United Pentecostal Church, International

United Pentecostal Church, International
   The United Pentecostal Church, International (UPCI) is the largest denominational body of non-Trinitarian or Jesus Only Pentecostals. The Jesus Only perspective emerged in Los Angeles in 1913, and by 1918 won over the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.
   In 1924, most white members of the church withdrew to found three different organizations. After a series of further splits and mergers, the majority of white Oneness or Jesus Only groups merged in 1945 to form the United Pentecostal Church. With its growth worldwide, it more recently added the word international to its name.
   The UPCI holds most of the beliefs of Pente-costalism, but differs in that it believes in the One God, whose name is Jesus, and baptizes members in the name of Jesus, rather than in the name of the "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." The church also practices foot washing as an ordinance. The church is officially pacifist (see pacifism) and recommends conscientious objection to its members.
   The UPCI is congregational in polity, but has developed a national and international organization that carries out tasks such as education nd foreign missions. oneness missionaries were already active outside of the United States by 1945, but since the formation of the UPCi, the church has made missions a priority By 2004, it was active in 170 nations serving some 3 million members in 28,000 church centers.
   As of 2004, the UPCI reported 4,142 churches, 8,801 ministers, and a constituency of a half million in North America. The international headquarters is at Hazelwood (suburban St. Louis), Missouri.
   Further reading:
   ■ David K. Bernard, ed., The Oneness of God (Hazelwood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1997)
   ■ Arthur L. Clanton and Charles E. Clanton, United We Stand, Jubilee Edition (Hazelwood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1995)
   ■ Ford Foster, Their Story: 20th Century Pentecostals (Hazelwood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1986).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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