A fellowship and community of churches demonstrating the love of God through the proclamation of the Gospel and the development of disciples.
Rick George holds a a bachelor’s degree from Evangel University in Springfield, MO. He has been in full time ministry for over 35 years serving as a Youth/Associate Pastor, Christian Education Director, District Home Missions Liaison, National Home Missions Director, IFCA Executive Board Member, IFCA Chair of FOCUS and also Senior Pastor. After pastoring Cornerstone Christian Assembly for over 20 years, Rick felt compelled to leave the roll of Senior Pastor and turn over his pulpit to his associate, demonstrating the need to raise up a son in the faith. Since that time, Rick has devoted his time to pastoring pastors within the Northwestern District of the IFCA as it’s District Overseer. The passion and theme of his ministry has always been to see the body of Christ mature and become all that Christ has called it to be (Hebrews 6:1). Rick has been married to his wife Robin for 41 years and they have two daughters; Paige George, Vanessa and Nathan Beitel (Husband) and one grandson, Leonardo.
Dale is the Pastor of Christian Assembly in Beaver Falls, PA. Dale oversees all of the FOREIGN MISSIONS and missionaries
in foreign countries as well as all US evangelistic and mass media outreaches.
Steve’s passion is to Encourage Youth Leaders, Energize Students, and Engage Churches to fulfill the call of God on their lives. Steve currently resides in South Eastern Michigan with his wife Lauren and daughter Ava. Steve serves as the Administrative Pastor of Christ Community Church in Roseville, MI. Learn more about the national youth ministry of the IFCA at apexministry.org
How we are organized
Districts: The national structure of the IFCA consists of given Districts, formed by smaller units known as sections or zones.
- The New England District extends northward to Maine from a central connection line.
- The Eastern District picks up southward from central Connecticut to Washington DC along the Atlantic seaboard.
- The Northwestern District originally was formed of churches in Western Pennsylvania, but with time has expanded its borders sufficiently in a westerly direction to embrace churches as far as Illinois.
- The Niagra Mowhawk District is formed by the state of New York, which is perhaps among the oldest in the entire movement.
- The Great Lakes District is comprised of the regions of Michigan,Illinos and Indiana.
- The Southern District is copmprised of our churches in Florida.
- The West Coast District is minimal with potential for growth, centering mainly in California.
Geographical Scope: The vast geographical areas assigned to the respective Districts and obvious omission of some are as were dictated by the early settlement of Italian immigrants. The Church must go where the people are. Of late years, with the organization progressively losing its distinctively Italian identity, the “cities-in-between” are being reached.
Presbytery: Self Governing at all levels: On the national, district and local levels the congregational form of government is practiced. Each unit of the organizational structure is autonomous; that is, self-governing. Article 8 in the 1956-57 edition of the General Council Manual clearly defines this relationship:
“Each local church in this fellowship shall reserve the right of self-government and shall be free to adopt administrative rules and
regulations for its own welfare, providing they do not conflict with the deliberations of the General Council. If a church with its
administration is unable to solve any of its problems, it shall if it wishes, summon the Presbyters of its district for counsel and advice.
Should the problem warrant further investigation and/or attention, the General Overseers shall be summoned though the District office either, by the church or district Presbytery.”
A Cooperative Fellowship: A cooperative fellowship is thusly formed protecting the identity and objectives of the local churches and districts; at the same time affording an excellent opportunity for accomplishing corporately what could not be done individually particularly regarding the missionary enterprise.
The Executive Board: The highest board in the denomination is the Executive Board, consisting of 13 elective offices though not always comprised of 13 elective persons because some men might be responsible for more than one portfolio. Provision is made for a General Overseer who serves as Chairman of the Executive Board and presides at the General Convention. The Assistant General Overseer elects and serves as the Chairman of the FOCUS committee and acts as the Vice President of the corporation. Each elected district overseer automatically becomes an Assistant General Overseer, representing his perspective District, with a seat on the Executive Board. Additional portfolios at the Executive level are served by Presbyters who are also known as Executive directors of the following departments:
FAITH, ORDER, CREDENTIALS, UNITY & STANDARDS (FOCUS) directed by the Chairman of said Committee, is to “hold fast the faith once for all delivered unto the saints” and to certify the clergy of the IFCA; the FOCUS committee is also the finance committee.
FOREIGN MISSIONS, which supervises all ministry in foreign countries:
HOME MISSIONS which covers all US evangelistic and mass medial outreaches;
LAY MINISTRIES, which include Men’s fellowship, ladies ministries and youth.
PUBLIC RELATIONS regularly produce literature in addition to the the IFCA Vista magazine, and the
EDUCATION DEPARTMENT which includes Sunday School Material, IFCA Discipleship Institute, and IFCA Bible College and Seminary.
District government: Districts are directed by a Board known as the District Presbytery suited to the needs and created by the ministers of the respective Districts. Generally, one or two elected Overseers function throughout each District. Conventions are usually held semiannually or annually.
Local government: Local church properties are held in custody by Trustees or Deacons (who also serve as Trustees) elected in number and method by the congregation according to State requirements. The extent of a Trustee’s authority in governing church matters is dictated by the constitution and by-laws drawn up by the local congregation. This same document defines the relationship of the Trustees to their Pastor, generally upholding the dignity and authority of the Pastor and rarely allowing any infringement by Trustees in the spiritual program of the church. Deacons, and sometimes Elders, assist the Pastor in serving the congregations.
The IFCA first convened as the General Council of the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies in 1927 in Niagara Falls, New York as cooperative fellowship among Italian-speaking Pentecostal people.
Chicago awakening: Almost 20 years earlier, however, the Bible truths which distinguish Pentecostal people from other denominations were first brought to a group of Italian Christians of various denominations in the city of Chicago, Illinois. Stanley Frodsham points out in his book, “With Signs Following” that the Rev. William H. Durham, a Pentecostal minister, was instrumental during those early days in acquainting these Italian people with the Full Gospel. Revival fires burned among the Italian people of Chicago, catching up in its flames such men as Baretta, Francescon, Gazzarri, Lombardo, Menconi, Ottolini, Palma, Tosetto and other persons whose names are household terms in the Italian Pentecostal movement. These men later spread the message throughout the nation and to foreign countries, principally Italy and Brazil.
Vast Fruitage: Today, there are untold thousands of Pentecostal believers the world over as a result of their Chicago Awakening. The complete picture embraces not only the ministry and churches in our own fellowship. It includes the numerous untabulated churches and thousands of uncatalogued believers among the many other independent groups traceable to the Chicago Awakening itself, the Petrellians of the Atlantic States, the Ottolinies of St. Louis, Missouri and possible the better known Italian District of the Assemblies of God.
Moreover in cities across our nation, scores of people with a background in the Italian Pentecostal Churches have been assimilated into other Full Gospel communions, at times forming the core of responsible constituents as well as occupying positions of leadership. On foreign soil, notably in Italy and Brazil, there continue evidences of God’s blessing,. Italy’s strongest Protestant church is the Italian Assemblies of God, our affiliate movement there. Brazils most flourishing churches today are the fruit of the Rev. L. Francescon’s ministry of a generation ago. The missionary enterprise of the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies currently reaches the people of India, Africa, South America, Canada, the European continent, the Orient, Australia and Mexico.
Denominationally: The IFCA is usually regarded as Pentecostal. However, she frankly abhors the excesses tolerated or practiced among the churches using the same name. Since its inception, the Movement has coveted the Lordship as well as the liberty of the Holy Spirit and has sought orderliness among it s ranks. The mural inscription above the pulpit in the church where the General Council first convened in Niagara Falls, NY read, “Let all things be done decently and in order,” a Bible quotation from I Corinthians 14:40.
Full Gospel: Notwithstanding, the imperfection of all movements, her own included, the IFCA nevertheless, “earnestly contends for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” and humbly declares her allegiance to the whole counsel of God as given in the New Testament. For this reason she is frequently and appropriately called a Full Gospel Church. By definition, Full Gospel is regarded as a term embracing every doctrine of the New Testament. It includes passages such as Mark 16:15-20 as well as the doctrine of justification by faith. Omission of any part of the New Testament either by outright rejection or by ignoring it is regarded sub-standard for a New Testament church.
In the American tradition: A keen observer will notice that in some of our churches a goodly number of the constituents are of Italian descent. Our origin among Italian people accounts for this. In most places, however, requirements for the language are so meager that ministry in the Italian language is departmentalized in much the same way as German, French, Hungarian, Polish or any other language might be treated. And without someone telling him, one might, in fact, miss our ethnic roots. This transition can be attributed to the age of the movement, now in its third generation, intermarriage among the nationalities and the lack of immigration. Today people of all nationalities merge in the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies. Without sacrificing her responsibility for the world wide evangelization of Italian people, the IFCA heartily welcomes her new role of being a Church of many people. In the tradition of historic Americanism, she has become a “melting pot of the nations” for New Testament Christianity.
Roman Catholic Extraction: Although the initial impact of the Pentecostal message came to Italians among the Protestant denominations, the growth of the IFCA is principally due to the conversion of both nominal and devoted Roman Catholic people. The majority of IFCA churches consist, in fact, of people from Roman Catholic extraction; this is especialy true of the first generation of IFCA Christians.
National Association of Evangelicals: Indicative of her desire for unity with those of “like precious faith,” the IFCA is an affiliate member of the National Association of Evangelicals, an alliance of 70 evangelical church bodies representing more thatn15 million members. The denomination's ministers are often found serving and heartily promoting efforts for the betterment of the community.
As amended on November 12, 2015
1. The Bible
We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the verbally and plenary inspired Word of God. We accept the original autographs as God-breathed, inerrant, infallible and complete, and therefore hold the sixty-six books of the Bible as the complete and divine revelation of God to man and the final authority for faith and life. The Scriptures are to be interpreted according to their normal grammatical-historical meaning. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:20-21; Matthew 4:4)
2. The Nature of God
We believe that there is only one true, eternal and living God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:6) who is a Spirit (John 4:24), creator of all things (Revelation 4:11), sovereign (Isaiah 46:9,10), holy (Revelation 4:8b), omnipotent (Psalm 115:3), omniscient (Psalm 147:5), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-17), immutable (Hebrews 13:8), immense (Jeremiah 23:24), immanent (Psalm 23:4a), and transcendent (Job 9:10), who is co-existent, co-equal and co-eternal in three distinct Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 14:26; Mark 1:10,11; John 1:1,14; Acts 5:3,4; Matthew 28:19).
3. The Lord Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, deity that pre-existed His incarnation (John 8:58; Philippians 2:6-11), the Word made flesh who assumed humanity through the Virgin Birth (Luke 1:27-35), so that while on the earth was fully human and fully God, two natures in one Person, divine and human (John 1:14). He is therefore the only Savior, who in reality suffered death on the cross, not only for the primitive transgression (“original sin”), but also for the actual sins of man (Isaiah 53:4-6, II Corinthians 5:21). We also believe in his sinless life (Hebrews 4:15), his miracles (John11:47), his resurrection (Luke 24:46), his ascension (Acts 1:11), and his future second coming in power and great glory (Luke 21:27).
4. The Demonic Realm
We believe in the reality of the Devil and demonic spirits who oppose the work and people of God (Isaiah 14:12; I Peter 5:8; Luke 4:2; 8:12). Christ conquered them through Calvary (I John 3:8; Ephesians 1:20,21; 6:11-12; Colossians 2:14,15; James 4:7), and they will ultimately suffer the punishment of eternal torment in the Lake of Fire with the unsaved who are condemned at the Great White Throne Judgment. (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:11-15).
We believe that man was created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26,27) but that in Adam’s sin, the human race fell, inherited a sinful nature, and became alienated from God (Romans 3:22, 23; 5:12; 6:23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-19). Of himself, man is totally and utterly unable to remedy his lost condition. Forgiveness of sin is only achieved through repentance and from in the shed blood of the resurrected Christ (I Corinthians 15:22; I John 2:2; Romans 3:24-26, 5:9; II Peter 3:9).
We believe that regeneration, or the “new birth” is received through faith in Jesus Christ alone, who was delivered up for our trespasses and was raised for our justification (I Timothy 2:5, 6; Romans 3:23-25; 4:25; II Corinthians 5:17). They who are “in Christ” are those redeemed sinners who by means of Christ’s blood have been made “new creatures.” They had been condemned, but in Christ have been justified, are being sanctified, and will ultimately be glorified. (Romans 5:16-18; 8:30; I Corinthians 1:30; 6:11; II Corinthians 5:17).
7. The Church
a) We believe that the Church is the universal “body” and “espoused bride” of Christ, which is solely made up of supernaturally born-again persons throughout the Church Age, of which Christ is the Head, (Romans 12:5; I Corinthians 12:13; John 3:3-7, 29; I Peter 1:23; Ephesians 5:23).
b) We believe that the primary 4-fold mission of the Church is to glorify God (Romans 15:6), edify and disciple believers (Ephesians 4:11,12), evangelize the world (Luke 24:47), and to be an enlightenment and restraining force in the world (Matthew 5:13, 14).
c) We believe that Jesus Christ left two ordinances for the Church: water baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Communion). We believe in water baptism by single immersion, in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as an outward symbol of the inward work of regeneration accomplished by God in the life of the believer who has placed his/her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3,4). We believe in the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper which Jesus commanded his disciples to observe by partaking of the emblems of bread and wine in remembrance of His sacrificial death (Luke 22:19, 20; I Corinthians 11:23-26).
d) We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is mandated in New Testament Scriptures (Matthew 28:19, 20; Acts 11:19-26; 16:5; Titus 1:5).
8. The Baptism with the Holy Spirit
We believe in the baptism with the Holy Spirit as an experience received subsequent to salvation (John 14:17), with tongues as the initial physical evidence of having received the gift (Acts 2:4; 10:45-46; 11:15-17; 19:6). Jesus Christ is the baptizer (Matthew 3:11) and all believers within the Church Age are eligible to receive this baptism for the purpose of empowerment, witnessing and ministering (Acts 1:8; 2:39).
9. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit
We believe that all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit enumerated in the New Testament were intended by God to endure throughout the Church Age (I Corinthians 1:7; 12:28). These include the gifts of revelation (word of wisdom), word of knowledge, (discerning of spirits), gifts of power (faith, healing, miracles), and gifts of utterance (prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues), (I Corinthians 12:8-10). The purpose of the gifts is for the exhortation, edification and comfort of the Church (I Corinthians 14:26).
10. Divine Healing
We believe in divine healing. God has revealed Himself in Scripture as the healer and He has not changed (Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:3; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). During the Church Age, healing is provided by Christ in the Atonement and is one of the signs that follows believers (Isaiah 53:4,5; Matthew 8:17; Mark 16:18). God may heal directly, in answer to unction and prayer by the elders of the church, or through spiritual gifts of healing (I Corinthians 12:9, 28; James 5:14-16).
11. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and Final Events
We believe in the personal, premillennial, Second Coming of Jesus Christ to raise the dead in Christ and rapture His Church (first resurrection), bind Satan, purge the earth and establish His earthly Messianic Kingdom, as was promised in the “Davidic Covenant” to the nation of Israel, and in the “Blessed Hope” to the Church (Psalm 89:3,4; Daniel 2:44, 45; Zechariah 14: I Thessalonians 1:10; 4:13-18; Titus 2:13; Revelation 19:11-16; 20:1-6). After the Millennium, Satan will be loosed to deceive the nations. Afterwards, he, together with those of the second resurrection who will be judged before the Great White Throne, will be cast forever into the Lake of Fire. The glorified believers will reign with God in a new heaven and a new earth, in a New Jerusalem (Revelation 20: 7-15; 21:1-8).
12. The Resurrection and Eternal State
a) We believe that those who are born twice (“born again” die once, but those who are born once (unregenerate) die twice (partake in the “second death”). Therefore, we believe there shall be a bodily resurrection of all men, the saved to eternal life and the unsaved to judgment and everlasting punishment, (Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:46; John 5:28, 29).
b)We believe that the dead in Christ are absent from the body and present with the Lord, awaiting the First Resurrection after which they, in their glorified bodies, will bypass the Great White Throne judgment and reign in bliss for ever with the Lord, (Luke 23:43; II Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:23; 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:16-17; Revelation 20:4-6; 22:3-5).
c) We believe the souls of unbelievers remain, after physical death, separated from God in conscious punishment and torment until the Second Resurrection, after which they will be judged before the Great White Throne and be sentenced to the eternal “second death” in the Lake of Fire, (Matthew 25:41-46; Mark 9:43-48; Luke 16:19-26; II Thessalonians 1:7-9; Jude 6,7; Revelation 29:6, 11-15).
13. Core Practices
(Beliefs concerning lifestyle requirements in obedience to God’s Word)
A. Holy Living
1. We believe in the necessity of living a consistent Christian life marked by obedience to God’s Word, holiness, and evidencing godly spiritual fruit (Matthew 28:20; John 14;21; I Peter 1:15, 16; Hebrews 12:14; Galatians 5:22,23).
2. We believe in the necessity to abstain from a life-style which would bring reproach to the Lord, to include separation from all religious apostasy, idolatry, and the world’s sinful pleasures, practices and associations, as commanded by God, (Acts 15:28, 29; 16:4; 21:25; Romans 12:1,2; II Corinthians 6:14-17; II Timothy 3:1-5; I John 2:15-17; II John 9-11).
3. Regarding human sexuality we believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between one natural born man and one natural born woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, transgenderism, transvestitism, prostitution and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. . We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female and that those two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God We believe that God disapproves of and forbids any attempt to alter one’s gender by surgery or appearance. (Gen. 2:24; Gen. 19:5,13; Gen. 26:8-9; Lev. 18:1-30; Rom. 1: 26-29; 1 Cor. 5:1; 6:9; 1 Thess. 4:1-8; Heb. 13:4
1. We believe in the institution of marriage as designed by God the Creator, to be a lifelong union between one natural born man and one natural born woman, and that God hates “putting away”, (Genesis 2:18, 20-24; I Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 13:4; Malachi 2:14-16; Matthew 19:1-6). We also believe that cohabitation or sexual intimacy outside of the marriage relationship is a form of fornication, (I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Thessalonians 4: 1-8).
2. We do not recognize and will not solemnize same-sex marriages or any marriages that are not between a natural born man and a natural born woman. We recognize that these marriages violate the divine ideal and the homosexual behavior is clearly and consistently condemned in Scripture as unnatural and immoral (Leviticus 18:1-30; Genesis 19:5, 13; Romans 1:26-32
C. Sanctity of Human Life
We believe that life is a gift from God and is precious. We believe Gods’ Word teaches that life begins at conception, that the unborn child is a human being, and that God has allotted our life span according to this plan for each of us. Therefore, abortion and euthanasia are examples of constituting the unjustified taking human life. (II Samuel 19; Job 3:16; Psalm 31:15a; 51:5; 127:3; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1-5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Matthew 10:29-31: Luke 1:44; Acts 17:25)
We believe that God has given the Church the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all the world and to every creature so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must take the initiative to reach all peoples at home and abroad with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, (Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:20).
E. Financial Stewardship
We believe that every Christian is a steward of that portion on God’s wealth entrusted to him and is obligated to financially support his local church and the Great Commission. We believe that God has established the tithe as a mode for supporting the local church, but that every Christian should also willingly give offerings cheerfully and sacrificially to support the spread of the Gospel and relief for those in need. We further hold that a contributor relinquishes all rights to direct the use of his tithe or offering once the gift has been made, (Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9,10; Malachi 3:6, 8-10; Matthew 23:23; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; II Corinthians 9:6, 7; Galatians 6: 6-10; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17).
F. Authority of Statement of Faith
The Statement of Faith does not exhaust the extent of our faith. The Bible itself is the sole and final source of all that we believe. We do believe, however, that the foregoing Statement of Faith accurately represents the teaching of the Bible and, therefore, is binding upon all members. All literature used in the church shall be in complete agreement with the Statement of Faith.
1. We believe in the necessity of living a consistent life marked by obedience of God’s Word, holiness, and evidencing godly spiritual fruit.
(Matt. 28:20, Jn, 14:21, 1 Peter 1:15, 16, Heb. 12:14, Gal. 5:22-23)
2. We believe in the necessity to abstain from a lifestyle which would bring reproach to the Lord, to include separation from all religious apostasy, idolatry, and the world's sinful pleasures, practices and associations, as commanded by God. (Acts 15:28-29, 16:4, 21:25, Rom. 12:1-2, 2 Cor. 6:14-17, 2 Tm 3:1-5, 1 Jn. 2:15-17, 2 Jn. 9-11)
3. Regarding sexuality, we also believe that any form of fornication, to include, but not limited to, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, adultery and pornography are sinful perversions of God’s gift of sex. (Lev. 18:1-30, 1 Cor, 6:9-11)
1. We believe in the institution of marriage as designed by God the creator, to be a lifelong union between one man and one woman, and that God hates divorce. (Gen. 2:18, 20-24, 1 Cor. 5;1, Heb. 13:4, Mal. 2: 14-16,
2. We do not recognize and will not solemnize same sex marriages. We recognize that same-sex marriage violates the divine ideal and the homosexual behavior is clearly and consistently condemned in scripture as unnatural and immoral. (Lev. 18:10-13, Gen. 19:5,13, Rom. 1:26-32).
C. Sanctity of Life
We believe that life is a gift from God and precious. We believe God’s Word teaches that life begins at conception, that the unborn child is a human being, and that God has allotted our life span according to this plan for each of us. Therefore, abortion and euthanasia are examples of constituting the unjustified taking human life. (2 Sam. 19, Job 3;16, Psalm 31:15a, 51:5, 127: 3, 139:1-16, Is. 44:24, 49:1-5, Jer. 1:5, 20:1-18, Matt. 10:29-31, Luke 1:44, Acts 17:25)
We believe that God has given the Church the Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all the world and to every creature so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must take the initiative to reach all peoples at home and abroad with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46-48, Jn. 20:21, Acts 1:8, 2 Cor. 5:20)
E. Financial Stewardship
We believe that every Christian is a steward of that portion of God’s wealth entrusted to him and is obligated to financially support his local church and the Great Commission. We believe that God has established the tithe as a mode for supporting the local church, but that every Christian should also willingly give offerings cheerfully and sacrificially to support the spread of the Gospel and relief for those in need. We further hold that a contributor relinquishes all rights to direct the use of tithe or offering once the gift has been made. (Gen.14:20, Prov. 3:9-10, Malachi 3:6, 8-10 Matt. 23:23, Acts 4:34-37, 1 Cor. 16;1, 2 Cor. 9:6-7, Gal. 6:6-10, Ephesians 4:28, 1 Tim. 5:17-18, 1 Jn.3:17)