Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God

A Oneness Pentecostal movement known for its dynamic worship and strong community bonds.

Religion: Christianity
Denomination: Pentecostal
Founder: Bishop W.T. Phillips
Founded: 1919
Location: United States
Size: Over 500 churches and several hundred thousand members
Website: aohchurch.org

The Apostolic Overcoming Holy Church of God (AOH) is a notable Pentecostal denomination rooted in the tradition of holiness and the direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Founded in 1916 by Bishop W.T. Phillips in Mobile, Alabama, the church was initially named the Ethiopian Overcoming Holy Church of God. By 1920, it was locally incorporated, and in 1941, it adopted its current name to reflect a broader inclusivity and outreach​​​​.

Bishop Phillips was a former minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who departed from it due to doctrinal differences concerning holiness and sanctification. His founding of the AOH Church was driven by a conviction in the essential nature of holiness in Christianity, a belief that remains central to the church’s teachings and practices today. The church’s worship services are characterized by their spontaneity and emotional depth, incorporating practices like foot washing, divine healing, ecstatic dancing, and speaking in tongues, reflecting its Pentecostal identity​​.

The AOH Church’s administration includes a structured hierarchy of local churches grouped under districts, overseen by diocesan bishops and overseers. It holds an Annual Meeting known as “Pentecost” every June 1–10, which serves as a time for communal worship and organizational matters. As of 2011, the church’s headquarters is located at the Cathedral of the Cross A.O.H. Church of God in Birmingham, Alabama​​.

Globally, the church has expanded its reach through missionary work, especially in Western, Southwest, and Southeast Africa, underscoring its commitment to spreading its message of holiness and spiritual renewal beyond American borders. As a non-Trinitarian Oneness-Pentecostal denomination, the AOH Church emphasizes the singular nature of God while upholding the foundational Christian belief in Jesus Christ and the Apostles​​.

With approximately 129 churches across the United States, the AOH Church continues to grow and influence various communities, guided by its foundational principles and the enduring legacy of Bishop W.T. Phillips​​.

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