The Church of the Nazarene

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

The Church of the Nazarene

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1908-

History

The Church of the Nazarene traces its anniversary date to 1908. Its organization was a marriage that, like every marriage, linked existing families and created a new one. As an expression of the holiness movement and its emphasis on the sanctified life, our founders came together to form one people. Utilizing evangelism, compassionate ministries, and education, their church went forth to become a people of many cultures and tongues.

Two central themes illuminate the Nazarene story.

The first is "unity in holiness."

The spiritual vision of early Nazarenes was derived from the doctrinal core of John Wesley's preaching. These affirmations include justification by grace through faith, sanctification likewise by grace through faith, entire sanctification as an inheritance available to every Christian, and the witness of the Spirit to God's work in human lives. The holiness movement arose in the 1830s to promote these doctrines, especially entire sanctification. By 1900, however, the movement had splintered.

P. F. Bresee, C. B. Jernigan, C. W. Ruth, and other committed leaders strove to unite holiness factions. The first and second general assemblies were like two bookends:

In October 1907, the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America and the Church of the Nazarene merged in Chicago, Illinois, at the First General Assembly.

In April 1908, a congregation organized in Peniel, Texas, drew into the Nazarene movement the key officers of the Holiness Association of Texas.

The Pennsylvania Conference of the Holiness Christian Church united in September 1908. In October 1908, the Second General Assembly was held at Pilot Point, Texas, the headquarters of the Holiness Church of Christ. The "year of uniting" ended with the merger of this southern denomination with its northern counterpart.

With the Pentecostal Church of Scotland and Pentecostal Mission unions in 1915, the Church of the Nazarene embraced seven previous denominations and parts of two other groups.1 The Nazarenes and The Wesleyan Church emerged as the two denominations that eventually drew together a majority of the holiness movement's independent strands.

"A mission to the world" is the second primary theme in the Nazarene story.

In 1908 there were churches in Canada and organized work in India, Cape Verde, and Japan, soon followed by work in Africa, Mexico, and China. The 1915 mergers added congregations in the British Isles and work in Cuba, Central America, and South America. There were congregations in Syria and Palestine by 1922. As General Superintendent H. F. Reynolds advocated "a mission to the world," support for world evangelization became a distinguishing characteristic of Nazarene life. New technologies were utilized. The church began producing the "Showers of Blessing" radio program in the 1940s, followed by the Spanish broadcast "La Hora Nazarena" and later by broadcasts in other languages. Indigenous holiness churches in Australia and Italy united in the 1940s, others in Canada and Great Britain in the 1950s, and one in Nigeria in 1988.

As the church grew culturally and linguistically diverse, it committed itself in 1980 to internationalization—a deliberate policy of being one church of congregations and districts worldwide, rather than splitting into national churches like earlier Protestant denominations. By the 2001 General Assembly, 42 percent of delegates spoke English as their second language or did not speak it at all. Today 65 percent of Nazarenes and over 80 percent of the church's 439 districts are outside the United States. An early system of colleges in North America and the British Isles has become a global network of institutions. Nazarenes support 14 liberal arts institutions in Africa, Brazil, Canada, Caribbean, Korea, and the United States, as well as five graduate seminaries, 31 undergraduate Bible/theological colleges, 2 nurses training colleges, and one education college worldwide. From nazarene.org/history

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Wiens, Evelyn R. (Evelyn Ruth) 1943-1998 (12 November 1943-11 September 1998)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Wiens, Evelyn R. (Evelyn Ruth) 1943-1998

is the employee of

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

1970 - 1994

Description of relationship

Evelyn R. Wiens served as a missionary of the Church of the Nazarene

Related entity

Church of the Nazarene Canada (1902-)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Church of the Nazarene Canada

is an administrative jurisdiction of

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

The first Church of the Nazarene in Canada was organized in 1902 at Oxford, Nova Scotia. It began as a member of the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America but merged with the Church of the Nazarene and Holiness Church of Christ in 1907. The Church of the Nazarene Canada became incorporated into Church of the Nazarene in 1908 after the merger that established the Church of the Nazarene.

Related entity

Canadian Nazarene University College (1999-2007)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Canadian Nazarene University College

is controlled by

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

1999 - 2007-05-01

Description of relationship

(Canadian) Nazarene University College was the official Canadian college of the Church of the Nazarene from its inception in 1999 until it united with Alliance University College to form Ambrose University on 1 May 2007.

Related entity

Canadian Nazarene College (1940-1999)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Canadian Nazarene College

is controlled by

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

1940 - 1999

Description of relationship

Canadian Nazarene College was the official liberal arts and ministerial training college of the Canada (educational) Region of the Church of the Nazarene 1940-1999.

Related entity

Northern Bible College (Red Deer, Alta.) (1929-1940)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Northern Bible College (Red Deer, Alta.)

is controlled by

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

1929 - 1940

Description of relationship

Northern Bible College was the designated Canadian institution for the training of Christian workers for the Church of the Nazarene 1929-1940.

Related entity

Alberta School of Evangelism (1927-1929)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Alberta School of Evangelism

is controlled by

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

1927 - 1929

Description of relationship

The Alberta School of Evangelism was the designated Canadian institution for the training of Christian workers for the Church of the Nazarene 1927-1929

Related entity

Calgary Bible Institute (1921-1927)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Type of relationship

Calgary Bible Institute

is controlled by

The Church of the Nazarene

Dates of the relationship

1921 - 1927

Description of relationship

Calgary Bible Institute was the first ministerial training institute of the Canada (educational) Region of the Church of the Nazarene.

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Ambrose Archives

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Maintenance notes

  • Clipboard

  • Export

  • EAC

Related subjects

Related places