Christ's Sanctified Holy Church
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Christ's Sanctified Holy Church is a holiness denomination located primarily in the Southeastern United States. The group was organized on February 14, 1892, when members of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, became convinced that they could not be saved without experiencing the "second blessing," i.e. entire sanctification. The group was under the leadership of Joseph B. Lynch. Christ's Sanctified Holy Church grew significantly during the first part of the 20th century as members traveled across the country preaching the doctrines of holiness and sanctification.
The church teaches that salvation is a two-step process consisting of conversion (repentance and forgiveness of sins) and sanctification (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) which cleanses the believer from all sin. Believers are then expected to live clean, holy lives. Other doctrines include the inspiration of the Scriptures, the deity of Christ, and the existence of a literal heaven and hell. It is the practice of the CSHC to use the King James Version of the Bible. Singing is a cappella, with spontaneous preaching and prayer. The church is firmly within the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. Salvation is considered an act of free will on the part of the believer. Women may preach and teach in the assembly. It has always been a policy to never pass around a collection plate, or ask for offerings during a church service. In addition, no clergy position or ministry worker is ever given monetary compensation for their work, as this work is assumed to be voluntary and without pay.
The church was a product of the "anti-ordinance" controversy that arose within the holiness movement during the 1890s. Lynch and others believed that the traditional ordinances of the church- namely, water baptism, Communion, and footwashing- were no longer necessary for believers. The church takes literally the words in Ephesians 4:5, "One Lord, one faith, one baptism", believing the "one baptism" for believers to be the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of physical resurrection of the dead was also rejected in favor of a spiritual resurrection taking place at sanctification. This places the church within the Preterist fold eschatologically.
The church maintains a campground in Perry, Georgia, and hosts an annual Campmeeting during the month of July. The church also operates a home for the elderly. Membership today is largely confined to seventeen congregations located in Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Individual congregations hold annual "feast meetings" or homecomings to foster fellowship.
- CSHC website
- CSHC website
- Frank S. Mead, Handbook of Denominations in the United States
- CSHC website