Since 1904, Cleveland has been the headquarters for the international offices of the Church of God, one of America's oldest continuing Pentacostal denominations. More than 6.5 million people claim Church of God membership around the world. A 24-acre campus at the corner of Keith and 25th streets is a beautiful asset to the city and includes three major office buildings and a Prayer Garden that is accessible to the city's Greenway. The Leadership and Communications Center contains a small conference center that is available for public use. Office hours are 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday - Friday, with the Prayer Garden open 24/7. 2490 Keith St. (423) 472-3361
A Brief History of the Church of God
The Church of God began on August 19, 1886, in Monroe County, Tennessee, near the North Carolina border. Former Baptist Richard Green Spurling preached in a millhouse along Barney Creek and eight persons formed a Christian Union for the purpose of following the New Testament as their rule for faith and practice, giving each other equal rights and privilege to interpret Scripture, and sitting together as the church of God. Twenty-one years later the growing movement formally adopted the name Church of God.
Ten years after the organizational meeting, a revival at the Shearer Schoolhouse in nearby Camp Creek, North Carolina, introduced the doctrine of sanctification to the community. Opposition to this doctrine led to severe persecution, but a spirit of revival prevailed and the Holiness believers experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that included speaking in tongues and divine healing. Such experiences prepared the way for the explosion of the Pentecostal movement in the early twentieth century.
Under the leadership of our first General Overseer, A. J. Tomlinson, the Church of God adopted a centralized form of Church government with an inclusive International General Assembly (1906), launched a world evangelization effort beginning in the Bahamas (1909), inaugurated the Church of God Evangel (1910), and established educational opportunities for ministers and members (1918). Today Church of God ministries include more than 7 million members in 178 nations and territories. Some 36,000 congregations serve around the world, while regional and international ministries provide resources and support through our divisions of World Evangelization, Care, Discipleship, Education, and Support Services.
For further information on the history of the Church God, see Living the Word: 125 Years of Church of God Ministry and Like A Mighty Army , both of which are available through Pathway Bookstore . Additional historical resources are at the Dixon Pentecostal Research Center.
Tour the Campus
The Church of God International Offices is located on 40 acres at the corner of Keith and 25th Streets in Cleveland, Tennessee. The campus consists of five primary structures, dominated by the four story World Evangelization Center, the original offices built on the site and completely renovated in 2005. The Discipleship and Education Center and the Leadership and Communications Center - both two story, 30,000 square foot buildings – were added to the campus in 2004.The campus also includes a Center for Ministerial Care and maintenance facility. A prayer plaza/garden ties the three primary structures together with walkways, statues, markers, and beautiful landscaping.
Guided tours of the three primary buildings are available through appointment by calling the Communications Department at (423) 478-7113
Chattanooga, Tennessee is one of the South's top travel destinations. In fact, the New York Times named Chattanooga TN one of the “Top 45 Places to go" in the World. Only four US destinations were named and the Scenic City was the only place outside of California. And it's no wonder. Tucked between the mountains of Southeast Tennessee, along the beautiful Tennessee River, Chattanooga TN is one of America's most breathtaking cities. But that's just the beginning of what the Scenic City has to offer. There's a world of outdoor adventure, amazing restaurants, live events, art and world-class attractions waiting for you here. So, go ahead. Plan your Chattanooga TN vacation today.
Chattanooga Vacation Packages for Families
Family Getaways to Chattanooga offer the chance to relax in the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountains and along the Tennessee River. With one of the top aquariums and children's museums in the nation just a block apart, Downtown Chattanooga is ideal for families.
There are more than 50 attractions to explore year round so you will always stay busy. Because Chattanooga is the perfect sized city, you can park your car and walk, ride the free electric shuttle or rent one of 300 bikes from 30 public bike share stations. Start planning your Chattanooga family vacation today with our suggested itineraries .
For a great adventure on the water, check out the 2013 Chattanooga Guided Kayak Trips by Outdoor Chattanooga.
Arts & Culture Chattanooga Vacation Packages
Chattanooga's rich arts scene is second to none. Take in one of the nation's largest collections of American art at the Hunter Museum of American Art and discover the many galleries and emerging artists at the Bluff View Art District , NorthShore and Southside districts.
There's always something going on in Chattanooga. Be sure to make time for the many outstanding music and arts festivals and theatre performances throughout the entire year.
Chattanooga also boasts one of the best artisan markets in the country according to Frommer's at the Chattanooga Market every Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm at the Tennessee Pavillion.
To create your own art gallery crawl, read our blog post about Chattanooga art galleries .
Chattanooga is rich in history, from the nation's first and largest military park, the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park ; Ross's Landing on the riverfront, a Cherokee removal site now memorialized by The Passage , an interactive water feature; the Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Train Station Complex built in 1909 to museums like the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum , Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the International Towing & Recovery Museum and Hall of Fame .
In 2013, Chattanooga will observe two significant anniversaries – the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and the 175th Anniversary of the Cherokee Removal known as the “Trail of Tears.”
How did Chattanooga get its name?The name “Chattanooga” comes from the Creek Indian word for “rock coming to a point.” This refers to Lookout Mountain which begins in Chattanooga and stretches 88 miles through Alabama and Georgia. The city itself started out with two different names: Ross's Landing and Lookout City. In 1838, the city officially took the name of “Chattanooga.”
150th Anniversary of the Civil WarThroughout 2013, Chattanooga is commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Campaign for Chattanooga battles with a variety of special events, including the largest reenactment in the western theater for the Anniversary with more than 5,000+ Reenactors, an outdoor patriotic concert and the four-day Signature Event “Occupation and Liberation.”
Because of Chattanooga's strategic location, river and rail systems, some of the hardest fought and most complex battles happened during the fall of 1863 on Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. Because of Chattanooga's strategic location, river and rail systems, Chattanooga was considered the gateway to the Deep South and an important location for both the Union and the Confederate armies.
Today, the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park stands as the oldest and the largest military parks in the nation and was established through the efforts of Civil War veterans who came together from both armies in 1889. This Civil War battleground not only preserves, but also honors heroism, reconciliation and national reunification.
To make it easier to find lodging for the 150th events and to visit our Civil War sites, many of our hotel partners are offering special reduced rates. Properties are scattered throughout downtown and within 5-20 minutes away. Here are the specials: Reenactment tickets , Reenactment Hotel Packages , Sept. 21 & 22; Reenactment for groups with 10 or more rooms and the Signature Event Oct. 9-12, 2013.
Get the list of all 150th Anniversary events including dinner & a show at Buttonwillow Civil War Theater, Civil War cruises aboard the River Gorge Explorer, train rides on the Tennessee Valley Railroad and exhibits at the Battles for Chattanooga, Creative Discovery Museum and Hunter Museum of American Art. For more information on all of the Civil War Attractions click here .
Native American HistoryRoss's Landing, on the Chattanooga Riverfront, was established in 1816 by John Ross, a Chief of the Cherokee Indians. This area consisted of a ferry, warehouse and landing. With the organization of Hamilton County in 1819, Ross's Landing served not only the Cherokee trade but also as a convenient business center for the county. In 1838, Cherokee parties left from Ross's Landing for the West on what became known as the Trail of Tears.
Ross's Landing Park and Plaza encompasses a four-acre area surrounding the Tennessee Aquarium and overlooking the Tennessee River and scenic landscapes. The park includes green spaces, a playground, a pier and The Passage, an area where people can play in water cascading down steps alongside six-foot clay medallions set into the wall representing specific aspects of the Cherokee tribes' history.
In 2013, Chattanooga will also be commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Cherokee Removal known as the “Trail of Tears.” Special programs will be presented by the National Park Service along with a lecture by the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation (OK) and the dedication of the Federal Road at Moccasin Bend National Park.
Chattanooga's train history dates back before the Civil War, and with our developed rail lines and river, we were a strategic location for many of the battles. Chattanooga was made famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, who recorded the first gold record with the song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
Today, you can still be a part of the “Golden Age” and take a ride aboard a train at the Tennessee Valley Railroad or ride up Lookout Mountain on the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. Read more about Chattanooga's Train History .
Be sure to check our events calendar by type for all history related events.
Chattanooga Outdoor Adventure
Chattanooga has always been known as a premier outdoor destination— Outside magazine dubbed Chattanooga the “Best Town Ever.” With access to some of the nation's top venues for rock climbing, road and mountain biking, hiking, white-water rafting, hang gliding and more, all within a short drive of downtown, the Chattanooga outdoors offer unique opportunities for even the most hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.
Looking for something a little less adventurous? That's OK, too. You can take a bike ride or leisurely stroll down Chattanooga's beautiful 13-mile Riverwalk that runs along the Tennessee River, enjoy a picnic in one of the many parks and so much more. For a great adventure on the water, check out the 2013 Chattanooga Guided Kayak Trips by Outdoor Chattanooga.
There are two search functions on this page to help you find the ultimate adventure! Use the RootsRated search below to find self-guided adventures such as the best hiking or mountain biking spots around Chattanooga. Use the search to the lower right on this page to find guided outdoor adventure such as rafting, hang gliding or stand up paddle board rental and insturction. Enjoy!