Churches of God, General Conference

From Ohio History Central

In 1830, John Winebrenner established the General Eldership of the Church of God. This institution was the predecessor of the Churches of God, General Conference. Previously, Winebrenner had been a minister with the German Reformed Church, but in 1828, this church no longer sanctioned Winebrenner as a minister.

Members of the General Eldership of the Church of God originally were known as Winebrennerians after the church's founder. These people believe in baptism by immersion, communion, and feet washing. In 1845, the General Eldership of the Church of God changed its name to the General Eldership of the Churches of God in North America and to the Churches of God, General Conference, in 1975. The church is currently headquartered in Findlay, Ohio. The Churches of God, General Conference, consisted of 336 congregations with 32,208 members in 2000.

In 1882, the General Eldership of the Churches of God in North America established Findlay College (modern-day University of Findlay). In 1942, Findlay College established a graduate program in theology. This program became the Winebrenner Theological Seminary in 1961, when it separated from Findlay College and began granting its own degrees. The Churches of God, General Conference, established Winebrenner Theological Seminary. Winebrenner Theological Seminary remains the Churches of God, General Conference's only seminary. In 2005, the institution had 147 students enrolled. The majority of students were members of the Churches of God, General Conference, but the seminary also had thirty-five other denominations represented in the student body.

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