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Video Now Available of COGIC Collection Dedication and Panel Discussion of Women in Ministry

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Originally published by AG-News, Mon, 14 Oct 2013 – 9:09 PM CST

The personal papers of Mother Lizzie Robinson, an important church leader in the early decades of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), have been deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The COGIC, a historic African-American church, is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States.

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The collection was dedicated in a special service on October 4 in the William Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Scholars, church leaders, and students from across the denominational and racial divides filled the chapel to honor the life of Mother Lizzie Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC.

Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945) organized the COGIC Women’s Department in 1911 and was the most prominent female COGIC leader until her death. As head of women’s auxiliaries, she founded the Prayer and Bible Band and the Sewing Circle. She also helped to lay the foundation for the creation of the Missions Department (originally known as the Home and Foreign Missions Band).

ElijahHillElijah Hill, the COGIC minister and historian who deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the FPHC, delivered the keynote address. He noted that Robinson lost her position as matron of Arkansas Baptist College after she was baptized in the Holy Spirit at age 46. COGIC founder Charles H. Mason then asked her to organize women in the COGIC. Hill explained how Robinson encouraged COGIC women to become self-determining, before the broader society recognized women’s suffrage and civil rights for African-Americans.

Hill noted that the original Pentecostal vision, which “transcended racism and sexism,” made it possible for Robinson to emerge as a leader. Importantly, Robinson provided the initial vision for COGIC world missions and the Women’s Department funded COGIC missionaries. Hill noted, “the globalization of COGIC came from Lizzie Robinson.”

GlendaGoodsonGlenda Goodson, a COGIC historian who also spoke at the dedication, provided an overview of the history of women in ministry in the COGIC. In one memorable story, she related how COGIC women desegregated the hotels in Albany, New York, in 1964. Goodson emphasized the powerful role of women in promoting the Holiness and Pentecostal message.

FPHC director Darrin Rodgers, as emcee of the program, praised Hill for building bridges. According to Rodgers, “What we’re witnessing today is more than just archiving old treasures. We are joining hands to work together, to honor not just one woman, but to honor and learn more about our shared Pentecostal testimony.”

Two African-American churches in Springfield participated in the dedication. Anitra Appleby of Sanctuary of Praise COGIC read Scripture, and David Knox and Quinci Williams of Deliverance Temple led worship. AGTS president Byron Klaus gave the prayer of dedication, noting that Robinson was “an example of how the power of Pentecost can break down man-made barriers in a world that desperately needs to hear the gospel.” Assemblies of God U.S. Missions executive director Zollie Smith offered a heart-felt prayer of dismissal, encouraging the present generation to grab the torch passed from Robinson and other Pentecostal pioneers. He prayed for unity in Christ “so that souls might be reached in America.”

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The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection includes the papers of Robinson and her daughter Ida F. Baker, as well as other publications collected by Hill. The collection includes approximately 500 original photographs (circa 1899-1960s), approximately 100 publications, and Hill’s research files on Robinson.

A panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, Glenda Goodson, FPHC director Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks was also filmed. Panelists dialogued about Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC and the Assemblies of God.

Watch the dedication service of the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection.

Watch the panel discussion.

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1985 Interview with Melvin Hodges


Melvin L. Hodges, former missionary to El Salvador, field director of Latin America, professor at AGTS, and author of “The Indigenous Church ” and other missions books, is interviewed by Dr. Gary B. McGee at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Springfield, Missouri, 1985.
ID: V125

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Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology

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Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology, by Lois E. Olena with Raymond L. Gannon. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2009.

The second half of the twentieth century has seen Pentecostal scholarship emerge and thrive. Out of that emergence, few names are more recognizable than Stanley Horton. Called to teach Bible while a chemistry student at UC Berkeley, Horton did the unthinkable and went to Harvard to prepare for ministry as a Pentecostal scholar. The long shadow of Horton’s influence among Pentecostals began humbly and now stretches around the world and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. You may have read his books, but Stanley Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology will tell you “the rest of the story.” As you read, be encouraged and see what a long obedience in the same direction can yield.

–Dr. Byron Klaus, President, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

I am very happy to see in print this tribute to Stanley Horton, one of my esteemed professors, a model of godliness, sacrifice, and scholarship. I am also delighted to learn more about his life, and through it the history of the Pentecostal movement in North America. All who have been touched by this rich heritage will appreciate this work.

–Dr. Craig Keener, Professor of New Testament, Palmer Theological Seminary

Who has been a greater luminary in the twentieth-century Pentecostal galaxy than Dr. Stanley M. Horton? Many make their mark on but one island of ministry, but heroes impact many. This book shows how this scholar-saint set the standard for Pentecostal scholarship as a model professor, left a unique Gospel witness across the globe, and kept on “getting it right.” In a nation of conflicted social policies and in a church of confusing racial standards, he showed how one man’s life could clearly reveal Christ’s Church. May this volume inform others as much as my teacher Dr. Horton reformed me. Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:17 to give double honor to the elders who rule well; this read is just a portion of such honor.

–Bishop Lemuel Thuston, Kansas East Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ

Paperback, 318 pages, illustrated. $19.95 retail. Order from: Gospel Publishing House

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A House No Longer Divided

 
 
 
Dr. Stanley Horton extemporaneously addressing participants at A House No Longer Divided, Timmons Temple COGIC, Monday, April 13. Horton was explaining that his father was pastor of a multiracial church in Arroyo Seco, Los Angeles, in 1926-1927. Members – half were black, half were white – would eat dinner together after every Sunday service. (Photo courtesy of Ken Horn)

Dr. Stanley Horton extemporaneously addressing participants at A House No Longer Divided, Timmons Temple COGIC, Monday, April 13. Horton was explaining that his father was pastor of a multiracial church in Arroyo Seco, Los Angeles, in 1926-1927. Members – half were black, half were white – would eat dinner together after every Sunday service. (Photo courtesy of Ken Horn)

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Co-sponsors Demonstration of Unity, Marking Unlikely Dual Anniversary of Springfield Lynching and Azusa Street Revival

On April 13-15, 2009, people from various ethnic, social, and denominational backgrounds gathered in Springfield, Missouri, to celebrate their unity in Christ. This demonstration of unity, dubbed “A House No Longer Divided,” was sparked by the unlikely dual anniversary of two events — the horrific Springfield Lynchings and the beginning of the multiethnic Azusa Street Revival, which has become a worldwide symbol for racial reconciliation. The meetings were held each evening from 7-9 pm at Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ (April 13-14) and at the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (April 15).

On April 14, 1906, three African-American men were lynched by a mob on the Springfield town square. The lynching of Horace Duncan, Fred Coker and Will Allen led to the flight of possibly hundreds of blacks to less hostile areas. The ethnic makeup of the community, to this day, reflects that horrific event. The African-American community in Springfield remembers the event much like Jews remember the Holocaust.

That same day, on April 14, 1906, William J. Seymour began holding services at the run-down mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles. The interracial Azusa Street revival, which emerged from meetings in a home on Bonnie Brae Street, became a focal point for the emerging Pentecostal movement. Azusa participant Frank Bartleman famously exulted that “the color line was washed away in the blood.” A little more than one year later, Rachel Sizelove, a Free Methodist-turned-Pentecostal evangelist, brought the movement to Springfield from Azusa Street and started what became Central Assembly of God.

“A House No Longer Divided” featured special speakers, preaching, and music. Timmons Temple Pastor T.J. Appleby emceed the services, and speakers included both seasoned and young ministers. Organist Beverly Daniels and the Timmons Temple gospel choir led participants in worship each evening. Half of each evening was devoted to gospel music, which was interspersed between speakers (each was given either 10 or 30 minutes to speak).

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Dr. Stanley Horton Endowment announced


horton_stanleyTo honor Dr. Stanley M. Horton’s remarkable service to AGTS, to the Assemblies of God, and to the greater Pentecostal community over the past seven decades, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary has initiated the Dr. Stanley M. Horton Scholarly Resources Endowment Fund, in conjunction with the Pillars of the Faith initiative.

You are invited to help AGTS reach its goal of $25,000 for this endowment. For those who contribute $125 or more, AGTS will send a complimentary copy of Dr. Horton’s forthcoming biography, Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology, by Lois E. Olena with Raymond L. Gannon.

Interest from this endowment will be used to purchase scholarly resources for the Cordas C. Burnett Library at AGTS — specifically biblical-theological and biblical language resources, as these areas have been so important to Dr. Horton over the years.

Please go to this link at the AGTS website for more information, to contribute to the endowment, and to reserve your copy of Dr. Stanley Horton’s biography. (The book releases in April and will be shipped in May to those who contribute $125 or more to the Dr. Stanley M. Horton Scholarly Resources Endowment.) For a $250 gift, AGTS will send you a copy signed by Dr. Horton. Contributions can also be made by mailing or calling the AGTS Development Office, 1435 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO 65802; ph. 1-800-467-2487×1012.

In conjunction with the release of Dr. Horton’s biography, the 2009 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage will include an article by Lois E. Olena called “Stanley M. Horton: A Pentecostal Journey,” which outlines his rich Pentecostal heritage and the unfolding of his life to become Pentecostalism’s “premier theologian.” A related article slated for the 2009 issue is “The Social Conscience of Stanley Horton” by Martin William Mittelstadt and Matthew Paugh.

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Gary McGee is Rejoicing with the Angels

mcgeeDr. Gary B. McGee, longtime Assemblies of God educator, slipped from this life into the arms of his loving Savior shortly before noon today, December 10, 2008. McGee was hospitalized on November 13 with complications due to a bacterial infection and a weakened immune system from a long fight with cancer. McGee was released from the hospital yesterday and passed away at home with his family present.

Few Assemblies of God educators have attained the breadth of influence achieved by McGee. His extensive college and seminary teaching experience spanned five decades (1967-2008). He was a prolific author, and he helped to build bridges through his leadership in numerous professional and interchurch organizations. He was Distinguished Professor of Church History and Pentecostal Studies at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he taught since 1984. He previously taught at Central Bible College (1970-1984) and Open Bible College (1967-1970).

McGee authored seven books, edited and contributed to three books, and he wrote chapters in fifteen books, 41 journal articles (since 1993), and 129 articles in twelve dictionaries. He was a frequent contributor to denominational publications, including Today’s Pentecostal Evangel, Assemblies of God Heritage, Advance, Enrichment, and Paraclete. He is probably best known for his two-volume history of Assemblies of God World Missions, This Gospel Shall Be Preached (GPH, 1986, 1989), for his biographical approach to Assemblies of God history, People of the Spirit (GPH, 2004), and for coediting the award-winning Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (Zondervan, 1988). He completed his last book, Miracles, Missions, and American Pentecostalism (Orbis Books, forthcoming 2010), just weeks before his death.

McGee traveled extensively and also taught at Asia Centre for Evangelism and Missions, Singapore; Continental Theological Seminary, Brussels, Belgium; Evangelical Theological Seminary, Osijek, Croatia; Kiev Bible Institute, Kiev, Ukraine; Romanian Bible Institute, Bucharest, Romania; and Southern Asia Bible College, Bangalore, India.

McGee emerged as one of the most highly-respected and loved educators in the Assemblies of God, as well as one of the most articulate voices concerning the history of Pentecostal missions. In the academic community, McGee was best known for his publications on the history of early Pentecostalism and missiology. His family and friends knew him as a man of sterling character, good humor, humility, spiritual sensitivity, and personal warmth. According to fellow historian Grant Wacker, McGee “was always ready for a joke as well as a prayer.”

Gary McGee’s family came into the Pentecostal movement after his maternal grandmother accepted Christ in an Aimee Semple McPherson evangelistic campaign in Canton, Ohio, in 1921. The family became faithful members of Bethel Temple Assembly of God in Canton. McGee was born on April 22, 1945, the second oldest of five children.

Upon his graduation from Central Bible College in 1967, he began teaching at Open Bible College (Des Moines, Iowa). He received his ordination from the Iowa District Council in 1969. He returned to Springfield, Missouri, in 1970, where he would become a fixture for the rest of his life. He began teaching at his alma mater, Central Bible College, and in 1971 completed the Master of Religious Studies at Concordia Theological Seminary (St. Louis, Missouri). McGee completed his M.A. in Religious Studies at Missouri State University (Springfield, Missouri) in 1976, and his Ph.D. in Church History at St. Louis University in 1984. Upon completion of his doctorate, McGee began teaching at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He was named Distinguished Professor of Church History and Pentecostal Studies in 2006. In March 2008, the Society for Pentecostal Studies conferred on him the Lifetime Achievement Award.

McGee demonstrated how a holy man – a man of God – can die well. During the last ten years of his life he suffered from cancer and arthritis, but McGee did not complain. Instead, he joyfully focused on other peoples’ needs and labored to complete the tasks he believed the Lord had given to him. Former student Jennifer Strickland Hall wrote, “Watching the grace and beauty you have displayed in the midst of your suffering over the years has taught me more than any book on the subject.” And McGee did, by the way, write a book on the subject: How Sweet the Sound: God’s Grace for Suffering Christians (GPH, 1994). Just before his final hospitalization, he finished the manuscript for his last book. In the past two weeks, McGee tied up loose ends, said goodbyes, and did not show despair, but faith in his great God. This has been a difficult, but beautiful, time.

McGee leaves behind a wife, Alice; two daughters, Angela Brim and Catherine McGee; and two grandchildren, Bailey and Marshall Brim, all of Springfield, Missouri. Other survivors include his mother, Velma L. Davis; two brothers; two sisters; and a host of other relatives.

Visit the AGTS website for more information about McGee’s funeral. Readers are encouraged to send messages to the McGee family, either by posting them on the AGTS website or by mail: Alice McGee, 1920 E. Sayer Circle, Springfield, MO 65803

By Darrin J. Rodgers

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Review: Pentecostals and Racial Reconciliation

We’ve Come This Far

We’ve Come This Far: Reflections on the Pentecostal Tradition and Racial Reconciliation, edited by Byron Klaus. Springfield, MO: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2007.

The history of racial unity and division within the Pentecostal movement has been addressed in a recently-published book, We’ve Come This Far: Reflections on the Pentecostal Tradition and Racial Reconciliation, edited by Byron Klaus. The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary has been a leader within its denomination in its efforts to better include voices of ethnic and racial minorities. This has been evidenced by its increasingly multicultural and international student body, the dedication of the William J. Seymour Chapel, and — now — the publication of We’ve Come This Far.

We’ve Come This Far contains the proceedings of a 2006 lecture series at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary that encouraged reflection about the “missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential” for the Assemblies of God to be an agent of racial reconciliation. The volume notes that the Assemblies of God — like many predominantly-white Pentecostal denominations — “has experienced some challenges in acknowledging its multicultural roots,” as well as its “years of ambiguity about the inclusion of African-Americans in its ministerial ranks” (back cover).

We’ve Come This Far juxtaposes the lives of two notable 20th century American religious leaders — William J. Seymour and Martin Luther King, Jr. — while reflecting on the lessons that can be drawn from them concerning African-American preaching and leadership. The book also features a selection of historical materials — including an account of Assemblies of God minister Robert Harrison (who successfully challenged a policy denying ordination to African-Americans) and a history of the struggle to overcome racism within the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa. Continue reading

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George O. Wood on enduring core values

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Photos: Dr. George O. Wood, speaking at the AGTS chapel, September 14, 2007. Used with permission of AGTS.


The Assemblies of God (USA) elected new leadership at its 52nd General Council in Indianapolis, Indiana in August 2007. What does this mean for our Fellowship?

Dr. George O. Wood, General Superintendent-Elect, gave the following acceptance speech at the commissioning service of the new Executive Leadership Team, which took place Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at the national headquarters in Springfield, Missouri. In his message, Dr. Wood identified five “enduring core values” of the Assemblies of God. These values, he promised, will guide him as he seeks to lead the Assemblies of God to fulfill its three-fold mission to worship, evangelize, and make disciples.

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ENDURING CORE VALUES
by Dr. George O. Wood
September 18, 2007

At this past General Council, you extended to me the grace of responsibility in serving as the next general superintendent. I am humbled by your confidence in me and ask you to pray for me and the other leaders as we begin this journey of serving you.

People have been asking me, “George, what’s your vision for the Assemblies of God? What are you going to focus on Continue reading

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Review: Off-Road Disciplines

Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders

Off-Road Disciplines: Spiritual Adventures of Missional Leaders, by Earl Creps. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2006.

Church statistics tell us that overall, but with some exceptions, western churches are declining in membership. Certainly one factor for this decline is that much of western Christianity has lost part of its identity as a missional community, a community which prophetically partners with the Holy Spirit in His mission. As a result, church leaders are seeking the heart of God for both vision and empowerment for continuing in Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation in the contexts in which they are called. Slowly but surely, the community of Christ is recognizing its missional weakness when it comes to both the lifestyles of the individual followers of Christ, and the structure of the community itself.

Reacting to these shortcomings, the emerging church movement has arisen to fill the missional gaps by applying a relevant, contextualized gospel to those whom the traditional or even “contemporary” churches would not ordinarily reach. Off-Road Disciplines is a timely book that speaks to both the emerging church movement, and the traditional or denominational churches. Continue reading

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Review: The Essential J. Philip Hogan


The Essential J. Philip Hogan

The Essential J. Philip Hogan, edited by Byron D. Klaus and Douglas P. Petersen. Springfield, MO: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, 2006.

Few missions leaders during the latter half of the twentieth century made a greater impact on the worldwide spread of Pentecostalism than did J. Philip Hogan. Indeed, European Pentecostal leader Peter Kuzmic has deemed Hogan to be “a Churchill in the arena of the post-World War II history of missions” (Wilson, Strategy of the Spirit, p. x). The extent of Hogan’s contributions to Pentecostalism — and by extension, to the broader Christian movement — is only now beginning to be recognized by the scholarly community. Under his leadership as Director of the Division of Foreign Missions (1960-1989), the Assemblies of God grew to be one of the world’s largest associations of national indigenous churches. It is precisely this success that now causes scholars and church leaders to take another look at J. Philip Hogan and to ask how it all happened. Continue reading

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