Tag Archives: Culture

Review: The Sparkling Fountain

The Sparkling Fountain

The Sparkling Fountain, by Fred T. Corum and Hazel E. Bakewell. Windsor, OH: Corum & Associates, Inc., 1989, c1983.

The Sparkling Fountain is a 278-page book with eyewitness accounts of the beginning of Pentecostalism in the Ozarks. The book was started by Fred T. Corum and his sister Hazel E. Bakewell. Then James and Kenneth Corum, sons of Fred Corum, helped to preserve this slice of history and see it through to production. First marketed in 1983, it is offered again on the 100th anniversary of Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri.

The Azusa Street Mission story is recapped in beginning chapters, but for our purpose here the story begins in 1905 when Fred and Hazel moved to the Ozarks from Oklahoma with their parents, James and Lillie Harper Corum.

James and Lillie were never credentialed ministers but are considered the pioneers of Pentecost in Springfield — holding together a nucleus for several years until a church was set in order. I have an idea many other lay people throughout our history deserve special recognition for beginning and/or keeping local congregations together (including unfortunate splits) until a pastor assumed the leadership.

The Corums soon became active in a Baptist church where Mr. Corum served as Sunday school superintendent. But in the fall of 1906 they heard about the Pentecostal outpouring and became interested. Then in May 1907 they were introduced to this new experience which would dramatically put their lives on a new course. Continue reading

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Review: PAON View of Divorce and Remarriage


Divorce Decree

The Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland View of Divorce and Remarriage, by Rick Walston and Clarence Buckle. St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada: Good Tidings Press, 2006.

Rick Walston and Clarence Buckle have collaborated to present a view of divorce and remarriage that will serve as a guiding document for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Newfoundland. It is part of a teaching resource for churches. Dr. Walston is president of Columbia Evangelical Seminary, a distance-learning school. Pastor Clarence Buckle is the General Secretary of the PAON.

The book is a tightly written document consisting of eight chapters. The arguments are concise and to the point. The first two chapters introduce and define the issues of marriage and divorce. Chapters three and four summarize the material on divorce from the writings of Paul and the Gospels. Chapters five and six deal with the restrictions and exceptions as related to the remarriage issue. Chapter seven is a discussion of how the matter of divorce and remarriage impacts ministry and membership in the denomination’s assemblies.

The authors are seeking to help people steer a course between the conflicting views on marriage and divorce prevalent in our culture and to determine the biblical principles and scriptural basis for effective pastoral care as it relates to this matter. They have accomplished their task admirably. I expect the book to be well received.

Reviewed by Dr. Garry E. Milley, Lead Pastor, Park Avenue Pentecostal Church, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada

Paperback, 84 pages. $6.99 retail, plus tax and postage. Order from: Religious Book & Bible House, 57 Thorburn Road, P.O. Box 8895, Station “A,” St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada A1B 3T2 (email: BackRoom@paon.nf.ca), or Religious Book & Bible House, 10 Hardy Avenue, P.O. Box 558, Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland, Canada A2A 2J9 (email: rbbh@bookandbiblehouse.com).

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Top Pentecostal history books in libraries


Next to Assemblies of God Heritage magazine the Bible, what is your favorite reading material? Do you have a top ten list of your all-time favorite books?

We thought it would be interesting to see which Pentecostal history books are most popular in libraries. So, we logged onto FirstSearch (aka WorldCat or OCLC, which is available at your local library) and searched for books with the following terms in their subject headings. The top ten books for each term, in terms of the numbers of libraries holding each book, are below.

Pentecostal history
1. Heaven Below : Early Pentecostals and American Culture / Grant Wacker (Harvard University Press, 2001) 878 libraries
2. Reinventing American Protestantism : Christianity in the New Millennium / Donald E. Miller (University of California Press, 1997) 847 libraries Continue reading

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Review: Who Else … But God!


Who Else But God

Who Else … But God!, by Fred Smolchuck. Springfield, MO: The Author, 2006.

Almost eighty years ago, Fred Smolchuck felt God’s call to the ministry. Following that call led him around the world, and he became a leader within Slavic Pentecostalism, both in the United States and in eastern Europe. Smolchuck’s strong voice and mind, his smoldering passion for souls, and his leadership gifts continue to make their mark on the Pentecostal landscape.

Smolchuck, the son of Ukrainian immigrants to America, was a founding member of the Ukrainian Branch of the Assemblies of God (USA), he served as a pastor and district official in Michigan, and he authored sixteen books. Most of his books, published in the Ukrainian and Russian languages, offer practical advice and theological training to believers in eastern Europe and to immigrants in North America. His 1992 book, From Azusa Street to the U.S.S.R.: A Brief History of Pentecost Among Slavic Immigrants, 1900-1991, provides a valuable overview of the people, places, and themes in Slavic-American Pentecostal history. Now, in Who Else … But God!, he has told his own story, which is inextricably intertwined with the emergence of the Slavic churches in the Assemblies of God. His story is significant, as he traces not only his family’s spiritual pilgrimage, but the development of Pentecostalism among the Slavic peoples in the U.S. from the 1920s until the present. Importantly, Smolchuck has served as a bridge between an earlier generation of Slavic Pentecostals and the more recent waves of Slavic Pentecostal immigrants to North America. Continue reading

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Review: Off-Road Disciplines

Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders

Off-Road Disciplines: Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders, by Earl Creps. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

Church statistics tell us that overall, but with some exceptions, western churches are declining in membership. Certainly one factor for this decline is that much of western Christianity has lost part of its identity as a missional community, a community which prophetically partners with the Holy Spirit in His mission. As a result, church leaders are seeking the heart of God for both vision and empowerment for continuing in Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation in the contexts in which they are called. Slowly but surely, the community of Christ is recognizing its missional weakness when it comes to both the lifestyles of the individual followers of Christ, and the structure of the community itself.

Reacting to these shortcomings, the emerging church movement has arisen to fill the missional gaps by applying a relevant, contextualized gospel to those whom the traditional or even “contemporary” churches would not ordinarily reach. Off-Road Disciplines is a timely book that speaks to both the emerging church movement, and the traditional or denominational churches. Continue reading

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Review: Elements of a Christian Worldview


Elements of a Christian Worldview

Elements of a Christian Worldview, edited by Michael D. Palmer and Stanley M. Horton. Springfield, MO: Logion Press, 1998.

Christianity is about holistic transformation of both individuals and communities. This involves a radical reordering of both our thoughts and our lives. In Elements of a Christian Worldview, a number of Christian scholars provoke their readers to engage this process of transformation by exploring the integration of the Christian faith with topics such as worldviews, the role of the Bible, historical Christianity, natural science, human nature, work, leisure, ethics, music, literature, entertainment, and politics. Russell Spittler, Provost and Professor of New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, in the forward writes, “These wise words will help reflective followers of Jesus know what to avoid in the world, what to shun. But they will aid also in the expansion of appreciation for all that is good in human culture, the collected reflections of God’s highest creatures who, however tarnished and alone among all living beings, embody the image of God.” Continue reading

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