Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Church of the Nazarene Celebrates Its Centennial

Today, Sunday, October 5, some 18,000 Nazarene churches in 151 world areas join to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Church of the Nazarene.

Preparations for the day began in 2004 with the writing and translation of materials sent to every Nazarene church across the globe. The plan is that all 1.7 million members of the church will hear the same sermon, celebrate with the same music, participate in the same readings, and gather around the Lord’s Table in 24 time zones on the same day.

The Church of the Nazarene has its roots in Methodism, drawn from the teachings of English evangelist and Anglican priest, John Wesley (1703-1791). A unique child of the Wesleyan-Holiness Movement, the Church of the Nazarene arose from a widespread yearning among a portion of the Holiness people who had become estranged from the Methodist Episcopal Churches and sought new connections and united action beyond their local ministries. The denomination was established in October 1908 in Pilot Point, Texas, the culmination of mergers of several like-minded groups. The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations.

With a long history of mission work and 20th– and 21st-century advances in communication and transportation, the Church of the Nazarene has deliberately decided to steer an international course. “A century ago, the Nazarenes were an American family with relatives in other countries,” wrote Stan Ingersol, the denomination’s archivist, in a brief history of the group. “Today we are an international family of districts and congregations planted on each of Earth’s inhabited continents. No single language, race, or nationality claims a majority of our members.”

Attesting to the success of the denomination’s international initiative, the Church of the Nazarene now includes graduate theological seminaries in North America, Central America, and Asia-Pacific; liberal arts colleges in Africa, Canada, Korea, and the United States; nearly 40 theological schools worldwide; hospitals in Swaziland, India and Papua New Guinea; radio broadcasts in 30 languages; and printed materials in 103 languages. At the Church of the Nazarene’s quadrennial general assembly in 2001, 42 percent of delegates either spoke English as a second language or did not speak the language at all.

May God receive all the glory! - Praise the Lord!!!

The material above was taken and adapted from the "Centennial Celebration Leader's Guide."

For more information go to

For an official statement of congratulations from the 11th General Conference of The Wesleyan Church, click here.

For a letter of congratulations from the Church of God (Anderson), click here.

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