Nazarenes to celebrate 100 years
BERRYVILLE -- On Oct. 5, the Church of the Nazarene in Berryville will join with 18,000 other Nazarene churches in 151 world areas to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Church of the Nazarene.
Preparations for the day began in 2004 with the writing and translation of materials sent to every Nazarene church. The plan is that all 1.6 million members of the church will hear the same sermon, celebrate with the same music, and participate in the same readings in 24 time zones on the same day.
"Our congregation is excited to celebrate this anniversary with all of our Nazarene family around the world," said Paul Mosblech, pastor of the Berryville Church of the Nazarene. "At the same time, we want to emphasize that the family never stops growing, and there is plenty of room for all. In our society today, it seems that relationships often don't last very long. We invite our community to join us on Oct. 5 to see relationships that have remained strong for 100 years."
The celebration at Berryville Nazarene will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday. A picnic is planned for noon this Saturday, Oct. 4. The church is located at 204 Trinnen Lane, on the road to the A.L. Carter baseball field.
The Church of the Nazarene has its roots in Methodism, drawn from the teachings of English evangelist John Wesley (1703-1791). The denomination was established in October 1908 in Pilot Point, Texas, the culmination of mergers of several like-minded groups. The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christ-like disciples in the nations.
With a long history of mission work and 20th- and 21st-century advances in communication and transportation, the Church of the Nazarene has deliberately decided to steer an international course. "A century ago, the Nazarenes were an American family with relatives in other countries," wrote Stan Ingersol, the denomination's archivist, in a brief history of the group. "Today we are an international family of districts and congregations planted on each of Earth's inhabited continents. No single language, race, or nationality claims a majority of our members."
Attesting to the success of the denomination's international initiative, the Church of the Nazarene now includes graduate theological seminaries in North America, Central America, and Asia-Pacific; liberal arts colleges in Africa, Canada, Korea, and the United States; nearly 40 theological schools worldwide; hospitals in Swaziland, India, and Papua New Guinea; radio broadcasts in 30 languages; and printed materials in 103 languages.
At the Church of the Nazarene's quadrennial general assembly in 2001, 42 percent of delegates either spoke English as a second language or did not speak the language at all.
The denomination has been headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., since 1912.
The Berryville Church of the Nazarene was established in 1950. The local church Web site is http://www.berryvillenazarenechurch.org.