John Winebrenner (1797-1860) was ordained on September 28, 1820, as a minister of the German Reformed Church, a Calvinist body. He was given charge of four congregations in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, area. Winebrenner labored extensively in revival meetings, but some of the members opposed what they considered “unusual efforts for the conversion of sinners.” In 1828 the General Synod of the German Reformed Church dropped him from its roster of ministers, in response to such complaints. In July 1830, Winebrenner was rebaptized by immersion by Jacob Erb. That year, he and co-laborers sympathetic with his efforts met and organized the General Eldership of the Church of God. Representatives from various denominations were present, and the new organization reflected that diversity.

In the early years of the Church of God, its members were popularly called Winebrennerians, after their founder. The official name was changed to the General Eldership of the Churches of God in North America in 1845, and to its present title in 1975.


The mission of the Fourth Street Church of God is to love God and care for people. We strive to be a place for healing and a people of joy. We are dedicated to bringing others into a living relationship with Jesus Christ and helping them become active members of His family. 


  • We believe that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice.
  • We believe in one God, eternally existent in three persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – one in essence and community.
  • We believe in God the Father, the almighty Creator of heaven and earth.
  • We believe that Jesus Christ our Lord is the Word made flesh – fully God and fully man.  We believe he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, was crucified, died and was buried, rose again on the third day, and ascended into heaven.
  • We believe in the divinity of the Holy Spirit, who indwells the believer.  The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, enables the believer to live a holy life, comforts, teaches, and bestows spiritual gifts.
  • We believe humanity is created in the image of God, has fallen into sin, and can be born again by the Spirit, justified freely by grace, and saved through the atoning work of Jesus Christ alone.
  • We believe that the Church is the body of Christ, the people of God, whose mission is to make disciples of all nations and to be salt and light in the world.
  • We believe baptism, the Lord’s supper, and feetwashing to be ordinances of the Church.
  • We believe in the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, everlasting life, and the new heavens and new earth.

This section is a summary of We Believe, the doctrinal statement of the Churches of God, General Conference. To explore our entire doctrine of what we believe, click here to learn more.