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More than 500 Assemblies of God pastors, lay leaders, interpreters, workers and young people from around the world gathered together in a joint conference that combined the fourth triennial World Deaf Assemblies of God (WDAG) Conference with the 30th biennial (U.S.) AG National Deaf Culture Fellowship (NF) Conference, June 23-27, at the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, California.

Themed "The Deaf World United Through the Spirit's Fire," the combined conference featured Deaf Ministries speakers from around the globe, including South Korea, Canada, Estonia, Venezuela, Japan, Australia, the Philippines, and the United States, with all services and events being communicated in American Sign Language, English, Japanese Sign Language, Korean Sign Language, and several other languages simultaneously.

Belinda McCleese

"This was a time of supporting one another and growing in key concepts as Deaf and hearing persons gathered together," says NF President Belinda McCleese of Long Beach, California. "It's important to understand that a very small percentage of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people around the world have been given the opportunity to really understand about the gospel — one of the greatest mission fields."

According to Kevin Babin, AG national field representative for Deaf Culture Ministries, this was the first time that the World Deaf AG has come to the United States. "We previously met in South Korea, Estonia, and Japan," Babin says.

Much like a General Council gathering, the WDAG and NF each held its own business meetings during the conference week. In addition to adult services, the conference offered children and youth ministries, a missions banquet, exhibit booths, workshops, worship services, dramas, and many other events.

During the NF Business Meeting, Rev. McCleese was elected as president of the NF and Rev. Emory Dively was re-elected as secretary. Dively, who was also the WDAG treasurer, was elected the new president of the WDAG in its business session. The 2016 NF conference will be held in Springfield, Missouri. The next WGAG conference will be held in Australia in 2017.

Kevin Babin

Babin, who is a nationally appointed missionary to Deaf people, was deeply moved by the harmony and love displayed. "The Fruit of the Spirit was experienced in a powerful way throughout the conferences," he says. "People from around the world — pastors, missionaries, leaders — were so gracious, serving each other, giving of themselves, displaying a special love for one another . . . the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit was evident throughout the entire week."

"It was so awesome to see so many countries united together as we worshipped the Lord," McCleese says. "May we continue to pray daily, read and know His Word, and work together to reach the lost Deaf world for Jesus Christ."



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The Assemblies of God

The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas with 300 people at the founding convention. Today there are more than 12,700 churches in the U.S. with over 3 million members and adherents. There are more than 67 million Assemblies of God members worldwide, making the Assemblies of God the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination.

The U.S. Assemblies of God national offices are located at 1445 N. Boonville Avenue, Springfield, Missouri. It houses the denomination’s executive and administrative offices, service divisions and departments, and the Gospel Publishing House printing plant which produces over 10 tons of literature daily.

History And Polity Of The Assemblies Of God


Assemblies of God Headquarters

Assemblies of God National Offices 
Springfield, MO

The Assemblies of God, founded as a result of a religious revival which swept around the world in the early 1900’s, has become the largest Pentecostal group. It was organized in a constitutional convention at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914.


Doctrinally, the church emphasizes personal salvation, water baptism, divine healing, the baptism with the Holy Spirit accompanied by the evidence of speaking in tongues, and the pre-millennial second coming of Jesus Christ. The Bible is recognized as the inspired word of God and provides the rule for faith and practice.

The church’s four-fold mission is expressed through

  1. Evangelism
  2. Discipleship
  3. Worship
  4. Compassion


Assemblies of God government is a combination of congregational and Presbyterian principles. Each church is sovereign in the choice of pastor, owning and holding property, maintaining membership rolls, management of all local business or activities, and voluntary participation in denominational programs.

To assist local churches, 61 district councils (most following state boundaries) have been formed in the United States. Each district conducts an annual business meeting called a district council, and elects a district superintendent and other officers. District councils have oversight of churches and ministers in their areas.

There are 14 language districts in the United States, organized similar to but overlapping geographic districts.

The General Presbytery is the second highest policy-making body for the church and serves as an advisory board for the Assemblies of God. It meets annually.

Between these annual sessions, the church’s interests are cared for by a 20-member board of directors called the Executive Presbytery. This board includes the church’s top elected officials together with regional representatives and language and ethnic representatives.

The Assemblies of God is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF), and the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF).

General Council

The General Council is the biennial business meeting of the U.S. Assemblies of God. General Council is held to conduct important church business, elect top church officials, and to convene ministries and activities of the church. Voting membership at the General Council consists of all licensed and ordained ministers and a lay delegate elected from each local church. The next General Council meeting will convene in Orlando, Florida, August 3-7, 2015.


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