KINGSPORT — The Rev. Mark Williams, general overseer of the Church of God, will minister Sunday at North Kingsport Church of God, 2409 North John B. Dennis Highway, during the 11 a.m. worship service.
Prior to being elected to the office of general overseer in 2012, Williams had served as a national/international evangelist for more than a decade, as pastor of Church of God congregations in Cleveland, Tenn., and Tampa, Fla., as state overseer of California and Nevada, and as second assistant general overseer. He holds degrees from Lee University and the Church of God Theological Seminary.
The general overseer is the highest office in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) and has primary responsibility for leading a denomination with a membership of more than 7 million spanning 170 countries. Shortly after being elected to this position in July 2012,
Williams said, “I want to see the Church of God emphasize the centrality and
scripture. Many new believers enter salvation with a scriptural innocence. They have not even heard of ‘dreaming Joseph’ or ‘fearless David and his sling.’ I want our church to learn, live and love the Word.”
The movement’s origins can be traced back to a small meeting of Christians at the Barney Creek Meeting House in southeast Tennessee near the North Carolina border in 1886, making it the oldest Pentecostal denomination in the world. The church embraces the foundation doctrines of evangelical Christianity such as beliefs in the inspiration of the Bible, the Trinity, the virgin birth, bodily resurrection and second coming of Jesus Christ. They also hold to beliefs in sanctification, the baptism in the Holy Spirit and present-day operation of the gifts of the Spirit.
The North Kingsport congregation was organized in 1930 after a tent revival. The church members purchased property and moved to the current location on John B. Dennis Highway in the late 1970s.