Category Archives: News

Dr. Stanley M. Horton (1916-2014), Bridge Builder and Servant

Horton COGIC

This photo shows Dr. Stanley M. Horton at Timmons Temple COGIC (Springfield, MO) in 2009 telling the story of his mother’s Spirit-baptism at the interracial Azusa Street Mission as a little girl. I was present and can testify that everyone was listening with rapt attention. The service, part of a three-day event, “A House No Longer Divided,” brought black and white Pentecostals together on April 13-15, 2009, remembering the unlikely dual anniversary of the beginning of the Azusa Street Revival and the Springfield Lynching. Both happened on April 14, 1906. This is one of my favorite pictures of Dr. Horton, because it captures his Pentecostal identity, rooted in the iconic Azusa Street Revival, and it shows his calling to teach, not just in the academy, but to those in the pew.

Dr. Stanley M. Horton (1916-2014), who went to be with the Lord yesterday at age 98, was a bridge builder. He built bridges across the racial, denominational, and academic divides. He was one of the Pentecostal movement’s most revered scholars, one of its most prolific authors, and one its most respected educators. His theological writings shaped generations of Pentecostals. But Stanley, to those of us who knew him, possessed something much greater than his Harvard degree. He was a gentle, humble, loving Christian man. He was a man of impeccable integrity. He loved his wife, Evelyn, and his children. He loved his students. He took time for everyone.

I am grateful that he poured himself into countless thousands of students who are now pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and educators. I am grateful for the late evenings he spent for 25 years, authoring the Adult Sunday School curriculum for the Assemblies of God. I am grateful for his numerous theological volumes. Stanley went home to be with the Lord, but his influence continues to be profound through the lives of those he discipled — in person and through the printed word.

Just seven weeks ago, Dr. Horton deposited his personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. The collection consists of correspondence, class notes as a student and as a professor, his writings, and other materials related to his leadership in the church and the academy. Future researchers, students, and church leaders will have access to his thoughts for years to come.

Dr. Horton’s obituary is accessible on the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary website. Please take time to leave a personal note for the family. Dr. Horton was a giant, not because of his impressive achievements, but because he embodied what it meant to have a servant’s heart. I pray that his legacy of godliness and servanthood will live on in future generations of Pentecostal scholars.

–Darrin J. Rodgers, M.A., J.D.
Director, Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

______________

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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Assemblies of God 2013 Statistics Released

Water baptism, 2013. Bread of Life Christian Church (Rogersville, Missouri), a growing Slavic congregation affiliated with the Assemblies of God.

This water baptism was performed in 2013 by the pastors of Bread of Life Christian Church (Rogersville, Missouri), a growing Slavic congregation affiliated with the Assemblies of God.

The Assemblies of God (AG) is one of the few major denominations in the United States to show continuing growth. The AG has now experienced 24 consecutive years of growth in the number of U.S. adherents, according to a press release from the AG National Leadership and Resource Center in Springfield, Missouri. The article compares the AG’s growth to the “declining attendance for many other North American evangelical denominations.”

The 2013 Full Statistical Report was not posted on the AG website as of today (6/16/14), but the article provided the following notable statistics for calendar year 2013. For comparative purposes, statistics from 2008 and 2012 are also provided here.

U.S. Stats             2008             2012            2013     2012-13 Growth

Adherents                   2,899,702       3,095,717        3,127,857        1.0%

Churches                     12,377              12,722               12,792               0.6%

Membership              1,662,632        1,780,468        1,805,381        1.4%

Major Worship

Service Attendance  1,799,987       1,880,269      1,918,686        2.0%

Water baptisms          114,091           131,713           137,375           4.3%

Spirit baptisms            85,667             81,345             83,731             2.9%

Conversions                 441,377           453,496          456,395         0.6%

Credentialed ministers34,178           35,867             36,434           1.6%

Worldwide Stats       

Adherents                   61,550,938      66,383,778      67,512,302      1.7%

Preaching Points         332,411           362,791           366,105           0.9%

The AG is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. population, which increased by 0.7% in 2013. The number of U.S. adherents has been increasing at a relatively steady pace — at an average of 1.6% per year since 1989, and 1.5% per year since 2008.

In recent decades, most mainline Protestant denominations in the U.S. have witnessed significant numerical declines. From 1960 to 2011, the United Church of Christ lost 48% of adherents; The Episcopal Church lost 43%; the Presbyterian Church (USA) lost 35%; the United Methodist Church lost 29%; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lost 19%. Others showed increases, including the Southern Baptist Convention (66%) and the Roman Catholic Church (62%). During the same period, the Assemblies of God grew by 498%, from 508,602 members in 1960.

While mainline denominations have been declining for decades, in the past few years some evangelical groups, such as the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), have also begun to decline. SBC leaders recently have shown alarm over deceasing numbers of baptisms and conversions. The number of SBC baptisms has declined for seven straight years.  This demographic decline has caused some pundits to predict the slow death of evangelicalism.

Robust growth of Pentecostal churches, including the Assemblies of God, shows a different story. All statistics released in the article — water baptisms, Spirit baptisms, membership, attendance, conversions, and numbers of adherents, churches, and ministers — increased last year in the AG. Other categories, including attendance at Sunday evening and midweek services, were not included in the article and presumably declined. The AG press release attributes much of the growth to increases in ethnic minority churches and young people: “The impact is especially evident among Latino adherents, who now make up 20 percent of the Fellowship (more than 40 percent of total adherents are ethnic minorities), and Millennials (ages 18-34), who contributed 21 percent of the growth from 2001-2013.”

The breakdown of the 2013 numbers will be available in the yet-to-be-released Full Statistical Report. But the 2012 report shows the AG’s significant ethnic diversity: Asian/Pacific Islander (4.3%); Black (9.8%); Hispanic (21.7%); Native American (1.4%); White (59.2%); and Other /Mixed (3.5%). These stats suggest that the AG closely mirrors the ethnic makeup of the U.S. population as a whole. The 2010 U.S. census revealed the following racial breakdown of the U.S. population: Asian/Pacific Islander (5%); Black (12.6%); Hispanic (16.3%); Native American (0.9%); White (63.7%); and Other /Mixed (6.2%).

Much of the numerical growth in the Assemblies of God in recent decades has been among ethnic minorities. From 2007 to 2012, the number of AG adherents increased by 8.1%. During this period, the number of white adherents increased by 1.6% and the number of non-white adherents increased by 19.2%. This demographic shift continued from 2011 to 2012, and the percentage of white adherents dropped from 59.6% to 59.2%. When the 2013 Full Statistical Report is released, it is likely to reveal that this demographic shift continued apace in 2013.

The AG’s growth in America is partly due to immigration. The Assemblies of God is a global church. About 1% of the world’s population is AG. Only 5% of AG adherents worldwide live in the U.S. Pentecostals who move to America from other regions of the world often bring with them a faith, burnished by persecution and deprivation, that is an important part of their identity. Pentecostal refugees who move to America are like pollen scattered by a strong wind — they plant churches wherever they happen to land. Strong African, Slavic, Asian, and Hispanic AG churches are taking root in American soil, and their congregations sing, preach, and testify in the tongues of their native countries.

Interestingly, this demographic shift is also helping to usher in a global re-alignment of Christianity. Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist Christians in Africa, Asia, and Latin America are generally evangelical in belief, if not Pentecostal in worship, and often have much more in common with their brothers and sisters in the Assemblies of God than they do with liberal members of their own denominations in the West.

The Assemblies of God is growing in America. But the real story is the ethnic transformation of the Assemblies of God. It is becoming less white and more reflective of the ethnic, linguistic and social diversity that exists in the global church. The founding fathers and mothers of the Assemblies of God  laid the foundation for this ethnic shift when they committed the Assemblies of God in November 1914 to “the greatest evangelism that the world has ever seen.” In 1921 the Assemblies of God adopted the indigenous church principle as its official missions strategy, in order to better carry out world evangelism. The implementation of this strategy — which recognizes that each national church is autonomous and not controlled by Western interests — resulted in the development of strong national churches and leaders. And now, in a fitting turn of events, those churches are sending missionaries to America.

–Darrin J. Rodgers

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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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Pentecostal Songwriter F. A. Graves


Description: F. A. Graves, circa 1897. 

This Week in AG History — January 22, 1927

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Wed, 22 Jan 2014 – 4:36 PM CST

Music has always been an important part of the Pentecostal tradition. This was true one hundred years ago as it is today. One of the best-known early Pentecostal songwriters was Frederick A. Graves (1856-1927).

F. A. Graves overcame significant childhood adversity. He was orphaned at age nine and was diagnosed with epilepsy five years later. He was an earnest young Christian and prepared for ministry at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and studied music in Northfield, Massachusetts. Despite suffering periodic seizures, he moved to southwestern Minnesota and served as an organizer and evangelist for the American Sunday School Union. He heard John Alexander Dowie, the famous healing evangelist, at a meeting in Minneapolis. At Dowie’s meeting, Graves experienced a miraculous healing of his epilepsy.

Graves wrote at least 43 songs, including popular hymns such as Honey in the Rock (1895) and He Was Nailed to the Cross for Me (1906). However, Graves did not write a single song until he was almost 35 years old, after his healing from epilepsy. Much of Grave’s inspiration as a songwriter came from his own experience of suffering and God’s merciful healing. Graves did not expect to be healed, nor did he expect to be a songwriter. Graves often testified in his usual understated manner, “God had a blessed surprise for me.”

Graves received credentials as an Assemblies of God minister in 1916. All of his children attended Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri. His son, Arthur, became president of Southeastern Bible College (now Southeastern University). Another son, Carl, became an Assemblies of God missionary to Ceylon. His daughter, Irene, married Myer Pearlman, the noted convert from Judaism, author, and theology professor at Central Bible Institute. F. A. Graves died on January 2, 1927. Nearly 1,000 people attended his funeral in Zion, Illinois.

Read the obituary of F. A. Graves on page 7 of the January 22, 1927, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Keeping our Accounts Balanced,” by D. W. Kerr

* “Old-Time Pentecost,” by Mattie Ledbetter

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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60th Anniversary of Light for the Lost

LFTL

Caption: Assemblies of God Heritage magazine, Spring 2003, featuring the 50th anniversary of Light for the Lost. General Superintendent G. Raymond Carlson (left) congratulates Sam Cochran upon his retirement as executive vice president of Light for the Lost in 1989.

This Week in AG History — December 2, 1962

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 02 Dec 2013 – 4:20 PM CST

When Assemblies of layman Sam Cochran started Light for the Lost in 1953, he could not have imagined that the ministry would raise, during the next 60 years, over $289 million for the printing and distribution of gospel literature and other evangelism resources.

Cochran, a successful insurance broker in California, saw a vision during a time of extended prayer in 1952. This vision transformed Cochran’s life and his approach to missions. In his vision, Cochran saw throngs of people from all over the world, reaching upward in an attempt to grab hold of a large Bible in a hand reaching from heaven. He heard one person plead, “Give me the Book! Give me the Book!” Before they could take hold of the Bible, a door seemingly swung open beneath the people, and they all fell into a fiery inferno.

Cochran, shaken by this vision, felt compelled to find a way to provide gospel literature to people around the world. But what could he, as a layman, do? Most Assemblies of God ministries were conceived and led by ministers and missionaries. Cochran could certainly give money, but he wanted to do more. He felt led by the Holy Spirit to form an organization of laymen who would raise money for the purpose of providing gospel literature. In 1953, Cochran and several others who caught the vision formed the Missionary Gospel Society. The Southern California District of the Assemblies of God recognized the new organization. Cochran and his friends began raising money for missions across California.

The organization grew and, in 1959, was incorporated into the national structure of the Assemblies of God. It became known as Light for the Lost and became a program of the Men’s Fellowship Department (now Men’s Ministries). The story behind the founding of Light for the Lost was published in the December 2, 1962, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Light for the Lost continues to fulfill a vital need as it provides evangelism resources around the world, in conjunction with the efforts of Assemblies of God missionaries. “Light for the Lost’s greatest days are ahead,” predicts Light for the Lost director Rick Allen. “For the past 60 years, men and women across the United States have helped to fulfill the Great Commission by delivering evangelism resources to people groups around the world. There is still much to do and the Harvest is ripe. Light for the Lost continues to accept the challenge given by our Lord to fulfill His Great Commission and expand His Kingdom.”

Read the article, “It Began with a Burden: The Story of Light for the Lost,” by Everett James, published on pages 10 and 11 of the December 2, 1962, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

A history of Light for the Lost, written by Mel Surface, was published in the Spring 2003 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage.

Information about Light for the Lost is available on the ministry’s website.

Also featured in this issue:

* “The Holy Spirit and Everyday Life,” by C. M. Ward

* “Winning Men at Work,” by Jim Monson

And many more!

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 Pentecostal Periodical, Household of God, Now Online

Master_HouseholdofGod

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center recently completed digitization of another periodical! Household of God, an important early American Pentecostal periodical, was edited by William F. Manley. Manley, a Pentecostal pastor and evangelist, was active in the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles and traveled extensively. John J. Scruby of Dayton, Ohio, published the periodical. Household of God published numerous letters and articles by early Pentecostal leaders.  To view Household of God, click on the following link: https://ifphc.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publicationsGuide.householdofgod

Only ten issues of Household of God are known to have survived. Do you have additional issues of Household of God or other 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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Missing: Jimmy Swaggart’s Evangelist Magazines

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Do you have a stash of old issues of the Evangelist magazine, which was published by Jimmy Swaggart? Don’t throw them away! You may be able to help the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center fill in missing back issues in its collection!

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center is missing the following issues of the Evangelist:

  • 1970 (all);
  • 1971 (all);
  • 1972 (all except Feb);
  • 1973 (Jan-Sep, Dec);
  • 1974 (Feb-Apr, Jun-Dec);
  • 1975 (Jan-Apr, Aug);
  • 1976 (Jul 15, Sep 1, Sept 15);
  • 1977 (Apr 1, May 1, Jun 1, Oct 1, Dec 15);
  • 1978 (Jan 15);
  • 1980 (Feb-Mar);
  • 1981 (Mar, May, Oct);
  • 1989 (Jul, Sep, Dec);
  • 1990 (Jul/Aug);
  • 1991 (Mar/Apr, Jul/Aug);
  • 1992 (Mar-Apr, Jul-Aug, Oct-Dec);
  • 1993 (Jul-Dec);
  • 1994 (Jan-Dec);
  • 1995 (Mar-Jun, Nov-Dec);
  • 1996 (Jan-Feb, May-Dec);
  • 1997 (Jan-Dec);
  • 1998 (Jan-Dec);
  • 1999 (Jan-Dec);
  • 2000 (Jan-Dec);
  • 2001 (Jan-Dec);
  • 2002 (Jan-Dec);
  • 2003 (Jan-Apr, Jun-Jul, Oct);
  • 2004 (Jan-Dec);
  • 2005 (Jan-Nov);
  • 2006 (Dec);
  • 2007 (Jan-Dec);
  • 2008 (Jan-Aug);
  • 2009 (Mar-Dec);
  • 2010 (Jan-Aug, Oct, Dec);
  • 2011 (Feb)

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (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

Website: http://www.iFPHC.org

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COGIC Scholars Fellowship to Meet at Holy Convocation, Nov 6-10, 2013

The Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States, will meet for its annual Holy Convocation, November 4-12, 2013, in St. Louis, Missouri, at America’s Center.

The COGIC Scholars Fellowship, a network of scholars within the COGIC, is hosting a series of presentations during Holy Convocation, to be held on November 6, 7, and 9, from 10 am to 12 pm, in Room 161.

Scheduled speakers at the COGIC Scholars Fellowship Academic Forum are below:

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2013

Presenter: Min. Anntoinette McFadden, M.Div. candidate, Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO
Presentation: “Hermeneutics of Gender in Ordained Ministry Among Leadership of a Historically Black Trinitarian Pentecostal Denomination”

Synopsis:
The Mount Calvary Holy Church of America denomination has ordained women at the beginning of its history. The Imago Dei (The Image of God) of the leaders of the denomination allow for gender equality in ordained ministry and the appointment of women to the offices of overseer and bishop. Married couples serve as pastor and co-pastor of many churches. In addition, women function as lead pastors of some local churches. This presentation will explore the role and function of women in ministry within this denomination as well as the concept of team ministry among couples in the pastorate.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2013

1st Presentation:
Presenter: Mother Mary P. Patterson, B.A., Executive Director, Pentecostal Heritage Connection, Memphis, TN

Presentation: “Pentecostal Heritage Connection: Staying Connected with our Lexington Mississippi Roots”

Synopsis:
The Pentecostal Heritage Connection (PHC) was established in 2006 through the God- given vision to Mother Mary P. Patterson. PHC is charged with the sacred MISSION to educate and share the history of the COGIC, and its founder, Bishop Charles Harrison Mason. The VISION is to support the C.H. Mason Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA and assist in promoting the school as one of the prestigious seminaries in the world. In addition, it aim is to support and promote Lexington/Holmes County, Mississippi as the birthplace of the COGIC, its founder, Bishop C.H. Mason and Dr. Arenia C. Mallory, President of Saints Industrial & Literary School/Saints Junior College/St Academy of Lexington, MS. Attendees of this session will hear of the prominent role that Saints played in the development of the denomination and the accomplishments and future goals of the Pentecostal Heritage Connection.

2nd Presentation:
Presenter: Elder Elijah L. Hill, Th.B., MBA, Ph.D. candidate, Grand Canyon University

Book Presentation: The Triumph of the Black Church

Synopsis:
Our founding Fathers stated in 1776 that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Within this book, The Triumph of the Black Church, will be revealed Bishop Charles Harrison Mason’s extraordinary life story. Mason, an African American religious leader stood upon his First Amendment civil liberties of freedom of religion and freedom to assemble at the height of the Jim Crow system in America.

Mason’s Pentecostal message through the gospel of Jesus Christ institutionalized a unique precedence in America by contradicting Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, which gave support to segregation and Jim Crow. The Seditious Act of 1918 violated and falsely imprisoned many religious groups in America during World War I of which Bishop Charles H. Mason’s trial was at the forefront.

Author Signing immediately following session.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2013

Presenter: Dr. Louis McNeal, Mount Zion Church Ministries COGIC, Phoenix, AZ

Book Presentation: From the Backside of the Desert to God’s Mountaintop: A Centennial Celebration of the COGIC in Arizona 1911-2011

Synopsis:
From the Backside of the Desert to God’s Mountaintop is a long overdue scholarly history of the tremendous sacrifice and contribution the COGIC has made to the spiritual and economic development of Arizona in the past century. Dr. McNeal deals with the delicate balance of hope, truth, and racism in a way that challenges the very core of the human detailing the life and times of many African-American believers in the COGIC in the last century.

Author Signing immediately after session.

COGIC SCHOLARS FELLOWSHIP MISSION STATEMENT:

The COGIC Scholars Fellowship is a supportive network that seeks to provide an intellectually stimulating forum for dialogue within the denomination for COGIC members who have obtained, or are presently pursuing, graduate level degrees in religious/theological studies or other related academic disciplines. In achieving this goal, the COGIC Scholars Fellowship seeks to stimulate academic scholarship among COGIC members; to encourage the pursuit of academic training for ministry and scholarship; to recognize and promote scholarly achievements of COGIC members especially in the area of published works; to connect COGIC members with the on-going scholarship of the Academy and the wider Pentecostal Movement in particular; and to provide opportunities for mentoring to other COGIC members who are contemplating pursuing graduate level training in religious/theological studies or other related academic disciplines.

Leadership Team:

  • Coordinator: Elder Raynard Smith, Ph.D., New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, NJ, Greater Harvest Evangelistic COGIC, Newark, NJ
  • Assistant to Coordinator: Elder Eric Lewis Williams, ABD, University of Edinburgh, UK, St. Luke COGIC, Chicago, IL
  • Evangelist Glenda Williams Goodson, M.B.A., The Center for African American Church History and Research, Open Door COGIC, Dallas, TX
  • Elder Eric Greaux, Ph.D., Winston-Salem State University; Triad COGIC, Turnersville, NC
  • Elder Charles Hill, D.Min., C. H. Mason Bible College & Institute at Houston; Fort Bend COGIC, Houston, TX
  • Elder Oscar Owens, M.Div., West Angeles Bible College, West Angeles COGIC, Los Angeles, CA

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Video Now Available of COGIC Collection Dedication and Panel Discussion of Women in Ministry

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Originally published by AG-News, Mon, 14 Oct 2013 – 9:09 PM CST

The personal papers of Mother Lizzie Robinson, an important church leader in the early decades of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), have been deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The COGIC, a historic African-American church, is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States.

Robinson17

The collection was dedicated in a special service on October 4 in the William Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Scholars, church leaders, and students from across the denominational and racial divides filled the chapel to honor the life of Mother Lizzie Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC.

Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945) organized the COGIC Women’s Department in 1911 and was the most prominent female COGIC leader until her death. As head of women’s auxiliaries, she founded the Prayer and Bible Band and the Sewing Circle. She also helped to lay the foundation for the creation of the Missions Department (originally known as the Home and Foreign Missions Band).

ElijahHillElijah Hill, the COGIC minister and historian who deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the FPHC, delivered the keynote address. He noted that Robinson lost her position as matron of Arkansas Baptist College after she was baptized in the Holy Spirit at age 46. COGIC founder Charles H. Mason then asked her to organize women in the COGIC. Hill explained how Robinson encouraged COGIC women to become self-determining, before the broader society recognized women’s suffrage and civil rights for African-Americans.

Hill noted that the original Pentecostal vision, which “transcended racism and sexism,” made it possible for Robinson to emerge as a leader. Importantly, Robinson provided the initial vision for COGIC world missions and the Women’s Department funded COGIC missionaries. Hill noted, “the globalization of COGIC came from Lizzie Robinson.”

GlendaGoodsonGlenda Goodson, a COGIC historian who also spoke at the dedication, provided an overview of the history of women in ministry in the COGIC. In one memorable story, she related how COGIC women desegregated the hotels in Albany, New York, in 1964. Goodson emphasized the powerful role of women in promoting the Holiness and Pentecostal message.

FPHC director Darrin Rodgers, as emcee of the program, praised Hill for building bridges. According to Rodgers, “What we’re witnessing today is more than just archiving old treasures. We are joining hands to work together, to honor not just one woman, but to honor and learn more about our shared Pentecostal testimony.”

Two African-American churches in Springfield participated in the dedication. Anitra Appleby of Sanctuary of Praise COGIC read Scripture, and David Knox and Quinci Williams of Deliverance Temple led worship. AGTS president Byron Klaus gave the prayer of dedication, noting that Robinson was “an example of how the power of Pentecost can break down man-made barriers in a world that desperately needs to hear the gospel.” Assemblies of God U.S. Missions executive director Zollie Smith offered a heart-felt prayer of dismissal, encouraging the present generation to grab the torch passed from Robinson and other Pentecostal pioneers. He prayed for unity in Christ “so that souls might be reached in America.”

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The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection includes the papers of Robinson and her daughter Ida F. Baker, as well as other publications collected by Hill. The collection includes approximately 500 original photographs (circa 1899-1960s), approximately 100 publications, and Hill’s research files on Robinson.

A panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, Glenda Goodson, FPHC director Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks was also filmed. Panelists dialogued about Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC and the Assemblies of God.

Watch the dedication service of the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection.

Watch the panel discussion.

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Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection to be Dedicated October 4, 2013

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Mother Lizzie Robinson

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) is delighted to announce the dedication of a significant collection of Church of God in Christ (COGIC) historical materials.

The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection will be dedicated on Friday, October 4, at 2 p.m. in the William Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945), the organizer of the COGIC Women’s Department, served alongside Bishop Charles H. Mason in an important role in the formational decades of the COGIC. As head of women’s auxiliaries, she founded the Prayer and Bible Band and the Sewing Circle.  She also helped to lay the foundation for the creation of the Missions Department (originally known as the Home and Foreign Missions Band). Elijah Hill, a COGIC minister and historian, deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the FPHC.

The public is welcome to attend the dedication service. The service will honor Lizzie Robinson and highlight the legacy of women in the COGIC. Elijah Hill, who has authored seven books, including a biography of Robinson, will speak on Mother Robinson’s life and legacy. Glenda Goodson, who has authored a history of pioneer women COGIC missionaries, will also participate in the program, providing an overview of the history of women in ministry in the COGIC. FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers will emcee the program and AGTS President Byron Klaus will deliver the dedicatory prayer. Dr. David Knox and Minister Quinci Williams of Deliverance Temple will lead worship with an introduction to Church of God in Christ hymnody. Zollie Smith, Executive Director Assemblies of God U.S. Missions, and representatives from Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ will also participate.

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The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection includes the papers of Robinson and her daughter Ida F. Baker, as well as other publications collected by Hill. The collection includes approximately 500 original photographs (circa 1899-1960s), approximately 100 publications, and Hill’s research files on Robinson.

A panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, Glenda Goodson, Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks is also scheduled to be filmed.

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, located in Springfield, Missouri, is the largest Pentecostal archive and research center in the world. The Center collects historically significant materials from across the denominational, ethnic, linguistic, and national divides within the broader Pentecostal and charismatic movements. For additional information about the dedication, contact the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center by email (archives@ag.org) or toll free by telephone (877-840-5200).

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