THE ATLANTA CONCORDAT 2013
We, the apostles and bishops of the various Pentecostal churches here represented in the United States of America in Congress assembled as Episkopos in the Church of God, do hereby solemnly declare to all whom it may concern, and especially to our fellow-Christians of the different communions in this land and throughout the world, who, in their several spheres, have contended for the religion of Christ:
1. Our earnest desire that the Savior's prayer, "That we all may be one," may, in its deepest and truest sense, be speedily fulfilled;
2. That we believe that all who have confess Jesus as Lord and Savior and who have been duly baptized with water, in the name of our Lord, are members of Christ’s Holy Church.
3. That in all things of human ordering or human choice, relating to modes of worship and discipline, or to traditional customs, we will prayerfully respect and accept in the bond of unity the Worship, Discipline, and Holy Orders of the various churches here represented and will no longer call each other invalid or illegitimate and will accept each other place within the Body of Christ;
4. That this Congress does not seek to absorb other communions, but rather, co-operating with them on the basis of a common Faith and Order, to the discountenance of schism, to heal the wounds of the Body of Christ, and to promote charity which is the chief of Christian graces and the visible manifestation of Christ to the world.
So furthermore, we do hereby affirm that the Christian unity can be restored only by the return of all Christian communions to the principles of unity exemplified by the undivided Church during the first ages of its existence; which principles we believe to be the substantial deposit of Christian faith and order committed by Christ and his Apostles to the Church unto the end of the world, and therefore incapable of compromise or surrender by those who have been ordained to be its stewards and trustees for the common and equal benefit of all men. As inherent parts of this sacred deposit, and therefore as essential to the restoration of unity among the divided branches of Christendom, especially among us as Pentecostals,
We THEREFORE RESOLVED TO ACCEPT the following, to wit:
1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God which contain all things necessary unto salvation. That Salvation is obtained by grace through faith in Christ alone according to the Scriptures.
2. The Historic Creeds (the Apostles and/or Nicene Creed) as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith with the defining principle of Prima Scriptura, which is Scripture First. The first four ecumenical councils of the undivided Church as far as they agree with Holy Scriptures.
3. The two sacraments—Baptism and the Supper of the Lord—ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him. The other rites to be consider sacramental but not according to Scripture meeting the full standard of a sacrament. They are considered holy and worthy of our respect. This does not limit those among us some accept the 7 traditional sacraments from calling the other sacraments.
4. The Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church, which includes an episcopate that consist of apostles serving as episcopates in their own right according to the Scriptures: Acts 1: 20, Acts 20:28.
5. A belief in the present-day active ministry of the Holy Spirit in His Church and an active anticipation of the sign gifts in the Church.
6. A high view of the Church, for he who would have God for his Father has the Church for his mother. That this Church is to further the reach of the Kingdom of our God on this Earth, so that we may do as commanded occupy ‘til Jesus comes.
7. An acceptance of the validity of each other’s apostolic sanction as coming from God Almighty, apostolic succession directly from Christ Jesus the Apostle of our Confession, and sacramental orders each coming by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This succession is either historic or doctrinal as defined by Tertullian.
Furthermore, we therefore further resolved, to enter into brotherly conference with all or any Christian bodies seeking the restoration of the organic unity of the Church, with a view to the earnest study of the conditions under which so priceless a blessing might happily be brought to pass.
Given this Thirteenth Day of September in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Thirteen, Anno Domini, sealed with the love of God in Christ Jesus, in the presence of His people;
++ Thomas F Henry Jr
The Most Reverend Thomas F Henry Jr
Chief Apostle/Senior Bishop
Apostolic Communion of Churches
Chair of the Congress
Primus Apostolos, COAAB
Also signed by other Bishops and Apostles present in Congress assembled...