Brunstad Christian Church (BCC) is a Christian church that started in Norway on 17th May, 1898 through Johan O. Smith’s conversion and is a result of his life and work. At the present time BCC has local churches in 54 countries spread over every continent. In Norway there are 19 local churches comprising approximately 8 000 members.
BCC’s local churches also use the name Brunstad Kristelige Menighet. BCC is often popularly referred to as “Smith’s friends”.
Johan Oscar Smith (1871–1943)
Brunstad Christian Church is a Norwegian association and a non-profit organization registered in the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities and the Register of Non-Profit Organizations (org.no. 979 961 073). Furthermore, BCC is a publically registered religious community according to the Religious Community Act §§ 13 and 14 with approved persons authorized to perform marriages according to the Marriage Act § 12 (1) letter a.
The Association is amongst other things responsible for the church´s international conferences and other events, the Brunstad TV channel, the Youth Exchange Program and a series of administrative and economic functions. Moreover, BCC’s local churches are organized into independent associations both financially as well as legally. The local churches are linked to BCC through goal-related provisions in their own bye-laws. Local churches abroad that are linked to BCC are normally organized in a similar fashion, in accordance with national legislation.
As stated in the bye-laws, BCC consists of three central bodies: The Leadership, the Assembly and the Board.
The Leadership of BCC is responsible for the direction of the church´s doctrine and is responsible for the church´s events and Christian content.
The Assembly decides changes to the bye-laws, approves the annual accounts and puts forward suggestions for processing by the Board. The Assembly consists of local representatives from both Norwegian local churches and local churches abroad.
The Board is responsible for administrating BCC’s resources in order to promote BCC’s operations. In addition, the Board must ensure a satisfactory organization of the operations. It is the Board’s responsibility to administer the church´s properties and assets. Unanimity is required for decisions by the Board.
Board Members and General Manager
Finn Åge Ødegård
Berit Hustad Nilsen
Board member and General Manager
The board’s responsibility
The Board is responsible for administrating the Association’s resources in order to further the Association’s operations, and must ensure a satisfactory organization of the operations. The Association is represented to the outside world by a united Board.
Property and assets
The Board administers the Association’s properties and assets. The Board, as owner, has authority to use the properties, as well as through sale or mortgage. The Board must consist of at least 3 – three, but not more than 5 – five members, and at least 3 – three – deputies.
Members of the board
Board members and deputies serve until they themselves choose to step down. New board members are elected by the remaining board members in accordance with suggestions coming from the Assembly. The Board is also free to elect others than those put forward by the Assembly.
The Chairman of the Board is elected by the Board for a period of 3 years at a time.
The board’s resolutions
The Board passes resolutions at meetings that are in session. The Board forms a quorum when one and all board members are present. Resolutions are passed unanimously.
BRUNSTAD and organisations linked to the place
In 1956 BCC purchased Nedre Brunstad Gård in Stokke. The place which has been a central conference center for the church and also from which the church´s name is derived, was owned by BCC for 50 years up to 2006, at which time the entire ownership was transferred to the Brunstad Foundation.
The Brunstad Foundation was established by BCC in 2002. The foundation had the goal of promoting the doctrine, values and Christian content that Johan O. Smith stood for.
BCC still continues to use Brunstad for its international conferences through a rental agreement with Oslofjord Convention Center AS, a company owned by the Brunstad Foundation. Oslofjord Convention Center AS has entered into a long term rental contract for the operation of commercial events at Brunstad, where at present BCC is the company’s largest customer. BCC is negotiating with Oslofjord Convention Center AS regarding a long-term letter of intent and framework agreement for rental of the property over the next 20 years.
Oslofjord Property AS and Oslofjord Operations AS are also owned by the Brunstad Foundation. The former is the builder for the development of hotel buildings and sports facilities which are at present located at Brunstad. The latter is responsible for the operational running of the place.
Other organizations linked to BCC
Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag is a publishing foundation originating from when Johan Oscar Smith first started the periodical Skjulte Skatter in 1912. The Foundation’s goal is to promote the doctrine, values and the Christian content that Johan O. Smith stood for. The publisher circulates such periodicals as Skjulte Skatterand Mandelblomsten.
In addition to running Sunday school and youth work, three children’s and youth associations have also been formed:
Activity clubs, leisure activities for children
Brunstad Youth Club, leisure activities for youth
Xercize, sports related activities for children and youth
The associations are independent, having their own finances and leadership, and wherever BCC is established they have their own local team. Each association is responsible for various national and regional events. The activities club and Brunstad Youth Club receive national operating subsidies from the State, and the local teams receive subsidies from the Free Fund.
Corresponding children’s and youth associations have been established in several countries where BCC has a presence.
BCC cooperates with Global Youth Mission, a non-profit association whose goal is the spreading of the Christian faith and doctrine amongst youth both nationally and internationally. The association runs an exchange program for youth from Norway and other EOS countries. The association owns Globeserve AS where youth linked to the association contribute via economic activity, the profit from which is used in achieving the Association’s goals.
Brunstad Christian Church works using the Bible as its source and guideline in questions of doctrine.
The main work of the Church consists of teaching people to keep all that Jesus commanded, Math. 28, 18-20. We believe in the Forgiveness of Sins, Acts. 10:43 and 13:38, through Jesus’ death for us, 1. Cor. 15:3 and Eph. 1:7. We believe that Jesus was tempted just as us, Heb. 2:18, but that He never sinned, Hebr. 4:15.
We believe and preach that we can follow in Jesus’ footsteps, He who committed no sin, 1. Pet. 2:21-23, and that we therefore can in every situation live a personal life in victory over all conscious sin, Rom. 8:37.
BCC’s members should be characterized by attitudes and behavior compatible with respect and esteem towards other people, irrespective of whether they share our faith or not.
Truth and righteousness
We know that it is only by an honest and upright search for the truth that a person can live a righteous life. We consider this to be a fundamental basis for our life and all our activity.
Work for children and youth
BCC has a special focus on working on behalf of children and youth, and desires that all local churches also work consciously with this in mind. The choice of amenities should be varied and fitting according to the child’s state and individuality. Through praise, encouragement and positive acknowledgement, we want everyone to feel included, appreciated and be able to experience the joy of achieving their goals.
Love and care
We want to show neighborly love, care and generosity towards each individual irrespective of their credentials and their situation in life. The overall goal is to prompt everyone to live a life as Jesus’ disciple in accordance with Jesus’ Great Commission.
The Bible is the foundation for our faith, and based on its doctrine, we want each of our members to feel full freedom to make their choices according to their personal faith and inner conviction.
A safe organisation
We wish to embrace entirety by organizing for diversity, and not to cultivate an elite culture where some easily fall outside and feel themselves of less value or not wanted. This applies to all age groups, however we feel a special responsibility for having good procedures in place in order to identify and put a stop to any bullying or social exclusion present in any work with children’s and youth.
BCC always wishes to have an up-to-date policy and operational plan in place in relation to violence, transboundary behavior and sexual harassment towards children and youth. We are consciously working so that all members feel secure at every level in the organization.
Read or download our Strategy and action plan below: