Apart but Together: West Virginia Churches Tune Messaging to Similar Frequency

 In All Church of God, CHOG, Northeast

By Carl Stagner

A core principle of the Church of God movement since its inception, unity is often taught but perhaps less often lived. Certainly a wide variety of valid applications of Christian oneness inspire the imagination: whether at the local church board level or among the Ministries Council, between churches just down the street from one another and between Christ-centered movements and denominations—not to mention among sisters and brothers in Christ who may look, think, walk, or talk a little differently—unity remains a central theme of Jesus’ John-17 prayer. Early this year, Church of God congregations across West Virginia opted to express unity in one particularly practical, yet substantive way. They embarked on a seven-week journey aimed at tuning messaging to a similar frequency.

Launching on the first Sunday in January, a whopping minimum of thirty-five West Virginia congregations of the Church of God began participating in what’s been dubbed “Speak One Voice.” The non-negotiable truths of the Movement provide the basis and content for the experience, starting with the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

“Jesus is above all!” Mitchell Burch exclaimed in exuberance, announcing the beginning of the statewide campaign. Burch, who serves as pastor of Buffalo Church of God in Buffalo, West Virginia, also serves as state pastor for West Virginia Ministries of the Church of God. His enthusiasm for the unity experience presently underway is nothing short of contagious. “I urge you to join us each week for these timely messages that we will be sharing throughout the Church of God in West Virginia,” he continued. “Please pray for your pastors as they prepare their hearts and the Word each week, as we gather to worship and hear the Word.”

The idea behind the initiative is rather simple. “We wanted to challenge all our preaching pastors to get behind the nonnegotiable truths we as a movement have embraced,” Mitch explains, “and unify the collective message of our church through these truths.”

Only a few weeks through the collective experience, signs of success have already emerged. “So far we have had tremendous feedback from our pastors and from our congregations,” Mitch observes. “We are always looking for ways to bring great unity to our state ministry and thought there’s no better way than to ‘speak one message with one voice!’”

Learn more about what the Church of God movement believes by clicking here . Take a deeper dive into Church of God doctrine, including the Five Non-Negotiables: click here .

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