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IPHC Holds Conference in Costa Rica

In spite of prevailing political tension in many parts of the world and heightened security in the United States, representatives from several ministry regions — including North, South and Central Americas and the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Austral/Asia — gathered in San Jose, Costa Rica, February 13-16 for the Third World Conference of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC).

Nearly 40 members of the executive staff and support personnel from the IPHC Resource Development Center, located at 7300 N. W. 39th Expressway in Bethany, Oklahoma, attended the event.

According to 2002 statistics, the International Pentecostal Holiness Church has a total worldwide membership of 3,743,391 in 18,096 congregations. This figure includes Pentecostal groups around the world who have chosen to affiliate with the church.

James D. Leggett, General Superintendent, says the last decade proved to be the church’s most progressive era in over a century of worldwide ministry. "We experienced record-breaking growth in three areas — membership, new churches, and the number of countries with a Pentecostal Holiness ministry," he says.

Flowing out of the theme, "Unlimited Opportunities," the conference featured reports by missionaries and national delegates from the various continents where the IPHC has a presence. The denomination currently has ministries in 100 countries with 186 missionaries on the field. Total membership in the United States and Canada is 212,922 in nearly 2,000 churches.

Two previous IPHC World Conferences convened in Jerusalem, Israel, in 1990 and 1995. James Leggett says these conferences also proved to be defining moments for the church in terms of unity of purpose and shared vision. "A document known as ‘The Jerusalem Proclamation’ was a result of the 1990 conference," he says. "This declaration has served as the church’s primary Statement of Purpose for the past 13 years."

In 1974, the International Pentecostal Holiness Church moved its "nerve center," or International Headquarters, from a small town in Northeast Georgia to Bethany, Oklahoma. The decision to move to central Oklahoma was precipitated by the need to be more centrally located. Later, the name of the IPHC facility was changed to Resource Development Center to reflect its purpose and mission in relationship to its member churches.