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July 22, 2010Research

Off to the Worldwide Church of God / Grace Communion International in Orlando

Today I am flying from Santa Fe, NM to Orlando, Florida, to speak tomorrow at Grace Communion International's 2010 International Conference. Most of you would know it as the former Worldwide Church of God (hence the title). They have recently changed their name to better reflect who they are. I think their story is worth telling as they have become renewed in Christ in amazing ways.

Appropriately, the theme of the meeting is "GCI: Renewed in Christ." This is particularly exciting, given the history of this denomination.

Grace Communion International was formerly known as the Worldwide Church of God, and was considered by many to hold to unorthodox teachings, but in the late 1980s, they began a process of doctrinal reform on a large scale, and essentially transformed into an evangelical denomination. They also joined the National Association of Evangelicals.

In 2009 they changed their name to Grace Communion International, to better reflect who they are and what they teach. You can read their story on Wikipedia here and on their own website here.

They describe their journey this way:

Jesus Christ changes lives. He can change an organization, too. This is the story of how the Lord changed our denomination from an unorthodox church on the fringes of Christianity, into an evangelical group that believes and teaches orthodox doctrines. The story involves both pain and joy. Thousands of members left the church. Income is less than one fourth of what it once was. But thousands of members are rejoicing with renewed zeal for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Living Hope Video Ministries made a documentary about GCI entitled "Called to Be Free." If you haven't seen it, check out this great story of the grace of the Gospel.

I will be doing two main sessions and two breakouts and I plan to make much of Jesus and His mission.

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