I am thrilled to share the news of the upcoming 2016 Church of God General Assembly (GA16), a spiritual gathering of immense magnitude, set to take place in the vibrant city of Nashville, Tennessee from July 19-22, 2016. Our esteemed General Overseer, Dr. Mark L. Williams, has unveiled the theme for this year’s International General Assembly, encapsulated in a single, powerful word: “Go!”
As we have come to expect, the General Assembly will be a spiritual feast, brimming with fervent worship, enlightening teachings, and the palpable presence of the Holy Spirit. This year, our 76th Assembly (GA2016) will be held at the state-of-the-art Music City Center (MCC), nestled in the heart of downtown Nashville.
We, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), are elated to bring the harmonious sound of our community to the Music City, Nashville, Tennessee.
The MCC, a sparkling new convention venue, boasts 1.2 million square feet of space spread across three levels, featuring two grand ballrooms and over 60 versatile breakout areas, all designed to accommodate events of all sizes under one roof.
The decision to host GA2016 in Nashville was made even before the MCC was completed in May 2013. Our very own Kevin Brooks, the coordinator of public relations and conference management for the Church of God, and also a Tennessee state representative for the 24th district, which includes Cleveland, shares his experience of watching the MCC “rise out of the ground” while attending House meetings.
Brooks recounts how the MCC, shaped like a guitar from above, came to life over two years:
“From above, the Music City Center is in the shape of a guitar, and it was exciting to see it come to life over the two years I watched it outside my hotel window,” Brooks said. “It is now one of the most sought-after venues in the country. If we had waited until it opened last year to negotiate for GA2016, we would not be going there. Contracts are being signed by organizations for events all the way into 2020.”
Dr. Mark L. Williams, our General Overseer, has reiterated that the theme for the 2016 International General Assembly is “Go!” He cites Matthew 28:19-20 as the foundational scripture for the theme, where Christ commands us to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Williams asserts that we stand at a pivotal moment in time, where our divine purpose is clearer than ever:
“We stand at a crossroads in time where certain things are clearer than they’ve ever been before,” Williams stated. “He has chosen us to carry His gospel into the world and we need to take seriously the responsibility we have been given.”
“Jesus gives us a command,” Williams continued. “That command is called the Great Commission, and it resonates throughout history as the singular driving force behind our mission… individually and together as a church.”
This theme follows the 2014 General Assembly emphasis of “ONE,” coupled with the tag line of “One Faith, One Lord, One Mission.” This theme has been embraced by many local churches, carrying over into the 2014-2016 assembly period, with the ONE logo being sported on coffee mugs, shirts, and lapel pins.
Preparations for the 2016 General Assembly are in full swing. The Music City Center in downtown Nashville will be the venue, hosting several preliminary events leading up to the official launch on Tuesday, July 19 with the gathering of the General Council of ordained bishops.
Williams assures us that further development of the theme is forthcoming. In the meantime, he challenges ministers and laypersons as we approach the Assembly period.
“Think about it,” Williams concluded. “He (Jesus) didn’t say ,’If you have time.’ He didn’t say, ‘If it’s not too much trouble.’ Jesus simply said… ‘Go.’”
The 2016 Church of God General Assembly in Nashville is not just an event, but a divine calling for all of us to gather, learn, and worship together. It’s a time to rekindle our faith, renew our commitment, and respond to the Great Commission.
As we prepare to meet in the heart of Music City, let’s remember the powerful theme of this year’s assembly: “Go!” It’s a simple yet profound command that resonates with our mission as followers of Christ.
So, let’s heed the call, embrace the spirit of unity, and march forward in our divine mission. Remember, we are not just attendees, but active participants in God’s grand plan. Let’s meet in Nashville, ready to learn, ready to worship, and ready to “Go!”