Category Archives: History

Andrae Crouch: The COGIC Minister Who Bridged the Racial Gap in Gospel Music

Andree Crouch

David Mainse (right) welcomes guest Andrae Crouch (left) to the Assemblies of God television program, Turning Point, in 1977.

This Week in AG History — May 22, 1977

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 24 May 2018

Andrae Edward Crouch (1942-2015) was a gospel singer, composer, music producer, and pastor of New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Los Angeles. As an 11-year-old preacher’s son, Crouch’s father asked him, “Andrae, if the Lord gives you the gift of music, will you use it?” Young Andrae replied, “Yeah, Daddy. I’ll play for the Lord.”

That week Crouch’s mother bought him a cardboard keyboard to learn some fingering techniques. According to a 1977 interview published in the Pentecostal Evangel, two weeks later his father called him to the church piano and said, “If you’re going to play, then play!” The song the church was singing was What A Friend We Have in Jesus and Andrae begin to hit different notes until he found one that sounded right. He remembered, “In our churches they sing in any key, you know, and just take off without a songbook. And there was, oh, it was just really a touch of God, and I knew that He had a plan for my life.”

Andrae and his twin sister, Sandra, spent their childhood singing in their father’s church and in community choirs, including one led by gospel musician, James Cleveland. When they were 14 years old, Andrae and Sandra were invited to Cleveland’s home for a barbeque. Andrae recalled looking up to Cleveland and thinking, I wish I could write a song. Watching the adults pour the large vat of barbeque sauce over the ribs, it reminded Andrae of the blood of Jesus and he begin to sing, “The blood that Jesus shed for me way back on Calvary, the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power.” Sandra wrote the words down but Andrae wasn’t happy with it and threw it in the trash. Sandra said, “Andrae, that was a good song!” She dug it out of the trash can, and kept it.

In 1965, Crouch was attending the annual COGIC conference when the speaker asked, “Is there anyone here that wants to be used of God?” Crouch responded to the altar call and after the service several young men came up to him and said, “Hey, we’ve heard you play at your dad’s church. Would you come over and play for us at Teen Challenge?” Upon learning that Teen Challenge was a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, Crouch tried to put them off by saying, “Maybe I’ll come over sometime.” They responded with, “Come by tonight.” Andrae went with them but had no desire to work with them. Yet on the way home he kept hearing an addict’s choir singing in his head. After a long prayer session, Crouch felt God telling him to sell the car he loved, quit his job, and go to Teen Challenge to start a traveling choir of former drug addicts.

Alongside his work with the choir at Teen Challenge and at his father’s church, Crouch starting singing locally with a group of friends who called themselves “The Disciples.” In 1969, Ralph Carmichael, a Pentecostal record producer, heard them and invited them to a session to record an album, Take the Message Everywhere. Thirteen years after Sandra pulled Andrae’s first attempt at songwriting out of the trash can, listeners heard on the airwaves the song, The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.

Crouch soon left Teen Challenge and began traveling full time in music ministry, including an early engagement with a traveling evangelist who took him on a world tour just a few short years after his first album, giving a wide audience to the musician and songwriter whose popularity was burgeoning. By 1973, Crouch had recorded a live album at Carnegie Hall and in 1975 appeared with Billy Graham at a televised crusade in New Mexico.

The impact of Andrae Crouch’s influence on contemporary Christian music in the 1970s and forward is impossible to quantify. For the first time, mainstream Christian radio stations were playing music performed by a black man for white audiences on a large scale. Crouch’s concerts drew both black and white audiences at a time when most concerts were segregated whether by intention or not.

Today Crouch’s songs, such as Bless the Lord, O My Soul; My Tribute (To God Be the Glory); and Through It All can be found in most contemporary hymnals. Few musicians can say they had both the respect of evangelist Billy Graham and the respect of pop-icon Michael Jackson, whose public memorial service included Crouch’s choir singing his song, Soon and Very Soon.

When he died in 2015, he had won eight Grammy awards and had an Oscar nomination for his music on the movie, The Color Purple. Despite the fame and fortune, Andrae Crouch remained in the COGIC ministry and, along with his sister, Sandra, served as co-pastor of the church his father founded in Los Angeles. Broadly speaking, Andrae Crouch was one of the most widely influential Pentecostal ministers of the 20th century.

Read more about David Mainse’s interview with Andrae Crouch for Turning Point TV program on page 20 of the May 22, 1977, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
• “Just Waiting,” by Carolyn G. Tennant
• “Tooling Up for the Unfinished Task,” by Thomas F. Zimmerman
• “The Ex-Smuggler,” by Rachel Petersen, missionary to the Dominican Republic
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: www.iFPHC.org

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Howard Carter: How a Young British Artist Became a Prominent Pentecostal Bible Teacher

Howard Carter

Howard and Ruth Carter, 1965

This Week in AG History — May 19, 1945

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 17 May 2018

Howard Carter (1891-1971) was an early British Assemblies of God leader who planted congregations, trained ministers, and traveled the world encouraging missionaries. He also gave to the Pentecostal movement some of its most lasting teaching on spiritual gifts.

Carter was raised by a godly mother in the Anglican church but did not show much interest in religion. He was a mediocre student who stuttered and did not find a place of belonging until he discovered his talent as an artist. He gained the highest awards in the Royal Society of Artists’ examinations and began a career as a draftsman, a job at which he excelled.

As a young man he began to experience disillusionment as he realized that the finest works of art fade in time. Even the great English cathedrals with their soaring buttresses and stained glass windows would one day disappear. Carter wanted to give himself to something that could impact eternity.

A friend invited him to visit the Church of Christ, where he was impressed with the informal and friendly services. He accepted Christ and was baptized. He became involved in Friday night meetings with the YMCA, where he met a man whose preaching and exuberant praise during prayer intrigued him. The man invited Carter to join him in Pentecostal meetings that were taking place in a room over a shop outside of Birmingham. Carter listened to the messages and observed the Pentecostal worship services and believed immediately that what he was seeing coincided with the experience of the early church in the New Testament.

He began to seek the Pentecostal experience but struggled with the concept that speaking in tongues was a necessary aspect of receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit. In a May 19, 1945, article in the Pentecostal Evangel, Carter described a deep experience with God when he felt the manifestation of the Spirit in a way that left him spiritually enthralled but did not include speaking in tongues. He recalled, “For a time, this was conclusive evidence to me that the speaking with other tongues was not the evidence of the Baptism … people asked me if I had received the Holy Spirit. I would confidently affirm that I had, yet in my spirit I felt a lack … it was as if I had seen a great deluge of rain falling over a country parched by the sun and greatly refreshing it for the time, but leaving no river flowing through it.”

It was a full year later when Carter experienced the fullness of the Spirit with the evidence of tongues. “From that day on in the year 1915 to the present, I have never ceased to speak with other tongues … not only did the showers fall …but a river has flowed ever since, from which I have been able to slake my thirst daily.”

Interestingly, Carter’s faith developed deep roots while in prison during World War I. Like many Pentecostals in this period, Howard Carter was a pacifist. When Britain passed the Military Service Act in 1916, Carter registered as a conscientious objector. Because he made his living as a draftsman and not as a minister, even though he was pastoring a small Pentecostal work at the time, he was not allowed to claim his religious affiliation as an exemption to military service. On March 16, 1917, Carter was sentenced to 112 days hard labor, locked in solitary confinement, and given a diet of bread and water.

It was during his imprisonment that a lifelong quest to unlock the mysteries of the gifts of the Spirit began. Having nothing to study but his Bible, he spent his confined hours praying and searching through the entirety of the Scriptures, seeking to develop a fuller understanding of spiritual gifts, a topic he felt had been neglected by church theology for centuries. The teaching he developed during this time enabled him to construct a balanced and scriptural teaching on the gifts of the Spirit, which was his greatest contribution to the Pentecostal movement.

Carter went on to direct a Pentecostal Bible school for 27 years, and he was a founding member of the British Assemblies of God, serving first as vice-chairman and then as chairman. During his years as the leader of that movement he made it a goal to visit every Assemblies of God missionary on the field, including taking a two-year missionary journey with his young American protégé, Lester Sumrall.

Resigning his position with the British Assemblies in 1945, Carter continued to travel the world, encouraging missionaries and leading many into the Pentecostal experience through his teaching on spiritual gifts. In 1955, at the age of 64, the confirmed bachelor married Ruth Steelberg, widow of the general superintendent of the U.S. Assemblies of God, Wesley Steelberg. The newlyweds embarked on a world preaching tour, inspiring others to move out in faith and exercise the gifts of the Spirit. They ministered together until Carter’s death in 1971.

Carter’s life motto can be summed up in the prayer he penned in 1923 after attending the great campaign in London of successful evangelist Stephen Jeffreys. As he contrasted his mundane ministry of Bible school teacher with the successful evangelistic crusade he wrote in the front of his Bible, “Let me never lose the all-important truth that to be in Thy will is better than success, and grant that I may ever love Thyself more than Thy service.”

While Carter was never considered a great evangelist, he was a solid teacher and an encourager who made an eternal impact that will outlast even the beautiful architecture of Westminster Abbey.

Read Howard Carter’s article, “Speaking in Tongues as the Evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” on page 2 of the May 19, 1945, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
• “How Pentecost Came to India,” by Minnie Abrams
• “The Tarrying Meeting,” by Stanley Frodsham
• “An Anniversary Testimony,” by A.H. Argue
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: www.iFPHC.org

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The Remarkable Life and Conversion of KFC Founder Colonel Sanders

sanders1400

National Secretary of Radio Lee Shultz (left), Colonel Harland Sanders, and Revivaltime host C.M. Ward (right) share a time of prayer.

This Week in AG History — May 12, 1968

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG News, 10 May 2018

Colonel Harland Sanders (1890-1980) was best known for founding the iconic restaurant chain, Kentucky Fried Chicken. After he accepted Christ at age 75 in an Assemblies of God church in Louisville, Kentucky, the news of his conversion spread quickly. During the last 15 years of his life, Colonel Sanders shared his Christian testimony countless times. Fifty years ago, the Pentecostal Evangel featured his story.

Sanders’ colorful life and personality earned him a storied place in American history. Young Sanders experienced a difficult childhood and home life. He began working as a farmhand at age 10, he left home at age 13, and he falsified his date of birth and joined the U.S. Army in 1906 at age 16.

Following his 1907 honorable discharge from the Army, Sanders held a succession of short-term jobs. He worked for a railroad, a ferry line, an insurance company, and a chamber of commerce, among other businesses. He was a hard-working entrepreneur, but his temperament led to frequent personality clashes. He studied law and worked as an attorney for three years in Arkansas, but his legal career ended after he got into a courtroom brawl with his own client.

In 1930, Sanders started a restaurant located adjacent to the Shell Oil station in Kentucky that he managed. His cooking became a local sensation and, in 1952, he began franchising his secret “Kentucky Fried Chicken” recipe. Sanders became a well-known philanthropist and was given an honorary title of “Colonel” for his charitable work by the governor of Kentucky. The company grew rapidly to 600 franchises by 1963. Sanders, with his white suit and white hair and beard, helped market Kentucky Fried Chicken and became a familiar image across the world.

Despite this success, Sanders felt troubled in his soul. Over the years, he had been active in church, but he had never wholly committed himself to God. He had developed a habit of cursing that had become ingrained in his lifestyle. He wanted to be free of the guilt and inner torment, but he did not know how to achieve the peace that he sought.

Then, one day in 1965, a stranger approached Sanders on the street and invited him to evangelistic services with the McDuff Brothers at Evangel Tabernacle Assembly of God in Louisville, Kentucky. Sanders visited the church and asked the pastor, Waymon Rodgers, whether God could give him an assurance that he would go to heaven, and whether God could deliver him from his habit of cursing. Rodgers responded affirmatively on both counts and led Sanders in a prayer to accept Christ. Sanders became a faithful member of Evangel Tabernacle.

Sanders frequently testified of his Christian conversion. In a 1979 interview on the PTL Club, Sanders noted that God both saved him and took away his desire to swear. Various Assemblies of God publications also featured Sanders’ testimony. In 1968, Revivaltime radio personalities C. M. Ward and Lee Shultz interviewed Sanders, which resulted in the publication of a small Revivaltime booklet, Colonel Sanders Begins a New Life.

In the Revivaltime booklet, Sanders summarized his testimony:

“You can join the church. You can serve on committees. You can be baptized and receive communion. You can become the superintendent of the Sunday School — and not be saved. I know. It happened in my life. There I was. I didn’t have enough spiritual power in my life to keep me from cussin’. I know there is an experience of salvation. It is my personal experience today. I know I am right with God. I know my sins are pardoned.”

Thirty-eight years after his death, Colonel Sanders remains a larger-than-life figure in American culture. The company he founded, Kentucky Fried Chicken, continues to use Sanders’ image and life story in its marketing campaigns. But Sanders’s life represents much more than fried chicken; his story illustrates that the gospel can provide hope and new life to anyone — regardless of age or social background.

Read the article, “Colonel Sanders Begins a New Life,” on page 14 of the May 12, 1968, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Pure Stream of Christianity,” by H. Paul Holdridge

• “Paul Slept Here,” by R. D. E. Smith

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: www.iFPHC.org

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Walter Higgins: Miracles in the Ministry of a Pentecostal Pioneer

Higgins WalterThis Week in AG History — May 1, 1943

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 3 May 2018 

Walter J. Higgins (1884-1960) was one of the charter members of the Assemblies of God. When the Hot Springs, Arkansas, convention was held in April 1914, he attended as a pastor from Essex, Missouri, along with his family. He pioneered a number of churches in the bootheel of Missouri and also pastored churches in Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and many other places.

Seventy-five years ago, in 1943, he was pastoring First Assembly in Russellville, Arkansas, and he made a visit to the Gospel Publishing House in Springfield, Missouri, where he was interviewed, and his testimony was shared with the world.

Higgins said, “I began my ministry in 1911, three months after I was converted.” At that time he held some evangelistic meetings with a man named John Brown near Shawneetown, Illinois, and 81 souls were saved. Then Higgins came to Missouri. From 1912 to 1920 he helped establish 13 churches.

One of the churches was in Canalou, Missouri, where he was assisted by W. W. Childers. He reported that 100 souls were converted during the time he ministered there, although he endured a whipping for the sake of the gospel. After the beating, he went to a believer’s house. It was obvious what had happened to him as even his face was badly beaten. The woman questioned, “What has happened?” Higgins said, “I received a few stripes for Jesus Christ’s sake.” After she prayed and laid hands on his face, he revealed, “The Lord healed me excepting for a few marks.”

After leaving Canalou, Higgins evangelized and pastored churches in 18 states. In Alton, Illinois, Higgins says he preached healing and the people practiced it. People called him for prayer at all hours of the night. In one incident a 3-year-old child was sick and died with a doctor present. The family asked Higgins to come and pray, and he did. Higgins says that after he prayed, the child “opened its eyes and coughed, and the doctor said he had never seen a person survive after being dead.” The doctor attributed it to prayer.

Telling about other healings, Higgins recalled, “I have seen a limb shorter than the other made as long as the other.” He also shared, “One man totally blind was made to see in just a few minutes at Hot Springs, in 1914.” He saw another man healed of pellagra. And while living in Essex, Missouri, he saw three deaf people healed and begin to speak clearly. He also described a case of deliverance from demons. At a meeting in 1920, a man came to the altar, crawling on his stomach and hissing like a snake. Higgins declared, “This is demon power.” Higgins and two others prayed for the man, and he was delivered and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Higgins told how the Lord provided for his large family, which eventually grew to 17 children. In his early ministry he only had one suit of clothes, and it got dirty. He took the clothes to the cleaners “by faith.” He tried to find some work to earn some money, but nothing was available. He continued to pray, and three miles outside of the town he found a silver dollar, which was more than he needed to pay for the cleaning.

Another time he shared that all the family had to eat was potatoes and molasses. They had just settled into a new pastorate. “We had no salt, no shortening, no bread, no flour,” he said. “We boiled the potatoes in water, peeled them and soaked them in the molasses for three days.” Higgins and his family prayed for God to supply their needs. One evening he went to build a fire in the stove, and he found a basket was on the church platform. Higgins reported, “In this basket was flour, butter, bacon, sugar, salt, pepper, and some other articles that I had not asked the Lord for.” He did not know where this basket came from, for the doors had been locked. Once again, God had supplied his needs.

Read the article, “Recollections of a Pioneer Pentecostal Preacher,” on pages 6-7 of the May 1, 1943, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “God’s Need of Spiritual Mothers,” by Alice E. Luce

• “By My Spirit, Saith the Lord,” by Wilfred A. Brown

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

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

Further information can be found in “Pioneering in Pentecost: The Experiences of Walter J. Higgins,” on pages 18-22, 34-35 of the Summer 1997 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage.

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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American Indian College: New Campus Dedicated 50 Years Ago

AIBCThis Week in AG History — April 28, 1968

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 26 April 2018 

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) American Indian College was founded Sept. 23, 1957, by Alta M. Washburn and her husband Clarence, under the name All Tribes Indian Bible School. They saw a great need to prepare Native Americans for church ministry. Classes first met on the church campus of All Tribes Assembly of God in downtown Phoenix. In 1967 the school was renamed American Indian Bible Institute (AIBI) and became a regional school of the Assemblies of God.

The school dedicated its current 10-acre site in a north Phoenix neighborhood in 1968. The Pentecostal Evangel reported that a number of district and national officials as well as staff members and students of the school, home missionaries, and friends from several states gathered for the dedication service.

It was an outdoor convocation held near the base of a towering lava hill in northeast Phoenix. Curtis W. Ringness, national secretary of the Home Missions Department, was master of ceremonies. The all-Indian AIBI choir sang several special songs for the dedication, and each member gave a brief, inspiring testimony. Eleven North American tribes from six states were represented in the school’s choir.

Charles W. H. Scott, executive director of Home Missions and chairman of the board of directors of the school, was the guest speaker. In his message titled “Vision and Task,” he challenged those in attendance “to believe God for the erection of needed buildings on the new site.” He reminded the audience that both vision and task was necessary to carry the building program through to completion. “A vision is but a fleeting dream without undertaking actual labor,” said Scott. “The task is just drudgery without a real vision.

Scott said he was anxious to see a classroom building constructed on the very place where the dedication was being held. He appealed to those in attendance to pray with him for the fulfillment of that desire. He reported on the progress of the Institute, mentioning among other things that an architect had been appointed by the school board to prepare the first blueprints for construction. Two dormitories, a dining hall-kitchen complex, and a classroom building were planned for the first phase of the relocation. Additional funds were needed to pay for the property as well as the new construction. A group called Friends of Indian Missions was dedicated to help with the fundraising efforts

The move to the new campus was completed in 1970. Just as Scott had envisioned, the main building for the school was erected in front of the towering lava hill, where the dedication service had been held two years earlier.

The school changed its name from AIBI to American Indian Bible College in 1982. The college received regional accreditation in 1988 and later changed its name to American Indian College of the Assemblies of God (AIC) in 1994. In 2016, AIC partnered with SAGU, Waxahachie, Texas, becoming SAGU American Indian College. It is one of 17 endorsed schools of higher education in the Assemblies of God.

Read the article, “New Campus Site for Indian Bible School Dedication,” on pages 14-15 of the April 28, 1968, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Verdict,” by Revivaltime Evangelist C. M. Ward

• “God Is for Squares,” by David Wilkerson

• “Strong Crying and Tears,” by Evangelist Arne Vick

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: www.iFPHC.org

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Lula Bell Hough: Missionary to China and Japanese P.O.W.

Lula Bell HoughThis Week in AG History — April 21, 1934

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG News, 19 April 2018

Lula Bell Hough (1906-2002) did not take the easy road in life. She sensed God’s call to ministry and was credentialed as an Assemblies of God missionary at the age of 23. She left her comfortable life in America and devoted herself to sharing the gospel in China, where she spent the next 45 years. As an unmarried woman in her 20s and 30s, she endured great deprivation and the ravages of war.

Hough’s greatest challenge on the mission field came during World War II, when she spent seven and one-half months as a Japanese prisoner of war. She did not know whether she would survive the ordeal, which began in December 1941. She later recalled that soldiers kept placing their bayonets to her throat, threatening to kill her. Women around her were raped, and thousands died from starvation. Some resorted to eating human flesh to survive. For the first two weeks of her captivity, she lived on nothing but wheat that was wormy and moldy. After that, she was given small food rations. The food was enough to keep her alive, but she lost 38 pounds in about six months. She was freed in a prisoner exchange — American prisoners were swapped for Japanese prisoners of war.

Living in difficult circumstances for over a decade in China had prepared Hough for the hardship of the prisoner-of-war camp. Hough sent regular letters to her supporters back in the United States. One of these letters, published in the April 21, 1934, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, described a trip to areas in south China where there were no Christians.

Hough humorously described having to share her accommodations with loud farm animals:

“When we reached the inn we were soaking wet and cold. After warming ourselves by an open fire in the center of the room we retired to our room. Cobwebs were hanging everywhere, and one corner was occupied by geese, which entertained us with special music at intervals during the night. Our room was really a hall where people had to pass through, and our bed was only a board. The next night we spent in Sha Hoh, and were thankful to find no geese in our room, but soon discovered there were pigs in the room just below us.”

New Christians often suffered for their faith. Hough described several instances of persecution in heart-wrenching detail. She wrote that one 18-year-old woman was beaten by her husband because of her newfound faith. Her mother-in-law scratched the young woman’s face until there were “deep sores and scars.” The villagers joined in the persecution, encouraging the family to sell the young wife into slavery if she didn’t recant her faith in Christ.

Why did Hough and other early missionaries leave their homes in the West and endure difficulties? They were motivated to be faithful to Christ in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Hough explained, “In some of these villages we were the first foreigners the villagers had ever seen, and in many, the first to preach the gospel. God has promised that His Word shall not return unto Him void, so we believe that if we are faithful in proclaiming the gospel, He will be faithful in drawing souls unto himself.”

Lula Bell Hough’s life illustrates the early Pentecostal worldview that encouraged full consecration to Christ and His mission. Hough and countless other Assemblies of God missionaries spent their lives sharing the gospel, at great personal cost, and helped to lay the foundation for a worldwide Fellowship that now numbers over 68 million adherents.

Read the entire article by Lula Bell Hough, “Missionary Travels, S. China,” on pages 8-9 of the April 21, 1934, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “A Revelation of the Love of God,” by Kate Knight

• “Spiritual Awaking Follows Earthquake,” by Hilda Wagenknecht

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: www.iFPHC.org

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Ruthie Oberg on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation


Reformation Day Chapel from Assemblies of God USA on Vimeo.

Rev. Ruthie Oberg was the featured speaker for a celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation at the Assemblies of God National Office chapel in Springfield, Missouri, on October 31, 2017. Watch her rousing history lesson above.

Ruthie Oberg, an events speaker with the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, is available to speak at your church or district function. Ruthie’s sermons and presentations about Pentecostal history are educational, entertaining, inspirational, and convicting.

Ruthie is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and has served in senior and associate pastoral roles for 25 years. She speaks at national conferences and has also produced a daily radio program. Her articles have appeared in the Pentecostal Evangel, Enrichment, and Assemblies of God Heritage, and she is a regular contributor to “This Week in AG History” for AG News.

Invite Ruthie Oberg for a Sunday service, weekend training event, or special historical celebration.  Schedule a service by calling the Heritage Center at 877-840-5200 or emailing roberg@ag.org.

____________________________

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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