General Board celebrates 100th anniversary

General Board celebrates 100th anniversary

Daniel Sperry for Nazarene News
| 02 Mar 2023
100 years of General Board

The General Board celebrated its 100-year anniversary at the 99th session of the General Board, held 24-27 February in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. The General Board Session did not meet as scheduled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In September of 1923, the delegates to the sixth General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene gathered in the auditorium of Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene. It was during that General Assembly that Nazarene evangelist L. Milton Williams presented a resolution titled, “A Resolution to Conserve Economy and Increase Our Efficiency.”

William's aim was to unite the many administrative boards of the denomination “into one General Board.” The resolution was adopted and subsequently, the General Board has had oversight over the corporate business of the Church of the Nazarene.

On Sunday, 26 February 2023, General Superintendent Eugénio Duarte delivered a celebratory address in honor of the 100th anniversary of the General Board. Duarte pointed out that General Superintendent Emeritus J.B. Chapman referred to the newly created General Board as “the greatest single work of the General Assembly.”

“Based on the long-term impact of the General Board, one could affirm Dr. Chapman’s point not only for that General Assembly but for any General Assembly,” Duarte said.

On behalf of the Board of General Superintendents, Duarte presented each member of the General Board with three gifts.

The first two were a mug commemorating the anniversary and a photo of the 99th General Board. The third gift was a commemorative letter excerpted from one of the earliest pieces of General Board correspondence. The excerpt, written by General Superintendent Hiram F. Reynolds, reads:

“The General Board, elected by the General Assembly, is now in session here in Kansas City. It promises to be one of the most important meetings ever held to consider the general interests of the church. We believe the result of this meeting will determine, in large measure, our future policy; and so we realize the tremendous responsibility resting upon the Board as a whole, as well as upon each individual member. It is a time when we need the prayers of the entire church. The Board will probably continue in session until the latter part of next week. May we urge you to have your people pray especially that wisdom may be given which will result in a policy that will mean continued success and victory in the great work to which God has called us.”

The Board of General Superintendents prayed that the gifts would serve as a reminder of the historic occasion of the anniversary and the significance of the board’s work together.

“As we continue realizing the tremendous responsibility resting upon us to conserve the economy and increase the efficiency of the Church of the Nazarene in this hour of our history, may we hold fast to the trust that God will grant us wisdom for continued success and victory in the great work to which He has called us,” Duarte said.

First General Board
The inaugural General Board (photo credits: Nazarene Archives)




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