Category Archives: Church

Minnie Abrams and the Pentecostal Revival in India


Description: Minnie Abrams on the right.

This Week in AG History–May 19, 1945
By Darrin Rodgers

Also published in AG-NewsMon, 19 May 2014 – 4:21 PM CST.

Minnie Abrams (1859-1912), in many ways, was a typical female in the American Midwest in the late nineteenth century. However, everything changed when she heeded God’s call to the mission field. Abrams was reared on a farm in rural Minnesota and, in her early twenties, became a schoolteacher. After a few years in the classroom, however, she sensed that God was leading her in a new direction. She attended a Methodist missionary training school in Chicago and, in 1887, set sail for Bombay, India.

In Bombay, Abrams helped to establish a boarding school for the children of church members. Not content to stay within the walls of missionary compound, she learned the Marathi language so that she could engage in personal evangelism. Ultimately, she became a fulltime evangelist and began working with Pandita Ramabai, a leading Christian female social reformer and educator. Abrams worked with Ramabai at her Mukti Mission, a school and home for famine victims and widows.

After hearing news of revival in Australia (1903) and Wales (1904-1905), Abrams, Ramabai, and others began seeking a restoration of the spiritual power they read about in the New Testament. They formed a prayer group, and about 70 girls volunteered to meet daily, study the Bible, and pray for revival. Beginning in 1905, several waves of revival hit the Mukti Mission. The prayer group grew to 500, and many of the girls reported spiritual experiences that seem to repeat what they found in the Book of Acts. Some prophesied, others received visions, and yet others spoke in tongues. Abrams wrote about the revival, which became the foundation for the Pentecostal movement in India, in the July 1909 issue of the Latter Rain Evangel. Her account was republished in the May 19, 1945, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

According to Abrams, the revival came to India because of deep prayer, consecration, and repentance. During the daily prayer meetings, the girls memorized Scripture, became deeply aware of their own sinfulness, and hungered for righteousness and an outpouring of God’s Spirit.

Abrams recalled, “I cannot tell you how I felt in those days of repentance at Mukti when the Holy Spirit was revealing sin, and God was causing the people to cry out and weep before Him.” The girls who had been touched by revival did not stay put; they fanned out into surrounding villages and brought the gospel to anyone who would listen.

According to Abrams, the early Indian revival provided valuable lessons for Christians everywhere. She gave a warning to readers that is just as applicable today as it was in 1909: “the people of God are growing cold and there is a worldliness and an unwillingness to hear the truth and to obey it.”

How can we have revival today? Abrams offered the following admonition: “If you want revival you have to pour your life out. That is the only way. That is the way Jesus did. He emptied Himself; He poured out His life; and He Poured out His life’s blood.” Abrams recounted that revival at the Mukti Mission included not just remorse over sin, but also incredible joy that followed repentance. She wrote that “ripples of laughter flowed” in prayer meetings, that some of the girls began dancing in the back of the room, and that they were filled with a “deeper joy.”

Read the entire article by Minnie Abrams, “How Pentecost Came to India,” on pages 1 and 5-7 of the May 19, 1945, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Speaking in Tongues,” by Howard Carter

* “The Tarrying Meeting,” by Stanley H. Frodsham

* “An Anniversary Testimony,” by A. H. Argue

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

“Pentecostal Evangel” archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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Donald Gee on Miracles


By Darrin Rodgers

This Week in AG History–April 28, 1957
Also published in AG-News, Mon, 28 Apr 2014 – 4:23 PM CST.

Miracles have played an important role in the histories of both the early church and the Pentecostal movement. However, just as the Apostle Paul had to correct excesses in the first century church at Corinth, twentieth century Pentecostal leaders were faced in some quarters with an overemphasis on miracles.

British Assemblies of God leader Donald Gee (1891-1966) wrote an article, published in the April 28, 1957, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, in which he affirmed the miraculous but also called for balance.

“The unvarnished story of the New Testament reads like a refreshing gust of fresh air,” Gee wrote. The New Testament “not only blows away the stuffiness of our unbelief, but also cools the fever of our fanaticism.” Gee taught that miracles should be part of “any truly Pentecostal revival,” but he also warned against extremism.

Miracles naturally attract a crowd. But Gee observed that the existence of miracles did not necessarily signify repentance or a change of heart. He urged readers to pay greater attention to the “less spectacular ministries” that are necessary to disciple believers.

Read the entire article by Donald Gee, “After That — Miracles,” on pages 8-9 of the April 28, 1957, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “A Great Faith,” by Louis M. Hauff

* “Power in the Word,” by Mrs. C. Nuzum

* “Missions in Northern Alaska,” by B. P. Wilson

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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Stanley Frodsham: The Assemblies of God refuses “to be sectarians or insectarians”

frodsham_P6899
This Week in AG History — April 15, 1944

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 14 Apr 2014 – 4:28 PM CST

On the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God, Stanley H. Frodsham recounted the first General Council and its legacy. According to Frodsham, the long-time editor of the Pentecostal Evangel, Assemblies of God founders in 1914 were opposed to “sectarianism and denominationalism.” However, they also recognized that they had much in common and desired to “unite together on a voluntary cooperative basis” for “the furtherance of the gospel ministry in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Frodsham recalled that J. W. Welch, an early chairman, described missions as the reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God: “We simply recognized ourselves as a missionary society, and we saw the whole world as the field in which to labor.”

This vision for cooperation in order to achieve the evangelization of the world, Frodsham noted, still remained strong in 1944. To illustrate this continuing vision for cooperation, he pointed to the unanimous decision at the 1943 General Council for the Assemblies of God to become a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Frodsham explained that the Assemblies of God desired a sweet spirit of fellowship, rather than a harsh spirit of condemnation of other faithful Christians who may not see eye to eye on everything. He quoted evangelist Gipsy Smith: “I refuse to be sectarian or insectarian.” Frodsham explained, “Many insects have stings. So have many sectarians. We as a people refuse to be sectarians or insectarians.”

Read the entire article by Stanley H. Frodsham, “These Thirty Years,” on page 4 of the April 15, 1944, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “My Soul Desireth First-Ripe Fruit,” by Zelma Argue

* “Thirty Years Ago,” by Ernest S. Williams

* “How God Saved a Communist Chieftan,” by Lester Sumrall

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books. Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center 1445 North Boonville Avenue Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400 Toll Free: 877.840.5200 Email: Archives@ag.org

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The First General Council (Part 2)

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Description: Hot Springs Opera House, the site of the first General Council.

This Week in AG History — “The Hot Springs Convention”

By Glenn Gohr
Originally published on AG-NewsMon, 07 Apr 2014 – 3:34 PM CST

Exactly one hundred years ago this week, the Assemblies of God was formed at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Close to 300 people attended the founding convention, which took place April 2-12, 1914.

In fulfillment of the five goals for the convention, a number of important decisions were made. The body adopted a governing document (titled “Preamble and Resolution of Constitution”), elected officers, and decided on a name, the Assemblies of God.

The May 20, 1914, issue of Word and Witness (which later merged into what is now the Pentecostal Evangel) reported on the business at the first General Council. The article reported that a “great time of shouting, rejoicing, hand-shaking, and even hugging” followed the unanimous adoption of the preamble.

Other decisions included: 1) to incorporate the General Council of the Assemblies of God; 2) to refrain from making an issue of whether Christians should eat meats; 3) to recognize and encourage a weekly day of prayer; 4) to recommend Bible and literary schools; 5) to recognize Word and Witness as the official publication of the Assemblies of God; 6) to authorize the formation of district and state councils in harmony with the principles and purposes of the General Council; 7) to recognize the ministries of elder, evangelist, minister, exhorter, and deacon, as well as the ministries of women; and 8) to discourage divorce and remarriage.

The Council closed without going further into doctrinal or organizational matters, and a second General Council convened seven months later in Chicago. T. K. Leonard offered his small printing plant and school property at Findlay, Ohio, for a headquarters, and the monthly Word and Witness (edited by E. N. Bell) and the weekly Christian Evangel (edited by J. R. Flower) became the official publications of the Fellowship. A small Bible school operated in Findlay during the fall of 1914 and both Bell and Flower assisted on the faculty.

Read the entire article, “General Council Special,” on page one of the May 20, 1914, issue of Word and Witness.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Love and Sweetness,” by E. N. Bell

* “Cooperation, Not Ecclesiasticism,” by D. W. Kerr

* “Sin and Repentance,” by F. F. Bosworth

* “The Holy Spirit Given to Those Who Obey,” by George C. Brinkman

And many more!

Click here to read the May 20, 1914, issue of Word and Witness now.

Click here to read the entire text of the General Council Minutes from April 1914.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books. Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center 1445 North Boonville Avenue Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400 Toll Free: 877.840.5200 Email: Archives@ag.org

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The First General Council (Part 1)

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This Week in AG History — March 31, 2014

By William Molenaar
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 31 Mar 2014 – 4:30 PM CST.  The article here contains editorial changes.

Delegates of the first General Council of the Assemblies of God met 100 years ago this week, April 2-12, 2014. They wanted to organize their efforts to more effectively carry out the mission of God, but there was tension regarding how this should be done. Were they going to start a church or a parachurch network?

The Council opened with three days of worship services, and the business sessions didn’t start until the sixth. A conference committee made up of representatives of each state in attendance was charged with receiving resolutions and setting an agenda for the coming business sessions.

While the conference committee met, a secret, self-appointed committee also met for fear that the conference committee would attempt to steer the General Council toward a high level of structural organization. This secret committee wrote its own resolution.

According to William Menzies, in his book Anointed to Serve, the conference committee caught wind of this secret committee and invited them to meet together for understanding. At first there was some apprehension, but since the secret committee’s resolution voiced the very values that the conference committee members were seeking, they approved of it. In the end, the same resolution was presented to the Council cosponsored by both committees. The Preamble and Resolution of Constitution approved by the 1914 General Council follows:

WHEREAS, God, our Heavenly Father, sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world, Who purchased and redeemed fallen man with His own Precious blood, and called out of the world and saved a people, of whom He built and established His Church (Assembly of God. Mat. 16:18), upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Head and Chief Corner-stone (Eph. 2:20), and organized and baptized it with the Holy Spirit, with its government upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7),

WHEREAS, He gave the Holy Inspired Scriptures, (Both old and new covenants, Heb. 8:6-13) as the all-sufficient rule for faith and practice, (2 Tim. 3:16), as follows: ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,’ we therefore shall not add to nor take from it (Rev. 22:18); and

WHEREAS, He commanded that there should be no schism (division, sectarianism) in His Body, the GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Church) of the first born, which are written in heaven, Heb. 12:23; and

WHEREAS, We recognize ourselves as members of said GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GOD, (which is God’s organism), and do not believe in identifying ourselves as, or establishing ourselves into, a sect, that is a human organization that legislates or forms laws and articles of faith and has jurisdiction over its members and creates unscriptural lines of fellowship and disfellowship and which separates itself from other members of the General Assembly (Church) of the first born, which is contrary to Christ’s prayer in St. John 17, and Paul’s teaching in Eph. 4:1-16, which we so heartily endorse:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, FIRST, That we recognize ourselves as a GENERAL COUNCIL of Pentecostal (Spirit Baptized) saints from local Churches of God in Christ, Assemblies of God, and various Apostolic Faith Missions and Churches, and Full Gospel Pentecostal Missions, and Assemblies of like faith in the United States of America, Canada, and Foreign Lands, whose purpose is neither to legislate laws of government, nor usurp authority over said various Assemblies of God, nor deprive them of their Scriptural and local rights and privileges, but to recognize Scriptural methods and order for worship, unity, fellowship, work and business for God, and to disapprove of all unscriptural methods, doctrines and conduct, and approve of all Scriptural truth and conduct, endeavoring to keep the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and to walk accordingly, as recorded in Eph. 4:17-32, and to consider the five purposes announced in the Convention Call in the February, 1914, issue of ‘WORD AND WITNESS;’

RESOLVED, SECOND, That we recognize all the above said Assemblies of various names, and when speaking of them refer to them by the general Scriptural name ‘Assemblies of God;’ and recommend that they all recognize themselves by the same name, that is, ‘Assembly of God’ and adopt it as soon as practicable for the purpose of being more Scriptural and also legal in transacting business, owning property, and executing missionary work in home and foreign lands, and for general convenience, unity and fellowship” (General Council Minutes, April 2-12, 1914, 4-5).

The General Council Minutes from April 2-12, 1914, records that the motion to accept the Preamble and Resolution of Constitution “was unanimously adopted amid great demonstration, the whole house rising to their feet and shouting praises to God. ‘Praise God from whom all blessing flow’ was sung. The power of God fell mightily upon the great Assembly. The Council broke up into a great praise meeting. The joy of God filled all hearts, and the multitude were moved to tears, and many wept for joy.”

Did the first General Council start a church or a parachurch missional network? It appears that they tried to do both. Their values were clear; they were committed to:

1) The trinitarian full gospel,

2) The authority of Scripture,

3) The unity of the Church, and

4) The non-legislative and non-sectarian basis for their organization to prevent it from dividing the Church, since they too were part of the universal Church.

With this in mind, they resolved to organize a council of Pentecostals that would gather together for greater missional effectiveness and accountability to biblical beliefs and practices, which would cultivate unity and maturity in the faith. They also approved of the five purposes presented in the convention call in the February 1914 issue of Word and Witness, and encouraged all local assemblies to take on the name “Assembly of God.”  The same Council went on to recognize four offices of the Church: Elder, Evangelist, Exhorter, and Deacon; appoint 12 Executive Presbyters; and authorize the formation of District Councils.

Read the entire text of the April 1914 issue of Word and Witness, which recounted what happened at the first General Council.

Also featured in this issue:

* “The Finished Work” by H. M. Savage.

* “What is Most Needed, Put Them to Praying” by Mrs. S. D. Mosaley.

* “Revival News in Home Land” by various authors.

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now

The Preamble and Resolution of Constitution approved by the 1914 General Council follows:

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

 

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“The Call” to Hot Springs


This Week in AG History — “The Call” to Hot Springs

By Glenn Gohr
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 24 Mar 2014 – 4:19 PM CST

One hundred years ago, Pentecostal ministers and their families from across America were busy packing their belongings and starting on their travels to attend the organizational meeting of the Assemblies of God at Hot Springs, Arkansas. These ministers were responding to “The Call to Hot Springs,” an invitation published in issues of the Word and Witness newspaper (a forerunner of the Pentecostal Evangel) from December 1913 through March 1914.

“The Call to Hot Springs” was initially signed by five Pentecostal ministers who stepped out in faith: M. M. Pinson of Phoenix, Arizona; A. P. Collins of Fort Worth, Texas; H. A. Goss of Hot Springs, Arkansas; D. C. O. Opperman of Houston, Texas; and E. N. Bell of Malvern, Arkansas. They realized the need for the creation of structures such as schools and a mission agency, as well as the need for greater accountability on doctrine, morals, and finances.

These five men were already members of loose networks of Pentecostal ministers, but they wanted to create a stronger organization in order to accomplish five major goals:

1. Create unity in doctrine and in identifying Pentecostal congregations.

2. Develop ways to conserve the work at home and abroad.

3. Develop a workable system for the support of missionaries.

4. Charter local churches under “one Bible name.”

5. Discuss the possibility of a Bible training school.

By March 1914, the “Call to Hot Springs” had been endorsed by 33 ministers from various parts of the country.

The final announcement for the meeting stated: “Everybody all aboard for the Hot Springs convention. This is the final call for objects as previously specified in Word and Witness. Meeting to be in old Grand Opera house, 200 Central Ave. All who can, come prepared to board yourself and pay your own fare to and fro. We will help as far as God supplies the means to supply meals and rooms for saints attending who cannot. No dead beats allowed. Bring your own bed clothing. Many expect to come.”

Approximately 300 delegates and visitors attended this first general council of the Assemblies of God, held April 2-12, 1914.

Prior to the first general council, D. C. O. Opperman conducted a short-term Bible school at the downtown Hot Springs Opera House. Several of Opperman’s students stayed in Hot Springs to participate in the founding council. The council, which lasted for 10 days, included a march down Main Street, waving flags and singing gospel songs; street rallies; times of prayer; lively worship; preaching; and business matters.

Read the entire text of “‘The Call’ to Hot Springs” on page 1 of the December 1913, issue of Word and Witness.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Bible School is Soon to Be Held in Hot Springs, Ark.” by Daniel C. O. Opperman

* “Woodworth-Etter Meetings”

* “The Second Blessing” by E. N. Bell

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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In 1934 Charles Robinson Foresaw and Condemned the Coming Jewish Holocaust

CE-Robinson

This Week in AG History — January 27, 1934

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 27 Jan 2014 – 4:20 PM CST

The year was 1934, and a rising tide of anti-semitism seemed to be sweeping the Western world. Adolph Hitler had recently ascended to power in Germany and strident voices in America were blaming Jews for the Great Depression.

Responding to this anti-semitism, Pentecostal Evangel associate editor Charles E. Robinson wrote an article “as a solemn warning to all Christians” to avoid playing any role in the persecution of the Jews. In his article, “A Lawyer Examines Evidence,” Robinson invoked his professional training to demonstrate that a widely-disseminated book purporting to be a secret Jewish manual for world domination was, in fact, a hoax. “The Jews are in for a bad time,” Robinson predicted. “That they will suffer every unspeakable villainy that godless men can devise is no doubt true.”

Charles E. Robinson (1867-1954) had stature in the professional and Christian communities. He began preaching in the Methodist church at age 17, graduated from law school, and practiced law with his father in Kansas City before entering the full time ministry. He was ordained by the Assemblies of God in 1922 and quickly rose to prominence as a district leader in Arkansas. From 1925 until 1947 he served as an associate editor of the Pentecostal Evangel. He authored about 20 books, which were published by Gospel Publishing House, Zondervan, and various British publishers, among others.

Robinson was not alone in his sensitivity to the plight of persecuted Jews. The other associate editor of the Pentecostal Evangel, Myer Pearlman, was a British-born Jew who had accepted Christ and who became the most prominent Assemblies of God systematic theologian of the 1920s through the 1940s. Stanley Frodsham, the editor, was also from Britain and regularly alerted readers to the difficulties faced by Jews across Europe.

Read the entire article by Charles E. Robinson, “A Lawyer Examines Evidence,” on page 3 of the January 27, 1934, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “The Way of an Eagle,” by Tinnie Wheeler

* “Preach Faith,” by E. S. Williams

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free:  877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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The Formation of the North Central District Council

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Description: Matt Walker with his wife Nan, ca. 1920s

This Week in AG History — December 9, 1922

By Darrin Rodgers Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 09 Dec 2013 – 4:31 PM CST

After the Assemblies of God was organized in April 1914, districts were formed to better serve its growing constituency by providing regional oversight and coordination of ministries. Some regions went without an organized district for a number of years. The sparsely-populated Northern Great Plains was one such region.

On November 10, 1922, Pentecostal ministers from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin met in Brainerd, Minnesota, to form the North Central District Council of the Assemblies of God.

The December 9, 1922, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel reported on the district’s formation. Participants established a district office in Minneapolis and elected Carl M. “Daddy” Hanson to serve as the first District Chairman. Hanson, a pioneer Norwegian pastor who had studied at Augsburg Lutheran Seminary in Minneapolis, had been Spirit-baptized in about 1899. He was a prominent figure in a revival featuring tongues-speech and healing in the 1890s and early 1900s among Scandinavian immigrants in Minnesota and the Dakotas.

Watt Walker, a Cherokee evangelist who previously traveled with healing evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter, was one of the featured speakers at the founding of the North Central District. Walker was chosen to serve on the North Central District’s first Credentials Committee. It is significant that a Native American was elected to serve on the committee that voted to approve new ministers.

Churches and ministers in the Dakotas and Wisconsin withdrew from the North Central District and formed separate state districts in 1936. The North Central District was later renamed the Minnesota District.

Read the article, “New District Council,” on page 11 of the December 9, 1922, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
* “Have Faith in God,” by Smith Wigglesworth
* “The Branch and the Branches,” by Elizabeth Sisson
And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center 1445 North Boonville Avenue Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400 Toll Free:  877.840.5200 Email: Archives@ag.org

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50th Anniversary of the Hartford March, November 30, 1963

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Caption: This LP from the Hartford March includes a message by David Flower and numerous songs, including one by four-year-old Twila Paris.

This Week in AG History — November 30, 1963

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 25 Nov 2013 – 4:11 PM CST

Fifty years ago this month, on November 30, 1963, approximately 600 Assemblies of God young people marched on the Connecticut Capitol in Hartford in a public demonstration asking government officials to preserve freedom of religion.

The Hartford March, as it was known, concluded a two-day convention sponsored by the Assemblies of God young peoples’ organization, Christ’s Ambassadors of the Southern New England District. The march was the brainchild of Assemblies of God pastor Kenneth Gustafson, who was deeply concerned about the growing problem of youth delinquency and the declining religious and moral condition in America.

The catalyst for the march was the 1963 United States Supreme Court decision, Abington School District v. Schempp, in which the Court declared school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools in the United States to be unconstitutional. In the minds of many Americans, this court decision would make it more difficult to teach good values to young people. Moreover, it seemed to symbolize a national shift away from the acceptance of Christian practices in the public square.

While Catholics and evangelical Protestants were often divided on religious and political issues, they found common cause in their opposition to the ruling. Evangelist Billy Graham voiced the concern of many: “[i]n my opinion … the Supreme Court … is wrong. … Eighty percent of the American people want Bible reading and prayer in the schools. Why should a majority be so severely penalized …?”

David W. Flower, pastor of Bethany Assembly of God (Springfield, Massachusetts), participated in the Hartford March and delivered a brief sermon on the steps of the capitol building. In his message, he affirmed the separation of church and state: “We are not asking our schools to give the religious training that our homes or churches should supply.” However, Flower admonished educators to not neglect moral training. Teaching Bible stories to youth, according to Flower, provided a common basis for the development of character.

Another speaker, Assemblies of God evangelist Bob Watters, identified the court ruling as undermining religious freedom. He rhetorically asked, “Could the time come when some student could have other freedoms, granted in the first amendment to the Constitution, revoked?”

Hartford March organizers were inspired by the “March on Washington” in August 1963, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., during which over 200,000 demonstrators called for civil rights for African-Americans. The assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963, overshadowed the Hartford March and led some speakers to cancel their participation. The Hartford March showed how Assemblies of God members and leaders, concerned about the moral direction of the nation, tried to use peaceful demonstration to influence the public debate about important issues.

Read the article, “C.A.’s to March in Hartford,” on pages 18 and 19 of the November 3, 1963, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Upon All Flesh,” by Frederick Huber

* “Christian Contentment,” by Robert C. Cunningham

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free:  877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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Early Assemblies of God Deaf Ministry

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Photo from the April 31, 1931 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel

This Week in AG History — October 29, 1932

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 28 Oct 2013 – 3:09 PM CST

Elsie Peters (1898-1965) was the earliest known Assemblies of God minister to the deaf. Peters’ call to deaf ministry came in 1919, when she befriended a deaf couple in Springfield, Missouri. At the time, Peters was a housewife with three children. One day, when stopping to catch her breath from the busyness of daily life, she uttered a little prayer, “Lord, what can I do for You today?” To her surprise, she felt the Lord answer her with the following instruction: “Go and visit a deaf mute.”

Peters visited a local deaf couple, Sullivan and Addie Chainey, who gladly welcomed her into their home. They told her that they often felt overlooked. It was difficult for them to make friends. Through their friendship with Peters, the Chaineys eventually accepted Christ and also entered into deaf ministry.

From this inauspicious beginning, the Assemblies of God ministry to the deaf emerged. Lottie Riekehof began teaching sign language at Central Bible Institute in 1948, and Home Missions (now U.S. Missions) created a division for Deaf Ministries in 1953. In 2011, the Assemblies of God included 82 deaf culture churches and more than 1,500 churches with some type of ministry in working with deaf people in the United States.

Read Elsie Peters’ testimony about her ministry to the deaf on page 14 of the October 29, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
* “The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures,” by Ernest S. Williams
* “Some Modern Definitions,” by Myer Pearlman

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

For more information about deaf ministry, see the website of the National Deaf Culture Fellowship of the Assemblies of God.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA

Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free:  877.840.5200
Email: Archives@ag.org

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