019.