IPHC Ministries Charter Member of Christian Churches Together with Focus on Evangelism and Poverty
Contact: Joe Iaquinta, IPHC Ministries, 405-787-7110 x3101
OKLAHOMA CITY, Mar. 21 /Christian Newswire/ -- On February 7th, thirty six member organizations representing the five major church "families" — Roman Catholic, evangelical/Pentecostal, Protestant, Orthodox and historic racial ethnic — met to inaugurate the most diverse ecumenical grouping in U.S. history, Christian Churches Together (CCT). Also present were a number of non- denomination religious groups, such as World Vision, Bread for the World, Sojourners/Call to Renewal, Evangelicals for Social Action and the Salvation Army.
According to James D. Leggett, Presiding Bishop of IPHC Ministries and a member of the CCT steering committee, "The two themes of this gathering, Evangelism and Poverty, show that we can work together to proclaim Jesus Christ as Savior of all people. We can also show His love and compassion for the poor and the marginalized."
"It is our intent and prayer to broaden and deepen the fellowship of Christian churches and organizations in the United States," said the Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, the general secretary of the Reformed Church in America and chair of the CCT steering committee. He said he expects many more groups to soon join the CCT, including denominations such as the Mennonite Church USA and the Church of the Brethren, which are likely to join CCT during its next assembly.
According to Bishop Leggett, "Each of the five church families is represented by a president." As president of the Evangelical/Pentecostal church family, he challenged the worshipers to consider the prayer of Jesus for unity. "If this was the passion of our Savior, who loved the Church and gave Himself for it, then each of us should avail himself of every opportunity to become one, to develop unity in the body of Christ. CCT gives Evangelicals and Pentecostals the opportunity to work toward this unity in the broadest gathering of the Christian Church in America."
Earlier, the 85 CCT delegates, along with several dozen observers and 30 seminary students from around the country spent a full day sharing the five Christian families' perspectives on evangelization. All agreed that evangelization is central to the gospel as expressed in Jesus' Great Commission in Matthew 28. But the approaches vary.
For those in the evangelical/Pentecostal tradition, evangelization is "experiential, exegetical and expressive," said Grant McClung, a theologian and seminary professor in the Church of God, based in Cleveland, TN and presenter of the evangelical/pentecostal approach to evangelism. "We believe that one must know God personally through Jesus Christ and that our evangelistic witness flows out of that personal experience."
IPHC Ministries is a 100+ year old pentecostal church with more than 4 million adherents in more than ninety nations of the world.