Early Assemblies of God Deaf Ministry


Photo from the April 31, 1931 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel

This Week in AG History — October 29, 1932

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 28 Oct 2013 – 3:09 PM CST

Elsie Peters (1898-1965) was the earliest known Assemblies of God minister to the deaf. Peters’ call to deaf ministry came in 1919, when she befriended a deaf couple in Springfield, Missouri. At the time, Peters was a housewife with three children. One day, when stopping to catch her breath from the busyness of daily life, she uttered a little prayer, “Lord, what can I do for You today?” To her surprise, she felt the Lord answer her with the following instruction: “Go and visit a deaf mute.”

Peters visited a local deaf couple, Sullivan and Addie Chainey, who gladly welcomed her into their home. They told her that they often felt overlooked. It was difficult for them to make friends. Through their friendship with Peters, the Chaineys eventually accepted Christ and also entered into deaf ministry.

From this inauspicious beginning, the Assemblies of God ministry to the deaf emerged. Lottie Riekehof began teaching sign language at Central Bible Institute in 1948, and Home Missions (now U.S. Missions) created a division for Deaf Ministries in 1953. In 2011, the Assemblies of God included 82 deaf culture churches and more than 1,500 churches with some type of ministry in working with deaf people in the United States.

Read Elsie Peters’ testimony about her ministry to the deaf on page 14 of the October 29, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
* “The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures,” by Ernest S. Williams
* “Some Modern Definitions,” by Myer Pearlman

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

For more information about deaf ministry, see the website of the National Deaf Culture Fellowship of the Assemblies of God.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

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

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One response to “Early Assemblies of God Deaf Ministry

  1. Pingback: History of British Sign Language - BSL « Deaf Virtual Museum Deaf Virtual Museum

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