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Divine CallingsUnderstanding the Call to Ministry in Black Pentecostalism$
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Richard N. Pitt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814768235

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814768235.001.0001

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The Church of God in Christ

The Church of God in Christ

Pentecostal History, Doctrine, and Polity

(p.17) 1 The Church of God in Christ
Divine Callings

Richard N. Pitt

NYU Press

This chapter provides an introduction to the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), offering brief glimpses of its one-hundred-year history, from its humble beginnings in a borrowed cotton gin to its current position as the largest Pentecostal denomination in North America. The church has been studied before, but like Pentecostalism itself, has been mostly overlooked by social scientists. Understanding the history, doctrinal perspectives, organizational structure, and credentialing opportunities of the denomination is key to understanding the institutional framework that both liberates and constrains individuals' sense of what it means to be called. Thus, drawing primarily on secondary sources, the chapter provides some context to the stories explored in the rest of the book and depicts what is distinctive about this denomination as both a Black and a Pentecostal denomination, highlighting both its differences and similarities with its peers.

Keywords:   Church of God in Christ, COGIC, Pentecostalism, Black denomination, Pentecostal denomination

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