The 6th IPHC Global Assembly convened on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, at the Sheraton Santiago Hotel in Santiago, Chile, with approximately 450 registered delegates from over 25 countries. Formerly known as the World Conference, this assembly brings together the IPHC global family for three days of worship, fellowship, testimonies, and vision casting every four years. The focus of this assembly is Arise 2033, the vision given to the IPHC through Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham as the IPHC moves toward the 2000thanniversary of Christ’s resurrection.
The assembly officially opened with a banquet on Wednesday evening, but several pre-assembly events prepared the delegates for the week ahead. The first lady of the IPHC, Susan Beacham, hosted a Ministers’ Wives Fellowship meeting on Wednesday morning which was also attended by many women clergy and lay leaders. The first lady of the Methodist Pentecostal Church in Chile, Raquel Salinas, welcomed the delegates in attendance from five continents. Whitney Davis, the newly appointed General Women’s Ministries Director, also greeted the delegation and encouraged them to walk in the call of God on their lives.
Director of Girls’ Ministries in East Africa, Summer Sneed, spoke about the importance of women being empowered by the Holy Spirit and empowering others. She reminded the delegates that the IPHC values women and affirms the full and equal participation of women in all levels of ministry. Sneed also identified the women of the IPHC as the sleeping giants whom God is calling to awaken and arise for the realization of the vision for 2033. Using the example of Anna in Luke 2, she encouraged the attendees that faithfulness, even in obscurity, will be used by God for extraordinary ministry. Following the message, First Lady Beacham led the guests into a time of lingering prayer for four key areas: family, spiritual direction, encouragement, and healing.
Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham began the opening banquet on Wednesday evening by describing the historical relationship between the IPHC and the Methodist Pentecostal Church of Chile from the initial affiliation in 1967 to the formal merger on February 4, 2018. After an opening prayer led by Bishop Atilio Chavez from Guatemala, Bishop Beacham introduced the IPHC Global Leadership Council and members of the Chilean government who attended the dinner including Eduardo Duran Jr. who is both an IPHC member and a Chilean congressman. Before the meal, the delegates joined in prayer for Bishop Gordon McDonald, superintendent of the Pentecostal Holiness Church of Canada, who is battling pancreatic cancer.
Bishop Eduardo Duran Castro of Chile brought a message from Ephesians 2:19 which emphasized the unity that exists in the IPHC and the body of Christ in the midst of our diversity. This unity is not of the world but is forged by the power of the Holy Spirit who desires to dwell in a temple of diverse people of every color, gender, nationality, and ethnicity. He reminded the delegates that the building blocks of God’s kingdom do not and should not all look the same. God desires to tear down the barriers that divide so we can work and worship in unity. The banquet concluded with several demonstrations of “Cueca,” traditional Chilean dancing, and everyone enjoyed a time of joyful fellowship.
On this first day of the 6th Global Assembly, the IPHC family was challenged to examine the diversity of God’s work among us in both gender and ethnicities. The vision of Arise 2033 can be realized by men and women from every tribe, tongue, and nation being empowered by the Holy Spirit and working together to achieve the goals set before us. As we begin this Global Assembly, the Lord is asking us to examine ourselves and allow the Holy Spirit to tear down any barriers which would prevent us from experiencing the unity and empowerment that God desires us to have both globally and locally.