Thursday, October 2, 2008

100 Years: Church of the Nazarene

Happy 100th birthday Nazarenes!
(I come from a Nazarene background)

Some facts:
  • The denomination was founded in 1908, in Pilot Point Texas.
  • The denomination started through the merger of 15 small Holiness denominations.
  • Nazarenes are Wesleyan Arminian in orientation
  • The church has always permitted the ordination of women. In 1925, 12% of the ordained ministers were women. Currently the number is about 2%. source
  • The church has always been racially integrated (whites and blacks).
  • The church currently has 1.7 million members, 640,000 in the USA.
  • The founder was Phineas F. Bresee. Bresee came from a Methodist background, and was active in the Los Angeles community.
  • Some of the better known theogians include: H Orton Wiley, Mildred Bangs Wynkoop, and J Kenneth Grider

Challanges for Nazarenes (my opinions)
  • Liberal trends: The belief in the infallibility of the Bible is under attack
  • Slowed growth in the USA
  • closing of churches in the USA (the small ones are being closed, while the big ones are getting bigger)
  • Ministering to postmodern society
  • Ministering to minorities, adjusting to changing racial demographics in our communities
  • The encroach of Calvinistic concepts
  • Decreased emphasis on Holiness
  • There seems to less focus on world missions.
  • "Silo" of the denomination, Nazarenes need to work more with other groups who have closely related theology (like Assembly of God, Wesleyan, Methodist, Free Methodist, Church of God, etc)


Crowm said...

Happy B-Day!

I didn't realize the big city :) of Pilot Point was the start.

The Nazarene church here has just got a new minister. I look forward to working with him.

The challenges you bring up are for all denoms or non-denoms to consider.


Jnorm888 said...

I didn't know the Church of the Nazarene started in 1908. I always thought it started in the mid to late 18 hundreds. Thanks for the information. And have a blessed weekend!!!

I was never Methodhist, but I was a member of the Wesly foundation in college. Does the Church of the Nazaren have a highschool or college equivalent to the Wesly foundation?


Pizza Man said...

Hey Mike, yeah it's quite the metropolis. And only a short drive from Lovington. :)

Hey Jnorm, I'm unaware of any Nazarene oriented societies in high schools or colleges. The denomination is probably too small for that. However, there are a some associuated liberal arts colleges. I went to one of them - NNU. NNU is also home of the Wesley Center for applied theology (An excllent Arminian resource).