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Church of the Nazarene.

1. One of the larger groups emerging from the holiness movement (see Holiness Churches, 1). Organized Pilot Point, Texas, 1908. Its theol. and doctrinal foundations are in holiness and sanctification as taught by J. Wesley.*

2. In Brooklyn, New York, the Utica Ave. Pent. Tabernacle was founded 1894, the Bedford Ave. Pent. Ch. and the Emmanuel Pent. Tabernacle 1895; these 3 formed the Assoc. of Pent. Chs. of Am. 1895; were joined 1896 by chs. of the Cen. Ev. Holiness Assoc., a New Eng. group.

3. In 1895 a First Ch. of the Nazarene was organized in Los Angeles, California; it formed an organization called Ch. of the Nazarene with related chs. as far E as Chicago; this group united 1907 with the Assoc. of Pent. Chs. of Am. at Chicago to form the Pent. Ch. of the Nazarene. Basis of Union was the merger document.

4. In 1894 a Ch. of Christ was organized in Tennessee and spread through Arkansas and W Texas Holiness chs. were organized 1898 in Texas, the first Indep. Ch. of Christ 1900. These groups merged 1904 to form the Holiness Ch. of Christ, which joined the Pent. Ch. of the Nazarene at Pilot Point, Texas, October 1908. This is usually considered the beginning of the Ch. of the Nazarene.

5. Holiness people of Tennessee formed the Pent. Alliance (later called Pent. Miss.) 1898; joined the Pent. Ch. of the Nazarene 1915; Pentecostals of Scot. also joined the group 1915.

6. Name changed 1919 to Ch. of the Nazarene. “Pentecostal” was dropped to avoid confusion with “tongue talking” groups.

7. The Manual is largely influenced by the Meth. Discipline. Since mems. came from Episc., Cong., Presb., and Meth. backgrounds, the Basis of Union sought a middle course by giving organized chs. the right of indep. action subject to Gen. Assembly approval and at the same time entrusted the care of the chs. to supts.

8. Teaches divine inspiration of the canonical Scriptures; Trinity; deity of Christ; atonement; justification; regeneration; 2d coming of Christ; resurrection; judgment; eternal bliss; and damnation. Holds that original depravity is corruption by reason of which everyone is “very far gone” so that no one can convert himself without the grace of God by Christ assisting him. Distinctive tenets are divine healing (but not to exclusion of medical agencies), entire sanctification (as 2d work of grace subsequent to regeneration), Holy Spirit's witness to such sanctification. Baptism (adults and children; pouring, sprinkling, or immersing) and the Lord's Supper (only unfermented grape juice used) are divine ordinances. Opposes use of tobacco and alcohol. Applicants for membership are required to show evidence of salvation by following rules of behavior in Manual.

Manual of the History, Doctrine, Government, and Ritual of the Church of the Nazarene, 1923, 4th ed. (Kansas City, 1924); Journal of the Sixth General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene, eds. E. J. Fleming and C. A. Kinder (Kansas City, [1923]); J. B. Chapman, A History of the Church of the Nazarene (Kansas City, 1926); E. T. Clark, The Small Sects in America, rev. ed. (Nashville, 1949); see also Religious Bodies (US), Bibliography of. EL

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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