This Week in AG History — November 11, 1916
By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 11 Nov 2013 – 4:28 PM CST
Florence Murcutt (1868-1935) was likely the first medical doctor to serve as an Assemblies of God missionary. Born in Australia to English parents, she was raised in the Jewish faith and immigrated to America in 1901. She graduated in 1907 from the Women’s Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University College of Medicine).
Murcutt had an inquiring mind and explored the claims of Christianity. As a young woman she read the Bible for herself, cover to cover, in six weeks. Another female medical doctor, Jenny Trout, became a close friend and often prayed with Murcutt. But Murcutt did not make a decision to follow Christ until she attended a Pentecostal camp meeting in Portland, Oregon. At the meeting, a man who was entirely unfamiliar with the French language began prophesying in French under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Murcutt understood the prophecy, which testified that Jesus was the only way to God. Moved by this miraculous prophecy and by the palpable presence of God at the meeting, she knelt at the altar and accepted Christ.
Murcutt was later baptized in the Holy Spirit and devoted the rest of her life to missionary work. In 1912, she traveled to Palestine, where she distributed gospel literature in Hebrew and Arabic. She was ordained as a missionary by the Assemblies of God on June 18, 1915. Murcutt served with Alice Luce and Henry C. Ball as a missionary to Mexicans living in Texas, California and Mexico. In 1926, she helped Luce to establish a Spanish-language department of Berean Bible Institute in San Diego. This department was the foundation for what became Latin American Bible Institute in La Puente, California. Murcutt and Luce taught at the school, planted several Spanish and English congregations, and engaged in missionary work in Fiji and Australia. Murcutt died in December 1935 from injuries resulting from being struck by an automobile.
Murcutt began life in Australia as a Jew, overcame prejudice to become a pioneer female surgeon in the United States, and ended life as an Assemblies of God missionary to Mexicans. Murcutt is among the many largely unheralded Pentecostal pioneers whose testimonies read like an adventure novel. Florence Murcutt’s life is evidence that, with God, all things are possible.
Read Murcutt’s account of her Palestinian missionary trip, “Gospel Seed Sowing in Palestine,” on pages 4, 5 and 9 of the November 11, 1916, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
* “Healed of Powder Burns,” by Mary Arthur
* “The Faithfulness of God,” by Mary W. Chapman
And many more!
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