C. M. Hanson and the Pre-Azusa Pentecostal Revival among Scandinavian-Americans


This Week in AG History — August 22, 1954

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 20 August 2015

Carl M. “Daddy” Hanson (1865-1954), a spiritual father to many early Pentecostals on the northern Great Plains, earned his Pentecostal stripes on both sides of Azusa Street. He experienced the Pentecostal distinctive of speaking in tongues in the nineteenth century, and he became an early leader in the Assemblies of God in the first half of the twentieth century.

The son of Norwegian immigrants to Minnesota, Hanson was converted while a student at Augsburg Seminary and became an evangelist affiliated with the Scandinavian Free Mission (now known as the Evangelical Free Church). The Scandinavian Free Mission, in the 1890s and early 1900s, witnessed a significant revival in which many people experienced salvation, healings, and biblical spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues.

This revival made a deep impression on Hanson, who himself was healed of a terminal illness in 1895. A short time later, he held services in Grafton, North Dakota, where people had a great hunger for God. There, he saw a young Norwegian girl, enraptured in the presence of God, speak in a language she had not learned. Hanson pondered what it meant, studied Scripture, and came away convinced that that the prophecy in Joel 2:28 was coming true before his eyes: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions” (KJV).

Hanson continued as an itinerant evangelist. His daughter, Anna Berg, recalled, “My father began giving testimony wherever doors were open to him: in churches, schoolhouses, homes, and missions. The response was amazing. Everywhere people were saved. This was usually followed by a consuming desire for more of God’s power in their lives.”

In about 1899, Hanson received the gift of speaking in tongues. In 1904, he opened a rescue mission in Minneapolis, where he sought to give physical and spiritual help to those who were drunken, homeless, and destitute. He traversed the region, raising support and seeking young people to work with him at the mission.

Hanson soon identified with the emerging Pentecostal movement in Chicago, which had its roots in the 1906 Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles. Chicago Pentecostal leader William Durham ordained Hanson in 1909, and Hanson transferred his ordination to the Assemblies of God in 1917. In 1922, when the Assemblies of God organized churches and ministers in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Dakotas into the North Central District, participants unanimously elected Hanson to serve as the district’s first chairman.

Hanson and his wife, Mathilda, had 13 children, two of whom became Pentecostal missionaries. Esther M. Hanson served at L. M. Anglin’s orphanage in China, and Anna C. (Mrs. Arthur F.) Berg served in Belgian Congo prior to pastoring in Sisseton and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Former Assemblies of God General Superintendent G. Raymond Carlson also traced his family’s Pentecostal experience back to Hanson’s ministry. It was in Carlson’s maternal grandparents’ home in Grafton, North Dakota, that Hanson first saw someone speak in tongues.

Hanson’s story reminds us that the modern Pentecostal movement emerged from a variety of sources. Revivals at Topeka and Azusa Street may have been two of the most visible focal points of early twentieth-century American Pentecostalism, but prior revivals, including those among Scandinavian settlers in the northern Great Plains, provided precedents and leaders for the emerging movement.

The Pentecostal Evangel published a memorial tribute to Hanson on page 12 of the August 22, 1954, issue.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Tony, the Miracle Boy”

• “Maybe I’m Wrong,” by John Garlock

• “Ride on, King Jesus,” by Zelma Argue

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Read more about Hanson in the article, “Carl M. Hanson: Scandinavian Harbinger of Pentecost,” in the Spring-Summer 2006 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage magazine.

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

1 Comment

Filed under History

1931 Prophecy Chart by Finis Jennings Dake Deposited at Heritage Center

Dake1

A prophecy chart created by Pentecostal Bible teacher Finis Jennings Dake (1902-1987) has been deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. Dr. Don L. and Lavern Love of Tulsa, Oklahoma, brought the chart, titled “The Plan of the Ages,” to the Heritage Center on August 19, 2015.  The chart was copyrighted in 1927 when Dake was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  This particular chart, dated January 31, 1931, was drawn by Carl D. Holleman (1911-2001) when he was 20 years old. Holleman went on to serve as an Assemblies of God missionary to India.

According to oral history, Dake at some point gave this chart to John G. Hall, who had been one of his Bible students for three years at Shiloh Bible Institute in Zion City, Illinois, during the 1930s.  John G. Hall used the chart for a while until he decided to paint his own chart. Then probably in the early 1980s, John G. Hall decided to give this chart to Dr. Hershel A. Brummett, a former president of Southwestern Assemblies of God University, who retained the chart until he passed away in 2014.  The Brummett family gave the chart to Dr. Don and Lavern Love, who in turn now have donated the chart to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.  Dr. Love, a chemical engineer, used the chart to teach eschatology in his Sunday school class at The Assembly in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. The colorful hand-painted chart measures 41 inches by 17 feet and is in remarkably good condition.

Dake2Dake3Dake4Dake5

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, News

Confronted by 1960s Racial Tensions, Ohio AG Church Grew by Reaching out to Hispanics and Blacks

1965_08_08-PE

Pictured are pastors of the new churches and the mother church (left to right): S. R . Nodal (Templo Betel); Dana Dickson (Evangel Assembly, Sandusky); Keith Smith (Broadway Assembly); and R. E. Burel (Beulah Assembly).


This Week in AG History — August 8, 1965

By Darrin Rodgers
Published August 6, 2015

Fifty years ago, the community of Lorain, Ohio, was in the midst of a significant demographic shift. Thousands of immigrants from Cuba and Puerto Rico relocated to Lorain to work in the steel mills, and the African-American community was growing. Racial tensions existed in the historically white town of 60,000, as residents grappled with these social changes.

How should the church respond to racial tensions and community strife?  Keith Smith, an Assemblies of God pastor in Lorain, saw the changes in his community as an opportunity to share the Gospel and bring reconciliation. He led his church, Broadway Assembly of God, to seek out the newcomers and minister to their needs.

Members of Broadway Assembly canvassed the community, befriended the immigrants, and began a bus ministry so that those without transportation could come to church. The church began a Spanish-speaking ministry under the leadership of S. Reyes Nodal, an Assemblies of God pastor born in Mexico. Nodal’s ministry grew and became Templo Betel (Bethel Temple), the first Spanish-speaking Assemblies of God church in Ohio.

Broadway Assembly asked a Church of God in Christ pastor, Robert E. Burel, to lead an outreach to African-Americans. Under Burel’s leadership, a new congregation, called Beulah Assembly, formed and met in Broadway Assembly’s building. After about a year and a half, Burel led his congregation to affiliate with the Church of God in Christ.

Broadway Assembly grew significantly even as it was planting new churches in its own community. Sunday school attendance grew from 200 to over 600 in a few years. The church built a new building to accommodate its growing crowds and gave its old building to Templo Betel.

How should today’s church respond to demographic changes and social strife? When confronted by a similar situation fifty years ago, Keith Smith did not retreat into the comfort of his church building. He led his congregation to engage the community and reach out to Spanish-speaking immigrants and African-Americans.

Read the article about Broadway Assembly, “Mother Church Triples,” on page 15 of the August 8, 1965, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

  • “Witness for Christ,” by Fred Smolchuck
  • “Man Overboard!” by Charles T. Crabtree
  • “Be Not Silent,” by Bob Hoskins

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, History, Missions

Important COGIC Collection: Nearly 500 Early Photographs Now Online at iFPHC.org

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers with Rev. Elijah L. Hill, displaying the collection.

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers with Rev. Elijah L. Hill, displaying the collection.

An important collection of almost 500 historic photographs relating to the Church of God in Christ is now accessible for free on the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website. The photographs (circa 1899-1960s), from the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection, portray men and women who pioneered the African-American Pentecostal denomination.

The photographs were collected by Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945) and her daughter, Ida F. Baker. Robinson organized the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Women’s Department in 1911 and was the most prominent female COGIC leader until her death. As head of women’s auxiliaries, she founded the Prayer and Bible Band and the Sewing Circle. She also helped to lay the foundation for the creation of the Missions Department (originally known as the Home and Foreign Missions Band).

Mother Lizzie Robinson

Mother Lizzie Robinson

Elijah L. Hill, the COGIC minister and historian who deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC), described the photographs as “a rare glimpse into the faces of those who suffered and yet overcame the world.” In his biography of Robinson, Women Come Alive, Hill detailed how Robinson encouraged COGIC women to become self-determining, before the broader society recognized women’s suffrage and civil rights for African-Americans.

FPHC director Darrin Rodgers praised Hill for building bridges. According to Rodgers, “Elder Hill rescued these photographs from destruction decades ago. He has joined hands with the Heritage Center, and together we are working to preserve and promote these treasures that bring to life the heritage of African-American Pentecostals.”

The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection consists of, in addition to the photographs, approximately 100 publications and Hill’s research files on Robinson. The collection was dedicated in a special service on October 4, 2013, in the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.

The online collection will be unveiled at the biennial General Council of the Assemblies of God, slated for August 2-8, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. Elijah L. Hill will join Darrin Rodgers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center booth at General Council, where they will interact with expected crowds in excess of 20,000 people.

Click here to view thumbnail images of the photographs. Click on the title next to each thumbnail image to see larger images.

Click here to watch the dedication service of the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection.

Click here to watch a panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, COGIC historian Glenda Goodson, Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks. Panelists dialogued about Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC and the Assemblies of God.

Rev. Elijah L. Hill is assembling biographies of Church of God in Christ leaders pictured in the photographs. To submit biographies, go to Hill’s website: www.cogicmuseum.org.

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, located in the Assemblies of God National Office in Springfield, Missouri, is the largest Pentecostal archive and research center in the world. The FPHC collects historically significant materials from across the denominational, ethnic, linguistic, and national divides within the broader Pentecostal and charismatic movements. For additional information, explore the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website.

_____________________

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. 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

Leave a comment

Filed under History, News

A Warning for Pentecostals from 1942: “Is Our Modern Revival Deep Enough?”

Gee2
This Week in AG History — August 8, 1942

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 30 July 2015

Is our modern revival deep enough?”

Noted British Assemblies of God leader Donald Gee (1891-1966) asked this question in an article in the Aug. 8, 1942, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

“Everywhere I go I find indications of shallowness,” Gee wrote. “The modern revival is very bright and happy, but I fear it is also very shallow, and I am deeply concerned about that because I do not believe that which satisfies the heart of God is shallow.”

One of the most prolific early Pentecostal authors, Gee was widely read on both sides of the Atlantic. In many ways, Gee was the conscience of English-speaking Pentecostalism. Known as the “apostle of balance,” he counseled Pentecostals to maintain spiritual vitality and to stay within the bounds of Scripture and wisdom.

Gee praised what he viewed as the positive emphases on miracles and music. The dominant features in many churches, he noted, were divine healing and joyful singing. But he also cautioned readers that spiritual depth requires more than excitement in a church service. He admonished believers to seek a “revival of repentance” — which includes a sense of brokenness over sin and a full commitment to Christ and His mission.

Is your faith deep or superficial? This can be tested, according to Gee, by asking yourself how easily you forget about the things of God and instead get caught up in the things of the world. He encouraged readers to seek a deep baptism in the Holy Spirit — allowing God to transform desires and sanctify the believer. A revival that does not produce holiness and repentance, he insisted, “does not go deep enough.” If you want an anointed ministry, you need to spend time in the presence of God, which cultivates spiritual depth.

Gee challenged readers to pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would produce a deep revival. Such a deep revival, he wrote, would produce repentance and changed lives and “keep us broken, melted and softened before the Lord.” Gee’s challenge — penned fewer than 30 years after the founding of the Assemblies of God — remains pertinent today.

Read the article, “Is Our Modern Revival Deep Enough?” on pages 2-3 of the August 8, 1942, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “When the Japanese Invaded Malaya,” by Lula Ashmore

* “Victory in Lonely Places,” by Carrie Judd Montgomery

* “Revival Among the Apache Indians”

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, Spirituality

Uncovering the Assemblies of God’s Black Heritage: Ellsworth S. Thomas Ordained 100 Years Ago

Ellsworth2TW_728
This Week in AG History — July 25, 1936

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 23 July 2015

One hundred years ago, the Assemblies of God ordained its first African American minister, Ellsworth S. Thomas of Binghamton, New York. Ellsworth was largely absent from the pages of the Pentecostal Evangel, other than a brief mention of his death, published 79 years ago this week.

Recently uncovered information about Ellsworth sheds new light on this African American pioneer in the Assemblies of God. Ellsworth was part of a flourishing but small community of free blacks that existed in Binghamton in the nineteenth century. Historian Debra Adleman, who wrote about the black community in Binghamton, noted that many had escaped slavery, moved north, and formed a close-knit community. They overcame racism and societal restrictions, developed strong families, and carved out their own religious, economic, and social niche in the region.

Ellsworth S. Thomas was born in 1866 in New York. His father, Samuel, was born in Maryland in 1830 and worked as a laborer. Samuel was also a Civil War veteran, serving for three years as a private in the Massachusetts 54th Infantry. Ellsworth was born about nine months after his father returned home from the war. Ellsworth’s mother, Mahala, was born in 1842 in Pennsylvania and worked as a laundress. Ellsworth was the eldest of two children born to the couple. After Samuel passed away in the early 1890s, Ellsworth lived with his mother and cared for her. Census records show that they owned a modest house and that most of their neighbors were white. He did not attend school, but he could read and write.

Binghamton city directories from the 1890s reveal that Ellsworth was a laundryman. By 1900, though, they listed his occupation as a traveling evangelist. His name first appeared in the Assemblies of God ministers’ directory in October 1915, which stated that he was a “colored” pastor in Binghamton. He remained an active Assemblies of God minister for the remainder of his life.

In 1917, the Assemblies of God asked existing ministers to re-submit applications for credentials, apparently because paperwork had not been kept during the earliest years of the Fellowship. Robert Brown, influential pastor of Glad Tidings Tabernacle in New York City, endorsed Ellsworth’s 1917 application. On the application, Ellsworth stated that he was originally ordained on December 7, 1913, by R. E. Erdman, pastor of a large congregation in Buffalo, New York. Correspondence in his ministerial file from reveals that Ellsworth also pastored a congregation in Beaver Meadows, New York.

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center holds a 1936 letter from Paul Westendorf that informed the Pentecostal Evangel of Ellsworth’s death on June 12, 1936. He was 70 years old and passed away in Binghamton after a serious illness. Westendorf wrote, “He has been in the Council Fellowship for many years and so will be remembered throughout the Eastern District. Brother Thomas was faithful and true to the Lord in all kinds of circumstances, serving Him with gladness, therefore we feel that he had an abundant entrance in the presence of the Lord.” Ellsworth S. Thomas’ passing was briefly noted on page 13 of the July 25, 1936, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

No photograph of Ellsworth S. Thomas has yet been located. Persons with additional information about the life and ministry of Ellsworth S. Thomas are encouraged to contact the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center at archives@ag.org.

As the Assemblies of God continues to become more ethnically diverse, it is increasingly important that its history books include stories from the varied backgrounds of believers.

Other articles featured in the July 25, 1936, issue:
• “Reckless for God,” by Beatrice V. Pannabecker
• “Victors and Victims of Faith,” by J. O. Savell
• “How God is working in the Gold Coast,” by Brother and Sister H. B. Garlock

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

1 Comment

Filed under Church, History

Pentecostal Evangel Celebrates 102nd Anniversary – First Issue Featured Interracial Content and Called for Unity

PE_ipad_728
This Week in AG History — July 19, 1913

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 16 Jul 2015

The Pentecostal Evangel, now known as PE News, is 102 years old this week. The magazine, launched as the Christian Evangel in 1913, transitioned from print to a digital platform at the beginning of 2015.

Over the years, PE News witnessed numerous changes. The title changed six times, and the place of publication changed three times. Publishing the weekly magazine was quite an undertaking. To lessen the cost and workload, the magazine was only published every other week from 1918 to 1923.

J. Roswell and Alice Flower established the Christian Evangel to report on revivals and missions activities and published it out of their home in Plainfield, Indiana. The first issue, dated July 19, 1913, featured interracial content. Three articles were by or about G. T. Haywood, the African-American pastor of the largest Pentecostal congregation in Indianapolis. The Flowers selected a masthead that remains relevant 102 years later: “The simplicity of the Gospel, In the bonds of peace, The unity of the Spirit, Till we all come to the unity of the faith.” Their call to unity implicitly recognized that their readers did not yet have “unity of the faith” — that disagreement existed on some matters. In the meantime, they affirmed that believers should aim for “unity of the Spirit.”

This language recognizing spiritual unity amidst diversity was included in the preamble of the constitution adopted by the first General Council of the Assemblies of God in April 1914. At that same meeting, J. Roswell Flower was elected to serve as the first general secretary of the Assemblies of God. The Flowers gave their magazine to the newly formed Assemblies of God. E. N. Bell, the first chairman, also gave his magazine, Word and Witness, to the new organization. The two periodicals merged in January 1916. The title changed in 1919 to Pentecostal Evangel, and under that name the periodical became one of the most prominent publications in the Pentecostal movement.

Today, PE News is the official news agency for the Assemblies of God and continues to network believers around the world.

Click here to read the first issue of the Christian Evangel.

Click here to read an engaging history of the Pentecostal Evangel, published in the 2013 edition of Assemblies of God Heritage.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under News