For the first time since 1906, the Church of God faith movement with headquarters in Anderson, Ind., will host its annual convention in a location other than the city where it is based.
The historic change will bring the convention to Oklahoma City on June 23-26 at Crossings Community Church, 14600 N Portland.
Jim Lyon, general director for Church of God Ministries, said Crossings will host the event with help from other metro-area partners, including Mid-America Christian University, a Church of God-affiliated school, and about 45 affiliated pastors and their congregations.
The event will feature several notable guest speakers, including evangelist Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of renowned evangelist Billy Graham. Also, musical guests will include gospel recording artist Sandi Patty and contemporary Christian band Sidewalk Prophets.
Patty, an Oklahoma City native who now lives in the northwest Oklahoma City area, is a lifelong member of the Church of God. She attends Crossings.
The Rev. Marty Grubbs, Crossings’ senior pastor, said he was surprised and then excited to learn that Church of God leaders wanted to move this year’s convention to his city and church.
A third-generation Church of God minister, Grubbs, 55, senior pastor of Crossings for 33 years, said he considers the historic opportunity to host the annual gathering “an honor.”
Over the years, the Oklahoma City church has offered its assistance to other congregations affiliated with the movement, but “I never dreamed it would result in them deciding to have the national convention at Crossings,” he said.
“That just blew me away.”
A ‘bold’ move
Lyon, 61, said the decision to move the national convention gathering somewhere other than Anderson was made for several “practical, nuts and bolts” reasons. Bucking tradition is bold but exciting, he said.
In that way, the convention’s theme, “Be Bold,” is fitting.
Lyon said the Church of God movement was born in Indiana, and for many years, most of the movement’s members lived in Indiana and nearby states. That has changed over the years, and now the Indiana-based movement’s population has dispersed to many parts of the country.
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2014 Church of God Convention