David G. Roebuck
This past Friday and Saturday, January 26 and 27, was the 101st anniversary of the First General Assembly. Each year the Church of God of Prophecy holds an anniversary service in the house where the original Assembly was held in Camp Creek, North Carolina. For several years now I have attended this service, and in recent years they have invited me a speaker on the program. This year I spoke about the fruit of that first Assembly in terms of the ministry of the church in 1906 and the subsequent second Assembly where we adopted the name Church of God.
I am very appreciative that the Church of God of Prophecy saw fit to purchase the house and preserve it. Originally owned by the Shearer family, it is often called the Murphy House because Melissa Shearer Murphy and her husband, J.C., hosted the First Assembly in 1906. He died the next May, and she relocated to Cleveland, Tennessee. Although much of the original house no longer exists, the ceiling, walls and floor of the room where the First Assembly met have been preserved.
The house is open to visitors, and I frequently take school and church groups to visit it and other Church of God historical sites. One of the things I like to do while there is to read the minutes of that First Assembly and to pray for the leadership of the Church of God. A.J. and Mary Jane Tomlinson published the minutes of the First Assembly in tract form not long after the Assembly was held. The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center holds both the original handwritten minutes and the published minutes. We have scanned these and all other Assembly minutes up to 2002 in order to make them available on CD-Rom. It is one of the many things we are doing to preserve the history and heritage of the Church of God.