Overview of the Assemblies of God Denomination

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The Assemblies of God trace their roots back to a revival that began in the late 1800's. The revival was characterized by a widespread experience called the "Baptism in the Holy Spirit," and speaking in tongues.

The leaders of this revival decided to unite in a cooperative fellowship in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Three hundred ministers and laymen gathered to discuss the growing need for doctrinal unity and other common goals.

As a result, the General Council of the Assemblies of God was formed, uniting the assemblies in ministry and legal identity, yet preserving each congregation as self-governing and self-supporting entities.

Assemblies of God Around the World

Today, the Assemblies of God denomination consists of more than 2.6 million people in the United States and more than 48 million members worldwide. The Assemblies of God is the largest of the Pentecostal Christian denominations in the world today. There are approximately 12,100 Assemblies of God churches in the United States and some 236,022 churches and outstations in 191 other countries. Brazil has the largest number of Assemblies of God churches, with more than 8 million members.

Assemblies of God Governing Body

The legislative body ruling over the Assemblies of God is called the General Council. The council is comprised of each ordained minister within all Assemblies of God churches and one delegate from each of the churches.

Each Assemblies of God church maintains local autonomy as a self-supporting and self-governing entity, and elects its own pastors, elders and officers.

Apart from the local congregations, there are 57 districts in the fellowship of of the Assemblies of God, each headed by a District Council. Each district can ordain ministers, plant churches, and offer assistance to the churches within their district.

There are also seven divisions within the international headquarters of the Assemblies of God including the Division of Christian Education, Church Ministries, Communications, Foreign Missions, Home Missions, Publication, and other departments.

Assemblies of God Beliefs and Practices

The Assemblies of God are among the Pentecostal churches. The biggest distinction setting them apart from other Protestant churches is their practice of speaking in tongues as a sign of anointing and "Baptism in the Holy Spirit" -- a special experience following salvation that empowers believers for witnessing and effective service. Another distinct practice of Pentecostals is "miraculous healing" by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Assemblies of God believe the Bible is the inspired word of God.

Further setting them apart, Assemblies of God churches teach that the initial physical evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is speaking in tongues, as experienced on the Day of Pentecost in the book of Acts and in the Epistles

More Resources About Assemblies of God 

Sources: Assemblies of God (USA) Official Web Site and Adherents.com.

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Fairchild, Mary. "Overview of the Assemblies of God Denomination." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/assemblies-of-god-denomination-700146. Fairchild, Mary. (2017, March 3). Overview of the Assemblies of God Denomination. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/assemblies-of-god-denomination-700146 Fairchild, Mary. "Overview of the Assemblies of God Denomination." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/assemblies-of-god-denomination-700146 (accessed February 25, 2018).