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Church of God (Anderson)

The Church of God (Anderson) is a holiness Protestant denomination with roots in Wesleyan pietism. It was started in 1881 by Daniel S. Warner and several others. Warner had been a member of the General Eldership of the Church of God. He differed with the Winebrennerians on the doctrine of sanctification, which he held to be a second definite work of grace, and on the nature of the church. The desire of Warner and the others was to forsake denominationalism and creeds. To this end, they determined to trust in the Holy Spirit as their guide and the Bible as their creed. This church is not historically related to other Church of God bodies such as the Church of God (Cleveland) or Church of God (Charleston, Tennessee). Though these bodies are also holiness in outlook, the Church of God (Anderson) does not share their Pentecostal emphasis. The church is currently headquartered in Anderson, Indiana, hence its name.

The church's beliefs include "the divine inspiration of Scripture; forgiveness of sin through the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of the believer; the experience of holiness; the personal return of Christ, unconnected with any millennial reign; the kingdom of God as established here and now; the resurrection of the dead; a final judgment in which there will be reward for the righteous and punishment for the wicked."1

The church observes baptism, the Lord's supper, and feet washing as symbolic acts, but, though recognizing them as ordinances, does not regard them as mandatory. Church government structure is local and autonomous.

The Church of God (Anderson) has about 2300 congregations in the United States and Canada, with an average attendance of 235,000. Worldwide "membership" is more than 750,000 in about 7340 congregations. The church does not have traditional formal membership. Personal conversion and Christian conduct, coupled with attendance are sufficient for participation in the Church of God (Anderson).

The church's seminary is Anderson School of Theology in Anderson, IN. It is also affiliated with several colleges across North America: Anderson University, Azusa Pacific University, Bay Ridge Christian College, Gardner College, Mid-America Christian University, Warner Pacific College, and Warner Southern College.

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