John Wright Follette: Encouraging a Deeper Life in Christ

FolletteThis Week in AG History — March 2, 1940

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 01 March 2018

John Wright Follette (1883-1966) was a gifted Bible teacher and author who spoke in many conferences and retreats. His messages encouraged believers to press into God, seeking more of Him, in order to guard against sin and live a more holy or “deeper life” in the Spirit. He spoke often about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but emphasized the importance of Christian maturity. Follette wrote: “Many in Pentecost today seem to have missed the idea or purpose of the latter rain and instead of falling into line with God for a deeper life, ripening, maturing, and drying [as grain for the harvest], they are occupied with the incidentals. These incidentals [manifestations and gifts] are all very essential but only to the end—growth.”

One of Follette’s sermons on spiritual life appeared in a 1940 article in the Pentecostal Evangel. He articulated the importance of following after God’s purposes and plans on a daily basis. “Christians many times fail (and their faith is harmed),” he said, “because they try so hard to accomplish things that God has no idea of doing.” He described the Christian life not as a series of “disjointed affairs, but instead declared there is definite purpose in the Christian walk for which each of us were created. “Were we as sincere and careful in the matter of spiritual purpose as we are about materials ends,” said Follette, “I am sure we should grow in grace and save ourselves many a ‘spiritual headache.’”

In conclusion, Follette stated, “God does not thank you or reward you for doing a thousand things (good and religious) which do not relate to His will.” Instead, he emphasized, “Seek His will — do that and you cannot but glorify Him.”

To better understand Follette and his teachings, it is important to learn his background. Follette was a descendant of French Huguenots who first settled the Catskill Mountains in the early 1600s. His ancestors helped to establish the community of New Paltz, New York. He received his college and ministerial training at the New York Normal School in New Paltz, Taylor University, and Drew Theological Seminary.

Although he was raised in the Methodist Church, after receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit, he was ordained in 1911 by the Council of Pentecostal Ministers at Elim Tabernacle in Rochester, New York. Follette affiliated with the Assemblies of God in 1935 and became a favorite speaker at many church conferences, camp meetings, summer Bible camps, and missionary retreats around the world. He also taught at Elim Bible Institute in Rochester and at Southern California Bible College (now Vanguard University).

Follette was a prolific writer. More than 100 of his articles and poetry appeared in the Pentecostal Evangel and other periodicals. Many of his writings were put into book form after his death. His works include Smoking Flax and Other Poems (1936); Broken Bread (1957); Arrows of Truth (1969); This Wonderful Venture Called Christian Living (1974), Fruit of the Land (1989), and several other books and tracts. Follette died in New Paltz, New York, at the age of 82.

Read the article, “The Spiritual Purpose in Life and Method of Attainment,” on pages 2, 3, and 7 of the March 2, 1940, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Holiness Unto the Lord,” by A. H. Argue

• “What God Says About Foolish Talking,” by Mrs. Cornelia Nuzum

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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Marion Wakeman: The English Nurse Who Pioneered Pentecost in the Kentucky Mountains in the 1930s

Wakeman

This Week in AG History — February 20, 1932

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 22 February 2018

Marion Eason Wakeman, an English nurse, did not intend to become a Pentecostal missionary to the Kentucky mountains. However, she followed her heart and God’s call and ultimately helped to pioneer Assemblies of God churches in the 1930s among some of the most impoverished people in America. Wakeman’s compelling story, which has now largely been forgotten, was published in the Feb. 20, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Wakeman expected to live in England, where she was born, for the rest of her life. In England, she was a nurse and administrator with the “District Nursing Work,” a healthcare system that worked primarily with poor and immigrant patients.

At the turn of the 20th century, New England was experimenting with this healthcare model, in an attempt to meet the needs of the many recent immigrants. Wakeman was asked to move temporarily to Bristol, Rhode Island, to establish a new “District Nursing Work,” patterned after the English model.

After living in Bristol for three years, Wakeman read a book about the extreme poverty in the mountains of Kentucky. She was particularly disturbed by the unhealthy conditions endured by mothers at childbirth. She wrote, “God laid that work right on my heart, I could not get away from it.” She struggled with whether to stay in her well-funded position in Bristol, or to follow God’s call to work with neglected mothers and children in Kentucky. In the end, she headed for the mountains and cast her lot with those whose future was bleakest.

She began her missionary work in Guerrant, Kentucky. Conditions were worse than she had imagined. Ten to 12 people lived in windowless one-room huts. Children were dressed in rags, and chickens wandered freely through the huts. The men, women, and children were addicted to alcohol and tobacco. Violence was common and education was uncommon.

Wakeman provided health services to people in the community. She also began teaching young people how to read. When she arrived, she was shocked that the children could not read and that their spoken English was very poor. She gathered children for regular English lessons, which she would give by reading from the Bible. She recounted that many adults had never heard about Jesus, never prayed, and had never attended church.

The physical, social, and spiritual needs in the Kentucky mountains were overwhelming to Wakeman. On one occasion she admitted, “My throat ached and I felt like breaking down and crying.” But she endured. She saved money and built a house in the mountains near Oakdale, Kentucky, which became her living quarters and ministry outpost. She later moved to another house near Holly Creek, Kentucky. From those houses, she nursed people to health, she taught Sunday School classes for children, and she led to people to Jesus.

Wakeman understood that spiritual poverty was the root of destructive cultural patterns. She preached against the consumption of drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, because they contributed to disease, addiction, and violence in the community. She encouraged people to turn from sin and to find new life in Christ.

Certain local residents regarded Wakeman’s presence as a threat. She was awakened night after night by hostile neighbors who tried to frighten her away. Guns were fired at her house, and one time dynamite was even exploded near her house. She recalled, “my nerves began to frail,” and that she was afraid to walk across the room when she entered her house, for fear of violence.

One night, Wakeman got on her knees and cried out to God. If He wanted her to stay in Kentucky, she prayed, He would have to remove her fear. God took away her fear that night. The fear “fell from me like an old garment,” she recalled. “I went through the little house singing at the top of my voice,” she wrote. “I haven’t felt any fear from that day to this.”

Wakeman’s early missions work was supported by the Presbyterian Mission Board and the Free Methodist Missionary Board. Wakeman’s study of the Bible ultimately led her to identify with the Pentecostal movement. She came to believe that God still heals, and prayer for healing became a prominent aspect of her ministry. As a Pentecostal, Wakeman worked in conjunction with the Kentucky mountain missions work supported by Christian Assembly (Cincinnati, Ohio), which was pastored by O. E. Nash. Wakeman wrote that the Cincinnati church had five outstations (small missions churches) located in her part of the Kentucky mountains.

Wakeman’s testimony illustrates the consecration of early Pentecostals. She spent her life spent working with the impoverished, at great personal cost, and helped to lay the foundation for the Assemblies of God in the mountains of Kentucky. Her story also demonstrates that early Pentecostalism did not emerge in a vacuum; it benefited from veteran ministers from mainline Protestant denominations who brought their wisdom, experiences, and connections into their new churches.

“Our hearts are burning with the zeal of the work,” Wakeman wrote in the conclusion of her article, “and we see great possibilities and responsibilities.” Early Pentecostal pioneers, such as Wakeman, were passionate, committed and visionary. Together, these often unheralded men and women helped to form the identity of the Assemblies of God.

Read the article, “Pentecostal Work in the Kentucky Mountains,” on pages 1, 8 and 9 of the Feb. 20, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Godhead,” by Ernest S. Williams

• “Pentecost Today,” by R. E. McAlister

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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Lilian Yeomans: From Physician to Drug Addict to Pentecostal Evangelist

Yeomans

Dr. Lilian Yeomans, pictured among Central Bible Institute students and faculty, 1923

This Week in AG History — February 17, 1923

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on PE-News, 15 February 2018

Lilian B. Yeomans (1861-1942), a Canadian physician, became one of the most prominent healing evangelists in the early Pentecostal movement. Her remarkable ministry resulted from her own deliverance from the downward spiral of drug addiction. After she found spiritual and physical healing in the power of Jesus Christ, she committed herself to introducing others to the “Great Physician.”

The daughter of a Civil War surgeon, Yeomans was born in Ontario to a nominal Anglican family. Following in her father’s footsteps she entered medical school, first in Canada and then in the United States, graduating from the University of Michigan Department of Medicine in 1882.

Serving as the first female doctor in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Yeomans specialized in women’s and children’s health alongside her general medical practice. She was also active in humanitarian work and had a pressing social calendar.

Believing in the power of medical drugs to assist in health for daily living, she began to prescribe herself medication when she was stressed or having difficulty sleeping. Doses of sulphate of morphine and chloral hydrate provided occasional relief from the excessive strain of anxiety or overwork. However, the relief lasted only briefly and she found her occasional doses becoming a daily habit and then a life-controlling addiction.

In her book, Healing from Heaven, she described how drugs gradually took over her life: “I thought I was toying with the drug but one day I made the startling discovery that the drug, or rather the demon power [in] back of the drug, was playing with me.”

When she realized the hold the drugs had on her, she began to try to stop using them. She tried decreasing the dosage and even disposing of large amounts of the drugs in her possession. She later estimated that she had tried to conquer the habit at least 57 times through varying means, including self-control and willpower, quack medicine, and Christian Science mind-control.

Knowing that her drug addiction could soon kill her and not having confidence that she was ready to die, she turned to the Bible. She thought, “I have tried everything that will-power and medical science and suggestion and all the rest can do, and there is absolutely no hope for me unless it lies between the covers of this Book.”

In early January 1898, Yeomans moved into a Christian healing home in Chicago, Illinois, led by John Alexander Dowie. Her sister, Charlotte Amy, accompanied her as caretaker. Dowie did not believe in the use of doctors and immediately confiscated all her medicine, leaving her to face drug withdrawal using nothing but the power of prayer.

For almost two weeks, Yeomans felt herself close to death. On Jan. 12, someone encouraged her to try to get up and go to church. Believing the effort would kill her, she declined until she felt the voice of God telling her to get up and go. With the aid of her sister, she got out of bed and made the strenuous walk, feeling no difference in her body. However, on returning back to her room she began to feel better, as if God was waiting on an act of faith on her part to be the catalyst for healing.

After this experience with God through divine healing, Lilian and her sister both felt that they owed their lives to Him in service. They moved north of Winnipeg to do missionary work with the Cree Indians. As the only doctor in the area, she treated both physical and spiritual needs. This work brought her into daily contact with the drugs she swore she would never use again. The constant pressure of her work and the demands of the people could easily have been too much to handle for the former morphine addict. Yet she found her healing complete, testifying that God enabled her to handle the drug in its proper use without feeling the desire for it herself.

When A. H. Argue brought the Pentecostal message to Manitoba, Canada, in 1907, Yeomans received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and soon became a fixture in the burgeoning Pentecostal movement in Calgary and later in the United States.

Yeomans was also a prolific writer. She wrote six books published by Gospel Publishing House, almost 100 articles published in the Pentecostal Evangel, and numerous tracts.

In an article in the Feb. 17, 1923, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, Yeomans contrasted the limitations of human medical remedies to the power of God, which can heal all diseases. She wrote, “[In] Back of disease lies a cause, and that cause no drug can reach. We know from the Bible that the cause of sickness – a process ending, if unchecked, in death – is sin … and this cause can be reached by one remedy only, the Precious blood of Jesus Christ.”

When Yeomans passed away at the age of 81, she had served as physician, missionary, evangelist, author, Bible school teacher, counselor, and encourager. She touched countless lives, preaching the gospel with a passion and conviction that only comes from knowing through firsthand experience that Jesus Christ is the Great Deliverer.

Read Yeomans’ article “Divine Healing” on page 5 of the Feb. 17, 1923Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Soul Food for Hungry Saints” by A.G. Ward

• “Deliverance to the Captives” by Smith Wigglesworth

• “Little Is Much When God Is In It” by Mrs. Cyril Bird

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

For a deeper look at Dr. Yeomans life see “Encountering the Great Physician: The Life and Ministry of Dr. Lilian B. Yeomans” by Desiree Rodgers in the 2015-2016 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage.

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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Holiness and Heaven: J. T. Boddy’s Deathbed Message from 1931

Boddy

J. T. Boddy with his wife and daughter, Macie. Circa 1915.

This Week in AG History — February 6, 1932

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 8 February 2018 

A person’s last words often reveal what was in his or her heart.

John Thomas Boddy, former editor of the Pentecostal Evangel (1919-1921), was a poet and a deep theological thinker. He was ordained by the Free Methodist Church in 1901 and transferred his credentials to the Assemblies of God in 1917. When he passed away on Nov. 6, 1931, he left behind a message that he wanted those still alive to carefully consider.

What was Boddy’s message from his deathbed?

Boddy’s daughter, Macie Lucas, wrote that her father meditated constantly on the Word of God while ill during the last two months of his life. She recounted that he preached for hours at a time while on required bedrest, and that he sensed an urgency to share, above all else, biblical truths about the holiness of God. She received so many inquiries about his last words that she preserved them in an article in the Feb. 6, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

According to Lucas, during his last weeks, Boddy repeatedly quoted Hebrews 12:14: “Without holiness no man shall see God.” Boddy knew he was dying, so it is understandable that he was meditating on Scripture verses about heaven. But Boddy emphasized the link between heaven and holiness.

Critics sometimes accuse early Pentecostals of promoting “works righteousness” in their emphasis on holiness. But Boddy explained that people cannot be holy by their own efforts. “God desires to impart His holiness to us,” he noted. This imparted holiness prepares the believer for heaven. He said: “There is no evil in heaven. There is no mixture in heaven. If you expect to go to heaven you must have a measure (the essence) of heaven in you here.”

Lucas recounted that, as Boddy was sharing about holiness, “his face would be radiant with the glory of God and he would burst forth in praises. Often he wept in the presence of God as he contemplated the glories of heaven.”

What does a life of holiness look like? Boddy echoed John Welsey, who taught that holiness meant loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and fleeing from sin.

Boddy was a prince of preachers, and in his final opportunity to share what was on his heart, Boddy encouraged people toward holiness and heaven.

Read about Boddy’s last words in the article, “A Revelation of Heaven,” by Macie M. Lucas, on page 6 of the Feb. 6, 1932, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Standing True to Scriptural Principles,” by Robert McClay

* “What the Pentecostal People Believe and Teach,” by R. E. McAlister

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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Did French Theologian Jacques Ellul Express Interest in Becoming a Pentecostal?

Ellul

According to longtime Assemblies of God educator and missionary Dr. George R. Stotts, leading French Reformed theologian Dr. Jacques Ellul (1912-1994) inquired about becoming a member of the French Assemblies of God in the 1930s or 1940s.

When Ellul was 17 years old, he experienced what he believed to be the presence of God. The experience was overwhelming and unforgettable. This seed of faith did not develop, and he became a convinced Marxist while studying at university. In 1932, however, he converted to Christ and the trajectory of his life changed. He rejected Marxism and ended up becoming a French Reformed pastor and theologian. In Ellul’s early years, when he apparently inquired about joining the French Assemblies of God, he was sorting out his theological views. In Ellul’s later years, he adopted various theological stances which would have been at odds with most theologically conservative evangelical or Pentecostal churches.

The following is a transcription of a letter by Stotts, which he deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, recounting his interactions with Ellul.

Jacques Ellul: Something That Most People Do Not Know

The undersigned knew Professor Ellul very well. We lived in neighboring town when my wife and I lived in France. The French Assemblies of God Bible School, located in Leognan, invited Dr. Ellul as guest lecturer which gave him pleasure to accept. I have attended his French Reformed Church as well as a Bible study on the Book of Romans which he gave in his church. Additionally, my colleague, Professor Gerard Bachke, a French Assemblies of God pastor and a professor at their Bible school, was well acquainted with Professor Ellul. From time to time he invited us to his home where we had interesting discussions, some philosophical but most were religious in nature, particularly the spiritual state of the French Reformed Church.

It was during Brother Bachke and my last visit in his home that he recounted for us an interesting part of his religious past. It was either in the late 1930s or early 1940s when he approached the leadership of the French Assemblies of God. The purpose of the meeting was to inquire about his becoming a member in the Movement. His interest in the Pentecostal movement was based on what he felt was lacking in the French Reformed Church—for the most part it had become a cold and static part of a greater part of the Protestant Reformation. After a rather lengthy discussion about his interest in becoming part of the French Assemblies, he asked of the brethren to discuss his desire and then get back to him. Unfortunately, the French Assemblies’ delegation never re-contacted him. His comment to Professor Bachke and myself was “I don’t think that the brothers nor the Movement wanted me because of my education. Perhaps they do not know how to handle that.”

Professor Bachke and myself were very surprised to hear his comments about his desire to leave the French Reformed Church and to be part of the French Assemblies of God. After bidding him ‘au revoir,’ our conclusion was that he was probably right in his assessment, RE: his education and standing in French intellectual and academic circles would be too much for the French Assemblies of God. He taught for many decades at the University of Bordeaux, walking to and from class every day for he never learned to drive.

A personal comment: having talked with Professor Ellul, having heard his lectures to the Bible School students, and having heard him preach and teach the Epistle to the Romans, he never ever came across as some pedantic person; rather, he was one of the most humble men whom I have ever met.

It is important to state that in my research for my doctorate, The History of the Modern French Pentecostal Movement, I was rather surprised by what I found. Douglas Scott, the English Pentecostal evangelist who brought the Pentecostal message to France had one goal: not to start a new denomination, rather to take the Pentecostal message to the French churches, [including] the Roman Catholic church. Mr. Scot was successful in doing so. Quoting from my dissertation: “Important to the understanding the spread of Pentecostalism in France is the effect that the message [of Pentecost] had on Baptist churches in North France and on the French Reformed Church. Many of the Baptist churches, anticipating a spiritual movement, accepted Pentecostalism as that which they were seeking. In the camp of the French Reformed, Ax Bernoulli, pastor of the French Reformed Church of St. Chamond, Loire, expressed the sentiments of many Reformed ministers when he stated that our churches need revival and we hope that many of the pastors and church officials of France will stretch out a fraternal hand to our brother of the Pentecostal Movement. Scott had a close collaboration with many French Reformed pastors, and was asked on a number of occasions to address Consistories of the Reformed Church on the subject of the Holy Spirit and Pentecostalism.” [See chapter IV: Growth and Development: 1930-1939 of my thesis THE HISTORY OF THE MODERN PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT IN FRANCE.]

One can only conjecture what might have been another chapter in the history of the French Pentecostal Movement if the delegation of French Assemblies of God pastors had only met with Jacques Ellul and to have invited him to be part of the Movement.

George R. Stotts
December 2010

____________________________

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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E. L. Newby: How the Baptism in the Holy Spirit Launched This Assemblies of God Pioneer into Ministry

Newby ELThis Week in AG History — February 5, 1967

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 01 February 2018

Edgar Lee “E. L.” Newby (1889-1978) was an Assemblies of God pioneer in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona. In a 1967 Pentecostal Evangel article, he shared a testimony of how he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Newby described his experience: “The baptism in the Holy Spirit, which I experienced in 1909, is still a vivid reality to me after more than 57 years.” He noted that he attended revival services held by evangelists Archie and Pearl Adams in his home town of Waurika, Oklahoma. They testified how they had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit themselves just a few weeks earlier.

“As the meetings progressed I developed an intense hunger for the Pentecostal Baptism,” declared Newby. In one of the morning services he heard the evangelist speak a few words in tongues. At the same service, Newby said, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me also and I began to speak in tongues.”

Here is how he described this experience: “Such a holy quietness, such a flow of joy, such a deep peace possessed me that I have never been able to express it fully.” He said it was “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” His brother-in-law, J. J. Grubbs, also received the baptism in the Holy Spirit at that revival, and both were called to preach the gospel.

Looking back on his life, Newby said, “During these years of ministry I have seen the Lord work in many ways, confirming His Word with signs following.”

His baptism in the Holy Spirit and his call to ministry, both in 1909, led to a lifetime of service in ministry with his wife and four children. In the early years, Newby was an itinerant evangelist, holding meetings in various places in Oklahoma as well as Kingsland, Texas.

He was ordained by the Texas District of the Assemblies of God in 1916 and pastored churches in Electra, Bridgeport, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Then he decided to step out into evangelistic work in Bisby and Douglas, Arizona.

After a few months in Arizona, he returned to Texas and evangelized a while before returning to the church he had previously pastored at Bridgeport. Next he pastored Rosen Heights Assembly in Fort Worth, Texas, where he oversaw the building of a new brick sanctuary in 1927, which was one of four churches he built during the period of 1916-1927.

Newby served as North Texas District superintendent from 1931-1937. He worked as business manager two different times at Southwestern Assemblies of God College (now University) where he gained the reputation of being “a man of wisdom.” He also served as a general presbyter and a district presbyter. He became a recognized leader of the Assemblies of God in Texas and the Southwest.

In later years, he evangelized in Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and many other places. Evangelism really was his first love. After 61 years of ministry in the Assemblies of God, he passed way in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 13, 1978.

E. L. Newby was an important figure in Assemblies of God circles for over 60 years. His ministry, which impacted countless people, can be traced back to his baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1909.

Read E. L. Newby’s testimony of “The River Still Flows,” on page 7 of the Feb. 5, 1967, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Power of a Holy Church,” by James Stewart

• “Faith Fills the Pews,” by Jane Scott

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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Briggs Dingman: How an Evangelical Pastor Overcame Prejudice Against Pentecostals

Dingman Briggs

This Week in AG History — January 24, 1948

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 25 January 2018 

Briggs P. Dingman (1900-1968) was a renaissance man – he served as a minister, musician, author, linguist, and educator. He spent the first half of his ministry in Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches and as an officer in the Salvation Army. Much to his own surprise, however, he spent the latter half of his ministry in Pentecostal churches and schools.

Dingman, who shared his testimony in the January 24, 1948, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, had a broadly-informed worldview. He attended Dickinson College, Moody Bible Institute, and Xenia Theological Seminary (a Presbyterian school). He was studious, had a working knowledge of at least five languages, and authored a novel, By Ways Appointed (Moody Press, 1935). Dingman considered himself to be “open-minded” on theological matters. Yet early in his ministry he reflexively rejected Pentecostal claims without first examining them.

It is easy to dismiss people and beliefs, Dingman came to realize, based on a caricature. He had little actual experience with Pentecostals. He had encountered some Pentecostals whom he deemed to be “ultrademonstrative,” and he had read that others handled snakes. He assumed Pentecostals to be deluded or even demon-possessed.

Dingman’s views of Pentecostals began to change when he came into contact with a young Assemblies of God minister. They became friends, and Dingman grew to admire his spiritual life. He felt “forced to admit” that the Assemblies of God preacher and his wife had a closer walk with the Lord than he did.

When Dingman took a different pastorate, he became friends with another Pentecostal minister who was overflowing with joy and spiritual depth. Dingman began developing an internal confliction when it came to Pentecostals – he admired their spirituality but pitied them for believing a “delusion.”

An Assemblies of God pastor who befriended Dingman wisely appealed to Dingman’s desire to be open-minded. He encouraged Dingman to read Assemblies of God literature and to judge for himself whether Pentecostal beliefs were biblical. One of the first books he read was by Robert Chandler Dalton – a Baptist chaplain who had been baptized in the Holy Spirit and who transferred his ordination to the Assemblies of God. Dingman was stunned. Dingman had been a longtime friend of Dalton.

Dingman voraciously read book after book about Pentecostal beliefs. He came to two conclusions: 1) anti-Pentecostal books were written by people who apparently had very limited knowledge of actual Pentecostal teachings; and 2) Scripture teaches that the baptism of the Holy Spirit often follows conversion. His preconceived anti-Pentecostal prejudices shattered, Dingman determined that he would seek a deeper relationship with God, even if it meant identifying with the Pentecostals.

Shortly afterward, Dingman was baptized in the Holy Spirit. He recounted, “there was no hysterical outburst or extreme manifestation” – his soul was simply flooded by a “real visitation of the Holy Spirit.”

How would Dingman’s former ministry colleagues react? Dingman anticipated criticism: “Doubtless many of my former pastor and laymen friends feel that now I am deluded, but I feel that I may be permitted to exclaim, “Oh, sweet delusion!”

Dingman explained how the baptism in the Holy Spirit brought him into a deeper relationship with God, wondering how spiritual depth could be called a “delusion.”

He wrote: “If having a continuous spirit of praise to my heavenly Father is delusion, then may it continue! If having a walk with God that was never before so rich, is delusion, then may I grovel in this ignorance until He comes! If having His daily blessings poured out upon my life in measure never before so copious is delusion, then this experience is an anomaly if there ever was one. No, far from suffering from a delusion, I have found the light, and what a light it is!”

Dingman cast his lot with the Pentecostals and never looked back. He transferred his ordination to the Assemblies of God in 1945. He went on to serve as a professor at two Assemblies of God schools: Northeastern Bible Institute (Framingham, Massachusetts) and Southwestern Bible Institute (now Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Waxahachie, Texas). He also taught at Elim Bible Institute (Lima, New York).

Briggs Dingman’s testimony illustrates the prejudice that often existed against early Pentecostals. Despite this prejudice, however, the Pentecostal movement became one of the largest revival and renewal movements in Christian history. Countless people, including seasoned ministers like Dingman, found spiritual depth and renewal within Pentecostalism.

Read Dingman’s article, “Is Pentecost a Delusion?” on pages 3 and 7 of the Jan. 24, 1948, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “A Precious Friend, or an Offence – Which is Christ to You?” by Lee Krupnick

* “The Revival in Ireland in 1859”

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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