The Dixon Pentecostal Research Center participated in the 16th Biennial International Fellowship Conference held at the North Cleveland Church of God in Cleveland, Tennessee, on July 15-18, 2015. Church of God Multi-Cultural Ministries sponsored the conference, which highlighted the multi-cultural membership of the Church of God in the United States and Canada. Among the cultures represented were Haitian, Brazilian, Indonesian, Jamaican, Romanian, Indian, and African American. Dr. Kenneth L. Hill is the director of Multi-Cultural Ministries.
The Research Center produced a table-top exhibit for conference delegates featuring photos and information related to the history of Black Ministries in the Church of God. During the years of segregation in the United States, Black ministers requested that Black congregations come under the auspices of Black leadership. They created the “Church of God Colored Work” with headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. The General Assembly established this ministry in 1926, and it served until 1966 when the Church of God developed a polity of full integration. Among the accomplishments of this ministry were an Assembly Auditorium in Jacksonville and an orphanage and industrial school in Eustis, Florida.
In addition to the exhibit, Dr. David Roebuck presented a lecture entitled “Reclaiming a Legacy of Racial Inclusion.” Dr. Roebuck noted examples of racial inclusion and exclusion in early Pentecostalism, suggested reasons why the Church of God developed its particular model of inclusion, and concluded with a discussion of the role of Bishop H. G. Poitier in the integration that came in 1966. Dr. Roebuck presented his paper just prior to a service of dedication for the Poitier Commons at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary.
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