EXPLORE GROUPS: Christ Gospel Churches International
Christ Gospel Churches International
Christ Gospel Church, Bride’s Message, Crucified Way
Berniece Richards Hicks (1918?-)
Berniece Richards Hicks (1918?-)
Jeffersonville, IN USA
The central church offers a correspondence course via "Christ Gospel Bible Institute"; the church in Nigeria sponsors El-Beth-El Bible College & Theological Seminary
Christ Gospel Broadcast Churches, International, Inc. (CGCII); Christ Gospel Press
Rev. Hicks is said to have written over 100 books, including Articles of Faith, Growing in God, Confirming Our Faith in God, The Lord’s Sixty-Six Principles, Precious Gem in the Tabernacle
Christ Gospel Broadcast
include a belief that God Himself has a body, soul, and spirit, as well as masculine and feminine sides; that Jesus and the Word of God (also known as Christ) are not the same; and that "The Zodiac is God’s creative handiwork, placed in the sky to render sweet influences on the earth and its inhabitants," including the twelve tribes of Israel. One should not be surprised to find the church promoting unconventional views since, as one CGC-affiliated web site states, "Rev. Hicks’ teachings are unique in the way that spiritual themes and Biblical principles are tied together. Hebrew is used to bring out the hidden meanings of words in the Scripture."
One researcher—citing interviews with former members and investigative reports published by the Jeffersonville Evening News and the Louisville Courier-Journal—claims that “Christ Gospel Church establishes firm authority over its adherents’ lives through the use of ‘The Operating Committee,’ which was known as ‘The Witness’ prior to the early 1990s.” In the words of one former member, B.R. Hicks “has taken the Old Testament principle of the Urim and Thummin, by which the high priest went before the Ark and ascertained the will of God for the nation of Israel, to establish the existence of the Operating Committee.” (George Bennett, “Harassment Charge Fuels Cult Concern,” Jeffersonville Evening News, August 14, 1993, Section A, p. 1) Further, the Evening News quoted a sermon tape by Hicks dated February 10, 1990 in which she allegedly states: “You have to know I don’t run this church family without having a lot of eyes. I have eyes in the back of my head. I travel in the Spirit. I’m in your house more than you realize, so I’m not dumb. I may never say a word, you may never see me. You may be so far from God that you don’t even know when I’m there. Some people are aware when I come.” (George Bennett, “Former Member Says Church Made Her Life ‘A Living Hell,’” August 17, 1993, Section A, p. 1)
The CGC web site indicates that members "follow the standards of old-fashioned holiness." Therefore, "The women do not wear makeup nor cut their hair."
No membership statistics are available. The group’s web site has claimed that "Over 1500 churches world-wide are affiliated with CGCII."
Belarus, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Faroe Islands, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe
The church claims a following in more than two dozen (mostly Third-World) countries, and an extensive outreach via shortwave radio. The group’s official web site notes that "Christ Gospel affiliated churches around the world can be identified by their display of the charts of the Stature of Jesus Christ as shown in the Old Testament Tabernacle and the Three-fold Nature of Mankind, both of which provide important insights into spiritual and moral growth."
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