Who is the

Church of the Nazarene ?

Church of the Nazarene


Phineas F. Bresee

Phineas F. Bresee

Primary founder of the
Church of the Nazarene

The Church of the Nazarene is an evangelical Christian denomination that emerged from the 19th-century Holiness movement in North America. In October 1907, the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America and the Church of the Nazarene merged in Chicago, Illinois, at the First General Assembly.  In April 1908, a congregation organized in Peniel, Texas, drew into the Nazarene movement the key officers of the Holiness Association of Texas. The Pennsylvania Conference of the Holiness Christian Church united in September 1908. In October 1908, the Second General Assembly was held at Pilot Point, Texas, the headquarters of the Holiness Church of Christ. The “year of uniting” ended with the merger of this southern denomination with its northern counterpart.

The spiritual vision of the early Church of the Nazarene was derived from the doctrinal core of John Wesley’s preaching. These affirmations include justification by grace through faith, sanctification likewise by grace through faith, entire sanctification as an inheritance available to every Christian, and the witness of the Spirit to God’s work in human lives.

The global mission of the Church of the Nazarene since its beginnings has been “to respond to the Great Commission of Christ to ‘go and make disciples of all nations.” The denominational vision is: “to be a disciple-making church, in an international community of faith, in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition”. It should reflect the following characteristics of:

  • meaningful worship
  • theological coherence
  • passionate evangelism
  • intentional discipleship
  • church development
  • transformational leadership
  • and purposeful compassion.

For more information on the Church of the Nazarene and its ministry, click here!

Church of the Nazarene

in South Asia

A Congregation in South Asia

The Indian subcontinent, or what is today called South Asia, was the first place the Church of the Nazarene sent missionaries to in 1898, ten years before its official foundation. People from all three major groups joining in Pilot Point, Texas (1908) served in this part of the world. The work concentrated on Maharashtra state (Bombay, today Mumbai) and West & East Bengal (Calcutta; today these are India and Bangladesh). During the 1930s the work was concentrated on Maharashtra only. All South Asia was one field.

As the Church of the Nazarene follows a holistic approach, sharing the love of Christ in word and deed, the Reynolds Memorial Hospital was founded in 1936 as a “Mission Hospital” and became a general hospital in 1952. Since its beginnings, RMH has been dedicated to serve the poor and underprivileged in rural mid/East-Maharashtra.

The “Nazarene Nurses Training College” (NNTC) was established in 1958, and has been upgraded and is now offering a B.Sc. in Nursing (4-year degree), a Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery (3.5-year degree) and a Diploma in Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery (1.5-year degree).

In 2008, India became its own field, so that today the South Asia Field comprises the countries of Bangladesh (since 1993), Nepal (since 1999), Pakistan (since 1995), and Sri Lanka (since 2000).

From the very beginning, the Church of the Nazarene in South Asia is trying to follow these principles:

  • Our ministry needs to be holistic, sharing the love of Christ through word and deed, addressing the whole person.
  • Whenever possible, ministry is done by local people and not missionaries. People from the outside can advise or train, but local people make the decisions.
  • Our ministry focuses on capacity building and enables nationals to grow churches that are adequate and effective in their society rather than to be reliant on foreign aid.
  • All ministry aims to be sustainable (“strong and healthy”) and trains people reach this goal in a timely and effective way.

By the end of 2016 the Church of the Nazarene in South Asia had 3,982 organized churches, 1,034 church type missions, 2,229 preaching points, 468 students enrolled at South Asia Nazarene Bible college, 16 extension education centers, and over 12,000 children attend our 131 Child Development Centers.

If you want to find out more on the ministry of the Church of the Nazarene in South Asia and what it is doing, click here for more information.