Review: 100th Anniversary of the Mülheimer Association


Jahrhundertbilanz: erweckungsfazinierend und durststreckenerprobt: 100 Jahre Mülheimer Verband Friekirchler-Evangelischer Gemeinden, by Ekkehart Vetter. Bremen, Germany: Missionsverlag des Mülheimer Verbandes, 2009.

Ekkehart Vetter, the current President of the Mülheim Association in Germany, in his well-researched book, Jahrhundertbilanz: erweckungsfazinierend und durststreckenerprobt: 100 Jahre Mülheimer Verband Friekirchler-Evangelischer Gemeinden (in English, One Century of Assessment: The Fascination of Revival, Tried Through Difficult Times: 100 Year History of the Mülheimer Association Church in Germany), has presented an extensive historical documentation of 100 years of this early Pentecostal organization in Germany. The Mülheim Association was the first officially recognized “Pentecostal Movement” in Germany, which stemmed from a revival in the city of Mülheim, located in Germany’s industrial Ruhr Valley, where 3,000 conversions occurred over a six week period in 1905. Pentecostal revival spread quickly throughout the Gemeinschaftsbewegung (Fellowship Movement) within the Lutheran Church, which resulted in dividing those who supported this new outpouring from those who strongly disapproved of what was occurring. In 1909, over sixty respected Evangelical leaders signed the Declaration of Berlin, which officially condemned this infant movement, along with its leader Jonathan Paul, as being destructive, demonic, and saturated with false teaching. After being forced out of the Gemeinschaftsbewegung, Jonathan Paul and other leaders, against their original intent, established the Mülheim Association.

Vetter goes to great lengths to trace the genesis and development in the early years by carefully examining Pentecostal periodicals that were prominent during the beginning decades of the twentieth century. Vetter also describes in detail, how in the first decades, the Mülheim Association never intended to be a denomination and was hopeful someday to reunite with the Gemeinschaftsbewegung. After World War II it became apparent that the Mülheim Association became an established denomination. Vetter takes a very critical look at his own church, listing at the end of his volume, ten reasons why the Mülheim Association dramatically declined in numbers over the years. One century later, the Mülheimer Association has evolved to become, as it now describes itself, an evangelical charismatic church that has gradually and gracefully left its Pentecostal roots.

Reviewed by Paul Clark, Assemblies of God missionary to Germany

Hardcover, 528 pages, illustrated. €19,80 plus shipping. Available from Mülheimer Verband

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