During the 100th International Assembly of the Church of God of Prophecy in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Bishop Sam N. Clements, general overseer, opened his biennial address by giving honor and celebrating the roles of women in both speaking and serving ministries.
"Even though Jesus choose 12 men to be with Him, women were a vital part of His ministry and the ministry of the early church," he said. "They are also a vital part of the ministry today, and I want to recognize and honor our women in ministry."
Though there is some controversy in the larger church world regarding the role of women in ministry, the COGOP, comprised of a million members around the world, has long affirmed their contribution in both the pulpit and support.
"Let me say to women, I appreciate your ministry, whether a speaking ministry or a serving ministry," he said. "Without your contribution, this church would not have survived through the years."
Bishop Clements continued to explain how Jesus broke with tradition to include females in spreading the gospel.
"Jesus's ministry involved everyone, the men, the women, the children, all. He broke down the wall that separated people. he broke with Jewish tradition by allowing women to be a part of His ministry."
As he finished his proclamation, Bishop Clements asked for every female minister to stand and to let the crowd honor them. Then, he asked for every woman who supported the growth of local churches through fundraisers to stand and let the crowd also show appreciation.
Following the affirmation, a video celebrating the legacy of female ministry was shown before the capacity crowd at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Two days later, during the conclusion of the historic Assembly, Bishop Clements appointed Kathryn Creasy to the role of executive director of Leadership Development and Discipleship, a position which has previously been filled by male leaders. The Assembly opened on Wednesday evening with a sermon by Dr. Cathy Payne, global missions coordinator.
The 100th Assembly was a record for the Pentecostal denomination, drawing in a crowd of 11,000 to downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, near its International Offices in Cleveland, Tennessee. More than 3,000 of the congregants traveled from outside of the U.S. to attend.
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