The Church of God (Seventh Day) grew from the efforts of dedicated advent believers living in Michigan and Iowa in the late 1850’s. In 1863, the Michigan church began to extend its influence into the eastern and central U.S. through a publication called The Hope of Israel. This magazine invited fellow Christians to assemble at conferences and camp meetings, and created interest in their distinctive doctrines: the second advent of Christ and the seventh-day Sabbath. Through these means, the General Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) was organized in 1884 and incorporated in Missouri in 1899. Its offices were located in Stanberry, Missouri, until 1950, when they were transferred to Denver, Colorado.
Over the years, The Hope of Israel also moved from Michigan to Iowa, then to Missouri. After several name changes, it is now known as the Bible Advocate. More than 100 years later, this flagship publication of the Church continues to be published and mailed six times a year from the conference offices in Denver.
The Church of God (Seventh Day) recognizes more than 200 congregations in the United States and Canada. It also has affiliated ministries in more than 35 countries outside North America, with a worldwide fellowship near 300,000 members. As an agent of God’s grace, the Church offers warm-hearted fellowship and willing support for people everywhere who trust and obey the same Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. It is in serving others that the Church finds relevance for its Bible-centered message and its God-inspired mission.
The Church of God (Seventh Day) believes that…
The Bible is the dependable and authoritative Word of God. No other writing is of such divine origin or is necessary for Christian faith and practice.
God the Father is the almighty Creator and loving Provider, eternal King and Judge of the universe.
Jesus Christ, the preexistent Son of God, is the Savior, Lord, and eternal Redeemer of all who truly believe. The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of God in believers—convicting, converting, teaching truth, prompting obedience, bearing fruit, distributing gifts, and empowering witness. Humans are sinners by birth and by choice. Because our first parents disobeyed, sin and death follow on us all. All of us have sinned in thought, word, deed, and in omission. Salvation consists of the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life. It originates in God’s grace, is achieved by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and is personally received by faith. Saving faith includes repentance, which activates obedience and good works through love—all produced by the Holy Spirit within. The regenerate Christian is obedient to the terms of the gospel, to the words of Christ, and to the enduring law of God summarized in the Ten Commandments. All the commandments remain as standards of holiness, including observance of the seventh-day Sabbath.
All people who have trusted Christ unto repentance are members of the spiritual body, the church of God. The mission of the church is to proclaim the gospel, introduce others to the Lord, teach them to obey His Word, and nurture spiritual growth in all believers. Jesus Christ instituted two ordinances for the church that confirm faith in Him: baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper, accompanied by footwashing. Jesus Christ shall return from heaven at the end of this age. The dead shall be raised from their sleep in the grave, and all humans shall be judged according to their works. The righteous shall be changed to immortality to live forever with the Lord; the wicked shall be completely consumed in the lake of fire.
There shall be a new heaven and a new earth as the home of the redeemed for all eternity.
Our collective work
The greatest ministry of the Church is performed by members serving others in Christ’s name, while scattered among thousands of workplaces, schools, markets, and communities all over North America and around the world. To assist the members and congregations in accomplishing this mission, the Church’s General Conference offers these primary ministries:
Publications (Bible Advocate Press) produces and distributes a wide range of literature on behalf of the gospel message and scriptural truth. This literature includes the Bible Advocate, Bible study lessons for adults and youth, tracts and booklets on various topics, a church hymnal, and a church newsletter—Churchright. Most of these publications are provided in both English and Spanish.
GC Missions assists in establishing and maintaining sister churches and missions outside North America. It provides literature, training, and salaries for many workers in several foreign fields. Missions Abroad also distributes Bibles and constructs churches and medical clinics as funds permit.
Church of God (Seventh Day) School of Ministry lifts the level of biblical understanding and Christian ministry for any member of the Church, and prepares men for pastoral and vocational ministry within the Church. It provides this training through interactive simulcasts that are relayed in real-time to classrooms and individual computers in the USA, Canada, and beyond.
Other services of the Church of God (Seventh Day) include Conference ministries for youth, young adults, and women. Spring Vale Academy, a boarding high school near Owosso, Michigan, and LITES Ministries, directed to young adults, are also among the Church’s ministry arms.
More on the Church of God (Seventh Day)
It has been said that vision addresses the future by creating a clear picture of what we desire tomorrow to look like. The Church of God (Seventh Day)’s Vision for a Vibrant 21st-Century Church, as briefly outlined below, defines our picture.
We believe that Christ is the head of the church. Therefore, we will exalt the Lord Jesus Christ to the highest in our worship, teaching, preaching, and ministry. He is the author of our salvation and the focus of our faith. Scripture says putting Him at the center of all we do pleases the Father.
Distinct, not exclusive.
We believe that the kingdom of God extends beyond our denomination, that we are only a small part of the body of Christ, and that we have a legitimate place within, and responsibility to, the rest of the Christian community.
We believe that being fully Christ-centered and worshiping on the Sabbath are not in conflict. The Sabbath has never been more relevant than it is in today’s world, filled with people.
We desire to be a church with increasing passion to experience the fullness of the Holy Spirit, expressed in the way we live and do ministry, individually and corporately.
We believe that Bible-based teaching and preaching honor God and edify people and that our ministry should reflect the highest commitment to integrity of interpretation of biblical truth and its application.
Passionate in worship
We believe that worship is a primary means by which we express our love for the Lord and that it should be a priority of the Church. Spiritual passion in worshiping the Lord agrees with Scripture and demonstrates our deepening relationship with Him.
Compassionate in service
We believe that genuine love for the Lord will be transformed into ministry to others. Reaching out to the world through compassionate service honors the Lord and points people to Him.
Aggressive in witness
We believe that lost people matter to God, that the Church has a mandate to evangelize, that each member has a role in that process, and that world conditions call us to be aggressive about winning the lost.
Strong in fellowship
We believe that a strong commitment to Christ calls us to a strong commitment to His body. Building up the Church through fellowship and through understanding, developing, and exercising our spiritual gifts is important.
Committed to discipleship
We believe that the goal of faith is to be conformed to the image of Christ, which happens best through the process of mentoring and discipleship. A healthy church is the result of the healthy spiritual development of individual believers.