The annual General Assembly of The Church of God will begin Tuesday at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Black Mountain, North Carolina.
The Tuesday evening session will officially open the six-day conference of business, preaching, singing, worship and auxiliary programs. The international gathering will be streamed on internet (www.thechurchofgod.org/assembly). Messages and reports will be given bilingually throughout the sessions.
The August 23 opening will feature music and singing by the Mary Shelton Family of Tennessee, and a message by Mitch Cameron, also of Tennessee. An hour of prayer by all assembly delegates will close the first session.
Progress reports from North America and the Caribbean Islands will highlight the morning program on Wednesday. Herman Ard of Cleveland will be preaching. The afternoon session will include a message by James R. Horne of Alabama, and the Bible Institute program directed by Ray D. Dupre, general coordinator.
Melvin Byers Jr., general coordinator, will present the Church of Prophecy Marker Association on Wednesday evening.
The morning session on Thursday will have progress reports from Mexico, Central and South America and Puerto Rico by Donaldo Acosta, general field secretary. Serafin Pimentel of Idaho will deliver the message. The business portion will include the Ways and Means report.
Dewayne Smith of Arkansas will be preaching on Thursday afternoon. The business portion will include the Questions and Subjects report and the receiving of an assembly expense offering. A special highlight of the afternoon will be a song by the national and state overseers.
The World Mission program directed by General Coordinator Robert J. Hawkins Jr. with the annual Parade of Nations – an assembly favorite event – will be on Thursday evening. The Spanish delegation will present preliminary music and singing directed by Johanna Jovel of California.
Retired minister David Risch of Cleveland will preach on Saturday morning prior to the General Overseer’s annual address. Friday has been the traditional time for this. This year it is preceded by a song by his daughter, Yadira Pimentel.
E. Roger Ammons, general director of evangelism and pastor of The Church of God, Southside, will be in charge of the evangelism program on Friday afternoon. Dwayne Anders of North Carolina will preach the message on healing Friday evening and the annual healing service will conclude the evening session.
On Saturday, Allene Cox of Cleveland, the Assembly Band Movement coordinator, will direct the program, which will include a moment of silence for ministers who have passed this past year. The ordination service for newly licensed deacons and bishops will also be held in the morning session.
Progress reports from Africa, Asia and Europe will lead the afternoon service on Saturday followed by the Women’s Missionary Band program directed by Betty Bishop of Alabama.
On Saturday evening, the young people will march into the auditorium under the direction of Dustin T. Hays, general Victory Leaders Band coordinator.
Janet Talley will present preliminary music and singing on Sunday, as the final day of the assembly begins. The last two sessions will include the Sunday school program directed by Robert F. Strong Sr., and the Children’s Assembly Program directed by Deborah Wantlok of Arkansas on Sunday morning, followed by committee reports and the assembly statistical report in the afternoon.
Following appointments for the coming church year, the General Overseer will signal the official closing of the 2016 General Assembly. Samuel D. McMahon of South Carolina will offer the closing prayer.
This report was first published in the Cleveland Daily Banner on August 19, 2016.