This past weekend Central Assembly here in Springfield, Missouri (Pastor James Bradford), held an all-church banquet on June 1, 2007 and special services on Sunday, June 3rd. The banquet commemorated to the day, the 100th anniversary of the church. It was during the wee hours of the morning of June 1, 1907 when Lillie Harper Corum was baptized in the Spirit in her living room in Springfield, after praying with her sister, Rachel Sizelove, an evangelist who had come from the famed Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles.
Further details of this testimony and much of the early history of Central Assembly is contained in a book produced by the Corum Family called The Sparkling Fountain. The book is still available for those interested. (See the Seen in Print section of the FPHC website.)
FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers and Assistant Archivist Glenn Gohr sold copies of The Sparkling Fountain, and Central Assembly sold copies of its new history book, Windows Into Central’s 100 Years of Ministry: Ordinary People God Used to Build an Extraordinary Church. This brief history contains vignettes of some of the former pastors and important families in the church as well as a time line of significant events in the church’s history. Central, now located on the block south of the AG Headquarters, became the mother church for several of the 30 AG congregations now in Springfield.
Farmhouse where Lillie Corum was baptized in the Spirit in 1907
June 1, 2007 marks 100 years of Pentecost in Springfield, Missouri.
Just after the Azusa Street revival broke out in Los Angeles in 1906, Evangelist Rachel Harper Sizelove began writing glowing reports to her sister, Lillie Corum, who lived in Springfield, Missouri. Mrs. Corum started reading copies of William Seymour’s Apostolic Faith paper, and she earnestly began seeking and praying to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The next May, Rachel Sizelove traveled from Azusa Street to Springfield to visit her sister and family. And in an all-night prayer meeting, Lillie Corum was baptized in the Spirit at her farmhouse in the wee hours of June 1, 1907. She is credited with being the first person in Springfield to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. And soon afterwards, the Corum family, rejected by their Baptist pastor, began holding prayer meetings in their home. This was the beginning of Central Assembly of God, the mother church in Springfield, Missouri.
The 100th anniversary celebration of First Assembly of God in Eureka Springs, Arkansas takes place this weekend (March 30-April 1, 2007). The theme of the three-day event is “Celebrating 100 Years of Pentecost and More.” The public is invited to attend any or all of the services. The church is located on Ark. Hwy. 23 on the south side of Eureka Springs.
Former pastor Bob Willhite is preaching on Friday night at 7 p.m. Then a number of former pastors will be on hand Saturday morning at 11 a.m. for the church’s radio program, “Christian Perspective,” hosted by pastor Gene Gilmore on KTCN, 100.9 FM. A barbecue is planned for Saturday afternoon and a 7 p.m. concert with Louisiana-based New Liberty Quartet.
Sunday activities include a special Sunday school class on “The Church and Its Mission” taught by three former pastors. Rev. Glenn Beaver, secretary-treasurer of the West Texas District AG, is the speaker for the 10:30 a.m. service. Afterwards a time capsule will be placed on the grounds of the church, followed by an afternoon luncheon.
That evening, Rev. Eugene Rose will preach, and a commemorative gift of $35,000 will be given to Missionary Kerry Mauldin for the construction of a new church building in India.
Eureka Springs Assembly of God is one of several AG churches in the nation currently celebrating 100 years.
Adapted from an article in the Carroll County News Weekend Edition.
Additional information can be found in “Centennial Churches: A Survey” in the 2007 issue of Heritage.
Posted by Glenn Gohr