Tag Archives: Assemblies of God

Thomas J. Jones: The Dynamic Pentecostal Preacher/Educator from England

JonesThis Week in AG History — June 20, 1942

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 20 June 2019

Thomas J. Jones (1896-1970) was a dynamic British preacher and Bible teacher, much in demand by American congregations. Jones taught at North Central Bible Institute (now North Central University) in Minneapolis for 21 years and was known as a man who could make the Old Testament come to life.

Accepting Christ as Savior in Birmingham, England, in 1914, Jones had an insatiable desire to understand God’s Word. Along with that desire came the desire to teach the Bible to anyone who would listen. He was a pastor in England when he married one of his congregants, Doris Lancaster. He found her attractive partly because she was as dedicated to the importance of teaching the Word of God as he was. Despite their great love for each other, that dedication to ministry would cost them separation, often during difficult times.

In 1937, a letter arrived at the Jones’ home with an invitation to preach in the United States. Jones told his wife, “I’ve always had an inkling to go.” Doris released him for ministry and travel while she stayed in England with their five boys. This invitation led to others in 1938 and, again, in 1939. It was while Jones was in America that Britain declared war on Germany on Sept. 3, 1939. Jones could not return home, so Doris and the children evacuated from London to a cottage 20 miles away. The bombs came within a quarter mile of their home and the doors were blown open. She and the children stood at their window and watched the sky turn orange with the burning of London during the Blitz.

Jones was able to return to his wife and children after the war, bringing with him an invitation to teach at North Central Bible Institute (NCBI), the Assemblies of God Bible school in Minneapolis. Arranging passports for the family took time; it was December 1947 before all seven members of the family were finally together, the boys arriving in English schoolboy short pants during a blizzard.

Doris would later say of Jones, “My husband studied the Bible as few did. People would quote him Scripture, and if he couldn’t pin down the chapter or verse, he could tell them the book. And he did not want to stop preaching.” She described their 40-year marriage as “wonderful” because she shared his vision for providing solid biblical teaching to anyone who wanted to hear it.

Jones was considered a “preacher’s preacher” by the students at NCBI and those who gathered around the country to hear him speak at camp meetings and ministry schools. He began each of his classes with the prayer, “Open our eyes that we may behold wondrous things out of Thy law” and then opened the Scriptures and lovingly trained thousands of young students for the ministry.

He was also concerned with ensuring that students managed the practicalities of life, often saying that young men studying for the ministry should obtain “books first, a Buick second, and then a bride.”

The Pentecostal Evangel published more than 60 articles and sermons by T.J. Jones between 1938 and 1969. The June 20, 1942, issue contained a sermon preached by Jones at the Glad Tidings Bible Institute in San Francisco called “The Blessedness of Salvation.” In the sermon he used the first two verses of Psalm 32 to give a well-thought-out doctrine of the remissions of sins. He masterfully used the words of the Psalmist to explain the different ways each person is a sinner and the ways that God perfectly provides a remedy for “transgression, sin, and iniquity” through “forgiveness, covering, and imputation.”

Jones displayed in his written sermons a principle he quoted in this particular sermon: “You can take every word (of the Scripture) and the more minutely you examine it the more wonderful it seems. Why? Because it is the Word of God.”

Jones developed heart problems in 1963 but, despite his illness, he accepted speaking assignments whenever and wherever he could. In 1967 his health forced him to retire. Although sad at stepping out of the classroom, he turned over some of his notes to students and colleagues who would take his place, receiving comfort from II Timothy 2:2, “…entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”

Jones died in Prior Lake, Minnesota, on July 17, 1970, at the age of 74. At his funeral, the president of North Central Bible College, Cyril Homer, quoted a favorite text of Jones from Genesis 49:33, “And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered to his people.” In 1974, the college named its library, the T.J. Jones Memorial Library, in his honor.

Read Jones’ sermon, “The Blessedness of Salvation,” on page 2 of the June 20, 1942 issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Life A Trust” by E.S. Williams

• “Wanted: Men Who Can Pray” by Joseph Kemp

• “Prayer Brings in the Souls” by E. Hartmann

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: http://www.iFPHC.org

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W. T. Gaston: Assemblies of God General Superintendent, 1925-1929

Gaston1This Week in AG History — June 8, 1929

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 6 June 2019

William Theodore Gaston (1886-1956), better known as W.T. Gaston, was an early general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. He was born in Boone County, Arkansas (near Eureka Springs). His mother dedicated him to the Lord and affectionately called him her “little preacher boy.” Unfortunately, she died when William was about 3 years old, and he was cared for by other members of the family until he reached adulthood. He was converted at an early age and felt the call of God on his life.

As a teenager, he began testifying and witnessing, eventually becoming an evangelist. At age 20 he married Artie Mattox, the daughter of a fairly prosperous mercantile store owner. Gaston started out in full-time ministry at the age of 23. He participated in many early camp meetings including the organizational meeting of the Assemblies of God at Hot Springs in April 1914.

Gaston’s early ministry involved many hardships and sacrifices as he and his wife raised a large family. It has been said that he virtually “walked over” Arkansas in the early days of his ministry, as walking was his only means of transportation. He often went to small, out-of-the-way places to preach the gospel, and many times he was away from his family for weeks at a time. In addition to evangelistic work, he also pastored churches in Tahlequah and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. From 1919 to 1920 he was the pastor of Central Assembly in Springfield, Missouri. He also pastored First Assembly in San Diego and helped with Berean Bible School, which was connected with the church.

After serving as general superintendent from 1925 to 1929 (during his tenure the title was changed from general chairman to general superintendent), for a short time he pastored a church in North Hollywood, and from there he was called to Bethel Temple in Sacramento, where he ministered for nine years. He was also widely known as an inspiring camp meeting preacher.

In 1944, he was elected to the office of district superintendent for Northern California and Nevada, where he served for 12 years until his death in 1956.

Gaston was noted for his generosity and for his encouragement and instruction of young ministers. He also took a special interest in the Christ’s Ambassadors program (now National Youth Ministries). He was vitally interested in education, being associated with three Assemblies of God Bible colleges. He helped with Berean Bible Institute in San Diego, was an early instructor at Central Bible College, and served on the board of Bethany Bible College in Santa Cruz, California.

Ninety years ago this week, Gaston wrote an article offering practical helps and hints for young ministers and Christian workers.

He extolled the value of a solid Bible education, yet he emphasized that “we can only learn to preach by preaching.” He believed that practical experience was an essential part of ministerial training.

He also stressed that a person in ministry must have the calling and anointing of God in order to succeed. He said, “A God-ordained ministry is taken from among those with inherent ability for particular service, upon whom the Lord has laid His hand and placed His gift and anointing.”

Another word of advice involved preaching. Gaston said, “We should remember that sermons that are really blessed to ourselves and others after all may not be quite perfect.” The key he said is to “learn something from every sermon you preach or hear.”

Gaston promoted the idea that if someone is called to preach, then he or she needs to go out and preach and not wait for circumstances to change. “Jesus said, ‘Go into all the world and preach,’” said Gaston, but there “is no inference that He expects us to wait for the world to send for us.” The conclusion from this, according to Gaston, is that “we may go on the streets, into jails, private home, or country schoolhouses. Go someplace — any place — but preach.”

After offering several more tidbits of advice for Christian workers, Gaston closed with these remarks: “Ordinary men, with concentration of purpose and unflagging zeal and devotion, have often accomplished extraordinary things. Shall we not stir into flame the gifts that are in us, and move forward with renewed determination to be and to do our best for the Lord and a world in need?”

Read more in “Helps and Hints for Christian Workers” on pages 5 and 7 of the June 8, 1929, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Darkness and Dawn,” by Blanche Appleby

• “The Beauties of the Redeemer,” by Perry W. Hadsock

• “Questions and Answers,” by Ernest S. Williams

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: http://www.iFPHC.org

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A. H. Argue: Pentecostal Pioneer in Canada and the United States

ArgueThis Week in AG History — May 24, 1941

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 23 May 2019

A.H. (Andrew Harvey) Argue (1868-1959) was a pioneering figure in the Pentecostal movement in North America, serving as a pastor and evangelist in Canada and the United States. He also played a significant role in the discussions leading up to the establishment of the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

Argue was born near Ottawa, Ontario, in 1868 to a Methodist family. His father moved the family to North Dakota, where Argue was converted in a Salvation Army meeting. In this meeting he also met Eva Phillips, whom he later married. The young couple spent five years farming in North Dakota before moving to Winnipeg, a city that was experiencing an economic boom with the expansion of the Canadian West. Argue and his brothers began a thriving real estate business in Winnipeg that allowed him to be a self-supporting lay evangelist in the Methodist church.

Alongside his Methodist heritage, he received a conviction that personal holiness was integral to the Christian life. Argue also embraced a belief in divine healing through the ministry of A.B. Simpson. While preaching a camp meeting in Thornbury, Ontario, he read a written account of the Pentecostal revival taking place at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. He shared it with a colleague at the camp meeting and they both felt that “it could be possible” that God would give the gift of tongues to His people in the last days.

Returning to Winnipeg, Argue began to learn all he could about the new Pentecostal revival. In April 1907 he traveled to Chicago to visit W.H. Durham’s mission. He later described the experience: “I waited on God for 21 days … During this time I had a wonderful vision of Jesus … I was filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.”

Argue began to share his testimony of Spirit baptism when he arrived home in Winnipeg. Upon hearing of Argue’s experience, people began to come to him and say, “we have walked with God for years , but your testimony has made us realize there is more for us. Where can we tarry for this deeper experience?” He and Eva immediately began opening their home for “tarrying meetings” — a time devoted to waiting on God. These meetings grew into ever larger quarters until the first Pentecostal church in Winnipeg was formed.

Argue sold his real estate business and invested the proceeds in income-producing ventures which allowed him the financial freedom to travel for ministry. From this beginning he quickly launched out into the evangelistic circuit. He devoted the rest of his life to the Pentecostal ministry in all parts of Canada and much of the United States. Thousands were saved, healed, and baptized in the Holy Spirit through His powerful preaching and praying. Due to his wise investments, he was often able to return the offerings he received as an evangelist back to the local church.

Argue wrote more than 40 articles for the Pentecostal Evangel from 1914 to 1959. In one of his articles, published in the May 24, 1941, issue, he answered the question of what he would do “if I had only one hour to live.” He stated, “my parting counsel would be: walk with God.” Using the examples of Enoch, Noah, and Elijah who “walked with God,” Argue said that these three men experienced protection and guidance as to what to do during difficult times due to their walk with God. He also encouraged the Evangel readers to “walk softly” with both God and man, walking in gentle holiness before God Himself and walking with graciousness toward others.

Argue lived into his nineties, dying in 1959. He and Eva were blessed with seven children, although the eldest died at four years of age. They lived to see the others saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and used in ministry. His grandson, Don Argue, served as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was president of North Central University and Northwest University.

Read more of Argue’s article on page 5 of the May 24, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “My God Shall Supply All Your Need,” by Marie Burgess Brown

• “A Light for the Blackout,” by Margaret Ann Bass

• “Liberian Christmas Convention,” by A.J. Princic

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: http://www.iFPHC.org

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What is the Secret to a Successful Pentecostal Church? Read this Pastor’s Answer from 1946!

PrayerRoomTW_728

This Week in AG History — May 18, 1946

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, 16 May 2019

What is the distinctive feature in a Pentecostal worship service? The answer, according to a 1946 Pentecostal Evangel article by P. S. Jones, is “the prominence given to the prayer room.”

Early Pentecostal churches usually dedicated a room to prayer, where earnest believers would intercede during the preaching service and where prayer would continue long after the benediction had been pronounced. Jones asserted, “Pentecostal prayer rooms are truly the power-houses of the assemblies. Everything else can be counted of secondary importance in the church’s program.”

According to Jones, the success of a ministry is proportionate to the prayer life of those involved in the ministry. The “urgent necessity” of every pastor, he wrote, “is to see that the prayer life of his people is maintained at white heat.”

Jones described how an active private prayer life is essential if Christians are to effectively engage in spiritual warfare. The “treasures of heaven,” he wrote, are often only gained by spending hours in “hot, animated, boiling-over prayer.”

What happens when a church neglects prayer? Jones warned, “When the thrill and throb of the Holy Ghost are lost through prayerlessness, all kinds of substitutes will be tried,” including social functions, entertaining preaching, and other amusements. He described these as mere “camouflages” that attempt to hide “the fact that the real thing has been lost.”

According to Jones, “Pentecost can very well do without the carnal decorations and the tinsel of this pleasure-crazed world, but it can never do without its prayer room, its prayer-loving pastor, and its prayer warriors.”

Read Jones’ article, “A Unique Pentecostal Feature,” on pages 1 and 8 of the May 18, 1946, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “A Hidden Power Now Revealed: Lessons from the Discovery of the Atomic Bomb,” by Leslie Barrowcliff

• “The Pentecostal Movement,” by Howard Carter

• “A Russian Jew’s Testimony,” by Moses Prostchansky

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national offices, is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. We would like to preserve and make your treasures accessible to those who write the history books.

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, Missouri 65802 USA
Phone: 417.862.1447 ext. 4400
Toll Free: 877.840.5200
Email: archives@ag.org
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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“Mother” Alice Reynolds Flower: An Example of Consecrated Ministry and Motherhood

FlowersThis Week in AG History — May 11, 1952

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 9 May 2019

Alice Reynolds Flower (1890-1991), the wife of AG pioneer J. Roswell Flower, is a shining example of motherhood. Affectionately known as “Mother Flower,” she preached, taught Sunday School, led prayer meetings, wrote articles, penned poetry, authored books, and lived a godly example in front of her six children and everyone she came in contact with.

As Mother’s Day approaches, it is good to consider an article that Mother Flower wrote for the Pentecostal Evangel in May 1952. It was also made available in tract form through the Gospel Publishing House and was widely distributed.

In “The Business of Coat-Making,” Mother Flower talked about Hannah, the mother of Samuel in the Old Testament. Samuel’s mother prayed diligently to have a son, and when her first-born son arrived, she dedicated him to God’s service. As a young boy, he went to live with Eli the high priest. The Bible record says, “Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice” (1 Samuel 2:19).

This verse held deep significance for Mother Flower. She liked to ponder how Samuel’s mother found a way to minister to her son, even though he was consecrated to service in the house of God. She imagined the joy Hannah had in every stitch of the garment she made each year. Mother Flower said, “To Hannah, making that coat was no ordinary bit of sewing; it was her one chance to express yearly in practical manner the love of her heart.” She continued, “And she did it faithfully, delivering each tiny garment personally to her Samuel there in the house of God.”

Mother Flower suggested that God never intended the business of coat-making to end with Hannah. She gave an example of her own mother, who provided spiritual “coats” for each of her daughters. First, she gave each of them a “coat of prayer.” Mother Flower shared her own testimony of her mother praying for her during her teen years, when she was struggling with a number of conflicts. Partly due to her mother’s prayers she surrendered her life to Christ and later was baptized in the Holy Spirit on Easter Sunday of 1907 at the age of 16.

Her mother also fashioned “coats of consistent living” for each of her children. She testified, “Her every walk before us stirred our hearts to follow God similarly.” Mother Flower said that fervor in the church is good, and laboring for others is commendable, but “making the coat of consistent living” is the most important task of a mother.

Another aspect of coat-making is the Word of God. Mother Flower gave a testimony that after her mother was miraculously raised from a deathbed experience and filled with the Holy Spirit, she started the family altar. Each morning the family gathered together to read God’s Word and pray, and her mother also helped the children to memorize Scripture. She compared her mother’s influence through the Word of God to Timothy in the New Testament whose faith was molded by his mother and grandmother.

The “coat of discipline” is also essential. She shared that, “No home is beautiful or happy without obedience, respect, honesty and cooperation.” “The standard of righteous living as taught by the Word of God must be faithfully, constantly, consistently raised as a part of the family existence,” said Flower, “not a passing suggestion, but an essential detail of the family living, as is the eating, drinking and sleeping.” Training up obedient, honest, respectful, and God-fearing children is vitally important.

One more coat that is essential is “Understanding Love.” She felt it imperative that a mother have occasional “heart-charts” and “seasons together before God” with each of her children. She said, a “mother must keep ever wisely stitching on this ‘coat of understanding’ if she would successfully fulfill her highest ministry in the home.”

Mother Flower’s admonition is for more mothers to pray diligently for their children on a daily basis, live a consistent Christian life, study the Word of God, offer guidance and training, and hem all of this in love and understanding.

Read more in “The Business of Coat-Making” on pages 3-4, 22 of the May 11, 1952, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Visions in the Night,” by Frank M. Boyd

• “Healed Through Mother’s Prayers,” by Allen Bowman

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: http://www.iFPHC.org

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Ministering to Military Families Since 1957: Assemblies of God Retreats in Germany

Military retreat

Assemblies of God servicemen’s retreat,  Berchtesgaden, Germany, 1968

This Week in AG History — April 27, 1969

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 25 April 2019

An annual retreat for AG servicemen (and now servicewomen) in Europe has been held in Germany for the last 62 years. This yearly event has done much to encourage military personnel and their families stationed in Europe.

The first AG servicemen’s retreat in Europe was held at the Chiemsee Retreat Center in Berchtesgaden in March 1957, and these retreats in the Bavarian Alps have continued to be held every year. Since 2004 the retreats have been held at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, also in the mountains of Southern Bavaria.

The retreat was started so that Assemblies of God military personnel serving in Europe would have an annual retreat of their own, since they would not be able to attend a retreat in the U.S. while serving overseas. Organized by the Commission on Chaplains, the Berean Missionary Fellowship (BMF), and the Chaplain Liaison Officers, the retreat was set up to offer spiritual support to servicemen and channel funds into missions projects in Europe.

The speakers and the planning for the annual event for many years were organized by the BMF, with the assistance of chaplains who were assigned to teach classes, lead in worship, do special music, offer prayers, and participate in Communion.

At the 12th annual retreat held in 1968, as reported in an article in the Pentecostal Evangel, over 450 Assemblies of God servicemen and their families were in attendance, coming from various places across Europe. Missionaries and other denominational personnel currently on assignment in Europe also attended the spiritual emphasis retreat. The week was packed with recreation, inspiration, worship, challenge, and Christian fellowship.

The retreat theme, “Christ Is Lord,” became the “personal testimony of many who gave their hearts to Christ before the week ended,” it was reported. “Others made new consecrations, and several were filled with the Holy Spirit,” the article continued.

Howard S. Bush, assistant general superintendent and chairman of the Assemblies of God Commission on Chaplains, was the speaker for each of the morning services. James E. Hamill, pastor of First Assembly in Memphis, Tennessee, spoke at the evening services. Morning devotions were conducted by Joseph Mazzu, missionary to France. Eddie and Ruth Washington were in charge of music for the retreat, and the Singing Kolenda Family also added to the spiritual tone of the retreat.

Read more in “Spiritual Tone Prevails at Servicemen’s Retreat” on page 30 of the April 27, 1969, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Hallmarks of Genuine Revival,” by John W. Everett

• “He Is Keeping Me,” by Louie Stokes

• “A Man Greatly Beloved” [Howard S. Bush, assistant general superintendent]

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: http://www.iFPHC.org

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Mary Weems Chapman: Called to the Prostitutes and Untouchables of South India

Chapman Mary

Mary Weems Chapman, from her 1921 passport application

This Week in AG History — April 18, 1925

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, 18 April 2019

When veteran missionary Mary Weems Chapman (1857-1927) felt God’s call to return to India, her family told her she was too old. But she persevered and became the first Assemblies of God missionary to South India. A veteran Free Methodist missionary before identifying with the Pentecostal movement, Mary was well-known in Holiness circles for her preaching, teaching, and writing. But she was perhaps best known for her advocacy of ministry to girl prostitutes and the “untouchables” — members of India’s lowest social caste.

Mary and her husband, George, were pioneer leaders in the Pentecost Bands, a Free Methodist missions organization known for promoting both holiness and social ministry. They founded the Free Methodist work in Monrovia, Liberia, in 1889. They returned to America in 1893.

Mary was a prolific author. She edited a volume of writings by Holiness advocate Eunice Parsons Cobb, Mother Cobb, or Sixty Years with God (1896). She also served a one-year stint (1898) as founding editor of Missionary Tidings, published by the General Woman’s Foreign Missionary Society of the Free Methodist Church.

George seemingly disappeared from Mary’s writings in the 1890s. Whether he died or something else happened is unknown. But she continued in ministry as a single woman. She moved to India in about 1900, where she worked at a Pentecostal Rescue Home that plucked young girls out of prostitution and provided education and spiritual help.

Single and aging, in about 1909 she returned to America. But she could not shake the sense that God wanted her to help the suffering girls of India. By 1911 she surfaced in Pentecostal periodicals, writing gut-wrenching articles about the great need to rescue girls in India who had been sold into sexual slavery.

Feeling a holy restlessness, Mary decided to return to India. She was approaching 60 years old. Her family tried to dissuade her, telling her she was too old to endure the rigors of missionary work. But her mind was made up. She told her family, “If young people are not able to go, old people must go.”

Mary arrived in India in 1915 and established her first missionary base in Doddaballapur, near Bangalore. She conducted evangelistic meeting in numerous parts of South India. In 1917, she affiliated with the Assemblies of God and became the Fellowship’s first missionary in South India.

Mary’s extensive writing and editing skills proved useful in her missions work. She was concerned by the poor discipleship of new converts and by the vast amount of anti-Christian and anti-Pentecostal literature that was causing confusion. To help remedy these problems, in 1925 she co-founded a magazine called Penthecosthu Kahalam (Pentecostal Trumpet) in the Malayalam language. She also wrote over 50 articles and letters published in the Pentecostal Evangel from 1913 to 1927.

In one of those letters, published in the April 18, 1925, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, Mary described the plight of the Dalits, also called the “untouchables” because of their low social position. She described the joy of the Dalits who accepted Christ and were “adopted in the family of heaven.” She noted that her missionary colleagues started a school to educate young converts, because Dalits were not permitted to attend school with people from other classes in Indian society.

After 10 years of ministry under the Assemblies of God banner, Mary Weems Chapman died on Nov. 27, 1927. She was 70 years old.

Samuel Jabarethnan, Chapman’s interpreter for the last eight years of her life, wrote the following tribute: “I found Sister Chapman to be a most devoted and spiritual missionary. She stood not just for the Pentecostal experience, but emphasized the need for a deep spiritual, sanctified life . . . Sister Chapman was never satisfied with shallow, superficial things, either in a worker, a Christian, or an assembly. She demanded reality and set the example in her own life . . . Sister Chapman loved to spend much of her time in prayer. She never allowed the duties or responsibilities of her work to interfere with her prayer life. She labored and groaned in deep intercessory prayer for the souls of men to be saved, and as a result the Lord richly blessed her ministry.”

Read Mary Chapman’s article, “Ministering to the Untouchables,” on page 11 of the April 18, 1925, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Faith in the Invisible,” by Ernest S. Williams

• “Gleanings from the Book of Ruth,” by A. G. Ward

• “Denying Self,” by Alice Rowlands Frodsham

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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