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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60th Anniversary of Light for the Lost

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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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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 Pentecostal Periodical, Household of God, Now Online

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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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Dr. Florence Murcutt, Early Assemblies of God Missionary and Surgeon

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Description: Alice Luce (standing on the left), portrait with Florence Murcutt (sitting in a chair on the right) at Glad Tidings Bible Institute, San Francisco, California; circa 1920s.

This Week in AG History — November 11, 1916

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 11 Nov 2013 – 4:28 PM CST

Florence Murcutt (1868-1935) was likely the first medical doctor to serve as an Assemblies of God missionary. Born in Australia to English parents, she was raised in the Jewish faith and immigrated to America in 1901. She graduated in 1907 from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University College of Medicine).

Murcutt had an inquiring mind and explored the claims of Christianity. As a young woman she read the Bible for herself, cover to cover, in six weeks. Another female medical doctor, Jenny Trout, became a close friend and often prayed with Murcutt. But Murcutt did not make a decision to follow Christ until she attended a Pentecostal camp meeting in Portland, Oregon. At the meeting, a man who was entirely unfamiliar with the French language began prophesying in French under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Murcutt understood the prophecy, which testified that Jesus was the only way to God. Moved by this miraculous prophecy and by the palpable presence of God at the meeting, she knelt at the altar and accepted Christ.

Murcutt was later baptized in the Holy Spirit and devoted the rest of her life to missionary work. In 1912, she traveled to Palestine, where she distributed gospel literature in Hebrew and Arabic. She was ordained as a missionary by the Assemblies of God on June 18, 1915. Murcutt served with Alice Luce and Henry C. Ball as a missionary to Mexicans living in Texas, California and Mexico. In 1926, she helped Luce to establish a Spanish-language department of Berean Bible Institute in San Diego. This department was the foundation for what became Latin American Bible Institute in La Puente, California. Murcutt and Luce taught at the school, planted several Spanish and English congregations, and engaged in missionary work in Fiji and Australia. Murcutt died in December 1935 from injuries resulting from being struck by an automobile.

Murcutt began life in Australia as a Jew, overcame prejudice to become a pioneer female surgeon in the United States, and ended life as an Assemblies of God missionary to Mexicans. Murcutt is among the many largely unheralded Pentecostal pioneers whose testimonies read like an adventure novel. Florence Murcutt’s life is evidence that, with God, all things are possible.

Read Murcutt’s account of her Palestinian missionary trip, “Gospel Seed Sowing in Palestine,” on pages 4, 5 and 9 of the November 11, 1916, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
* “Healed of Powder Burns,” by Mary Arthur
* “The Faithfulness of God,” by Mary W. Chapman
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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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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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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