Plateau District Meetings

This past Tuesday, Debra and I were privileged to share a meal in Crossville, Tennessee with the pastors and companions of the Plateau District churches.  Whenever we share these times, it is a great time of fellowship and sharing of information.  I have watched as we’ve conducted these meetings across the state year after year and the richness of the fellowship is evident and the desire to work together as local churches have grown.  This is the third of our meetings in 2014 and we are looking forward to the rest of the state.

Thanks to Dr. Freddie Harding the District Presbyter for helping to secure the location and provide the necessary preparations.  Debra and I enjoyed spending the night at their home in Spencer.

The next day, Wednesday, we met again with the group of pastors, companions and church treasurers to conduct a training session for the new SharePoint system being used by all levels of church leadership.  Special thanks to Brother and Sister Todd Bagley for a nice lunch preceding the class.

We are blessed to work with such wonderful people in Tennessee!

Bishop E.C. & Debra McKinley
Presiding Bishop of Tennessee

A visit with 108-year-old church member

Yesterday afternoon, Debra and I had the privilege of spending a little time with one, if not THE oldest church member in the

Member of the Lawrence Chapel Church in Crossville, Tennessee.

Member of the Lawrence Chapel Church in Crossville, Tennessee.

Church of God of Prophecy.  Sister Bee is special to our family, she was good friends with my parents, grandparents and Debra’s parents as well.  In fact, Sister Bee has known me longer than I’ve known her and I’ve known her my entire life.

Growing up in Evansville, Indiana, Sister Bee was one of the faithful members of the local church and a great encouragement to me as a young man preparing for ministry.  Included in this picture with Sister Vera Bee is my wife Debra and District Presbyter, Bishop Freddie Harding.

When Debra asked, “what is the secret of living so long?”  Sister Bee replied, “SECRETS!  I don’t have any secrets.”  It was a priceless moment.

We love Sister Bee and hope you will join us in prayer for her as she pushes forward to 109!

Fifth Sunday District Fellowship – Chattanooga

Last night I was privileged to drop in on a great fellowship service at the Hickory Valley Church in Chattanooga.  This fellowship service is one of the “FIFTH SUNDAY” that takes place across the state on a regular basis.

The idea is simple.  On the months there are five Sundays, the District Presbyter organizes a Sunday evening worship service in one of the churches in his area of responsibility.  The events are a great time to connect with other churches in your area and for our pastors to get to know one another a little better.

In last night’s fellowship, Darren Shalk, the Director of the Christian Education Department at the International Offices brought a great message from Matthew 11.  I encourage you to take advantage of special events like this when they are taking place in your area.  May the Lord bless you.

E.C. McKinley
State Presiding Bishop

New Pastoral Appointment – Ashland City, Tennessee

New Pastoral Appointment

New Pastoral Appointment

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Donn Lovvorn to serve as the new Senior Pastor at the Ashland City Church of God of Prophecy.  Former pastor, Bishop Mike and Kathy Burton are taking a short leave of absence and Bishop Burton will be teaching some educational development classes for the Tennessee State Offices.

Most recently, Pastor Donn Lovvorn has served as the youth pastor at our Crossroads Church in White Bluff, Tennessee and before that served as Senior Pastor at the StrongTower Ministries Church (formerly known as the Shady Grove Church)  Please join us in prayer for the wonderful people at the Ashland City Church and for the Burtons.

Women of Grace 2014 Fall Tour

Tennessee Women of Grace

Tennessee Women of Grace

This weekend, I was privileged to spend a few minutes at the Baggett’s Chapel Church in Cunningham, Tennessee with some very special ladies.  The event was the Tennessee Women of Grace Fall Tour, sharing upcoming events, casting vision and mentoring ladies.  We are truly blessed in Tennessee with a dynamic Women’s Ministries Department, led by Londa Richardson.

In the meeting last night, Londa, her board and Debra McKinley shared with the ladies gathered.  Without counting myself, I was told there was well over 50 women from the upper middle Tennessee area gathered at the church for fellowship, worship, the Word and fun.  This morning, the team traveled to the House on the Rock Church of God of Prophecy in Pulaski, Tennessee for the second of the fall meetings.

Each of the team shared in both locations their vision and ministry for ladies throughout our State.  Each one of these special ladies are ministers with thriving ministries:

Londa Richardson is our CFA for the State and has been mentoring her team for years.
Michelle Brooks-Young is the Tennessee Global Missions Director.
Kim Batson is our State Children’s Ministries Director.
Jill Mandrell serves the local church at Lakeside and is a gifted speaker and worship leader.
Debra McKinley (Bishop McKinley’s spouse) serves as a State Administrative Assistant and is the Director of Peek-A-Boo and Praise Ministries.

Each area of the State of Tennessee has an assigned coordinator who works with the State Director and her Council.

The next meetings are scheduled as follows:

September 5, 2014 hosted by the GreenRidge Church
September 6, 2014 morning meeting hosted by the North Hills Church in McMinnville
September 6, 2014 afternoon meeting hosted by the Stanley Street Church of God of Prophecy in Crossville.

For more information about upcoming state Women’s Ministries events CLICK HERE to go to the Tennessee Women of Grace Website, or check us out on the Tennessee Church of God of Prophecy (Official) page on Facebook.
Twitter at:  @ecmckinley #tncogop

Special Prayer Request – Sharon Caruthers

I am asking everyone to join me in prayer tonight for Sharon Caruthers.  Sharon’s serves with her husband, Pastor Vernon Caruthers at the Madisonville Church of God of Prophecy in Tennessee.  She has been hospitalized for some-time-now with a serious infection and is recovering from multiple surgeries.  Again on Saturday, Sharon will be facing another surgery and I am asking all who can to join me in prayer for Sharon and Vernon.

We know the Lord has all the ability to heal, as well as guide the hands of the surgeons and other caregivers.  Thank you for helping us pray.

The Spiritual Battle

In the last post I made mention that future updates would be coming concerning our International Assembly.

Here is the first of many: Our international presbytery meeting was a time of very long hours, many prayers and much deliberation.  After going through the entire process that has been developed for our guidance, we came to a place we have never been.

What was this place?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  We were at the point of going to the International Assembly to share that we could not agree on the individual who should serve as the General Overseer for our church.  It was at that point that a real sense of heaviness settled upon the entire international presbytery.

One by one, different ministers spoke of the heaviness and we again went to a time of prayer. At one point in the evening, somewhere around 11:30 p.m. the call to repentance and forgiveness was given.  Brothers went to one another to make right any hurt feelings that may have arisen between them.

Then, there were Scriptures shared and the reading of what seemed to be a word from the Lord.  The whole atmosphere seemed to be rich with the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

One of our brethren from Asia spoke up and shared the name the Lord had given to them, a second minister placed a chair in the middle of the room and shared how the LORD was going to fill the chair.  Then almost as if moved in unison, leaders began to gather around Bishop Sam Clements, who was kneeling in prayer.  As I approached him he looked at me and said, “what should I do?”  My answer was, “you need to stand up.”  I did not know that one of the other ministers had gone to him and whispered the same thing in his ear.  You see, the Lord establishes every word by the mouth of two or three witnesses. (2 Corinthians 13:)

The rest, as they say is history.

There was a great time of rejoicing nearing 1:00 a.m. as Bishop Clements wife Linda was brought into the room to stand alongside her husband for prayer and anointing.  Later, the selection of our new North American Presbyter, Bishop Tim Coalter was made with a very quick process, as the North American Overseers deliberated.  We were feeling great!

Now, the rest of the story.

Our International Assembly started off with a high level of anticipation and great excitement.  The worship was wonderful as was the preaching.  There was much honest debate conducted over the business sessions but there were isolated incidents that seemed as though our enemy, the devil was trying to cause difficulties.

I won’t go into all of that right now, but suffice it to say that great conflict ALWAYS comes AFTER great VICTORY! That is the reason we are exhorted by the Scriptures to take on the whole armor of God, so that we may withstand all of the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:13-17)

We must always be ready for the battle, because it is coming whether we like it or not.  We are not defeated, but rather we are victorious through the Lord Jesus Christ!

So, I leave this post with a reminder from the Scriptures: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Ephesians 6:10-12)

Remember, “Great is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

International Assembly Update

Rosen ShingleDear friends, Earlier tonight my wife and I returned from Florida, having attended the International Assembly, and followed by a few days of vacation with my immediate family.

First of all, I am deeply honored (and grateful) to be reappointed to serve the State of Tennessee as the Presiding Bishop.  I have wanted nothing more than to serve the people and work to see God’s best for our state.

As a member of the international presbytery, I was in Orlando several days before the assembly started, and was involved in the process of selecting a new General Overseer.  I can honestly say the Lord intervened in our process and we have found the Will of God.  Bishop Sam Clements, our North American General Presbyter was selected unanimously by the international presbytery and then confirmed by the entire assembly. Later in the pre-assembly meeting, Bishop Tim Coalter was selected to serve as the North American General Presbyter.  Again, I can honestly say that I believe we have found the Will of God in this selection as well.

Perhaps, this assembly will go on record as one of the best attended since our days in Cleveland.  According to published accounts, there were over 8,000 in attendance and the webcast of the sessions were seen around the world.

In coming days, I will be sharing highlights of the assembly.  In the meantime, please join me in prayer for our global church and please join me in prayer for Bishop Clements and Bishop Coalter.

The Blackout is Lifted

Perhaps the topic is reminiscent of the days of world wars when the bombing by enemy Air Forces led to an order to turn off all lights at night, or cover any sources of illumination that would highlight a nations communities.  Well, let me share a a thought with you of my use of this term.  Since the International Assembly Presbytery began meetings, we were asked by our leadership to make sure there was a sense of confidentiality for the deliberations to select a new General Overseer for the Church of God of Prophecy.  This was only fair, because the lives and ministries of the candidates and their families would be discussed openly by the Bishops in attendance.

For the past 16 years, I have served as a part of this great body of Christian leaders, and in recent years have served on internal committees determining the qualifications of the leaders.  This has given me a new view of how important whole life stewardship is in the fellowship of faith.  So, I have gone further than the limited blackout of social media requested and have stayed in a mindset of prayer and worship, not posting anything.

I am happy to report that we have reached a decision and the new General Overseer was put forth to the International Assembly of the Church of God of Prophecy.  Bishop Sam Clements, a native of the State of Tennessee and the North American General Presbyter was presented to the Assembly by the International Presbytery and he was unanimously selected to serve.

I began my ministry 35 years ago and was ordained a Bishop in 1986.  I served as a Pastor and District Presbyter during the tenure of Bishop M.A. Tomlinson.   In the past sixteen years I have been a part of this process at the reinstatement of Bishop Billy Murray, and the selection of Bishop Fred S Fisher, Sr., and of Bishop Randall Howard and now of Bishop Sam Clements.  That makes serving under the leadership of five of our six General Overseers.   Why do I share this?  For only one reason.

After days and nights of deliberation, we had a breakthrough after the midnight hour when the Holy Ghost moved in a very clear way to answer our prayers. The five Bishops originally considered were NOT REJECTED, they were simply not selected…instead we know very clearly and confidently that we have found the will of the Lord!  I could not be happier.  SO, the Blackout has been lifted and in coming days I will be sharing more here and on Twitter and Facebook.

Youth Mission Team – Ecuador

Youth Mission Team - Ecuador

Youth Mission Team 2014 – Ecuador

We are so grateful for the Youth from Tennessee participating in this year’s Youth Mission Team to Ecuador.  This is part of the mentoring program and the fulfillment of the heart and vision of Jay Johnson, our State Mentoring Program.  This group is there now, and is minister in Quito, Ecuador and the surrounding area, having helped to plant a church in that city.  We are so proud of them and ask you join us in prayer for their continued protection and safety.

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