Leaders from six global Pentecostal denominations, representing over 90 million members combined, recently met in Los Angeles to discuss a wide range of international and domestic topics. The Pentecostal Leaders Summit convened for three days last week in Los Angeles, California to discuss a number of topics including the effects of terrorism, the church's role in racial harmony, religious freedom and same-sex issues facing the church just to name a few.
The leaders in attendance included Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ; Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God; Dr. Glenn C. Burris President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel; Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent/Presiding Bishop, International Pentecostal Holiness Church; Dr. Mark Williams, General Overseer, Church of God; Rev. Randall A. Bach, President, Open Bible Churches and Dr. Jack W. Hayford, Former President, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. Additional persons in attendance were elected officials from each organization, including other members of the Church of God International Executive Committee: David Griffis, J. David Stephens, Wallace Sibley and M. Thomas Propes.
A goal of the summit was to provide an opportunity for each leader to listen and discuss the various national and international crisis-facing Christians around the globe, while also seeking to help bring unity to the body of Christ globally.
Charles E. Blake Sr. says, "This gathering of Pentecostal leaders has provided each person with a unique opportunity to come to Los Angeles and dialogue with their contemporaries in other denominations, with similar beliefs, about issues that are confronting us all."
He further states, "This summit has shown us what we, as Christian leaders, have said and known for some time now: We are all better when we come together as one."
George O. Wood states, "This was truly an historical meeting. We are all the grandsons and granddaughters of the Azusa Street revival, and in these days, the Holy Spirit is drawing us together in united witness, fulfilling the prayer of Jesus that the world would know us by our love for one another."
Glen Burris emphasized, "There is a strong sense that the conversations among us have resonated much like the early church, that experienced a 'one accord' dynamic. An African proverb says, 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' Finishing the Great Commission will require all of us."
The last discussion topic of the summit was how the six denominations can continue in dialogue with one another and provide opportunities to include additional Pentecostal denominations and enlarge the representation from each group.
Doug Beacham shares, "People are so thankful that we are meeting like this. Whatever steps we take are important for us, for our country and for revival ... ."
Mark L. Williams declares, "Our shared history along with the collegiality and genuine respect we have for one another holds great promise and unlimited potential for fulfilling the mission for which Jesus died. Only a united church can reach a divided world. We must be one."
Randall A. Bach explains, "It is always meaningful to gather with leaders of like faith. It is particularly joyful, however, to fellowship and collaborate with leaders of like experience, who love and pursue the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Our family of ministers and churches embrace and value our sister fellowships with love and respect. Unity in the Spirit glorifies the Lord."
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