In 1959, the General Eldership approved a declaratory and authoritative statement of Teachings and Practices of the Churches of God. That Bible-based declaration set forth in order things most surely believed among us. It was not a creed. The Bible is the only true standard of Christian faith and practice. The Bible is God's Word, a revelation from God to human beings.
The usefulness of such a declaration became apparent as early as 1844 when John Winebrenner prepared for the church twenty-seven points as her "avowed principles" constituting a "short … declaration, showing her views, as to what may be called leading matters of faith, experience and practice." Again in 1863, as an outline for instruction in the blessings of the Christian faith, Christian H. Forney pointed out the value of "a handbook for the ministerial novitiate, the layman, the Sabbath School teacher, and all those who love the doctrines of the Church."
To meet the additional needs then emerging, the General Eldership in 1925, speaking in a representative capacity as our highest ecclesiastical body, adopted a doctrinal statement of fourteen unnumbered points, substantially the same as that of 1844 from a doctrinal standpoint. And again in 1959, to respond to emerging concerns, the Church adopted the statement known as Teachings and Practices of the Churches of God.