Category Archives: Biography

The Legacy of Massimiliano Tosetto: Italian American Pentecostal Pioneer

M.Tosetto-1949 (2)By Paul J. Palma

Pentecostal pioneer, Massimiliano Tosetto, was many things—a loving husband, devoted father, pastor, artist, writer, composer, Bible scholar, and church founder. Born in Campiglia dei Berici, Veneto in 1877, from an early age Tosetto proved dedicated to his family, church, and education. He was a diligent student, despite growing up in a town where 80 percent of the population was illiterate. The untimely passing of his mother when he was eighteen prompted him to set out on his own. He entered the study of decorative art at the Art Institute of Milan and proceeded to find work as a fresco painter.

Raised Roman Catholic, Tosetto underwent a religious conversion at twenty-two. After three different priests refused to hear his confession (because his list was too long), he left Catholicism. Graciously offered a Bible by someone from a neighboring Baptist church, Tosetto set out on a new faith journey. His quest for further opportunity, along both economic and religious lines, drove him to emigrate for the New World. He arrived in Chicago in 1902. Impressed with his ability as a painter, Marshall Field’s Co. hired him as an interior decorator.

Tosetto learned of the “baptism in the Spirit” through R. A. Torrey, pastor of the large Moody Church in Chicago. Intrigued by this fuller experience of the Holy Spirit, in 1909 Tosetto attended a service at Chicago’s Assemblea Cristiana, the first Italian Pentecostal church on record. It was here that he discovered the baptism in the Spirit firsthand. In 1914, he married the organist Maria Pontarelli (with whom he had 6 children) of an immigrant family from San Vincenzo, Abruzzi. They plotted their future together through their joint service in the Pentecostal movement. After being miraculously healed of an ear infection, Tosetto left his day work as an artist and gave himself fully to the ministry.

Tosetto went on to found churches in New York, Ontario, Quebec, and in his hometown in Italy. He served twenty-nine years as pastor of Walnut Avenue Christian Church in Niagara Falls. He moved with his family to Niagara Falls in 1916, rented a two story flat, and began hosting worship meetings on the downstairs floor. There they set up Maria’s organ. Together with another family of six, they became the nucleus for a growing congregation. Tosetto put up a sign outside the home that read “Chiesa Cristiana” (Christian Church).

Tosetto built the congregation’s first baptismal pool by hand out of 2x4s. In about two years’ time, the congregation rallied enough funds to purchase a property down the street. Tosetto designed the building plans and erected a new chapel. Over the next several years the congregation thrived. By 1922, the chapel was attended by about 250 congregants. Needing a larger building once again, a novel plan was enacted whereby the existing church edifice was sawed in half. The two halves were moved a distance apart and new center walls, ceiling, and floors were constructed.

Tosetto became the visionary and organizational leader of the flagship Italian Pentecostal denomination, the Christian Church of North America (CCNA). Among the early Italian Pentecostal pioneers, Tosetto stood as a voice of order. It is no surprise that the banner raised above the pulpit of his Niagara Falls church read, “Do all things decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40). In the 1920s, when theological controversy threatened to divide Italian Pentecostalism in North American and Italy, Tosetto encouraged the consolidation of churches into one body. The CCNA’s first General Convention was held in Niagara Falls at Tosetto’s church in 1927. He served as one of five original overseers of the denomination. Today the CCNA, known as the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies, has a membership of about 1,800,000 in nearly 3,600 congregations across each inhabitable continent of the world.

In addition to founding churches in the US and Canada, Tosetto established the Evangelical Christian Church in his hometown in Italy on August 15, 1908. This feat was accomplished despite strong opposition. Tosetto’s efforts won the support of neighboring churches, including financial backing from the local Methodists. Recently, Assemblies of God (AG) leadership convened at the church in an effort to bring the congregation under the covering of the AG in Italy.

Massimiliano passed away in 1949 on a preaching mission to Montreal, Quebec. His last message, themed “Precious in the Sight of the Lord is the Death of His Saints,” concluded with an exhortation to live in peace and love and with the words, “I feel as though I have wings, ready to fly.” He returned to Niagara Falls to be buried by the church he founded.

I conclude this reflection with a selection of a hymn Tosetto penned, with my translation in English alongside the original Italian. The hymn, “Pace, vera pace” (Peace, True Peace), was originally published as part of the hymnal, Nuovo libro d’inni e salmi spirituali (New book of hymns and spiritual songs):

Let the Lord be praised,
And glorified at every hour,
Blessed and thanked;
He is the peace in our hearts.

(Il Signore sia lodato,
E glorificato ognor,
Benedetto e ringraziato;
Egli è pace ai nostri cuor.)

___________________________________________________

Paul J. Palma, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry at Regent University, is the great-grandson of Tosetto. The story of the birth of Pentecostalism among Italian immigrants like Tosetto is chronicled in Palma’s new book, Italian American Pentecostalism and the Struggle for Religious Identity. Please visit Routledge.com for more information.

___________________________________________________

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
Website: iFPHC.org

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Elva Stump: The Nurse Who Became an Assemblies of God Church Planter in West Virginia

Elva Stump

Elva K. Stump, age 98

This Week in AG History — January 18, 1936

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG News, 2 January 2019

Elva K. Stump (1885-1985) was a trained nurse and a pioneer Assemblies of God minister. Most of her ministry was in Ohio, but she also spent time in the 1930s ministering in rural West Virginia, where she helped pioneer both white and African-American congregations.

Stump had a very full life. A nurse by profession, she graduated from the Episcopal Hospital in Philadelphia. At age 29, she married a widower (Thomas), who had one child from his previous marriage. Thomas and Elva had four more children. In about 1926, she began serving as Sunday School superintendent of the Maple Avenue Mission (Church of the Brethren) in Canton, Ohio.

Elva Stump’s life changed dramatically in 1928, when she was 43 years old. She developed a spinal infection, which doctors told her would result in paralysis and death. Her suffering was intense, and the doctors gave her up to die.

However, Stump and her fellow Christians held a round-the-clock prayer vigil at her bedside. Stump came to believe that her illness was God’s way to teach her to submit to His will. The Lord reminded her of John 15:2, “Every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” This realization changed her attitude and gave her peace. She changed the way she prayed, “I am not asking You to heal me for my friends, my family, or the mission, but only for Your glory and honor.” After she prayed in this way, she experienced a supernatural touch and was healed. She wrote about her healing in the June 21, 1930, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

She recalled, “I raised my head, took my left hand and ran it down my spine — no pain! I threw back the covers with my left hand and foot, and moved every toe on that foot — something I had not done for months. I got out of bed and walked to the bathroom, walking heavily to see if sensation was really in my feet again.” Her nurse, hearing the commotion, thought that Stump was having a convulsion and dying. But the nurse came into her room and found Stump “walking and shouting and praising the Lord.”

Through this experience, Stump learned to submit to God’s will, whether it be easy or difficult. When she felt God calling her to leave Ohio to go minister to the unchurched of rural West Virginia, she heeded the call.

Stump became a credentialed minister with the Assemblies of God in 1932, at age 47. The Jan. 18, 1936, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel reported on Stump’s evangelistic endeavors. She was a 50-year-old female Pentecostal pastor, before it was acceptable in the broader society to be a female pastor, much less a Pentecostal.

Stump arrived in the community of Mud Lick, West Virginia, where she began holding gospel services in a building worthy of the town’s name — “an old forsaken schoolhouse.” The article recounted her humble accommodations: “Here she lived in a cabin set up on stilts, slept on the floor, and sat very still when she read so the wasps would not sting.” It was uncomfortable, but Stump learned to submit to God’s will. The results? The article reported, “The Lord owned this meeting, and men and women and some children found Him.”

Stump next held six weeks of meetings in the community of Sand Fork, where she was given a parsonage and an abandoned church. She left the believers after she secured a “very spiritual pastor” to shepherd the flock. Next, she helped establish a church and a “faith home” at Bealls Mills and an African-American congregation in Butcher Fork. She then went to the coal fields and held tent meetings in Gilmer, Pittsburg-Franklin, and MacKay. The tireless evangelist proceeded to St. Mary’s, where she held meetings at a community church. The January 1936 article noted that Stump planned to return to St. Mary’s and also start a work in Glenville.

Stump and her energetic ministry colleagues planted or rejuvenated these West Virginia churches, from Mud Lick to Glenville, in the course of one year. Her colleague, Minnie Allensworth, remarked, “This is the result of one year’s absolute surrender to the Lord.”

Pentecostal pioneers such as Elva Stump often did so much with so little. What could happen in one year if Pentecostals learned to surrender all to the Lord, just as Stump did?

Read the entire article, “New Work in West Virginia,” by Minnie Allensworth, on page 12 of the Jan. 18, 1936, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Some Things a Pastor Cannot Do” by Ernest S. Williams

• “Our Daily Bread” by Lilian Yeomans

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Elva Stump’s testimony of her healing, published on page 9 of the June 21, 1930, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, is accessible by clicking here.

Pentecostal Evangel
archived editions courtesy of Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: iFPHC.org

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Robert and Doris Edwards: Assemblies of God Medical Missionaries, Educators, and Church Planters in India

EdwardsThis Week in AG History — January 8, 1949

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 09 January 2020

Robert Wade Edwards (1895–1961) became an Assemblies of God missionary when he was 51 years old and a newlywed of only one month. He served in southern India for 14 years and left behind a legacy of 14 churches, an industrial school, and hundreds of young people who were trained to carry on his ministry while being able to support themselves through trade.

Born in Salma, North Carolina, Edwards graduated with the highest honors. After spending nine years in the Army Medical Corps, he married and began ministry soon after. When his young wife died, Edwards moved to Cape Hatteras National Seashore to begin a new season of ministry. In 1946, a tidal wave severely damaged Edwards’ church. Devastated at the losses he incurred, Edwards asked God for direction. He distinctly felt God say to him, “Establish My people here in My Word and then go to the people to whom I have called you.” Thirteen years before, Edwards had a vision of himself preaching to dark-skinned people groping about in darkness. He knew that God was changing his course of direction.

For the next several months, Edwards worked on rebuilding in addition to his normal duties as pastor. During this time, he scheduled a missionary speaker for his church. Mrs. Doris Maloney was a widowed missionary to South India in her early thirties, traveling with her young son. When Pastor Edwards shared his burden with the missionary speaker they both felt that God was opening new doors for a new family. Edwards said later, “We put our calls together in marriage on Nov. 29, 1946, and on Dec. 12, we sailed for India.”

They began their ministry in Madras State, now Tamil Nadu, in South India where there were no churches. There were six villages within walking distance and most of them had never had a gospel witness. Edwards also found that his medical experience in the army served well to minister to those who had no doctors or medical care.

In the Jan. 8, 1949, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, Edwards described a typical day. “We were up at 5 a.m. to prepare the messages … at 7:30 people began coming to have their wounds dressed … there were 12 patients and two homes to go where the people had wounds which prevented them from walking. Meanwhile, Mrs. Edwards conducted Sunday School in the next village … from 9 to 12 we had a meeting in our home for a few believers … in the afternoon there were callers. From 4 to 7 p.m. there were street meetings in two villages and we paraded the streets shouting Scripture verses and giving out tracts. It was a great thrill to work like this for the Lord though we came back almost too tired to walk.”

Edwards also found his experience in building to be an asset. He continued in the 1949 article, “It will not be long until we shall have to build little churches as there is no place to have a service except under the trees.” Edwards’ practice was to buy materials and build when there was money. When the money was exhausted, they would stop building until the money came in. In this manner, he built 14 churches without debt.

One day an old man came to Edwards and asked him to take his son. The old man felt it was too late for him to become a Christian but he wanted his son to know God. With their travel schedule, Edwards did not feel they could take on a young boy. He encouraged the man to send the boy to Sunday School and they would do all they could to help. After returning from a month-long ministry trip, Edwards was met with tragic news. The boy had hung himself in a tree near the missionaries’ home.

Grieved, the Edwards family asked God to show them how they could help other young boys to have more hope for the future. Edwards believed if these young boys could learn God’s Word and develop a trade they would find more promise and meaning in life. Edwards sought permission to begin an industrial school to train young men in a craft.

Hiring an Indian teacher to assist him, Edwards took on nine boys and began their training by teaching them to build their own school. The boys did the carpentry work and lived in the unfinished building with their poultry and goats during its construction. Within a short time, they had built several building to house training classes in printing, carpentry, blacksmithing, and other areas of learning.

After 14 years without a furlough, the Edwardses returned to the States to report on their ministry. During this furlough, it was discovered that Edwards had cancer. While suffering with the effects of cancer, he dictated much of what God had done in their time in India. His last recorded words concerning the hard work they had done were, “Looking back over my career, I would that I could do it all over again. If I had another life to live, I would give it to India.”

Edwards’ influence carried on in the lives of the young men he trained. They provided stability, leadership, and direction for the continuation of the Assemblies of God in South India.

Read Robert Edwards’ report, “Working in Travancore,” on page 11 of the Jan. 8, 1949, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Elisha, the Double Portion Man” by Evangelist Oral Roberts

* “Following the Cloud” by Harold Horton

* “The Congo Dancer” by E.H. Richardson

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now
.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: iFPHC.org

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John Eric Booth-Clibborn: The Assemblies of God Missionary Who Gave His Life for Burkina Faso

ClibbornThis Week in AG History — January 2, 1926

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG News, 2 January 2019

John Eric Booth-Clibborn, a 29-year-old Assemblies of God missionary, laid down his life in the French West African colony of Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) on July 8, 1924. He died from dysentery and malaria only two weeks after he, his pregnant wife Lucile, and their young daughter arrived on the mission field.

Eric’s death came as a shock, not only to his family, but also to their friends and supporters around the world. Eric’s family was well known in evangelical and Pentecostal circles. He was the grandson of Salvation Army founder William Booth and the son of Pentecostal author and evangelist Arthur Booth-Clibborn. Articles in the Pentecostal Evangel and other periodicals mourned his passing.

A remarkable testimony of faith emerged from Eric’s tragic death. His widow, Lucile, wrote an account of their lives and short ministry, titled “Obedient unto Death.” Former General Superintendent George O. Wood called Lucile’s story, published in the Jan. 2, 1926, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, “one of the most gripping accounts of faith in the history of this Movement.”

The young widow dealt with her grief by replaying in her mind every moment she had with Eric. Lucile recalled that she and Eric gathered with fellow believers just prior to their departure for Africa. Together, they prayed and sang a tune composed by Eric’s mother, Catherine Booth-Clibborn. The words of that song prefigured Eric’s impending sacrifice:

“At Thy feet I fall
Yield Thee up my all
To suffer, live or die
For my Lord crucified.”

Lucile’s article recounted in great detail their voyage and ministry together in Africa. She also described gut-wrenching moments at Eric’s funeral. Her emotional wounds remain palpable: “Then after a word of prayer, the top was put on the coffin and the nails hammered in. You can imagine the pain that shot through my heart at each pound of the hammer.” Reflecting on her pain, Lucile wrote that she did not regret going to Africa, “even though it tore from me the beloved of my heart.”

Lucile courageously viewed her loss through faith-filled eyes, seeing Eric’s death as an opportunity for God to be glorified. She wrote: “I realize that present missionary success is greatly due to the army of martyrs who have laid down their lives on the field for the perishing souls they loved so much … It has been said that a lonely grave in faraway lands has sometimes made a more lasting impression on the lives and hearts of the natives than a lifetime of effort; that a simple wooden cross over a mound of earth has spoken more eloquently than a multitude of words.”

The Assemblies of God in Burkina Faso remembers John Eric Booth-Clibborn as a hero of the faith who gave his life to follow God’s call. Today, the Assemblies of God is the largest Protestant fellowship in Burkina Faso, with over 4,500 churches and preaching points serving over 1.2 million believers.

Read Lucile Booth-Clibborn’s article, “Obedient unto Death,” on pages 12 -14 and 20 of the Jan. 2, 1926, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:

•   “A Passion for Christ and for Souls,” by George Hadden

•   “How Pentecost Came to Barquisimeto,” by G. F. Bender

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: iFPHC.org

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Robert E. McAlister: Canadian Pentecostal Pioneer

McAlisterThis Week in AG History — December 6, 1941

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 05 December 2019

Robert Edward McAlister (1880-1953) is considered by many to be the father of Canadian Pentecostalism. He was a charter member of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) and served as its General Secretary from its inception in 1919 through 1932. He oversaw the creation of The Pentecostal Testimony (now Testimony/Enrich) in 1920 and served as its editor until 1937.

Born to adherents of the Scottish Presbyterian Holiness movement in Ontario, McAlister experienced a personal conversion at the age of 21. Feeling a call to ministry, he enrolled in God’s Bible School (Cincinnati, Ohio), founded by leading Methodist Holiness minister Martin Wells Knapp. Although illness caused him to leave the school after only one year, he became an evangelist with the Holiness Movement Church, a small Canadian denomination that emphasized the importance of “entire sanctification.”

While preaching in western Canada, McAlister heard about a revival taking place in Los Angeles at the Azusa Street Mission. He arrived at the meetings on Dec. 11, 1906, and experienced his personal Pentecost. Within weeks, he was conducting meetings in Ontario and western Canada, teaching about the baptism in the Holy Spirit accompanied by tongues.

In 1913, McAlister was invited by R. J. Scott to be a speaker, along with Maria Woodworth-Etter, at the Worldwide Apostolic Faith Camp Meeting at the Arroyo Seco campground in Los Angeles in an effort to unite Pentecostal groups. At the end of his sermon, he mentioned an observation that the apostles baptized “in the name of Jesus,” rather than using the Trinitarian formula of “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” While McAlister always embraced Trinitarian doctrine, interestingly, it was this brief observation at the camp meeting that helped to the spark the Oneness Pentecostal movement, which rejected traditional Trinitarian formulations.

Although he lacked much formal theological education, McAlister was respected as a pastor, evangelist, publisher, author, administrator, and preacher over his 50 years of Pentecostal ministry. At that time, any preacher who did not make full use of the entire platform during a vigorous sermon was looked upon with some suspicion, yet McAlister rarely moved about in his presentation. His strength was not in delivery but in content. PAOC historian Gordon Atter said of him, “He never went into the pulpit but what he was completely prepared … when he was through, you would remember that sermon, and his altar calls were tremendous.”

McAlister addressed the 1941 General Council Assemblies of God, held in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His sermon was printed in the Dec. 6, 1941, issue of The Pentecostal Evangel.

Robert C. Cunningham, in his Oct. 4, 1941, summary of the General Council meetings described the service: “Once again our hearts were thrilled at the music in the opening part of the service. Loren Fox placed ‘The Holy City’ on the organ and it so stirred the heart of R.E. McAlister of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who was the evening speaker, that before the message he gave a wonderful description of heaven. The message which followed on ‘The Threefold Ministry of Christ’ was much anointed and will not soon be forgotten by the large numbers attending that service.”

After his retirement in 1937, McAlister was succeeded by A.G. Ward (father of Revivaltime speaker C.M. Ward) as the new secretary-treasurer of the PAOC and editor of The Pentecostal Testimony. He remained an in-demand speaker and many pastors continued to consult his God-given wisdom in their own ministries until his death in 1953.

Read the full sermon, “The Threefold Ministry of Christ,” on page 1 of the Dec. 6, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Praying for Worldwide Revival,” by Stanley H. Frodsham

• “Echoes of Victory,” by H.C. Ball

• “The Secret of True Success,” by E. Hodgson

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: iFPHC.org

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James F. Linzey Collection Deposited at Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

SONY DSCJames Franklin Linzey, namesake of his uncle, Pentecostal evangelist Franklin Hall, and son of Assemblies of God ministers Chaplain Stanford E. Linzey, Jr. and Dr. Verna M. (Hall) Linzey, has deposited his personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

James F. Linzey has spent his life in service to God and country. He served as a Pentecostal chaplain for 24 years in both the Air Force and the Army with high honors, retiring in 2009 with an Honorable Discharge. He is a prolific author, he has hosted numerous Christian television broadcasts, and he served as manager of Verna Linzey Ministries during his mother’s final decades of evangelistic ministry. Linzey’s most significant contribution to the Christian church, however, is likely his Biblical scholarship that resulted in two new Bible translations: the Modern English Version and the New Tyndale Version.

Linzey served side by side with Assemblies of God educator Stanley M. Horton, Th.D., as the Chief Editor of the Modern English Version Bible translation, now used in the Fire Bible, and General Editor of the New Tyndale Version Bible translation, also with Dr. Horton, Dr. Verna Linzey, and their committee of other reputable Bible scholars, which is scheduled to be released sometime before 2025, the 500th Anniversary of the Tyndale Bible.

The Modern English Version, published by Passio (an imprint of Charisma Media), has become a prominent Bible translation since its debut in 2014. The Modern English Version retains the style and feel of the King James Version, and yet uses the most modern English allowed within the parameters of the Formal Equivalence approach, and is based on the Textus Receptus. The New Tyndale Version differs from the Modern English Version in that it will be based on the eclectic Nestle-Aland/UBS text of the Greek New Testament.

Dr. Linzey hosted his own worldwide television broadcasts, titled “Operation Freedom,” which emphasized the classical Pentecostal doctrine of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. He was invited by the Vision Chanel in the United Kingdom to host these programs, which aired to 400 million people in Europe, Russia, North Africa, and hundreds of millions more around the world. His broadcasts aired in the United States on God’s Learning Chanel (GLC), and Angel One in the Far East. Additionally, he has spoken on the baptism in the Holy Spirit on ‘Behind the Scenes’ with Paul Crouch, Sr., and ‘Praise the Lord’ on Trinity Broadcasting Network worldwide, Daystar Television Network with Marcus and Joni Lamb, and SON Broadcasting Network, and Hosanna Broadcasting Network as a guest of Dr. Verna Linzey and Dr. Terry Warren. He has spread the Pentecostal message on American Voice Radio throughout North, Central and South America.

Chaplain Jim Linzey and Dr. Paul Crouch on Behind the Scenes, TBN Sep 7, 2004

Jim Linzey and Paul Crouch, on the “Behind the Scenes” television program, Trinity Broadcasting Network, September 7, 2004

Other media appearances included ABC News, CBS News, CNN News, FOX news, NBC News, Christian Broadcasting Network, and “Glenn Beck” on FOX.

Dr. Linzey has disseminated the Pentecostal message through his books The Holy Spirit, A Divine Appointment in Washington, DC, and his tract How to Pray for People to Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. He has also written a number of articles on the Holy Spirit, published by Pneuma Review.

A professionally trained actor, Jim had a role in the major feature film Iniquity, in which he was cast as a military chaplain in a court scene along with Dr. Verna Linzey who was the lead juror. The film was an update of the Bible story of David and Bathsheba. He also sang on the soundtrack, harmonizing with Verna Linzey on her rendition of ‘The Rose’ by Bette Middler.

In 2018 Sony Provident Films which produced the major feature film ‘Indivisible’ invited Dr. Linzey to write two of the Indivisible Devotionals for the movie.

Additionally, he is the general editor for The Military Bible and The Presidents’ Bible, both edited by Military Chaplains and published by Military Bible Association, Inc., which he and Verna Linzey co-founded.

Dr. Linzey has preached the Pentecostal message in his own crusades in Ukraine, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and also participated in Verna Linzey Crusades. The latter reached 80,000 people in Haiti in 2013, and hundreds of pastors as part of Verna Linzey’s ministry team at the Singaporean Pastors’ Convention in Singapore in June 26-29, 2014. Additionally, he has taught the Pentecostal message at various schools, including Regent University, Oral Roberts University, Christ for the Nations Institute, and Asia Pacific Theological Seminary.

Dr. Linzey did promotional work for Franklin Hall. He officiated at Mrs. Franklin Hall’s funeral at the International Healing Cathedral in January of 2010 and conducted the World Believer’s Convention there in 2010. He provided administrative support for and ministered with his parents, Stanford and Verna Linzey.

Jim Linzey on The Word with Dr. Verna Linzey Television program August 2012

Jim Linzey, on “The Word with Dr. Verna Linzey” television program, August 2012

As a Pentecostal chaplain, Dr. Linzey has laid hands on many airman and soldiers to receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Serving with distinction for 24 years, his more notable positions were as supervising chaplain for the largest mobilization and demobilization mission in the continental United States at Fort Bliss, Texas in 2003-2004; and also as the first full time chaplain for the Leader’s Training Course under the U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky, in 2006.

Dr. Linzey received a BA at Southern California College in 1979; an M.Div. at Fuller Theological Seminary in 1983, received an honorary D.D. at Kingsway Theological Seminary in 2000. Dr. Linzey mastered New Testament Greek at Fuller Theological Seminary and Westminster Theological Seminary.

Over the course of his ministry, Linzey collected a substantial archive of materials documenting his own ministry, as well as that of his uncle and parents. Linzey earlier deposited the Franklin Hall Collection, the Verna Linzey Collection, and the Stanford Linzey Collection at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. The James F. Linzey Collection includes publications, photographs, sermons, audio-visual materials, correspondence, MEV Bibles and NTV New Testaments, and other historical materials. The collection provides insight into the life and ministry of a Pentecostal military chaplain whose passion for the Bible and for the Pentecostal experience has made a lasting contribution to the Pentecostal Movement and the Church overall.

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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 archives and research center 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
Website: http://www.iFPHC.org

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Alice Reynolds Flower: Thanksgiving in the Life of a Pentecostal Pioneer

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Flower family portrait at Scranton, Pennsylvania, December 1930. (L-r): Suzanne, George, J. Roswell, Joseph, David, Roswell, Alice R., and Adele Flower.

This Week in AG History — November 22, 1964

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 21 November 2019

Alice Reynolds Flower (1890-1991), affectionately known as “Mother Flower,” was known far and wide for her godly example, her preaching and teaching, devoted prayer life, her writings, and pearls of wisdom. She also was very thankful to God for His many blessings in her life.

She was thankful for healing. Her mother experienced a dramatic healing in 1883 (which was seven years before Alice was born). Mary Reynolds was an invalid, suffering for seven years from incurable diseases brought on by a nervous collapse. Mrs. Reynolds had ulcers in her throat and lungs, and eating caused great pain. She visited prominent doctors across the country, seeking relief from her chronic pain, but the medical profession seemed incapable of helping her.

After years of suffering, Mary Reynolds’ thoughts turned to God. A question formed in her mind: Why don’t you take your case to the Lord in prayer? A friend suggested that a Quaker evangelist, R. H. Ramsey, could come and pray for her, and he did.

“When Mr. Ramsey anointed me,” said Mrs. Reynolds, “I urged that he not only pray for me bodily, but my spiritual welfare also.” The next day she was overjoyed when she realized that she had been healed — both body and soul. This was such an astounding miracle that the editor of the Indianapolis Journal (who was a friend of the family), wrote an article entitled, “Another Cure By Faith,” which was published on the front page of the paper. Other newspapers also reported on her healing. Mary’s healing served as a visible reminder that God is real and that He continues to provide for His people. She gladly shared her testimony of healing for the rest of her life, and this had a profound influence on her daughter, Alice.

In later years, Alice herself, while in her early teens, was near death with double pneumonia. After much prayer, her mother knelt by her sick bed and said, “My dear, the Bible conditions have been met — use what breath you have left to praise God.” Between gasps, Alice followed her mother’s advice, and her condition changed within the hour. “My recovery was phenomenal — a real miracle,” recalled Alice. She was back in school within a couple of days.

Alice Reynolds Flower was thankful for salvation and for the baptism in the Holy Spirit. As a young girl of 16, she attended a meeting conducted by Rev. Tom Hezmalhalch in Indianapolis on Easter Sunday of 1907. She had been seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and at the meeting she prayed: “Lord, please give me this baptism of the Holy Spirit. I believe You to do it just now and I thank You for it in Jesus’ name.” That was her simple prayer of faith. Then she lifted her hands and boldly declared, “I thank You, Lord, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.” Soon she felt the physical manifestation of God’s power and sank to the floor and began speaking in tongues.

“Wave after wave of glory swept over me,” said Alice, “until there seemed to be a shining path reaching from my opened heart right into the presence of God.”

Mother Flower was thankful for her family. She dedicated one of her books of poetry, From Under the Threshold, to her six boys and girls — “whose care and training has been my greatest school and richest joy in life.” The first poem is called “My Blossoms Six.” The first stanza follows:

Rich are the lessons that you have brought
Since first one by one you came,
Lessons of patience, tenderness, trust,
As daily we played life’s game.
I gave to you the best I could
And you gave your best to me
But oh how little you each one guessed
How rich would those lessons be.

She raised six children, one of whom died while preparing for the mission field as a student at Central Bible College. Her other five children all became ordained ministers with the Assemblies of God and served Christ with distinction.

Alice Reynolds Flower was the wife of J. Roswell Flower, the first general secretary of the Assemblies of God (elected at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in April 1914). She also was an ordained minister herself, preaching for revivals and other special events. She and her husband started what became known as the Pentecostal Evangel. The Flowers also helped to found what today is the University of Valley Forge in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Alice also taught Sunday School and led a weekly prayer meeting at Central Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri, for over 60 years.

Her anointed writings included many tracts and poems as well as a few books, including The Home — A Divine Sanctuary, Building Her House Well, and Grace for Grace. She emphasized holiness and godly Christian living.

She liked to write about thankfulness. Three of her poems are “Thanksgiving Grace,” “Thanksgiving Hymn,” and “Thanksgiving Praise.” In “Thanksgiving Praise” she answered these questions: Whom shall I praise?, How shall I praise?, When shall I praise?, For what shall I praise?, and How long shall I praise? In the poem she recounted “countless days of His rich mercies” which followed her all the days of her life.

Fifty-five years ago, Mother Flower wrote a piece on thankfulness for the Pentecostal Evangel called, “Rejoice in the Lord Alway!” She emphasized that for those “who rejoice in the love of a faithful Heavenly Father and His wonderful redemption, thanksgiving is far more than a seasonal occasion.” She emphasized that one needs to be thankful even in the midst of hardship and even when answers to prayer seem slow. Alice reminded her audience that “He told us to lift up our head and rejoice for our redemption draweth nigh.” She closed out the article with these words of wisdom: “Whoever you are, wherever you live, whatever your circumstances, may your life in its every expression be a song of praise unto Him this blessed Thanksgiving season.”

Read Mother Flower’s article, “Rejoice in the Lord Alway!” on pages 5 and 6 of the Nov. 22, 1964, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Thank God and Take Courage,” by Elva J. Hoover

• “Women of the Harvest,” by Ann Ahlf

• “We Are Thankful,” by Mildred Pitts

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

For the poem, “Thanksgiving Praise,” click here.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions are courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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