If the Lord’s coming tarries, we will be celebrating our 25th North American Church of God Conference in July 16-19, 2020at the Mesquite Convention Center, Mesquite, Texas. It will be our Silver Jubilee in which we will be remembering God’s providence and blessings. From the beginning till now His hand was upon us, leading and guiding us.
In 1936, J. H. Ingram, a worldwide travelling missionary from the Church of God met with Robert F. Cook in India. Their talk made it possible to merge the independent work of Robert F. Cook with the Church of God. Thus, Cook’s Malankara Full Gospel Church with 66 churches and 43 ministers became part of the Church of God. The work in India continued to grow at a very fast pace. That was a small beginning, but God’s hands were upon it and the Church of God grew all throughout India and abroad.
In the early Seventies, The United States renewed their Immigration policies and lot of Indians started to migrate to United States and Canada. They brought their faith and religious affiliation in to the new settlement. Wherever the Church of God members settled, they started prayer meetings and churches worshipping in Malayalam.
In the early 1980 we had Church gatherings in many states, starts with New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Illinois and Oklahoma. These churches reported to the State overseer of each State. Upon the desire of uniting the members of the Church of God Pastor Abraham Varghese wrote a letter inviting all the pastors and representatives for a meeting. This meeting was held in Queens Church of God, New York on May 30, 1993. Pastor P. Thomas presided the meeting and was unanimously agreed for a biannual meeting. Furthermore, the participants decided to have the 1st meeting in New York City in the Month of May 26-28, 1995, and the officials were also elected. Later in our second meeting in 1997 decided to have the meeting annually. The following are the places and leaders of the Conferences.
|1.||1995||New York||T. V. George|
|2.||1997||Tennessee||K. J. Mathew|
|3.||1998||Texas||T. V. George|
|5.||2000||New York||P. Thomas|
|6.||2001||Georgia||C. V. Andrews|
|7.||2002||New Jersey||Abraham Varghese|
|8.||2003||Tennessee||K. J. Mathew|
|9.||2004||Texas||T. V. George|
|10.||2005||Florida||Babu M. John|
|11.||2006||New York||Moni Mathew|
|17.||2012||New Jersey||P. V. Mathew|
|20.||2015||New York||Moni Mathew|
|23.||2018||Texas||Mathew K. Philip|
For the smooth running, NACOG has several committees working together. The national executive committee consist of a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Youth Coordinator. They are elected from the general body. The National Committee members are the representatives of the area churches, nominated locally. Media Coordinator, Church Growth Coordinator and Auditor also included in the National Committee. Besides the Executive Committee, National Representatives, there is a local committee. The local committee plays an important role for the success of the Conference.
Our ladies and youth have very important roles in our conferences. The ladies have at least one separate meeting and liberally gives for the missions and charity work every year. To encourage ladies to write, 20 years ago NACOG ladies started a publication called Voice of Faith.
Now our youth meetings are called English sessions and have several meetings, seminars and sports. These meetings are enriched by the attendance of non-Malayalam speaking adults.
In 2009 at the 14th conference we organized Church of God International Writer’s Forum. This Forumhelps to find the sleeping talents of many Church of God writers. NACOG published few souvenirs, the first in 2000, the 2nd in 2010 and the NACOG Ladies Fellowship published a souvenir in 2019 celebrating the 20 years of Voice of Faith. Also in 2019, the Church of God International Writer’s Fellowship published a souvenir promoting 10 years of Christian literature.
The North American Church of God (India) Fellowship has published a booklet as guidelines in the 2010 conference. The general body unanimously approved and adopted these guidelines.
We welcome everyone to our Silver Jubilee Conference. When we attend our Jubilee Conference in Dallas, let us remember “that the good hand of our God was upon us” Ezra 8:31. And the good hand of the Lord will be upon us as we work for the Lord. We are proud of our past. His mercy and favor will be with us as we plan and prepare for our future. May the Lord bless each of us as we work for the Lord.
Pastor K.J. Mathew, PhD.
NACOG Church Growth Coordinator