The International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies (IFCA) is a classical Pentecostal denomination that was birthed in the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit that took place at the beginning of the twentieth century. The beginnings of the IFCA can be traced back to 1906 to the city of Chicago. At that time some Spirit-filled believers, whose names have not been preserved for us, visited the city. Through their ministry people were saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. W. H. Durham's ministry, the North Avenue Mission, brought Pentecost to some Italian Protestants in the city; they received the baptism with the Holy Spirit with the initial physical sign of speaking in tongues. This resulted in the planting of the first Italian Pentecostal Church, the Grand Avenue Mission. The Italian Pentecostal Movement was thus born. From Chicago the Pentecostal flame spread to other places and other Italian Pentecostal Churches were formed. At its inception our movement was both Italian and missionary minded.
Over the course of time the Italian Pentecostal Movement sensed the need for some structure. There were various stages in the organization process. At the first convention the churches settled on twelve Articles of Faith and agreed to create a hymnal to be used in all of the churches. At this time the network of churches came to be known as the Unorganized Italian Christian Churches of the United States. Later the name of the movement was revised to the Italian Christian Churches of North America. At a later date the name was again changed this time to the Christian Church of North America. This change was made, at least in part, because it was recognized that the gospel is for all people groups. During this same time a Missionary Society was formed, the Missionary Society of the Christian Church of North America.
In April of 2006 the name of the denomination was changed to the International Fellowship of Christians Assemblies. This name was chosen because it is more reflective of the movement. First, the IFCA is not restricted to North America. In fact, there are more IFCA affiliated church overseas than in the United States. The movement is indeed international in scope. Second, though IFCA is technically a denomination, it is more like a fellowship, that is, a collegial association. The movement is large enough to make a difference and small enough to be personal. The movement remains true to its roots; it is staunchly evangelical, unapologetically Pentecostal, and passionately missions-minded
The International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies shall accept the Holy Scriptures as the revealed will of God, the all-sufficient rule of faith and practice, and for the purpose of maintaining general unity, adopts the statement of fundamental Truths following herewith:
The Scriptures Inspired
We believe and accept the entire Bible as the infallible Word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit; the only and perfect order of our faith and manner of living, superior to conscience and reason; to which nothing can be added or taken away, which is the power of God unto salvation to believers. II Peter 1:21; II Timothy 3:16,17; Romans 1:16.
The One True God
We believe there is only one living and true God, eternal, with unlimited power, Creator of all things; and in the one God are three distinct persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:6; Matthew 28:19; I John 5:7.
We believe that the historical Jesus Christ is God made flesh through the Virgin Mary, and so is true God and true man; that He is the only Savior who suffered death in reality, not only for original sin imputed to man, but also for the actual sins of man. John 1:14; Luke 1:27-35; I Peter 3:18.
Man, His Fall
We believe Man was created good and upright, for God said, Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. But man, by voluntary transgression, fell, and his only hope of redemption is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Genesis 1:26-31; 3:1-7; Romans 5:12-21.
The Salvation of Man Conditions of Salvation
We believe that salvation is in the Person, Jesus Christ, alone and that the New Birth without which cannot enter the kingdom of God is experienced through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:16; I John 5:11; John 3:5; Acts 20-21; John 1:12,13.
The Evidence of Salvation
We believe the Inward Evidence to the believer of his salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit; the Outward Evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness. Romans 8:16; I John 2:3-6.
Baptism in Water
We Believe the ordinance of baptism by symbolic burial with Christ should be observed by all who have in reality repented of their sins and in their hearts truly believe in Christ as Savior who died for their sins and Lord who lives to sustain them. We believe single immersion should be administered in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit by one recognized as having been set apart for the work of the ministry. Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:47,48; Romans 6:4.
The Lord's Supper
We believe in the ordinance of the Lord's supper consisting of the elements, bread and the fruit of the vine, the symbols of the body and blood of our Lord, should be regularly observed by believers only as a memorial of His suffering and death, a witness to the unity of all believers in Christ, and a reminder of His Second Coming. I Corinthians 11:20; Matthew 26:16-29; I Corinthians 11:26; I Corinthians 10:16,17.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
We believe the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is the Promise of the Father and the Command of Christ to all believers as an experience to be received distinct from the New Birth, for enduement with power for life and service and which experience indicates the believer at the moment has voluntarily surrendered his faculties to the Holy Spirit's control. Acts 1:4,5; Acts 2:39; Acts 19:1-7; Acts 1:8.
The Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
We believe there are many signs of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, but speaking in a language one has never known is always the first physical evidence that the Spirit has come into full control. Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:2-6; Acts 1:8; 2:42-43; James 3:1-10. Sanctification We believe in holiness without which no man shall see the Lord and that by the power of the Holy Spirit the Christian can live separate from voluntary sin though not free from the temptation to sin; and that, the Christian is credited with our Lord's sanctification while in pursuit of perfection. Hebrews 12:14; Romans 8:13; I Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 6:1.
We believe it is necessary to abstain from things offered to idols from blood, from things strangled and from fornication, as decreed by the Holy Spirit in the General Assembly held at Jerusalem according to Acts 15:28-29; 16:4; 21:25.
We believe the true church of Christ is both a universal and local body of Christians which exits interdenominationally but consists exclusively of those persons only who through the New Birth are in Christ; and that, the church has been divinely commissioned as a holy priesthood to offer true worship to God, and as ambassadors of His kingdom to show mankind the way of the Lord. Matthew 13:24-30; Revelation 2:1; John 3:3,5; I Peter 2:5; John 4:23,24; Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 1:8; II Corinthians 5:30.
We believe special men set apart for the work of the ministry by the call of our Lord Jesus Christ are uniquely commissioned to the Leadership, but not Lordship over the flock of God; and because of this high calling should receive the love, honor, respect, deference, and material support of the people of God. Ephesians 4:8-12; I Peter 5:1-3; I Thessalonians 5:12,13; Hebrews 13:17; Galatians 6:6; I Corinthians 9:7-14.
We believe it is the primary mission of the church to the world to proclaim that Christ died for our sins ¦was buried ¦rose again on the third day ¦that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life ¦ in ¦new heavens and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness, and that all means morally and Scripturally correct should be employed to influence commitment of people to Christ providing such means do not usurp the primary mission of the Church. I Corinthians 15:3,4; John 3:16; II Peter 3:13; I Corinthians 9:22; Galatians 1:6-11; I Corinthians 2:2.
We further believe that to this mission at home and abroad ever Christian should give himself zealously; especially those in the Ministry and in particular those called to be Evangelists because the Return of our Lord and the establishment of His Kingdom cannot occur until the Gospel is first preached to all nations for a witness. Romans 10:14,15; Matthew 28:19,20; II Timothy 4:5; Ephesians 4:11; II Corinthians 5:11,14; Matthew 24:14.
We believe deliverance from sickness, with or without means for healing (including the services of a physician) is the will of God provided for in the Atonement as a privilege for all believers in proportion to whose faith healing may be administered consistent to New Testament precedent by anointing with oil by the elders and the laying on of hands by believers. Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16,17; Luke 17:14; John 9:6,7; Luke 18:42; James 5:14; Mark 16:18; Acts 19:12.
Rapture and Resurrection
We believe that Jesus Christ will soon return to this world with physical characteristics identical to those with which He ascended into Heaven; and that at His Return new bodies shall be given to the dead in Christ and the bodies of living Christians shall be changed instantly into His likeness and both living and dead Christians shall be caught up to be with the Lord in Heaven, thus escaping the judgment of God that shall come upon a Christ-rejecting society. The dead in Christ are said to be Resurrected; the living, Translated; both are Raptured. Acts 1:9-11; I Thessalonians 4:16,17; I Corinthians 15:51-54; I Thessalonians 5:9.
The Millennial Reign of Christ
We believe that after the Tribulation Jesus Christ and his followers will literally rule the world in righteousness for a period of 1,000 years in fulfillment of God's promise to David and the prophetic image of the rise and fall of nations revealed in Nebuchadnezzar's dream which Daniel interpreted. Revelation 20:1-7; 2 Samuel 7:16; Daniel 2:44,45.
The Lake of Fire
We believe the devil and his angels, the coming world dictator referred to as the beast in Scripture, and his religious aid referred to in Scripture as the false prophet, and whosoever is not found written in the Book of Life, shall be consigned to everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelations 19:20; 20:10-15.
The Kingdom of God: New Heaven and New Earth
We believe according to promise in a coming Kingdom of God comprised of new Heavens and a new Earth endowed with all this world's secular good essential for total fulfillment in the new Earth, minus sin, plus the literal presence of Jesus Christ; and that Christians, cited for faithfulness here, together with Christ, shall administer the affairs of the coming world order, forever. Luke 1:33; II Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1,4; 22:2; Revelation 5:10; 2:26; 3:21.
We believe that one tenth of ever Christian's increase should be given joyfully to the local church on the first day of the week in respect for God's command and ownership of all our substance; and that God enters into a contractual Covenant of Blessing with faithful tithers through which He promises both prosperity of substance and protection from wasting. Matthew 23:33; Malachi 3:8-11; Luke 6:38; II Corinthians 9:6-8.
We further believe tithing is a continuing test of the Christian's managerial integrity and sense of responsibility and will be significant in determining the degree of responsible leadership with which he shall be entrusted in the coming world order. Luke 12:41-48; 19:11-17; I Corinthians 4:2.
We believe in the institution of marriage. God, the Creator, designed marriage to be a lifelong union between man and woman. We do not acknowledge same sex marriage and will not solemnize such a relationship. Homosexual marriage violates the divine ideal and homosexual behavior is clearly and consistently spoken against in Scripture as unnatural and immoral. Genesis 2:18,20b-24; Matthew 19:11-6; Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:27; I Corinthians 6:9-11.
We also believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity should be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that any form of homosexuality, lesbian, bisexuality, bestiality, incest, fornication, adultery, and pornography are sinful perversions of God's gift of sex. Genesis 2:24; Genesis 19:5,13; Genesis 26:8-9; Leviticus 18:1-30; Romans 1:26-29; I Corinthians 5:1, 6:9; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; Hebrews 13:4.
Sanctity of Life
We believe that human life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a living human being. Abortion constitutes the unjustified taking of unborn human live. Acts 17:25; Psalm 127:3; Job 3:16; Psalm 51:5; 139:14-16; Isaiah 44:24; 49:1-5; Jeremiah 1:5; 20:15-18; Luke 1:44.
We believe that God has given the Church a Great Commission to proclaim the Gospel to all nations so that there might be a great multitude from every nation, tribe, ethnic group and language group who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. As ambassadors of Christ, we must take the initiative and go to all the world using every available means, to reach people 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; 2 Corinthians 5:20.
We believe that every Christian, as a steward of that portion of God's wealth entrusted to him, is obligated to support his local church financially. We believe that God has established the tithe as a basis for giving but that every Christian should also give other offerings sacrificially and cheerfully to the support of the Church, the relief of those in need and the spread of the Gospel. We believe that a Christian relinquished all rights to direct the use of the tithe or offering once the gift has been made. Genesis 14:20; Proverbs 3:9-10; Acts 4:34-37; I Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 4:28; I Timothy 5:17-18; I John 3:17; Malachi 3:6; 8-10; Matthew 23:23