The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) has an exciting announcement regarding a new Church of God in Christ (COGIC) collection! Rev. Elijah L. Hill, a COGIC minister, author, historian, and cultural anthropologist, deposited his collection of COGIC historical materials at the FPHC on March 6, 2013. The collection includes the papers of COGIC Women’s Department founder Mother Lizzie Robinson and her daughter Ida F. Baker, as well as other publications collected by Hill. The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection includes 522 original photographs (circa 1899-1960s), approximately 100 publications, and Hill’s research files on Robinson. The collection is tentatively slated to be dedicated in Springfield, Missouri, in the fall of 2013. The FPHC, the largest Pentecostal archive and research center in the world, collects historically significant materials from across the denominational, ethnic, linguistic, and national divides within the broader Pentecostal and charismatic movements. For more information about the FPHC, go to: http://www.iFPHC.org
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John McConnell, Jr., the Pentecostal founder of Earth Day, passed away Saturday night, October 20, 2012, in Denver, Colorado. He was 97 years old. A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 700 South Franklin Street, Denver, Colorado, at 10:30 am, Friday, November 2, 2012.
McConnell’s grandfather was at the Azusa Street Revival and his parents were founding members of the Assemblies of God.
Read about McConnell in the article, “John McConnell, Jr. and the Pentecostal Origins of Earth Day,” published in the 2010 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine. Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Director Darrin Rodgers recorded an oral history interview with McConnell and his wife, Anna, on July 15, 2009, at Timberline Church, Fort Collins, Colorado.
McConnell deposited materials relating to his Pentecostal faith and the lives and ministries of his parents and grandparents at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.
The following obituary was posted on the Monarch Society website:
John Saunders McConnell
(March 22, 1915 – October 20, 2012)
Founder of Earth Day
Following the Kennedy assassination, McConnell’s Minute for Peace gained worldwide attention. This led to his Earth Day and other initiatives aimed at promoting people and planet. In this book, he shares the views that garnered support during the environmental movement from 1969 onward, and that have inspired followers for forty years at annual Earth Day ceremonies at the UN and cities across the globe.
John McConnell coined the term Earth Day in 1968, proposed its celebration on the spring equinox to the City of San Francisco in October 1969, and announced it in November at a UNESCO Conference.
The City responded by hosting the first Earth Day on March 21, 1970. Margaret Mead, UN Secretary-General U Thant, President Ford, and thirty-three Nobel laureates supported McConnell’s Earth Day, and thirty-six worldwide dignitaries signed McConnell’s Earth Day Proclamation, supporting Earth Day on the spring equinox, an annual planetary holiday linking people everywhere without regard to politics, culture, national border, or religion.
John McConnell initiated: Star of Hope (1957), Minute for Peace (1963), Earth Flag (1969), Earth Day (1970), Earth Trustees (1971), Earth Society Foundation (1976), Earth Charter (1979), Earth Magna Charta (1995).
Accolades from noted persons:
John McConnell is one of the world’s spiritual leaders who had a profound influence on the United Nations. — Kurt Waldheim, former United Nations Secretary-General
John McConnell gave me courage and hope. – Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Laureate
With John McConnell’s Earth Flag on board my spaceship, I felt like a messenger of peace. – Anatoly Berezovoi, cosmonaut
John McConnell is an idealist, a visionary, a peacemaker. Those are the people needed today, for our future. – George Gallup, Jr., pollster
The public is invited to attend the dedication of the Grant Wacker Collection, to be held at Riggs Hall, Evangel University, on Thursday, October 11, at 3:30 p.m.
Dr. Grant Wacker, one of the most prominent historians of American religion, deposited his Pentecostal research collection at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. The grandson of Assemblies of God General Superintendent Ralph Riggs, Wacker was an Assemblies of God pastor’s kid. He went on to earn his Ph.D. at Harvard University and has taught American religious history at Duke University Divinity School since 1992.
Pentecostal history has been one of Wacker’s primary research interests, and his 2001 book, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture, has become a standard text on the subject. Few scholars have left a greater mark on the study of Pentecostal history than Grant Wacker.
Wacker is now writing a book on Billy Graham and has put aside his research into Pentecostal history. Wacker deposited his Pentecostal research materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. The Grant Wacker Collection consists of 13.75 linear feet of files plus numerous books, which together constitute the raw materials from which he crafted his scholarly assessments of the Pentecostal movement.
Evangel University President Robert Spence will formally dedicate the collection in Thursday’s ceremony, and Wacker and Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Director Darrin Rodgers will also offer remarks.
Wacker will also present a lecture on Friday, October 12, 2012 at 2 p.m. in the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. His lecture, entitled “Billy Graham and the Shaping of Modern America,” will reflect his recent research about the famous evangelist for a book of the same title, under contract with Harvard University Press. The public also is invited to attend this lecture at AGTS.
The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (the official archives of the Assemblies of God) is pleased to announce that it is partnering with The Mansion, a theater in Branson, Missouri, to digitize and make accessible music and other programming recorded on the PTL Club television broadcast (1974-1989). The PTL Club, hosted by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, included appearances by notable Pentecostal pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and musicians. The programs were recorded on high-quality film and constitute an unparalleled treasure trove of footage of many heroes of the faith who have since went to be with the Lord.
The Assemblies of God was given legal title to the collection of 20,160 PTL Club tapes following the 1989 bankruptcy proceedings relating to the PTL Club. However, before the Assemblies of God took physical possession of the property, approximately 6,000 tapes from the collection were removed. Anyone who has knowledge of the location of these missing tapes is requested to contact Darrin Rodgers, Director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center:
Darrin Rodgers, J.D.
Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 N. Boonville Ave.
Springfield, MO 65802
(417) 862-2781, ext. 4400