In the 1600’s churches under the leadership of Martin Luther, John Calvin and Ulrich Zqingli started making drastic changes in the way religion was going. They are often referred to as “reformers”. This is where a type of Christianity was born called “Protestantism”. Then in the 18th century John and Charles Wesley were responsible for starting a “holy club”. Which evolved into a movement called “Methodism.” These new reformations were about teaching Holiness and living above sin and honoring Jesus Christ with our entire lives. From these major leaders other denominations formed with idea’s that came from these early leaders and emphasis on living Bible truths.
The Church of God reform movement had its beginnings in the Midwestern region of the United States. The first apparent “congregations” were in the states of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. It is customary to speak of 1880 as the year in which it started. However, the first overt action toward launching a movement did not occur until October 1881 in a meeting near the village of Beaver Dam, Indiana.
Although this movement for the rebirth of the Church originated in America it soon spread to Europe, Asia and Africa. Spiritually sensitive, devout, and courageous Christian men and women heard or read the message of unity and holiness and responded with enthusiasm.
There were several early leaders who played a very significant role in the development of the work. Among these in America were Daniel S. Warner, Joseph C. Fisher, and A.J. Kilpatrick. In addition, A.D. Kahn of India and Ukichi Yajima of Japan identified themselves with the message a few years later.
There are many denominations from differing backgrounds titled “Church of God”. We are referred to as the Church of God of Anderson, Indiana, where our international headquarters are located.
DS Warner and a number of other Christian leaders wanted to have a church that was not bound by rigid denominational rules and regulations and one that more clearly reflected the New Testament church with its message of unity and holiness – a church that would encompass all born again believers, regardless of denominational tags. Thus the Church of God has no written “membership rules”. If you believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, you are a member of Cloverdale Church of God.
The Church of God is considered a member of the “holiness movement”. Similar churches that identify themselves as a part of the “holiness movement” include the Quakers (Friends), the Nazarene Church, the Free Methodist Church and the Evangelical Church of North America.
Cloverdale is made up of people from all backgrounds who have come together for one purpose – to Worship the Lord and grow in our walk with Him. In fact, less than 5% of the Cloverdale come from a Church of God background.
To learn more please visit the Church of God website.