Jesus prayed that His Church would be unified and preserved in the name of God (John 17:11 John 17:11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.
American King James Version×). Also, the New Testament’s most frequent designation for the original body of believers is, as translated in most English Bibles, the “church of God” (Acts 20:28 Acts 20:28Take heed therefore to yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he has purchased with his own blood.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 10:32 1 Corinthians 10:32Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 11:22 1 Corinthians 11:22What? have you not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise you the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
American King James Version×; 1 Corinthians 15:9 1 Corinthians 15:9For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
American King James Version×; 1 Timothy 3:5 1 Timothy 3:5(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
American King James Version×). Some New Testament passages also attach the location, such as “the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2 1 Corinthians 1:2To the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s:
American King James Version×; 2 Corinthians 1:1 2 Corinthians 1:1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia:
American King James Version×).
Because many divergent groups refer to themselves as the Church of God, we include the word United to provide us with distinctiveness. It was also chosen to convey the unity in belief, mission and purpose for which Jesus prayed when He asked that the Church be kept in God’s name.
Also, instead of attaching a local city name, as in the New Testament, we add the phrase “an International Association” to appropriately reflect the worldwide scope of the Church and its activities.