Church of the Living God (Motto, Christian Workers for Fellowship)
430 Forest Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45229
The Church of the Living God was founded by William Christian in April 1889 at Caine Creek, Arkansas. It was the first black church in America without Anglo-Saxon roots and not founded by white missionaries.
Chief Christian, as he is now referred, was born a slave in Mississippi on Nov. 10, 1856 and grew up uneducated. In 1875, he united with the Missionary Baptist Church and began to preach. In 1888, he left the Baptist Church and began what was known as Christian Friendship Work. Believing himself to have been inspired by the Spirit of God through divine revelation and close study of the Scriptures, he was led to the truth that the Bible refers to the church as The Church of the Living God (I Timothy. Ch.3 vs.15). In 1889, he established the Church of the Living God organization.
The organization is nondenominational, nonsectarian and Trinitarian and believers in the infallibility of the Scriptures. It emphasizes believer's baptism by immersion, the use of water and unleavened bread element in the Lord's Supper and the washing of feet that is required only when one unites with the church.
The local organizations are know as "Temple" rather than as "Churches" and are subject to the authority of the general assembly. The presiding officer is styled as "chief bishop." The ministry includes bishops, overseers, evangelists, pastors, missionaries and local preachers. The Executive Board is in charge of the operation of the entire organization, in the absence of the Annual Assembly. Synod, Annual, General Assembly meets quadrennial.
The Church of the Living God, now headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been in existence for more than 114 years. It is represented by approximately 10,000 members throughout 25 states within the U.S. The presiding officer, Chief Bishop W. E. Crumes, has led the organization for more than 30 years.