Review: Quad Cities Pentecostal history

Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage: A Memorial to the Church in the Quad Cities, compiled by Kenneth Richard Kline-Walczak. Revised version. Hillsdale, IL: The Author, 2008.

Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage is the second in a projected four-volume series of books about the history of the Pentecostal movement in the Quad Cities (Moline and Rock Island, Illinois and Bettendorf and Davenport, Iowa). The first volume cataloged the influence of healing evangelist Maria Woodworth-Etter in these towns along the Iowa-Illinois border. Now, in this second volume, Kenneth Richard Kline-Walczak has assembled an impressive collection of articles concerning the region’s Pentecostal heritage and its roots in earlier Christian traditions.

Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage is divided into five chapters. The first chapter (p. 1-43), “The Mass Mound and the Blessing of Davenport,” documents the ministry of Father Charles Felix Van Quickenborne, a Jesuit priest-missionary who is believed to have conducted the first Christian service in the area in 1835. Kline-Walczak describes the priest’s work as “miraculous” and “apostolic.” The second chapter (p. 45-78) traces the influence on the Quad Cities of the 1857-1858 revival which originated from the Fulton Street prayer meetings in New York City. The third chapter (p. 79-168) provides detailed information about a local congregation affiliated with noted healing evangelist John Alexander Dowie, the founder of the Christian Catholic Church (headquartered in Zion, Illinois).

The fourth chapter (p. 169-346) presents information about campaigns in the Quad Cities held by various healing evangelists from 1900 to 1960. The chapter, organized chronologically, includes both the mundane (such as the times and locations of services) as well as controversies covered by the local press (including the 1929 departure of the “blonde evangelist” Mattie Crawford due to disagreement over finances). Some of the evangelists in this chapter include: 1900s – Martha Wing Robinson, Maria Woodworth-Etter; 1910s – Wilbur Glenn Voliva, James L. Delk; 1920s – A. W. Kortkamp (founder of Moline Gospel Temple), Mattie Crawford, Louise Nankivell, Lilian B. Yeomans; 1930s – Watson Argue, Mrs. A. A. Carpenter, Joseph Mattson-Boze, Everett B. Parrott, Kathryn Kuhlman; 1940s – R. F. DeWeese, Charles S. Price, Lorne F. Fox, Raymond T. Richey, Leonard E. Page, Oral Roberts, Charles L. Hollis; 1950s – O. L. Jaggers, Frank R. Lummer, William Freeman, James W. Drush, William Branham, David J. DuPlessis, Lloyd Huffey, A. A. Allen, Billy Adams, Velmer Gardner, Maurice Hart, Gordon Lindsey, Morris Cerullo.

The fifth chapter (p. 347-368) is dedicated to Dr. Charles L. Hollis and his wife, Ruth Vingren-Hollis, who served as pastors of Moline Gospel Temple from 1949 to 1999. This chapter includes transcriptions of an oral history interview of the Hollises by the author and of an interview of the Hollises by Kathryn Kuhlman, which was broadcast on her television program in 1976.

The bulk of Reclaiming Our Forgotten Heritage consists of hundreds of articles from regional newspapers, assembled for the purpose of introducing the region’s readers to its Pentecostal past. Kline-Walczak also includes helpful interpretive and bibliographic essays about the subjects at hand. By reproducing such a vast assortment of historical materials, the compiler allows readers to get a sense of the mood of early Pentecostals (and, at times, that of their detractors). Kline-Walczak, through his back-breaking research efforts, has given Pentecostals in the Quad Cities a valuable documentary account of their origins and development.

Reviewed by Darrin Rodgers

Paperback, vi, 368 pages, illustrated. $20, plus $4.00 shipping. Order from: Ken Kline, P.O. Box 3221, Dubuque, IA 52004 (email: ; phone: 563-663-3725).

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1 Comment

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One response to “Review: Quad Cities Pentecostal history

  1. benton

    I think this book is interesting but does it contain all of the pentecostals in the quad cities? – I personally know of a church that grew an outstandng ministry to children in the area. The church is called Whole Truth Tabernacle – well, it’s current name is the Apostolic Sanctuary.



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