Universal World Church in the Encyclopedia of American Religions

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The Universal World Church appeared in every edition of the Encyclopedia of American Religions until the seventh edition. It's entry was then dropped without explanation. In every other edition the entry on the Universal World Church read as follows:

Universal World Church

123 N. Lake St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

The Universal World Church was formed in 1952 by former Assemblies of God minister Dr. O. L. Jaggers, its president. It differs from other Pentecostal bodies primarily in organization and its doctrine of the sacrament. Under Jaggers are twenty-four elders who form the governing executive body. Their role is taken from Exodus and from Revelations 4:4, 10; 5 :6-8. The elders' custom of wearing robes and golden crowns is based on these texts. There are 144 bishops, one for each state of the United States and the rest for the various countries of the world. Elders and bishops must be graduates of the University of the World Church.

One is received into the church by baptism following repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as personal Lord and savior. The reception is the first process of new birth and new creation. Following the new birth, one may receive the genuine baptism with the Holy Spirit of resurrection power and fire, a baptism called the second process. After the second process, one is allowed to partake of the third, the transubstantiation communion which is offered once every three months. At that time twenty-four elders, by faith in Christ and the power of God, perform the miracle of changing bread and wine into the sacred body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. This act is done before the golden altar of the church in Los Angeles.

The World Church has come under considerable attack for its flamboyance, which some feel smacks more of showmanship than religion. In spite of these attacks, however, the church has grown. There were 11,315 members of the mother church in 1969. There were approximately 800 congregations in the United States and around the world. The 3,170 ministers are organized into the World Fellowship of the World Church. The World Church schools operate on the elementary and high school levels, and the university on the college level. All ministers are university graduates.

Membership: Not reported. In 1969, the church reported 11,315 members in the mother church in Los Angeles. There were 800 congregations in the United States and the world, with 3,170 ministers organized into a World Fellowship of the World Church. These figures have been questioned by many who claim that the movement consists merely of the single congregation in Los Angeles.

Educational Facilities: University of the World Church, Los Angeles, California.[1]

References

  1. Melton, J. Gordon (1998). Encyclopedia of American Religions. Gale Group. p. 450. ISBN 0810384175.