The House of God was established early 1914 in Beaufort, South Carolina by Bishop R. A. R. Johnson. The House of God was later incorporated on April 4, 1918 in Washington DC. Bishop Johnson was a eloquent religious spokesman and minister of the Church of God in the early 1900's. As a minister, Bishop Johnson searched relentlessly for something to believe in and to commit himself to. The group finally organizing a small religious group called, "Commandment Keepers" in 1910.
Thus was the beginning of what was destined to become, The House of God. Set in definite motion in 1920 in New York City, plans for Bishop Johnson's newly organized group proceeded quickly. Many meetings were held throughout the United States, Africa, Cuba, and Jamaica. Scores of people were receptive to Bishop Johnson's eloquent and passionate messages.During the years that followed, land acquisitions were made and small churches began to appear throughout the United States. Geographical districts were created with state and national coordinators. In 1925 the "Sisters Union" was organized, which lead to the development of the present Missionary Department.
The next decade witnessed the formation of Sabbath schools, a church newspaper, a national treasurer, a national secretary and a genuine attitude of achievement.
At the death of Bishop Johnson on August 21, 1940, the church had achieved a creditable level of stability. Bishop Johnson was succeeded by Bishop A. A. Smith, PhD., who would eventually be established as the first Chief Apostle of the House of God. New York City became the church's national headquarters under Bishop Smith's administration. The untimely death of Bishop Smith resulted in a wave of dissension and unrest throughout the church. Ultimately there would occur a division of church leadership. Subsequently the churches leadership was divided between Bishop S. P. Rawlings of Lexington, Kentucky, Bishop S. L. Henry of Dayton, Ohio and Bishop M. Baker of Jacksonville, Florida.
In 1950, Bishop S. P. Rawlings became the second Chief Apostle of the House of God. Through his deep awareness of contemporary problems and his incisive insight into the nature of man, Bishop Rawlings greatly enhanced the House of God's progress. After the death of Bishop S. P. Rawlings, Bishop F. C. Scott of Lockland, Ohio served as Chief Apostle until his death on March 7, 2005. Bishop James Embry is the current Chief Apostle. The House of God's national temple is located in Lexington, KY.
In the more than five score years that have passed since its establishment, the House of God has expanded its horizon to include several churches throughout the United States, Africa, Canada, Jamaica and Australia.
Our Former Leaders
The House of God has a rich history due in part to our former leaders to whom we honor on this page. These men were spirit filled leaders and pioneers during the times that they served as spiritual leader of the House of God. We respectfully honor them here as our former Chief Apostle's of the House of God International church.
Bishop R. A. R. JohnsonFounder
When Bishop Johnson left the Methodist Church he joined forces with Mother Mary L. Tate who had established an organization in 1903 known as "The Church of The Living God, Pillar and Ground of The Truth". He worked closely with her, but due to his conviction concerning the Sabbath, he began to organize this organization in 1914.
Bishop A. A. Smith, D. D.1st Chief Apostle
Bishop Smith was the General Secretary for the National Church and Personal Secretary to Bishop R.A.R. Johnson. Bishop Smith was known for his education and expertise of Hebrew language and taught Hebrew at a school in New York City with Bishop A.J. Ford.
Bishop S. P. Rawlings2nd Chief Apostle
Bishop S. P. Rawlings, born August 2, 1914 in Georgetown, Ky. He was the fourth child of the late James and Bessie Elizabeth Rawlings. Elder Rawlings was ordained by Bishop A. A. Smith in 1947 as Bishop. Bishop Rawlings became the second Chief Apostle in 1950. Bishop Rawlings set goals and the Lord helped him to see the mighty hand of God.
Bishop F. C. Scott3rd Chief Apostle
Bishop Fred Crum Scott was born on October 25, 1923, in Statesville, North Carolina. After the home going of Bishop S.P. Rawlings in 1991, Bishop F.C. Scott became the Chief Apostle of the national organization. Bishop Scott held this position going on 14 years. Under his leadership, Bishop Scott implemented and initiated many progressive movements for the church.