International Circle of Faith
International Circle of Faith is a Christian
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 grouping, which is active in different countries including Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

. It is partly pentecostal. Its presiding bishop and founder is Bernie L. Wade
Bernie L. Wade
Bernie L. Wade, born on June 29, 1963 in Lakewood, Ohio, is an American minister, entrepreneur, and author. He has served in a variety of roles including Senior Pastor and Chief Operations Officer of the Christian Brotherhood...

Its headquarters are in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. An International Circle of Faith Bible College exists in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

According to Conservapedia, International Circle of Faith is a group of Pentecostal, Charismatic or quasi Pentecostal churches, ministers and para church ministries. See Christian Protestant or Pentecostal. While the International Circle of Faith world headquarters is on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC a large part of their organized effort is African with representation in every country in Africa. While the ICOF has some very large congregations the rank and file of the ICOF is made up of small churches (those with less than 100 members), but lots of small churches have contributed to making a fairly large group. According to [2] In 2005, the ICOF had 39,085 ministers. Total worldwide constituents in 2005, is listed at 10,936,349. [3]

Representatives of the International Circle of Faith are actively involved at the highest levels in many countries, especially in Africa where ICOF officials work closely with government in countries such as Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, etc. While the ICOF has been consistent in not endorsing political candidates, their leadership in the USA has been 'favored' by conservative candidates. In recent years, the Presiding Bishop, Bernie L. Wade has been a guest at the White House (2004) under the Presidency of George W. Bush and aligned with conservative evangelical groups such as the National Religious Broadcasters [4] Apostolic coalition a pro-Israel conservative messianic political action committee. [5] [6] In recent years, promoters of the "Roadmap for Peace" have sought the endorsement of the leadership of the ICOF.


Pentecostals are people who have undergone a "baptism of the Holy Spirit", which is usually accompanied by speaking in tongues. While there is no official count of Pentecostals, the movement is spreading quickly in America and even faster worldwide, where they may account for a quarter of all Christians. Pentecostalism began with a local revival on Azusa Street in Los Angeles in 1906. Now there are at least 60 Pentecostal denominations, though many Pentecostal churches are nondenominational as well. Charismatics are related but distinct from the Pentecostal tradition. [8] The ICOF claims that they represent nearly 11 million constituents which would make them among the largest Pentecostal/Charismatic movements in the world. [9]
Like most Pentecostals they promote lively style of worship, which can include running church aisles, jumping, dancing, shouting, and clapping. The church services are also punctuated at times with acts of speaking in tongues (glossalalia), interpretations of tongues, prophetical messages, and the laying of hands for the purposes of healing. These events can sometimes happen spontaneously during normal services. [10]
Unlike many Pentecostal denominations the ICOF ordains women ministers and even have ordained women into the office of Bishop, a move unprecedented in most of Christianity. ICOF believes that in Christ there is neither male nor female, Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, but all that have been filled with the Holy Spirit have equal opportunity. Ministers at all levels are allowed to marry and have children.[11] As a result the first Black Bishop in the history of Ireland, Dr. Marcus Benson,was ordained in 2004 in the United Kingdom.[12] [13]
Unlike many Pentecostal denominations the ICOF puts emphasis on social gospel. The ICOF Humanitarian and Social Initiative is involved throughout the world in humanitarian projects; from HIV/AIDS education and awareness in Zambia to bore holes (water wells) in Nigeria the ICOF [14]


The group finds its origins in the American Pentecostal movement in general and in the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ PAJC in particular. In the Pentecostal movement, the PAJC is recognized as one of the unity efforts that took place among Pentecostals in the 1930s and one of the oldest Pentecostal groups in the world citing its origins in 1913 or before. [15] ICOF emerged out of the Pentecostal movement that commenced in Topeka, Kansas under Charles Parham on 1 January 1901. This movement gained strength while spreading through Missouri, Texas and California, culminating in the Azuza Street Revival in 1906. Rejected by mainline Christian denominations, Pentecostals began to form churches of their own, one of which was the Assemblies of God, formed in 1914. [16]
In 1927 steps were taken toward reunifying these organizations. Meeting in a joint convention in Guthrie, Oklahoma, Emmanuel's Church in Jesus Christ and The Apostolic Churches of Jesus Christ merged, taking the name The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. This merger united about 400 Pentecostal ministers. In 1931, a unity conference with representatives from four Pentecostal organizations met in Columbus, Ohio, in an endeavor to bring all Pentecostals together. The Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance ministers voted to merge with The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, but the terms of the proposed merger were rejected by that body. Nevertheless, a union between The Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ and The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World was consummated in November 1931. The new body adopted the name of The Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. [16]
1932 was a pivotal year for the Pentecostal movement in the United States. Pentecostal historians generally agree that "in 1932, The Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance changed its name to The Pentecostal Church, Incorporated (PCI), reflecting its organizational structure. In 1936, the PCI ministers voted to work toward an amalgamation with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ (PAJC)". [17]. Final union, however, proved elusive until 1945, when these two Pentecostal organizations combined to form the United Pentecostal Church. In 1955, citing dissatisfaction with the treatment of black ministers, some members of the PAJC reorganized under the direction of a key group of ministers which included Bishop Ray Oscar Cornell (Apostolic Faith Church of God, 2050 W. 55th Street, Cleveland, Ohio), Bishop Charles Bernard Gillespie (Fairmont, WV), and Bishop Carl Angle (Niles, OH). [18] In 2001, ministers from the PAJC and ministers from a number of other organizations met in Cleveland Ohio. Their focus was to bring greater unity to the Pentecostal movement and to other similarly minded groups. With this in mind they reorganized under the International Circle of Faith. [19]
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