Name: Church of the Nazarene
Denomination type: Methodist/Wesleyan
Year Reporting: 2006
Website: Visit Website
Description: The Church of the Nazarene resulted from the merger of three independent holiness groups. The Association of Pentecostal Churches in America, located principally in New York and New England, joined at Chicago in 1907 with a largely West Coast body called the Church of the Nazarene and formed the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene. A southern group, the Holiness Church of Christ, united with the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene at Pilot Point, Texas, in 1908. In 1919 the word "Pentecostal" was dropped from the name. Principal leaders in the organization were Phineas Bresee, William Howard Hoople, H. F. Reynolds and C. B. Jernigan. Dr. H. F. Reynolds organized the first Canadian congregation in 1902 at Oxford, Nova Scotia. The Church of the Nazarene emphasizes entire sanctification or Christian Holiness. It stresses the importance of a devout and holy life and a positive witness through Christ-like character shaped by the Holy Spirit. Nazarenes express their faith through evangelism, compassionate ministries, and education. The church is connectional. Its polity combines episcopal, presbyterian, and congregational elements. Churches call pastors. Districts conduct annual assemblies and elect leaders. The quadrennial General Assembly, a delegated body, is international in scope and establishes doctrine and order, elects the general superintendents (currently six), and elects members to various church boards and agencies. Internationally the church has 13 liberal arts colleges and universities, five graduate seminaries, 34 Bible colleges, three schools of nursing, an education college, and a junior college. The church maintains 702 missionaries and has work in 156 world areas. World services include medical, educational and religious ministries. Books, periodicals and other Christian literature are published at the Nazarene Publishing House. The church is a member of the Christian Holiness Partnership, National Association of Evangelicals, the World Methodist Council, and the European Methodist Council.