Adolph Gustav Etterman and the Church of God of the Firstborn

A. G. Etterman in Fessenden, North Dakota, circa 1922-1923.

A. G. Etterman in Fessenden, North Dakota, circa 1922-1923.

Adolph Gustav Etterman (1887-1983), an ethnic German born in Russia, immigrated to North Dakota in 1912. He became involved in the Pentecostal movement in Minot in the 1920s and, accompanied by his large musical family, became a traveling evangelist. He built an 8 by 14 foot motor home on the back of a 1928 Chevrolet truck, into which the family packed all their belongings, including a piano. He formulated his theological beliefs, which he published in his 1933 book, Book on Bible Facts: A Life Full of Faith.

A. G. and Annie Etterman and ten children. Taken  1950s.

A. G. and Annie Etterman and ten children. Taken 1950s.

In 1936 he incorporated his own denomination, Church of God of the Firstborn, to provide structure and oversight for his growing band of churches. A.G. Etterman died in 1983. His son, Jim, is the current president of the fellowship, which is headquartered in Newton, Kansas. Today, most of its congregations are Hispanic.

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers wrote a short history of the group in his book, Northern Harvest (2003), and ever since has wanted to meet the Etterman family. A couple weeks ago they finally met in Branson, where Jim’s son, Pete, a gospel musician, was playing. The Ettermans deposited several publications related to their church and their family at the Heritage Center. When A.G. Etterman accepted Christ almost 90 years ago, it changed the trajectory not just of his family, but of the thousands impacted by his ministry.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Director Darrin Rodgers (left) meets Jim Etterman (back row, center), Pete Etterman (back row, right) and their families.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Director Darrin Rodgers (left) meets Jim Etterman (back row, center), Pete Etterman (back row, right) and their families.

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

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