Minutes of all but the most recent International General Assembly are now available online at no charge. The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center, Church of God Communications, and the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives (CPA) have partnered together to make this significant historical record of Church of God General Assemblies accessible to the public at www.pentecostalarchives.org.
The first Church of God General Assembly met January 26-27, 1906, in a private home in the Camp Creek community of North Carolina. Pastor A.J. Tomlinson moderated that Assembly and later printed the minutes of that meeting as a tract. With some exceptions, the General Assembly met annually until 1946 and biennially since that time. Now known as the Church of God Book of Discipline, Church Order, and Governance, the Minutes contain a record of the business conducted at each Assembly as well as a compilation of past decisions that continue determining the doctrine and polity of the church. Having them available online allows anyone to review the historical development of Church of God doctrine, practices, and ministries since the first Assembly.
As the archives of the Church of God, the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center is preserving the earliest handwritten records as well as the printed Minutes of every General Assembly. According to Dr. David Roebuck, Church of God historian and director of the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center, the center is increasingly working to make historical records available online. While the Research Center is having older records scanned, Church of God Communications Director David Ray made digital copies of more recent volumes available to the Center. The current edition will continue to be available in print and Kindle formats through Pathway Press at pathwaybookstore.com.
The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center networks with the Consortium of Pentecostal Archives to make historical records of the Pentecostal Movement available to scholars, students, and the public. According to Roebuck, representatives of several Pentecostal denominations began collaborating about a decade ago to create an online site where member denominations and ministries could make their historical records available at no charge. Roebuck, who served as the first chairman of the CPA board, praised the vision of Darrin Rodgers, Director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center in Springfield, Missouri, and the willingness of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center to host the site as well as assist with scanning in many cases.
The CPA site now contains about 225,000 pages of Pentecostal documents of several denominations including the Assemblies of God, Church of God, Church of God of Prophecy, Congregational Holiness Church, Inc., International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, International Pentecostal Church of Christ, International Pentecostal Holiness Church, and Pentecostal Church of God. Publications and records of other historically significant ministries such as the Azusa Street Mission’s The Apostolic Faith are also available. Church of God publications include Church of God Evangel (up to 1960), General Assembly Minutes, Samson’s Foxes, and The Way. Among other important historical resources for the Church of God is The Bridegroom’s Messenger, to which many Church of God ministers and members contributed prior to the publication of the Church of God Evangel. Roebuck noted that the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center will add other Church of God resources as funds for scanning become available.