Tag Archives: Assemblies of God

Mexican Refugees Poured into Texas 100 Years Ago. How Did the Assemblies of God Respond?

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H. C. Ball (front center) with ministers at the 32nd annual Latin American District Council meeting in Los Angeles, California, November 1-3, 1948.

This Week in AG History — May 27, 1916

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 26 May 2016

The Mexican Revolution, a decade-long civil war beginning in 1910, changed the North American social landscape. Thousands of displaced people fled the armed conflict and social disruption in Mexico and sought refuge along the borderlands in the United States. It was among these refugees that Henry C. Ball, a young preacher in Ricardo, Texas, planted one of the first Hispanic Assemblies of God congregations.

H. C. Ball (1896-1989) accepted Christ at age 14 and joined the Methodist Church in Kingsville, Texas. Approximately 10 days after his conversion, Ball attended a service held by a missionary to Venezuela. At that service, he felt a tug in his heart to serve as a missionary to Mexican refugees in his area. Encouraged by his Methodist pastor, the very next Sunday Ball held his first evangelistic service.

Ball went from house to house, inviting Mexicans to the Spanish-language service he had planned in a schoolhouse in Ricardo. Bell was undeterred by the fact that he did not even know Spanish. He memorized a one-sentence Spanish-language invitation, and he brought a Spanish hymn and Bible to the service. Two visitors joined Ball in that first service in late 1910. Ball was only 14 years old, he did not know Spanish, he had only accepted Christ weeks earlier, and yet he followed God’s call and pioneered a church among the Mexican refugees in Texas. The young preacher persevered and, in 1912, the Methodist church gave him a license to preach at age 16.

In 1914, Ball was Spirit-baptized under the ministry of Felix Hale, a Pentecostal evangelist affiliated with the newly formed Assemblies of God. This put Ball at odds with his Methodist superiors, who dismissed him from the denomination. Ball’s ordination was recognized by the Assemblies of God in January 1915, and his congregation of Mexicans became the seed from which much of the Hispanic work in the Assemblies of God grew.

The Pentecostal Evangel published frequent reports from Ball. The May 27, 1916, issue featured a photograph of the Asamblea de Dios in Ricardo, Texas, on the cover, and included an article by Ball about the new Mexican believers. He encouraged readers to pray for the immigrants. He wrote, “Here they are on our land, poor, homeless and without Jesus.”

Ball described the situation faced by the Mexicans: “The war in Mexico has driven many Mexicans from their homes in their native land to our side of the river. In the Rio Grande valley are many thousands of these refugees, besides the resident population. They have now been here some time, not able to return and fearful that their own nation may turn against them.” Ball asked Pentecostal Evangel readers to provide financial support and prayers for his efforts to reach the Mexican refugees with the gospel.

A strong Assemblies of God ministry developed among the Mexican refugees, initially led by H. C. Ball and others. This work not only helped to strengthen the Assemblies of God in Mexico when refugees returned home as Pentecostal believers, it also transformed the Assemblies of God in the United States. In 2014, 22.5 percent of Assemblies of God adherents in the United States were Hispanic.

Read the article by H. C. Ball, “The Mission to the Mexicans,” on page 12 of the May 27, 1916, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Pentecostal Work in Fort Worth, Texas,” by B. F. Lawrence

• “Answered Prayer: Healing When Evangel is Applied,” by Elmer Snyder

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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Junior Bible Quiz Pioneer George Edgerly with the Lord at Age 76

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George Allan Edgerly, 76, of Springfield, Missouri, left this life on May 21, 2016. He was born in Selma, Iowa, on July 14, 1939, to Ralph and Edith (Tweedy) Edgerly. George graduated from Eldon High School and attended college at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa, and the Open Bible College in Des Moines, Iowa. He later took classes at Drury College and North Central Bible College. He married Atha Waydene Martley on November 16, 1958, and to this union was born four children: Ruth, Dawn, Max, and Jorin.

George was ordained with the Assemblies of God in 1963 and pastored several Assemblies of God churches in Iowa: Colfax, Afton, Gray, Truesdale, Grinnell and Ottumwa. From 1970-1973, he was district Sunday school and youth director for the Iowa District. He also worked several years as the research and field services coordinator in in the Sunday School Department for the national office of the Assemblies of God before becoming Christian education director for the Minnesota District in 1980. Edgerly wrote widely on church growth and Christian education, with articles appearing in several Assemblies of God publications. He was the coauthor of the 1984 staff training book, Strategies for Sunday School Growth. He served for a time as north central area field representative for the Gospel Publishing House and Radiant Life curriculum before rejoining the national Sunday School Department in 1985, being named its head in June 1987.

Edgerly was a mainstay of Assemblies of God Bible Quiz ministry almost from its beginning in 1962, and was a major force in the creation of Junior Bible Quiz in 1975. He began coaching in 1965, leading Gray, Iowa, to four straight district second-place finishes. From 1986-1998 Edgerly coached Park Crest Assembly of God, Springfield, Missouri, leading the teen Bible Quiz team to frequent appearances at TBQ nationals. In 1990 that team was national runner-up and in 1992 was the national TBQ champion. He authored the Assemblies of God Bible Quiz study guide for a number of years, beginning in 1973. He also authored the Junior Bible Quiz Fact-Pak and the Teen Bible Quiz Coaches Manual. He believed his involvement with Junior Bible Quiz to be his greatest legacy.

After retiring from the national Sunday School Department, George Edgerly pastored First Pentecostal Assembly of God in Ottumwa, Iowa from 1999-2006 where he also started a Bible Quiz ministry. From 2006-2008 he co-pastored First Assembly in Grinnell, Iowa. His retirement years were spent living in Springfield, Missouri.

George was preceded in death by his parents and an infant daughter, Ruth. He is survived by his wife, three children, and five grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in Springfield, Missouri, on Wednesday, May 25th, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Funeral services will be at Life 360-Parkcrest Campus, Springfield, Missouri, at 10:00 am on Thursday, and at First Pentecostal Assembly of God, Ottumwa, Iowa, at 10:00 am on Friday with Pastor Richard Schlotter officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Moriah Cemetery near Douds, Iowa.

Contributions can be made in George’s name to the Once Lost Now Found ministry at First Pentecostal Assembly of God in Ottumwa, Iowa.

Posted by Glenn Gohr

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Collection of Madison R. Tatman, Oneness Pentecostal Pioneer, Deposited at FPHC

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The personal papers and publications of Madison R. Tatman (1872-1953), an early Pentecostal evangelist who was active in both Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostal circles, were recently deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. Known as the “Cyclone Evangelist,” Tatman traveled across North America and interacted with many key figures of the early Pentecostal movement.

Tatman started in the ministry in 1902 in the General Eldership of the Churches of God in North America (also known as the Winebrenner Church of God), a German Arminian Baptist denomination with congregations located mostly in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. After experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the spring of 1906, Tatman identified with the Pentecostal movement and transferred his credentials to the Apostolic Faith Mission.

Articles and revival reports by Tatman appeared in various early Pentecostal periodicals. He also published a book of sermons and poetry, 12 Loaves of Living Bread (1935), and several tracts and booklets. One of Tatman’s tracts, “Why I Left the Mission” (1911), detailed his disagreements with Chicago Pentecostal leader William H. Durham. In 1915, Tatman was re-baptized in the name of Jesus and received credentials from the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

In 1924, he transferred his credentials to the Assemblies of God, noting that he disliked “the quarreling, fighting, quibbling and strike over different doctrinal points” among the Onenesss advocates. While in the Assemblies of God, he served as pastor of Glad Tidings Revival Assembly in Oakland, California. Tatman left the Assemblies of God in 1927 and returned to the Oneness fold and served as a pastor and evangelist until his death in 1953.

Madison R. Tatman’s personal papers and publications, deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center by an anonymous donor, consist of approximately 250 pages of sermon notes, correspondence, poetry, newspaper clippings, tracts, an unpublished book manuscript, and 20 photographs. The Tatman collection, which provides valuable insight into segments of the Pentecostal movement that are otherwise poorly documented, will be a boon to researchers.

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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Lowell Lundstrom: From Nightclubs to the Pulpit

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This Week in AG History — May 5, 1963

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 5 May 2016

At the age of seven, Lowell Lundstrom (1939-2012) decided he would become either a preacher or a famous entertainer. He became both, but not before experiencing the thrill of worldly success and seeing his life veer out of control.

Lowell’s grandmother gave young Lowell a book about the life of Jesus, which inspired him to dream about sharing Christ’s story with others. But he grew enamored with the fast-paced world of popular culture and soon abandoned the idea of entering the ministry.

Lowell spent countless hours as a youth sneaking into bars and nightclubs, where he learned how to play the guitar. At age 13, he won a talent contest in his hometown in South Dakota. He soon joined a Dixieland jazz band, and by age 14 he started his own rock and roll band.

Lowell seemingly had everything a worldly teenager could desire — clothes, money, popularity, and nightclub engagements. He tasted success, and it was sweet. One evening, he met a beautiful brunette girl at a nightclub who would change the trajectory of his life. This girl, Connie Brown, was raised in an Assemblies of God church, but she had fallen away from the Lord and had become a nightclub entertainer. She had certain standards and refused to do certain things that many of the other entertainers did. But deep inside, she felt dirty and knew that she had chosen a life of compromise.

Lowell and Connie bonded quickly. She started playing guitar in his band, the Rhythm-airs. Lowell and his band won contests, played on radio and television, and got gigs at dances and nightclubs.

Success bred sleeplessness and stress. Lowell was constantly on the road, driving from town to town. After he narrowly avoided death in a car crash, he realized that he was out of control. Scared that he would die, Lowell remembered his childhood faith and began to cry out to God.

The Holy Spirit began dealing with Lowell’s rebellious heart, but the young entertainer did not want to give up his sinful lifestyle. He started negotiating with God: “Ten years, Lord,” he prayed, “Just give me ten years to do what I want to, and then I’ll serve you.” After another car crash almost ended his life, Lowell grew disgusted with his sin and rebellion. He was only 17, but realized that he was heading toward an early death.

One Sunday night, Lowell had planned to take Connie to a movie. They instead went to an evangelistic service at Connie’s church, the Assembly of God in Sisseton, South Dakota. There, on April 7, 1957, Lowell gave his heart to the Lord. He cancelled his nightclub engagements and found a job picking rocks, the only work he could find in his rural South Dakota community.

Lowell and Connie began using their musical abilities for the Lord, singing in churches and sharing their testimonies. They found true peace and joy and wanted to share it with others. They prepared for ministry at two Assemblies of God schools — Lakewood Park Bible School (now Trinity Bible College, Ellendale, North Dakota) and North Central Bible College (now North Central University, Minneapolis, Minnesota).

After seeing Lowell’s drastic life transformation, Lowell’s entire family decided to follow suit and follow Christ. Lowell’s brothers, Larry and Leon, joined them in ministry, as did Connie and Lowell’s children. The Lundstroms became prominent Assemblies of God evangelists and traveled across the United States by bus, holding interdenominational evangelistic crusades.

Lowell and Connie Lundstrom were best-known in their home territory of the northern Great Plains, where they blended well into the Scandinavian culture. In countless small towns on the northern prairies, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Lutheran, and other churches cooperated in sponsoring the Lundstroms. An estimated one million people decided to follow Christ in the Lundstrom crusades, which spanned five decades.

Lowell recorded 30-minute weekly radio broadcasts, “Message for America,” which aired for 20 years on as many as 170 radio stations. He also served as president and chancellor of Trinity Bible College for 10 years. In 1996, after almost 40 years of itinerant ministry, the Lundstroms put down roots in suburban Minneapolis, where they founded Celebration Church (AG). After six decades of ministry, Connie and Lowell went to be with the Lord — Connie in December 2011 and Lowell in July 2012.

Lowell Lundstrom’s life beautifully demonstrates how God can redeem a person who has succumbed to the temptations of the world. At a young age, Lowell was faced with a choice to either follow God or follow the world. He tasted worldly success, but soon realized that his life was out of control. When he decided to follow Christ, he gave up his aspirations of making it big in the rock and roll scene. Lowell instead followed God’s call into ministry, where he used his gifts to lead countless people to find peace and joy in Christ.

Read Lowell Lundstrom’s story, “God, Leave Me Alone!” written by Betty Swinford, on pages 6-7 of the May 5, 1963, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Christ is All,” by James A. Cross

* “Christ: The Master Teacher,” by Grace L. Walther

* “Light for the Lost: Tenth Anniversary Banquet,” by Everett James

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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Charlie Lee: Acclaimed Navajo Artist and Assemblies of God Leader

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This Week in AG History — April 24, 1960

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 21 April 2016

Charlie Lee (1924-2003), a talented young Navajo artist, won widespread recognition and numerous awards for his paintings and sketches of life on the reservation. Despite his success, Lee felt dissatisfied with his life. In the fall of 1947, an Apache school friend invited him to visit an Assemblies of God church at the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, where he found new life and accepted Christ on New Year’s Day, 1948.

Feeling called to the ministry, Lee enrolled at Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri. He graduated in 1951 and traveled extensively as an evangelist among Native Americans. In 1953, Lee and his wife, Coralie, returned to his home state of New Mexico and pioneered Mesa View Assembly of God in Shiprock. Lee wanted to share the hope he had found in Christ with other Native Americans.

Lee continued to paint, mostly depictions of Native life, but his primary concern was ministry. Within 10 years, his congregation grew to several hundred people, mostly converts who had previously been addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

Lee became one of the best-known Native American pastors within the Assemblies of God. His congregation in Shiprock, in 1976, became the first Native American church on a federally recognized reservation to make the transition from being a supported mission to a fully indigenous, self-supporting, General Council-affiliated church. While some non-Christians criticized Lee for neglecting his art in favor of ministry, Lee responded that he derived a “greater thrill” from seeing the “Master Artist” painting on the canvas of people’s lives.

Read Lee’s testimony, “Navajo Artist Builds a Church for His People,” which was published on pages 8 and 9 of the April 24, 1960, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Africa As I Saw It,” by C. C. Crace

• “Busy Mother Ministers to the Blind,” by Maxine Strobridge

• “Has God Forgotten?” by Meyer and Alice Tan-Ditter

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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Despite Opposition, Assemblies of God Founders Supported Missionaries AND Famine Relief

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Alfred and Myrtle Blakeney, Assemblies of God missionaries to India, and their five children (1920)

This Week in AG History — April 16, 1921

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 14 April 2016

The Assemblies of God, in its first decade, provided significant financial resources to the alleviation of hunger in other nations. A devastating famine hit China in 1920 and 1921, causing the deaths of an estimated half million people. This tragedy inspired Assemblies of God leaders to make an extended appeal for donations for Chinese famine relief. This decision was not without controversy.

J. Roswell Flower, Assemblies of God Missions Treasurer, in the April 16, 1921, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel, recounted that church leaders expressed concern that an appeal for famine relief would likely decrease giving to support missionaries already on the field.  This fear was realized, and Flower reported that total missions giving did not increase in the first four months of the year. Donors shifted from supporting missionaries to famine relief. Missionaries were in danger of not receiving sufficient monetary support on which to live.

Despite this challenging financial situation, Flower defended the appeal for famine relief. He explained, “The famine need was so great…that we took the risk with such good results as you have seen.” To make up for the decrease in giving toward missionaries, Flower asked readers to contribute additional offerings.

How did Assemblies of God members respond to the challenge to expand their giving to include support for both missionaries and famine relief?

The 1921 General Council minutes reported that missions giving increased by almost 19 percent. The Foreign Missions Department received a record $107,953.55 during the fiscal year ending August 1921. Of that total, almost 10 percent ($10,383.12) was given to Chinese famine relief.

Read the article, “The Famine in China,” by J. Roswell Flower on page 12 of the April 16, 1921, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

•  “Looking from the Top,” by Christine Peirce

• “Tithes and Offerings,” by Elizabeth Sisson

• “Unity,” by C. W. Doney

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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1937 Campus Revivals at Central Bible Institute and Southeastern Bible Institute

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This Week in AG History — April 10, 1937

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 7 April 2016

Seventy-nine years ago, two Assemblies of God colleges experienced unusual seasons of revival. The April 10, 1937, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel reported that Central Bible Institute (which became Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri) and Southeastern Bible Institute (now Southeastern University, Lakeland, Florida) experienced “times of refreshing.”

L. R. Lynch, reporting on the revival at Central Bible Institute, wrote “For days we had expected something to happen. The air seemed laden with heavenly power. Nobody knew what to do to insure God’s best for us. Everybody was eager to learn more about Jesus.”

Lynch related that students began making public confessions, prompted by piercing messages that revealed the darkness of sin. Finally, he wrote, “the flood-gates of heaven were opened for us. God heard our humble cries. When we reached the foundation-rock, the heavenly fire blazed from the supernatural glory, while shouts of praise and thanksgiving rose from exultant hearts.”

The revival at Central Bible Institute lasted five days, during which 17 people were baptized in the Spirit and 16 felt a call into “different fields of labor, including India, China, Africa, and South America.”

Edgar Bethany reported about a similar revival at Southeastern Bible Institute. Bethany wrote, “Morning chapel service which ordinarily lasts from eight to nine could not be terminated. Volumes of prayer mingled with tears and at times strong crying, ascended to the throne of grace. Messages and wonderful interpretations were given by the Spirit. It resulted in a breaking up in practically every heart.”

What was the long-term impact of these spiritual outpourings? Lynch surmised that revival’s “true value” is something that “only eternity can reveal.”

Read the two articles on page 11 of the April 10, 1937, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
* “Blessed is He, Whoever Shall Not Be Offended,” by Stanley Frodsham
* “It Happened to Me: A Presbyterian Minister Receives the Baptism,” by E. R. Robertson
* “The Shekinah: Is the Fiery, Cloudy Pillar Ours Through Confession or Contrition?” by Zelma Argue

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

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

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

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

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