The Church of the Nazarene was founded in 1895 in Los Angeles by a group of 100 people, led by Phinneas Bresee and Joseph Widney, who believed Christians should follow Jesus’s example and preach the gospel to the poor. They believed time and money should be invested in Christlike ministries for salvation of souls and the relief of the needy.
The Nazarene denomination is rooted in the Wesleyan-Holiness Tradition that calls believers to holy living and complete devotion to God.
The mission of the Church of the Nazarene is to make Christlike disciples in the nations, as Jesus commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20). It has a strong mission focus, with churches, educational facilities, and relief efforts around the world.
The Nazarene beliefs are detailed in the 16 Articles of Faith along with supporting scripture. Here is a summary of the Articles.
- We believe in one God, the creator of all things. He makes Himself known to us as Father, Son, and Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
- We believe in Jesus Christ, who is both God and man. He became like us to show us what God is like and to teach us how we might have eternal life. (Matthew 1:20-25, 16:15-16; John 1:1-18)
- We believe in the Holy Spirit and that He is active in the world today. (John 14:15-18, 16:7-15; Romans 8:1-27)
- We believe the Bible is the Word of God and tells us all we need to know about how to have eternal life and how to live with integrity. (2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2Peter 1:20-21)
- We believe that we are all sinners by both nature and act and need God’s forgiveness and cleansing. (Genesis 3; Romans 3:23, 5:12-14, 6:15-23)
- We believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross and that by trusting in His death and resurrection we can be restored to a right relationship with God. (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 3:14-17)
- We believe that God enables us to turn from sin, but that He does not force us to do so. (Genesis 2:16-17; John 1:12; Galatians 6:7-8)
- We believe that when we turn from sin and trust in Christ, we are forgiven for the acts of sin. (Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 2:38)
- We believe that when we trust in Christ and are forgiven, we become part of the family of God. (Acts 13:39; Titus 3:4-7; Galatians 4:47)
- We believe that God’s Spirit desires to cleanse His people from the nature of sin enabling them to live consistently above reproach. Our strength for living with integrity and love comes from His presence in us. (Matthew 3:11, 22:37-40; 1 John 4:1-18)
- We believe that God uses the Church to fulfill His plans for the world until Christ returns. (Matthew 28:1-20; Acts 2:37-41)
- We believe in baptism and urge people to be baptized to publicly affirm their faith. (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 2:37-41)
- We believe in the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). (Matthew 26:26-29)
- We believe God can heal and we pray for healing. We also believe that God can work through medical science. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; James 5:13-16)
- We believe that Jesus is coming again. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
- We believe that everyone will face the judgment of God with its rewards and punishments. (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15)