SAN ANTONIO–The IPHC’s Council of Bishops (COB) met in San Antonio for the first of three multi-day meetings in 2021. With COVID-19 still restricting travel for some bishops, some participants streamed the event online. In addition, spouses joined the bishops for the prayer sessions that began the meeting.
The COB functions as the IPHC’s board of directors, reviewing and carrying out policy decisions between General Conferences. The membership includes all US conference superintendents, plus the Executive Committee and the General Superintendent of the Pentecostal Holiness Church of Canada.
The March meetings began with an intensive prayer session led by IPHC prayer consultant Doug Small. Small has hosted several prayer webinars in recent months, as well as prayer summits to call the IPHC to corporate prayer for a new Great Awakening. The emphasis, Arise in Prayer, aims to establish local churches as “houses of prayer for all nations.” The bishops felt beginning with prayer properly oriented the COB for its work—both in and out of session.
“What a joy it was to spend a day and a half praying together with the Council of Bishops,” said Bishop Stuart Sherrill of the Heartland Conference (OK). “I have never personally experienced such a high level of denominational leadership come together for an extended prayer time such as this. It is reminiscent of the early church and shows how desperately the IPHC wants to see another Great Awakening. The love and unity in the room was tangible. I believe this is the start of great days ahead for our tribe!”
Spouses joined the bishops for the prayer time, as well. Allison Boggs, wife of SpiritLife Ministries bishop Ray Boggs, called the meeting “an amazing time in the Word and prayer. The presence of Holy Spirit was strong and sweet.”
After this time of focused prayer, the COB took up its other business.
Each executive director (General Superintendent, Evangelism USA, World Missions, and Discipleship) presented his report for 2020. The bishops also discussed future plans, especially surrounding the IPHC’s Arise 2033 campaign.
In addition to reviewing and approving the 2021 budget, the COB’s other financial business included a review of new investment opportunities for the IPHC 403(b) Retirement Plan. Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham introduced Mr. Todd Timmerman of RPA Financial, LLC, as the Plan’s new Financial Advisor. Mr. Timmerman emphasized the need for early participation and urged bishops to meet with local church councils and ministers to encourage participation in the Retirement Plan.
The bishops also reviewed the progress of the ministerial credentials task force chaired by Bishop Dayton Birt of Redemption Ministries (VA). The task force has been assessing the IPHC’s credentialing program over the last year, with suggested revisions likely coming before the next General Conference.
Finally, the COB discussed a major prayer event for summer 2021 (details to come), and set the next COB meeting for July in Wichita, Kansas.