Review: Northern Harvest

rPentecostalism in North Dakota

Northern Harvest: Pentecostalism in North Dakota, by Darrin J. Rodgers. Bismarck, North Dakota: North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God, 2003.

Northern Harvest documents the rise of Pentecostalism in North Dakota from a few scattered congregations at the turn of the twentieth-century to its present status as the state’s fourth largest religious group. While many historians contend that revivals in Topeka, Kansas (1901) and Los Angeles, California (1906-09) became the focal point of the emerging worldwide Pentecostal movement, Rodgers unearthed evidence that earlier revivals in Minnesota and the Dakotas provided it with precedents and leaders. North Dakotans, Pentecostals, and historians will be intrigued that a network of Scandinavian immigrant churches on the northern Great Plains practiced tongues-speech and healing before the better-known Topeka and Azusa Street revivals. This is the first significant study of Pentecostal origins in Scandinavian pietism in Minnesota and the Dakotas, exploring the movement’s roots outside the American Wesleyan and Holiness traditions.

This account chronicles:

– Histories of over 400 Pentecostal churches and outstations in North Dakota, plus outreaches in additional cities and churches in border communities in surrounding states

– Previously undocumented information about Pentecostals in Minnesota and the Dakotas from the 1890s-1900s, including brief biographies of Carl M. Hanson (early evangelist) and Mary Johnson (earliest-known twentieth century Pentecostal missionary from North America)

– Histories of two dozen Pentecostal denominations or groups in North Dakota (including Apostolic Faith Mission, Asamblea Apostolica de la Fe en Cristo Jesus, Assemblies of God, Assembly of God Missionary Fellowship, Association of Vineyard Churches, Calvary Chapel, Christian International Network of Churches, Church of God (Cleveland, TN), Church of God in Christ, Church of God (Jerusalem Acres), Church of God of Prophecy, Church of God of the Firstborn, Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, German Church of God, Gospel Crusade, Independent (Oneness, Trinitarian, and Word of Faith), International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, National and International Pentecostal Missionary Union, Open Bible Standard Churches, Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Pentecostal Church of God, The Church of God, and United Pentecostal Church)

– Pentecostalism’s development among Anglo, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Native American, African American, and Slavic peoples in North Dakota

– The role of female ministers in Pentecostal churches in North Dakota

– The community and political involvement of early Pentecostals in North Dakota

Northern Harvest is well-documented (containing 1,732 footnotes), its indices tally 497 cities and 2,843 personal names, and nineteen pages of tables and charts contain extensive statistical data regarding Pentecostalism’s development across North Dakota. This book contains a wealth of information – unavailable elsewhere – regarding genealogy and family history.

In an endorsement of Northern Harvest, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary Professor Dr. Gary B. McGee wrote:

“Historians have long known that the origins of early twentieth-century Pentecostalism were far more complex than the revivals in Topeka, Kansas and Los Angeles, California have suggested. In an impressively thorough study of North Dakota Pentecostalism, Rodgers maps the people, spiritual and cultural dynamics, churches, and denominations that made it happen. He also breaks new ground in showing the influence of Scandinavian pietism on the early believers, a reminder that the roots of the movement go deep into the heritage of evangelical revivalism. Northern Harvest provides students and scholars with a new insightful study of one corner of American Pentecostalism. For people in the pew, he shows them how they got to where they are on the pilgrimage of faith.”

North Dakota District Superintendent Rev. Leon Freitag wrote:

“Heritage is a gift from one generation to another. Northern Harvest reveals God’s working in the hearts of people in the towns and across the prairies of North Dakota. Darrin Rodgers, through his love of history and his years of research, has created a legacy that will be enjoyed by future generations. This book will evoke memories for those who lived the history and belongs in the library of every pastor, church, and member who has an interest in their Pentecostal heritage.”

Hardcover, 346 pages. $18 postpaid to U.S. addresses. Order from: Darrin Rodgers, 5095 E. Copper Ridge St., Springfield, MO 65809. For further information contact the author by email:

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3 responses to “Review: Northern Harvest

  1. dawn gilbert

    we are moving to watfordcity north dakota for 2 years i need to find a church must be apostolic or pentacostal please help contact me at 2253139487 or

  2. Pingback: Did Early Pentecostalism Have Roots in German and Scandinavian Pietism? | Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

  3. Gary Nygard

    Wow. Found this article of great interest. I had a born again experience in April of 1974 in the church of God of the firstborn in Belton TX. The late Brother Jimmy Ladesma was the evangelist that held the services. Oh what a great experience it was.

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