Melvin and Lois Hodges: Pioneer Assemblies of God Missionaries to Latin America

This Week in AG History — September 13, 1941

By Glenn W. Gohr

Originally published on AG News, 16 September 2021

Melvin Lyle Hodges (1909-1988) and his wife, Lois (Crews) Hodges (1908-2011), were pioneer Assemblies of God missionaries to Latin America. Their experience on the mission field taught them the importance of training local believers to lead the church, and Melvin went on to become a leading missiologist among Pentecostals and evangelicals.

Melvin and Lois were married in December 1928 and pastored churches in Colorado and Wyoming for seven years before gaining approval to go on the mission field. They were appointed by the Assemblies of God Foreign Missions Department and served Latin America, primarily in El Salvador and Nicaragua (1935-1953).

They returned to the U.S. in 1945 and Hodges served as editor of the Missionary Challenge publication for two years. He spent the next four years traveling between the United States and Central America, overseeing the work there. He returned to Central America fulltime in 1950 and served another three years in Nicaragua as a missionary. Lois became proficient in Spanish and actively participated in a teaching and training role alongside her husband. Her sister, Esther Crews, also assisted them in missionary work in Nicaragua.

Melvin Hodges was then appointed as field director for Latin America and the West Indies (1953-1973) and again spent time traveling and overseeing the work in Central America, although he maintained an office in Springfield, Missouri.

Melvin and Lois Hodges teamed with veteran missionary Ralph Williams, who practiced English missionary Roland Allen’s philosophy of indigenous principles. While ministering in Nicaragua, Hodges was given an opportunity to put into practice these principles, which Allen called “the missionary methods of St. Paul.” He established a Bible school in Matagalpa and ministered to native Nicaraguans.

In his retirement (1973-1985), Hodges served as professor of missions at the Assemblies of God Graduate School (now Assemblies of God Theological Seminary) in Springfield, Missouri, which allowed him to share his vast knowledge of missions with students and also to do more writing.

As an Assemblies of God missions leader, Hodges wrote prolifically about the value of developing indigenous (self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing) churches around the world. He was the author of 15 books and more than 300 articles and tracts. His books have been revised and reprinted and translated into numerous languages and used as textbooks in colleges and seminaries around the world. His two best-known books, The Indigenous Church (1953) and Build My Church (1957), shaped missionary policy not only for the Assemblies of God but for other evangelical missions groups as well.

Hodges authored at least 115 articles in the Pentecostal Evangel. In a 1941 article, Hodges recounted how he and Lois returned from furlough to Matagalpa, Nicaragua, where they were greeted by Esther Crews and a group of native workers. Upon returning, they witnessed testimonies of answered prayer, healings, and souls saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Melvin and Lois Hodges left a lasting legacy, not only in Latin America, but on the development of Christian missions around the world.

Read the article, “In Nicaragua Again!” on page 11 of the Sept. 13, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Four Days Ago I Was Fasting,” by Zelma Argue

• “Choosing God’s Best,” by Wesley R. Steelberg

• “How Shall I Curse, Whom God Hath Not Cursed?” by Lilian B. Yeomans

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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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In 1951, Amidst Increasing Worldliness, Steelberg Challenged the Assemblies of God to not Neglect its Spiritual Heritage

This Week in AG History —September 9, 1951

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 09 September 2021

Seventy years ago, General Superintendent Wesley Steelberg opened the 24th General Council of the Assemblies of God with a heartfelt plea to remain true to “our dual spiritual heritage in Pentecost.”

Steelberg’s address, which was published in the Sept. 9, 1951, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, showed concern over the direction of the broader culture and church world. He prayed that “the Assemblies of God may not drift in the swift current of worldliness towards the precipice of apostasy.” He encouraged listeners to instead “stand true to God,” so that when the trumpet sounds, “we will all rise to meet him — an uncontaminated, untarnished host who believe in all the fullness of the Pentecostal experience.”

Even before Steelberg spoke, the platform was nearly filled with people on their knees in prayer. Delegates started singing, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” and God’s presence became palpable. Another article in the same issue reported that crowds at the altar “stood in God’s presence and lifted up their voices in united praise to the Lord.” According to the account, the prayer was reminiscent of the Book of Acts and sounded “as the mighty rush of many waters.”

The general superintendent took the platform and identified two important aspects of the Pentecostal movement’s heritage: 1) the gift of the presence of the Holy Ghost; and 2) the faith of our forefathers. He admonished hearers to not neglect this heritage.

Steelberg asked a question of the audience: “Are we as appreciative of the Holy Spirit and His presence in our individual lives, in our churches, in our districts, in our great worldwide Fellowship as we ought to be?” He reminded the ministers and lay delegates that it is frightfully easy to treat lightly that which has become familiar. According to Steelberg, Pentecostals must never allow themselves to be comfortable with the Third Person of the Trinity. He asserted that God did not intend for the Assemblies of God to be content to become “another in the long line of denominations.” Pentecostals must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, he cautioned, and not merely on the wisdom of men.

According to Steelberg, the faith handed down by Pentecostal pioneers should continue to characterize the Assemblies of God. “I have a firm conviction in my heart,” he declared, “that we are called to be a people for a specific service in a specific hour.” He characterized the Pentecostal heritage as a testimony more so than a tradition. The testimonies of Pentecostal pioneers, he spoke, “should be our testimony.” He pleaded with his listeners to pass on the fullness of the testimony of the Pentecostal experience to the next generation.

Concluding his message, Steelberg quoted Luke 18:8: “When Christ cometh will He find faith on the earth?” Steelberg prayed that succeeding generations would be able to respond to the question with a resounding, “Yes!”

Read Steelberg’s full address, “Our Dual Spiritual Heritage,” on pages 3-4 and 13-14 of the Sept. 9, 1951, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “What Happened in Atlanta,” a report of the 24th Biennial General Council

• “How to Be Healed and Stay Healed,” by Evangelist W.V. Grant

• “Famine in India,” by Maynard Ketchum

And many more!

Click to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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L. M. Anglin and the Rise of the Indigenous Pentecostal Church in China

This Week in AG History —September 2, 1922

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, 02 September 2021

Christianization does not equal Westernization. The success of Pentecostals in world missions has been due, in large part, to their reliance on spiritual transformation, rather than on Western cultural education, in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Assemblies of God committed itself in 1921 to a missions strategy of establishing self-governing, self-supporting, and self-sustaining churches in missions lands. Alice E. Luce, a Spirit-baptized Anglican missionary to India who transferred to the Assemblies of God in 1915, influenced the Assemblies of God to adopt this indigenous church principle long before it was embraced by most mainline Protestant groups. The policy was not uniformly implemented, and some Assemblies of God missionaries continued to follow the paternalistic practices of other Western churches during the early decades of the 20th century.

Leslie M. and Ava Anglin, early Assemblies of God missionaries to China, were quick to grasp the importance of establishing indigenous churches. The Anglins arrived in China in 1910 under the banner of the Baptist Gospel Mission, a small missionary sending agency. Leslie Anglin learned the Chinese language, began preaching in various villages, and assembled a small flock. By 1915, the Anglins had been baptized in the Holy Spirit, which caused the Baptist missions agency to cease its support of their ministry. They transferred to the Assemblies of God and became prominent Pentecostal pioneers in China. Over the next 20 years, the Anglins wrote over 50 letters reporting on their missions work that were published in the Pentecostal Evangel.

In 1916, the Anglins established the Home of Onesiphorus — an outreach in the city of Taian, Shantung, China, for orphans who had been abandoned by their families. As it expanded, the Home of Onesiphorus added a school for poor boys and girls, many of whom were beggars. The school provided both academic and technical training. Children were taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, as well as trades such as weaving and making furniture.

In a Sept. 2, 1922, Pentecostal Evangel article, Anglin described his approach to implementing the indigenous church principle. His goal, he wrote, was not “to create an American out of [the Chinese man],” but “to take in the outcast, clothe him, house him, and feed him in Chinese fashion.” The Home of Onesiphorus trained hundreds of lay people and Chinese Pentecostal preachers who helped lay the foundation for a strong indigenous Pentecostal church in China.

Read the article by L. M. Anglin, “The Home of Onesiphorus,” on pages 12 and 13 of the Sept. 2, 1922, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “How Can We Know that We Have Received the Baptism?” by Bert Williams

• “The Basis for our Distinctive Testimony,” by D. W. Kerr

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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Stanley Frodsham: Pioneer Pentecostal Author, Editor, and Teacher

This Week in AG History —August 24, 1946

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 26 August 2021

Stanley Howard Frodsham (1882-1969) was a writer, editor, and teacher during the formative years of the Pentecostal movement and the Assemblies of God. As editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for nearly 30 years, Frodsham stands as one of the most influential figures of 20th-century Pentecostalism.

Born to a Congregational family in England, Frodsham studied classical literature, French, Latin, and mathematics. As a young man, he came to personal faith in Christ through reading the biography of Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission. He immediately quit swearing, gave up his pack-a-day cigarette habit, and began attending F.B. Meyer’s weekly training classes at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in London.

While traveling with his brother, Arthur, in Canada in 1906 and 1907, Frodsham heard about a spiritual revival taking place and the restoration of the gifts of the Spirit as recorded in the New Testament Church. Upon his return to England, he sought this deeper work in his own life and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues on Oct. 13, 1908, in the Sunderland vicarage of Anglican minister, A. A. Boddy, one of the founders of British Pentecostalism.

In 1909, Frodsham commenced publishing the first Pentecostal paper in England, Victory, and began pastoring a small congregation in Bournemouth. In the same year, he and Alice Rowlands were married by their ministerial colleague and friend, Smith Wigglesworth. While continuing to publish Victory, the Frodsham’s traveled to the United States to attend meetings with Maria Woodworth-Etter in Dallas, Texas. They soon ventured to California where Wigglesworth joined them in ministry activities along the West Coast.

In 1916, Frodsham received a letter from J. W. Welch, general chairman (now called general superintendent) of the Assemblies of God (AG). Welch thanked him for articles he submitted to The Pentecostal Evangel, the weekly publication of the AG and stated they were “praying for God’s man” to be the editor of their periodical. “Are you that man?” Welch asked Frodsham. Included with the letter was an invitation to attend the upcoming 1916 General Council in St. Louis.

Frodsham came as a stranger to the Assemblies of God but, because of his writings, he was not unknown. During these meetings, he was elected the new general secretary and was appointed to serve on a committee with D.W. Kerr, and others, to draft a Statement of Fundamental Truths for the Movement. Frodsham served as general secretary from 1916 to 1919 and as assistant editor of the Evangel until 1921, when he became the editor-in-chief of not only the Evangel, but every other AG publication, including Sunday School materials. He served as the Evangel editor for 27 years, providing a stabilizing force in the young Movement.

Frodsham’s contacts with Pentecostal leaders in Europe and Canada gave the Evangel a broader scope than many of the Pentecostal publications of the time and opened it to an audience beyond the Assemblies of God. Frodsham introduced his audience to the writings of his British colleagues such as George Jeffreys, Smith Wigglesworth, A. A. Boddy, and Donald Gee, giving a greater unity between the Assemblies of God in the United States and in Great Britain. Following the lead of the former editor, J. Roswell Flower, Frodsham was intentional in using the Evangel to promote enthusiasm for the missionary work of the Movement. He also saw the need of using the pages of the Evangel to provide for ministers who were unable to attend the Bible institutes, using it for ministerial instruction, sermon ideas, and Sunday School lessons.

Earlier, E.N. Bell, the first general chairman of the AG, was given the assignment to write a book telling the story of the worldwide Pentecostal movement. Bell began to collect letters and written accounts from first-hand observers. When he died unexpectantly in 1923, the task fell to Frodsham. With Signs Following was published in 1926, updated in 1928, and fully revised in 1941. Frodsham’s work became the standard textbook on Pentecostal history for many years.

In the Aug. 24, 1946, Pentecostal Evangel, Frodsham titled his editorial “By My Spirit.” At a time when the Assemblies of God was gaining favor in the church world and influence with the National Association of Evangelicals, there was concern that the Assemblies of God was losing some of its spiritual fervor, Frodsham reminded the Movement that “many think they can be wholly independent of the Holy Spirit. They say, ‘Are we not graduates of such and such a school, college, or university? Have we not back of us all the experience and traditions of the great denominations? Have we not libraries filled with the works of the greatest thinkers of the centuries? Have we not learned to be experts in our own particular field of service?’” He continued, “Constant consciousness of poverty and need will provoke us to constant asking. The disciples did not strut around after the day of Pentecost and say, ‘Look what we have!’ Knowing there was more of the Spirit from the same blessed Source, they cried to God for yet more of what they knew would be theirs by the further coming of the Holy Spirit in power.”

Before his death in 1969, Frodsham published 15 books, including the biography of his friend, Smith Wigglesworth, and he wrote nearly 1,000 articles for the Pentecostal Evangel. In 1970, the organ in the Central Bible College (Springfield, Missouri) chapel was dedicated in his honor with the simple words, “He inspired others to worship.”

Read Stanley Frodsham’s article, “By My Spirit” on page 4 of the Aug. 24, 1946, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “God’s Work Among the Lisu” by Lavada Morrison

• “The Cross and Discipline” by L.E. Maxwell

• “Victory and Faith” by Josephine Turnbull

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel
archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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The Prosperity Gospel and Worldliness: A Warning from Early Pentecostal Leader W.T. Gaston

This Week in AG History —August 16, 1953

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, 19 August 2021

Will the Pentecostal movement follow “the path of gradual surrender to carnal forces” like most Christian renewal movements before it? This question, posed by former General Superintendent W. T. Gaston (1925-1929) in the Aug. 16, 1953, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, remains strikingly relevant. 

Gaston wrote that history’s “tragic lesson” is that a church’s solid foundation does not prevent corruption from “fleshly elements within.” He offered this warning at a time when certain media-savvy Pentecostal healing evangelists had been exposed for their ungodly lifestyles, but who continued to promote themselves and their unbiblical message that God guarantees financial prosperity to believers.

Gaston suggested, “If we are to have a future that is better or even comparable and worthy of our past, we will need to learn over again some of the lessons of yesterday.” One of the important lessons to rediscover, he wrote, was the importance of promoting “pure, undefiled” religion.

He recalled that many early 20th-century Pentecostal pioneers were bivocational ministers, that often met in homes or rented buildings, and that most were not very impressive by the standards of the surrounding culture. However, they did not need worldly goods and accolades in order for the Holy Spirit to accomplish great things through their lives and ministries.

Gaston wrote that he witnessed an “utter disregard for poverty or wealth or station in life” in the early Pentecostal movement. Yet “those rugged pioneers,” he noted, “had something that made them attractive and convincing.” The contrast between the attitudes of the world and the early Pentecostals was striking. According to Gaston, early believers were “completely satisfied without the world’s glittering tinsel, and content to be the objects of its scornful hatred.” 

Believers must carefully guard their hearts, Gaston warned, or face a dissipation of this consecration and sacrificial spirit. He noted, as an example, that some ministers in the 1950s seemed to “project themselves and their projects instead of promoting the common cause and sharing equally in the honors and sufferings of the common brotherhood.”

Gaston identified a love of money as a danger to the Pentecostal movement and an impediment to the gospel. We “must draw the line against all comers with a money complex,” he asserted, in order “to retain its good sense and religious balance.” He lamented that certain high-profile evangelists promised God’s blessings to those who would give money to their ministries. He wrote, “Ministers of the gospel who lay up treasure on earth while they preach that people should lay theirs up in heaven are neither consistent nor worthy.” Gaston suspected that the “selfless, lowly Jesus” would “refuse to go along” with such ministers.

Furthermore, Gaston was troubled by sensationalism promoted by some of the big-name preachers in his day. “Full-orbed religion throbs with sensation,” he wrote. However, he warned against “unbridled sensationalism,” which could easily bring “disillusionment and disintegration” to those who have not developed a strong faith. Gaston concluded with “a simple appeal for consistency and reality in our religious approach,” praying that the Pentecostal movement would “purge itself of practices or propaganda patterns which are not compatible with the spirit and letter of the New Testament.”

Gaston’s article offers several important lessons to 21st-century Pentecostals. First, Pentecostals should carefully guard their hearts. History demonstrates that selfishness and worldliness tend to creep into the church, and that even Christian renewal movements can drift from their founding ideals. Second, early Pentecostalism grew amidst widespread scorn and persecution as believers joyfully embodied consecrated, holy living. Third, Pentecostals can avoid the dangers of extremism and sensationalism by being solidly grounded in Scripture and biblical values.

Read W. T. Gaston’s article, “Guarding our Priceless Heritage,” in the Aug. 16, 1953, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue: 

• “Eternity-Proof,” by Arne Vick

• “Sunday Schools around the World” 

And many more! 

Click here to read this issue now:

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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J. R. Evans: Early Pastor, Evangelist, and General Secretary

This Week in AG History — August 12, 1951

By Glenn W. Gohr

Originally published on AG News, 12 August 2021

J. R. Evans (1869-1951) served as an early Assemblies of God pastor and is best remembered for serving as general secretary of the Assemblies of God. Born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, his full name was James Richards Evans. He lost his first wife early in life, and in 1913 he married Elsie Leonard, who previously had served as a missionary to India with the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

J. R. and Elsie Evans belonged to the Pentecostal Church [Assemblies of God] of Cleveland, Ohio, which was pastored by D. W. Kerr.

Feeling a call to the ministry, J. R. Evans at age 45, and Elsie at age 39, were both ordained by Kerr on March 28, 1915. Evans served the Assemblies of God as a pastor in Cleveland, Ohio; Osborne, Kansas; Broken Arrow and Pawhuska, Oklahoma; Toronto, Canada; Chicago, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and Syracuse, New York. He also served as an evangelist in the general field. While living in Oklahoma he served as Oklahoma district superintendent (1917).

Elsie served as an assistant pastor, evangelist, and Bible teacher. She also led singing at the churches they pastored as well as at camp meetings and conventions. She passed away on May 15, 1936, at the age of 59 and was buried in Springfield, Missouri. One of her sisters was Lavada Morrison, an early AG missionary to China. Another sister was Ruth Phillips, the mother of Guy and Everett Phillips, both well-known Assemblies of God ministers.

In 1923 Evans was elected general secretary of the AG and served in that position for 12 years (general secretary from 1923-1927 and general secretary-treasurer from 1927-1935).

Cataracts formed on his eyes in 1933, and within months, he began to go blind. J. R. Evans served as an executive presbyter and general presbyter from 1936-1942.

Evans was granted a retirement allowance when he left office, and he moved back to Cleveland, Ohio, for a few years. He did some evangelistic work in various places in Ohio. In 1938 he served a short time as interim pastor of the Full Gospel Church [Assemblies of God] at Youngstown, Ohio. He then moved to Tampa, Florida, for a few years. He spent the last two years of his life in the Pinellas Park Home in Florida which was established to house retired ministers and missionaries of the Assemblies of God.

J. R. Evans passed away on July 18, 1951, at Pinellas Park, Florida, at the age of 81. He was survived by his third wife, the former H. Mary Engle, whom he married on July 3, 1941.

Read the article, “Former Executive of General Council Promoted to Glory,” on page 14 of the Aug. 12, 1951, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “You Have One Problem—Solve It!” by U. S. Grant

• “Why a General Council?” by J. Roswell Flower

• “Wait, Examine the Facts!” by Stanley Horton

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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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The Story of Jewish Evangelist Lee Krupnick

This Week in AG History —2 August 1941

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 5 August 2021

Lee Krupnick (1900-1984) was a well-known Jewish Assemblies of God evangelist. He had formerly been an award-winning news photographer for the Tulsa World and a movie cameraman. As a photographer he won many awards and had the reputation of one “who always got his picture.”

His wife, Bonnie, often prayed for his salvation. He became upset whenever she prayed or talked about Jesus, but Bonnie remained faithful to her Christian faith. Her godly lifestyle paved the way for his conversion and eventually led him into full-time ministry.

At one point Lee suffered from an ulcerated stomach. The doctors were unable to heal him, and the pain became unbearable. He consented to let some Christians pray for him on two different occasions. But the pain seemed to only get worse. Finally he allowed his wife and young daughter to pray over him, and instead of rejecting their prayer, he trusted the Great Physician to heal him. Almost immediately he was completely cured of that terrible ulcerated stomach.

Soon after this, Lee Krupnick was converted in 1935 at a revival service conducted by evangelist Watson Argue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Full Gospel Tabernacle [Assembly of God] at Fifth and Peoria on Easter Sunday. The service was packed, and the Krupnicks had to take a seat up front. The sermon topic was, “God raised Jesus from the dead.”

As a Jew, Krupnick had a really hard time with this topic. He had developed a hatred for the name of Jesus. Over and over he heard the evangelist say with authority, “God raised Jesus from the dead.” He began thinking to himself, Why, I thought Jesus was still in the grave. If God raised Him from the dead, no wonder my wife’s life has been so changed.

Soon he could not ignore the proddings of the Holy Spirit as he came under conviction. “I jumped from my seat and ran to the altar while the evangelist was preaching,” said Krupnick. “I couldn’t wait until the end of the sermon.” Twenty-five other people ran to the front, and the altar was filled. He cried for four hours and prayed, “Lord, I was sincere in my hatred of Jesus; I thought I was doing you a favor when I cursed Jesus. Can you ever forgive me, Lord?”

After his conversion he began sharing his testimony. He had already been preaching for 10 years when he was ordained by the Oklahoma district in 1945. His wife, Bonnie, was also ordained as an evangelist. For seven years Krupnick traveled part time as an evangelist and still worked as a photographer. After that the Krupnicks traveled full time in evangelistic work until retirement. For 37 years they traveled all across the U.S. conducting over 600 revival campaigns. Many times he shared his conversion testimony.

Lee Krupnick contributed a number of articles to the Pentecostal Evangel. One of these was a testimony of salvation that took place under his ministry. He told the story of a couple who were alcoholics and drank and partied. “People told me it was a waste of time to even talk to them,” reported Krupnick, “especially the husband, that they were too far gone, and that nothing could deliver them from the drink habit.”

But Krupnick remembered that Jesus did not give up on Mary Magdalene, the demoniac in the tombs, or the leper. So he didn’t give up on this couple. He began praying that the Lord would save them.

“One day a young lady applied for a job in my studio,” said Krupnick. It turned out this was the same woman he had been praying for. He told her that if she would let him talk to her a little while about the Lord, then when she sobered up, he would give her a position in the studio. As he told her about the Lord, she wept.

The next day she came to work and confessed that she really didn’t want to drink, but her husband would force her to, as he wanted her to participate in parties he held at their house. Krupnick remembered that his wife was hosting a weekly ladies Bible study that day and invited the woman to go. He said he would pay her the same as if she was working in the studio, so she agreed. He called his wife on the phone, and told her about the woman coming, and then he called a taxi to take her to the Bible study. “That day she got gloriously saved,” said Krupnick.

Not long after this, her husband also got saved, and also the woman’s father and her sister. This truly was not a waste of time for him to witness to the couple. The husband and wife soon began accompanying Lee Krupnick on many of his preaching engagements. They insisted on driving him, and they would testify on the platform about their miraculous transformation since they met the Lord.

Read the article, “A Miracle of Grace,” by Lee Krupnick, on page 3 of the Aug. 2, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Cleansed, Clothed, and Crowned,” by T. J. Jones

• “Upward or Downward,” by Ernest S. Williams

• “God’s New Thing,” by Horace S. Williams

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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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David du Plessis and the Early Pentecostal Movement in South Africa

This Week in AG History —July 30, 1938

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 29 July 2021

David Johannes du Plessis (1905-1987), known as “Mr. Pentecost,” was an effective leader in three of the most influential movements in 20th century Christianity – the Pentecostal movement, the charismatic movement, and the ecumenical movement. When Time magazine surveyed a group of Catholic and Protestant editors in 1974 to list 11 “movers and shakers” of the Christian faith, du Plessis was listed alongside Rosemary Ruether, Don Helder Camara, Billy Graham, Hans Küng, Bernard Lonergan, and Jürgen Moltman. His early experience with the Apostolic Faith Mission revival in South Africa shaped his understanding that the work of the Holy Spirit was for all time and for all people, regardless of their faith tradition within Christianity.

The July 30, 1938, issue of The Pentecostal Evangel printed a report given by du Plessis to the students of Central Bible Institute (CBI, later Central Bible College) in Springfield, Missouri, entitled “Pentecost in South Africa.” Tracing the development of the Pentecostal movement in his home country of South Africa, the 33-year-old general secretary of the Apostolic Faith Movement shared with the CBI student body that reports came to South Africa in 1904 of a great revival taking place in Wales and many began crying out to God to “send us an outpouring of Your Holy Spirit” in our nation.

In 1906, an American evangelist, Daniel Bryant, arrived in South Africa bringing with him a message of divine healing. Du Plessis reported that “God healed so many that literally hundreds accepted that truth, and were baptized by him. The cream of the church, the elders and deacons of the Dutch Reformed Church, local preachers of the Methodist church, were glad to receive this wonderful message.”

In 1908, John G. Lake and Thomas Hezmalhalch came from the United States bringing with them the message of the Pentecostal outpouring. Du Plessis reports that “these two men started out in a native church in Johannesburg and out of curiosity white folk went but they stayed and received the baptism … then a tabernacle was offered in Johannesburg in the center of the city. That place became a revival center … a thousand people crowded in and around it every night of the week … demons were cast out. The sick were raised up in the name of Jesus without a hand being laid upon them. Healings occurred just from a command from the platform.”

This revival greatly influenced the churches around them. “From the Dutch Reformed and the Methodist and every Church in South Africa have been drawn their saintliest men, those people who had been crying to God for a revival, and when the Holy Ghost was poured out in Johannesburg they said, ‘This is what we seek.’ Naturally when the churches saw their best elders and their most deeply spiritual men and women moving into this ‘new sect’ they thought it was time to raise their voices against this awful thing.”

Despite persecution, the movement grew until, in 1913, it organized into the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. Many classes of people, from the humblest farmer to the wife of the prime minister were among those in the growing church. Du Plessis ended his 1938 message with an invitation to “come and see these things for yourselves . . . As general secretary and editor of the paper (of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa) I suppose I have had my hand on the pulse of the work more than anybody else. I have traveled more and have visited all the assemblies and I know almost half the members of the mission, if not more, so I am not telling you stories I have heard, but telling you facts I know.”

David du Plessis returned to South Africa after his trip to America and continued in his work with the Apostolic Faith Mission until 1947 when he was asked to assume leadership of the new Pentecostal World Conference, an organization that sought to bring unity, fellowship, and encouragement to global Pentecostalism. After moving to the United States in 1948, he became friends with John Mackay, the president of Princeton Seminary. This friendship opened doors for du Plessis to share the message of the Pentecostal outpouring with many global ecclesiastical representatives. These church leaders began referring to him as “Mr. Pentecost.”

When the charismatic movement began in the 1960s with many leaders in mainstream denominations experiencing the baptism in the Spirit and demonstrating spiritual gifts, including speaking in tongues, du Plessis was already in a place to provide leadership and instruction to ministers in the Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic churches. He was invited to participate in the World Council of Churches Assembly meetings and served as a Pentecostal representative at the Second Vatican Council. Although these relationships were controversial within the Pentecostal movement, du Plessis continued to extend a hand of fellowship to any who were willing to open their minds and hearts to the work of the Holy Spirit.

In his early days in South Africa he preached against the “dead, dry” religion of the mainline churches. In his later years, God used him to bring new life of the Spirit into those same mainline churches and to speak for unity among the Pentecostal global movement. When he died in 1987, at the age of 81, he was serving Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, as resident consultant for Ecumenical Affairs and was an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God.

Read David du Plessis article, “Pentecost in South Africa,” on pages 2-4 of the July 30, 1938, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The End of Human Government” by Harry Steil

• “Praise” by Bernice Lee

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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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William E. Simpson: Assemblies of God Martyr and Missionary to China

Missionaries W. E. Simpson, Martha Simpson, W. W. Simpson, and Torsten Halldorf; China, circa 1925

This Week in AG History —July 23, 1932

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, 22 July 2021

William E. Simpson (1901-1932), a young Assemblies of God missionary, was killed by bandits near the Tibetan border in China. The July 23, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel devoted several pages to the memory of Simpson, whom it hailed as “a martyr for the gospel.”

Simpson, the son of noted missionaries William W. and Otilia Simpson, spent his youth in both China and the United States. He easily learned the Chinese language and spent the last 13 years of his life living in the dangerous borderlands along Tibet. He shared the gospel with Tibetans and Chinese, with nomads, and with Buddhist priests. Simpson was able to traverse a part of the country normally inaccessible to Westerners.

In Simpson’s last letter to the Pentecostal Evangel, he recounted that Assemblies of God missionary policy stated, “The Pauline example shall be followed as far as possible by seeking out neglected regions where the gospel has not been preached.” He took this as a challenge and stated that he did not know of a “more extensive and neglected region” than the Tibetan borderlands. He lamented the small number of converts, but nevertheless pushed forward in his missionary call.

In life and death, Simpson built bridges across denominational divides. He worked extensively with Christian and Missionary Alliance missionaries and spoke at their conferences. Simpson built this bridge upon a family connection; prior to joining the Assemblies of God, Simpson’s father held credentials with the Alliance. Missionaries from both the Assemblies of God and the Christian and Missionary Alliance participated in Simpson’s funeral. Simpson, in his last letter, encouraged further cooperation between the churches: “God grant that the spirit of harmony that exists among us may grow and develop.”

Missions has always been central to the identity of the Assemblies of God. When missionaries share stories of spiritual victories and new converts, Assemblies of God members rejoice. But when young William E. Simpson died at the hands of bandits in 1932, it reminded believers that obedience to the Great Commission often has a high human cost.

Read the entire article, “A Martyr for the Gospel,” on pages 10, 11, and 14 of the July 23, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “High Lights in the Life of Peter,” by Dr. Charles S. Price

• “Questions Concerning Spiritual Gifts,” by Donald Gee

• “Power in the Word,” by Mrs. C. Nuzum

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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A Shared Testimony: The Roots of the Pentecostal World Fellowship

This Week in AG History —July 16, 1961

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG-News, 15 July 2021

Pentecostalism’s growth in the early 20th century made it a global movement. Just prior to and following World War II, efforts were made to build bridges between the various Pentecostal fellowships around the world for the purpose of cooperation in evangelism, publications, and education. One of the important organizations that emerged to fulfill these aims was the Pentecostal World Conference (PWC).

In 1921 the Assemblies of God passed a resolution on “World-Wide Cooperation” which helped to lay the groundwork for the PWC. Then in 1937, several Pentecostal leaders from various nations were invited to attend the Assemblies of God General Council in Memphis. This was followed by a European Pentecostal Conference held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1939.

After World War II, Gustave Kinderman served as field secretary for the Assemblies of God Foreign Missions Department in Europe, and he opened an office in Basel, Switzerland, in 1946. He began working closely with Leonard Steiner, pastor of the largest Pentecostal congregation in that city. Through their efforts, and with cooperation from many Pentecostal leaders around the globe, the Pentecostal World Conference was organized at a conference for Pentecostal leaders held in Zurich, Switzerland, May 4-9, 1947.

Since that time, the PWC has met every three years in various locations, attended by church leaders and members from around the world. One of main purposes of the PWC is to promote spiritual fellowship among Pentecostals, regardless of denominational affiliation or ethnic background. Another outgrowth of these meetings was the publication of a worldwide Pentecostal magazine founded by Donald Gee. It was called Pentecost (1947-1966) and was succeeded by World Pentecost (1971-1998). It reported on Pentecostal revivals, church growth, and events happening around the globe. For its first 54 years, the PWC was more of an event than a formal organization. In 2001, the group adopted a constitution and changed its name to Pentecostal World Fellowship.

Sixty years ago, in a special declaration given at the Sixth Pentecostal World Conference in Jerusalem, held May 19-21, 1961, the delegates advocated for a “renewing of the Pentecostal power of the Holy Spirit with all believers” and they pledged to “call all believers to continued prayer, faith, and obedience to the Word of God.”

This meeting closed on Pentecost Sunday, May 21, 1961. It was reported that “volumes of praise swell from thousands of voices and God moves upon us in a significant way.” The morning speaker on the closing day was the esteemed Pentecostal veteran, Lewi Pethrus of Stockholm, with Frank Lindquist of Minneapolis serving as interpreter. Afterwards the delegates shared Communion. Thomas F. Zimmerman gave the final message, challenging the delegates to help promote 20th-century Pentecost. The final report of those registered for the 1961 conference was 2,595 delegates from 40 different countries.

Read the article, “Going Up to Jerusalem,” by Don Mallough, on page 12 of the July 16, 1961, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Prophets of the Lord,” by Violet Schoonmaker

• “It’s Miserable to Be a Mule,” by Donald Gee

• “A Day in the Life of a Missionary’s Wife,” by Mrs. O. B. Treece

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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