IPHC Holds Conference in Costa Rica
In spite of prevailing political tension in many parts of the world
and heightened security in the United States, representatives from
several ministry regions including North, South and Central
Americas and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and
Austral/Asia gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica, February 13-16
for the Third World Conference of the International Pentecostal
Holiness Church (IPHC).
Nearly 40 members of the executive staff and support personnel
from the IPHC Resource Development Center, located at 7300 N. W.
39th Expressway in Bethany, Oklahoma, attended the event.
According to 2002 statistics, the International Pentecostal Holiness
Church has a total worldwide membership of 3,743,391 in 18,096 congregations.
This figure includes Pentecostal groups around the world who have
chosen to affiliate with the church.
James D. Leggett, General Superintendent, says the last decade
proved to be the churchs most progressive era in over a century
of worldwide ministry. "We experienced record-breaking growth
in three areas membership, new churches, and the number of
countries with a Pentecostal Holiness ministry," he says.
Flowing out of the theme, "Unlimited Opportunities,"
the conference featured reports by missionaries and national delegates
from the various continents where the IPHC has a presence. The denomination
currently has ministries in 100 countries with 186 missionaries
on the field. Total membership in the United States and Canada is
212,922 in nearly 2,000 churches.
Two previous IPHC World Conferences convened in Jerusalem, Israel,
in 1990 and 1995. James Leggett says these conferences also proved
to be defining moments for the church in terms of unity of purpose
and shared vision. "A document known as The Jerusalem
Proclamation was a result of the 1990 conference," he
says. "This declaration has served as the churchs primary
Statement of Purpose for the past 13 years."
In 1974, the International Pentecostal Holiness Church moved its
"nerve center," or International Headquarters, from a
small town in Northeast Georgia to Bethany, Oklahoma. The decision
to move to central Oklahoma was precipitated by the need to be more
centrally located. Later, the name of the IPHC facility was changed
to Resource Development Center to reflect its purpose and mission
in relationship to its member churches.