A new Church of God fellowship has formed, composed of ministers and members coming out of United Church of God, as UCG continues to split. Church of God - South Texas is pastored by Mr. Jack Hendren, and is composed of three congregations at present (Corpus Christi, Harlingen, and Victoria). They have a website, at:
I first learned of this from a post in the Shining Light blog:
Their website is simple and attractively designed with a welcome page and pages for their current Bible reading calendar, fundamental beliefs, relationships with other Church of God fellowships or organizations, and sermons. I have not studied their list of fundamental beliefs in detail, but it seems to be standard Church of God doctrine. Their relationships page lists two organizations, Church of God in Latin America and International Ambassador Outreach. There are two sermons listed in their sermons page which can be downloaded in .mp3 format, one by Mr. Leon Walker and one by Mr. Larry Roybal, both apparently given October 23, 2010. According to whois.net, the domain was created September 13, 2010.
There is contact information include email address, phone number, and mailing address in their welcome page.
I expect this website to expand as time goes on.
I have never heard Mr. Leon Walker speak before, so I look forward to listening to his sermon.
The page for COG relationships is interesting. Most Churches of God, especially the larger ones, do not have cooperative arrangements with other COG fellowships and organizations. This page may indicate that a pattern is being set along the lines of voluntary cooperation between Church of God fellowships. The idea of more than one Church of God organization working together in cooperation along the pattern of Peter and Paul working together is one of the suggestions in my post How the Church Can Be Organized.
One thing I did not find, but I am sure will be answered in time, is their form or structure of governance. I am wondering if Mr. Jack Hendren is elected to his leadership position by the ministers in Church of God - South Texas. I am curious to see if anything has been learned by UCG ministers about ballot-box governance in the division and discord that has come about in UCG, problems which UCG ministers hoped to prevent when they made their decision fifteen years ago to build an organization with the leadership selected by a process of voting.
It is my hope that Mr. Hendren is accountable only to Jesus Christ, with government from the top-down according to the biblical pattern, and that he is not placed in a conflict of interest by having to be accountable to those under his authority who also have the authority to remove him.
That decision, on governance, is one that all pastors leaving UCG will have to make. They all made that decision in the past. They will have to make that decision again. God is teaching the Church lessons. This will be a test to see how well UCG ministers are learning.
More to come...
Here are links to related sections in Preaching the Gospel:
A Brief History of the Scattering of the Church, Chapter 5
The Cause of the Church's Scattered Condition, and the Solution, Chapter 5
Government in the Church, Chapter 5
Following the Bible -- Pattern of Government, Chapter 6
Church Government, Chapter 7
How Is the Church Organized?, Chapter 7