ABOUT THE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE
The Church of the Nazarene began with the merging of seven holiness churches in 1908, under the direction of founders Phineas Bresee, C. B. Jernigan and C. W. Ruth, who shared a need for the church universal, or the global church, to embrace what it meant to live in the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit. It is a denomination that emphasizes biblical education, Christ-centered living and unity in matters of salvation. It can best be described with three words: history, mission and holiness.
We are a church with a history that dates back more than 2,000 years to the time of Jesus Christ perfecting the Old Testament laws and commissioning the disciples and apostles to further his kingdom. The Nazarene church recognizes where it comes from and respects what past generations have done. It acknowledges that it is from a line of church history that is rooted in Jerusalem, influenced by Catholicism, shaped by the Protestant Reformation, refined by Methodism, sharpened by Wesleyan tradition and in tune with Holiness doctrine.
We are a church with a mission – a church that answers the call of the Triune God in Matthew 28:18-20 when he charged us with the responsibility to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, tribes and tongues. We are a people called by God, sent by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to impact the world with the gospel message. The Church of the Nazarene is communicating the gospel in 212 languages, is in 159 world areas and has a global membership of more than 2 million. Nazarenes have been answering the call to be missionaries since before the church was founded. This work is made possible through Nazarene Mission International and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.
We are a distinct holiness church, which, through the Doctrine of Entire Sanctification, sets itself apart from most other denominations. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross took the punishment of sin from humanity, provided our salvation and allowed the relationship between man and God to be whole once more. Following salvation, we believe that God calls Christians to a life of holy living that is marked by an act of God, cleansing the heart from original sin and filling the individual with love for God and humankind. This experience is marked by entire consecration of the believer to do God’s will and is followed by a life of seeking to serve God through service to others. Like salvation, entire sanctification is an act of God’s grace, not of works. Our pursuant service to God is an act of love whereby we show our appreciation for the grace that has been extended to us through the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The Church of the Nazarene continues to reach out to communities and families around the world. It seeks to reach the lost, the poor, the marginalized and the hungry. It is a church that opens its doors to all those seeking truth and strives to raise up disciples who will make disciples.