Melvin L. Hodges, former missionary to El Salvador, field director of Latin America, professor at AGTS, and author of “The Indigenous Church ” and other missions books, is interviewed by Dr. Gary B. McGee at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri, 1985.
Everett L. Phillips, former missionary to Nigeria, West Africa and former field secretary for Africa, is interviewed by Dr. Delbert H. Tarr at the Assemblies of God Graduate School, Springfield, Missouri, January 21, 1981.
Lillian Riggs is interviewed by Wayne Warner in her home at Scotts Valley, California, November 10, 1986. She is the widow of Ralph M. Riggs, who was general superintendent of the Assemblies of God from 1953 to 1959.
ID: T779; T780
Darrin Rodgers interviews Mildred Duncklee Flach (1922- ) in Grand Forks, ND, July 3, 2007. A native of Bowesmont, North Dakota, Flach went on to serve as an Assemblies of God missionary to Liberia from 1958 to 1989.
Darrin Rodgers interviews Fred Smolchuck (1917-2008) in Springfield, Missouri, May 25, 2006. The son of Ukrainian immigrants to America, Smolchuck was a founding member of the Ukrainian Branch of the Assemblies of God, he served as a pastor and district official in Michigan, and he authored 16 books. His life is inextricably intertwined with the history of the Slavic churches in the Assemblies of God.
Darrin Rodgers interviews Chaplain Emanuel Williams in Springfield, Missouri, May 12, 2008.
Chaplain Williams has served as an endorsed healthcare chaplain with the Assemblies of God since 1988 and currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area. This interview covers not only his recent chaplaincy ministry, but also his Pentecostal background in San Francisco, California. As a youth, he grew up in the church pastored by Cornelia Jones Robertson, and he is also a close friend of her godson, Bob Harrison. Robertson became, in 1923, one of the earliest African Americans ordained by the Assemblies of God. She is remembered for the rescue mission that she pastored in the Barbary Coast area of San Francisco, known as the Pacific Street Mission, and she later pastored the Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church, which was successively affiliated with the United Holy Church, Mount Calvary of the Pentecostal Faith Church (a New York based church led by Mother Horn), and the Open Bible Standard Churches. Harrison is best known for breaking the color barrier in the Assemblies of God in 1962, when General Superintendent Thomas F. Zimmerman invited him to become an ordained minister, thus overturning a longstanding policy denying ordination to African Americans. Williams also describes his own decision to remain in the Assemblies of God despite racist attitudes he experienced.
Lois Hodges (1908-2011), the widow of leading Assemblies of God missiologist Melvin L. Hodges (1909-1988), sat down with Darrin Rodgers, director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, and recorded an oral history interview on November 13-14, 2008.
The interview was recorded in two parts. In part one, Sister Hodges discussed her childhood as well as the background of her husband. Melvin Hodges ’s father, Charles, was a 1902 graduate of Boston Theological Seminary (now Boston University School of Theology), the oldest Methodist seminary in the United States. While pastoring in Washington State, he grew disenchanted with “ecclesiasticism, ” cast his lot with the Pentecostals, and ultimately joined the Assemblies of God. His son, Melvin, was called to the ministry at age 10, learned Greek from his father at age 13, and matriculated at Colorado College at age 15. A precocious young man, Melvin’s theological knowledge and preaching skills became widely noted, including by a young woman name Lois from Fort Collins, Colorado. Melvin and Lois married in 1928.
In part two of the interview, Sister Hodges recounted her life and ministry with Melvin, telling stories of how they had to live by faith during the Great Depression, when they did not have a regular income and food was scarce. They pioneered churches in Colorado and Wyoming until leaving for the mission field in Central America in 1935 with three young children. The Hodges returned to Springfield in 1954. From 1954 to 1973, Melvin Hodges served as AG field director for Latin America and the West Indies. He then became a professor of missions at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He was a prolific writer, and many of his publications deal with missions, church growth, and the indigenous church principle.
Missionary Harold Carpenter interviews Henry and Sunshine Ball in Springfield, Missouri, about their work among Hispanics, April 11, 1985. They discuss their early lives as well as ministry in Chile, the Mexican border, and establishing Latin American Bible Institute (San Antonio, TX) and VIDA (now Life Publishers International).
Dr. Delbert H. Tarr interviews Murray N. Brown, Sr., in Springfield, Missouri, March 4, 1981. They are discussing Brown’s work as an Assemblies of God missionary in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), West Africa.
Dr. Delbert H. Tarr interviews “Mother” Alice Reynolds Flower, widow of J. Roswell Flower, at the Assemblies of God Graduate School, Springfield, Missouri, May 7, 1980. She tells about the early Pentecostal movement and the founding of the Assemblies of God.