Tag Archives: Centennial

The First General Council (Part 2)

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Description: Hot Springs Opera House, the site of the first General Council.

This Week in AG History — “The Hot Springs Convention”

By Glenn Gohr
Originally published on AG-NewsMon, 07 Apr 2014 – 3:34 PM CST

Exactly one hundred years ago this week, the Assemblies of God was formed at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Close to 300 people attended the founding convention, which took place April 2-12, 1914.

In fulfillment of the five goals for the convention, a number of important decisions were made. The body adopted a governing document (titled “Preamble and Resolution of Constitution”), elected officers, and decided on a name, the Assemblies of God.

The May 20, 1914, issue of Word and Witness (which later merged into what is now the Pentecostal Evangel) reported on the business at the first General Council. The article reported that a “great time of shouting, rejoicing, hand-shaking, and even hugging” followed the unanimous adoption of the preamble.

Other decisions included: 1) to incorporate the General Council of the Assemblies of God; 2) to refrain from making an issue of whether Christians should eat meats; 3) to recognize and encourage a weekly day of prayer; 4) to recommend Bible and literary schools; 5) to recognize Word and Witness as the official publication of the Assemblies of God; 6) to authorize the formation of district and state councils in harmony with the principles and purposes of the General Council; 7) to recognize the ministries of elder, evangelist, minister, exhorter, and deacon, as well as the ministries of women; and 8) to discourage divorce and remarriage.

The Council closed without going further into doctrinal or organizational matters, and a second General Council convened seven months later in Chicago. T. K. Leonard offered his small printing plant and school property at Findlay, Ohio, for a headquarters, and the monthly Word and Witness (edited by E. N. Bell) and the weekly Christian Evangel (edited by J. R. Flower) became the official publications of the Fellowship. A small Bible school operated in Findlay during the fall of 1914 and both Bell and Flower assisted on the faculty.

Read the entire article, “General Council Special,” on page one of the May 20, 1914, issue of Word and Witness.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Love and Sweetness,” by E. N. Bell

* “Cooperation, Not Ecclesiasticism,” by D. W. Kerr

* “Sin and Repentance,” by F. F. Bosworth

* “The Holy Spirit Given to Those Who Obey,” by George C. Brinkman

And many more!

Click here to read the May 20, 1914, issue of Word and Witness now.

Click here to read the entire text of the General Council Minutes from April 1914.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

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

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The First General Council (Part 1)

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This Week in AG History — March 31, 2014

By William Molenaar
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 31 Mar 2014 – 4:30 PM CST.  The article here contains editorial changes.

Delegates of the first General Council of the Assemblies of God met 100 years ago this week, April 2-12, 2014. They wanted to organize their efforts to more effectively carry out the mission of God, but there was tension regarding how this should be done. Were they going to start a church or a parachurch network?

The Council opened with three days of worship services, and the business sessions didn’t start until the sixth. A conference committee made up of representatives of each state in attendance was charged with receiving resolutions and setting an agenda for the coming business sessions.

While the conference committee met, a secret, self-appointed committee also met for fear that the conference committee would attempt to steer the General Council toward a high level of structural organization. This secret committee wrote its own resolution.

According to William Menzies, in his book Anointed to Serve, the conference committee caught wind of this secret committee and invited them to meet together for understanding. At first there was some apprehension, but since the secret committee’s resolution voiced the very values that the conference committee members were seeking, they approved of it. In the end, the same resolution was presented to the Council cosponsored by both committees. The Preamble and Resolution of Constitution approved by the 1914 General Council follows:

WHEREAS, God, our Heavenly Father, sent His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, into the world, Who purchased and redeemed fallen man with His own Precious blood, and called out of the world and saved a people, of whom He built and established His Church (Assembly of God. Mat. 16:18), upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the Head and Chief Corner-stone (Eph. 2:20), and organized and baptized it with the Holy Spirit, with its government upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6-7),

WHEREAS, He gave the Holy Inspired Scriptures, (Both old and new covenants, Heb. 8:6-13) as the all-sufficient rule for faith and practice, (2 Tim. 3:16), as follows: ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,’ we therefore shall not add to nor take from it (Rev. 22:18); and

WHEREAS, He commanded that there should be no schism (division, sectarianism) in His Body, the GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Church) of the first born, which are written in heaven, Heb. 12:23; and

WHEREAS, We recognize ourselves as members of said GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GOD, (which is God’s organism), and do not believe in identifying ourselves as, or establishing ourselves into, a sect, that is a human organization that legislates or forms laws and articles of faith and has jurisdiction over its members and creates unscriptural lines of fellowship and disfellowship and which separates itself from other members of the General Assembly (Church) of the first born, which is contrary to Christ’s prayer in St. John 17, and Paul’s teaching in Eph. 4:1-16, which we so heartily endorse:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, FIRST, That we recognize ourselves as a GENERAL COUNCIL of Pentecostal (Spirit Baptized) saints from local Churches of God in Christ, Assemblies of God, and various Apostolic Faith Missions and Churches, and Full Gospel Pentecostal Missions, and Assemblies of like faith in the United States of America, Canada, and Foreign Lands, whose purpose is neither to legislate laws of government, nor usurp authority over said various Assemblies of God, nor deprive them of their Scriptural and local rights and privileges, but to recognize Scriptural methods and order for worship, unity, fellowship, work and business for God, and to disapprove of all unscriptural methods, doctrines and conduct, and approve of all Scriptural truth and conduct, endeavoring to keep the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and to walk accordingly, as recorded in Eph. 4:17-32, and to consider the five purposes announced in the Convention Call in the February, 1914, issue of ‘WORD AND WITNESS;’

RESOLVED, SECOND, That we recognize all the above said Assemblies of various names, and when speaking of them refer to them by the general Scriptural name ‘Assemblies of God;’ and recommend that they all recognize themselves by the same name, that is, ‘Assembly of God’ and adopt it as soon as practicable for the purpose of being more Scriptural and also legal in transacting business, owning property, and executing missionary work in home and foreign lands, and for general convenience, unity and fellowship” (General Council Minutes, April 2-12, 1914, 4-5).

The General Council Minutes from April 2-12, 1914, records that the motion to accept the Preamble and Resolution of Constitution “was unanimously adopted amid great demonstration, the whole house rising to their feet and shouting praises to God. ‘Praise God from whom all blessing flow’ was sung. The power of God fell mightily upon the great Assembly. The Council broke up into a great praise meeting. The joy of God filled all hearts, and the multitude were moved to tears, and many wept for joy.”

Did the first General Council start a church or a parachurch missional network? It appears that they tried to do both. Their values were clear; they were committed to:

1) The trinitarian full gospel,

2) The authority of Scripture,

3) The unity of the Church, and

4) The non-legislative and non-sectarian basis for their organization to prevent it from dividing the Church, since they too were part of the universal Church.

With this in mind, they resolved to organize a council of Pentecostals that would gather together for greater missional effectiveness and accountability to biblical beliefs and practices, which would cultivate unity and maturity in the faith. They also approved of the five purposes presented in the convention call in the February 1914 issue of Word and Witness, and encouraged all local assemblies to take on the name “Assembly of God.”  The same Council went on to recognize four offices of the Church: Elder, Evangelist, Exhorter, and Deacon; appoint 12 Executive Presbyters; and authorize the formation of District Councils.

Read the entire text of the April 1914 issue of Word and Witness, which recounted what happened at the first General Council.

Also featured in this issue:

* “The Finished Work” by H. M. Savage.

* “What is Most Needed, Put Them to Praying” by Mrs. S. D. Mosaley.

* “Revival News in Home Land” by various authors.

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now

The Preamble and Resolution of Constitution approved by the 1914 General Council follows:

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick here.

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

 

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“The Call” to Hot Springs


This Week in AG History — “The Call” to Hot Springs

By Glenn Gohr
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 24 Mar 2014 – 4:19 PM CST

One hundred years ago, Pentecostal ministers and their families from across America were busy packing their belongings and starting on their travels to attend the organizational meeting of the Assemblies of God at Hot Springs, Arkansas. These ministers were responding to “The Call to Hot Springs,” an invitation published in issues of the Word and Witness newspaper (a forerunner of the Pentecostal Evangel) from December 1913 through March 1914.

“The Call to Hot Springs” was initially signed by five Pentecostal ministers who stepped out in faith: M. M. Pinson of Phoenix, Arizona; A. P. Collins of Fort Worth, Texas; H. A. Goss of Hot Springs, Arkansas; D. C. O. Opperman of Houston, Texas; and E. N. Bell of Malvern, Arkansas. They realized the need for the creation of structures such as schools and a mission agency, as well as the need for greater accountability on doctrine, morals, and finances.

These five men were already members of loose networks of Pentecostal ministers, but they wanted to create a stronger organization in order to accomplish five major goals:

1. Create unity in doctrine and in identifying Pentecostal congregations.

2. Develop ways to conserve the work at home and abroad.

3. Develop a workable system for the support of missionaries.

4. Charter local churches under “one Bible name.”

5. Discuss the possibility of a Bible training school.

By March 1914, the “Call to Hot Springs” had been endorsed by 33 ministers from various parts of the country.

The final announcement for the meeting stated: “Everybody all aboard for the Hot Springs convention. This is the final call for objects as previously specified in Word and Witness. Meeting to be in old Grand Opera house, 200 Central Ave. All who can, come prepared to board yourself and pay your own fare to and fro. We will help as far as God supplies the means to supply meals and rooms for saints attending who cannot. No dead beats allowed. Bring your own bed clothing. Many expect to come.”

Approximately 300 delegates and visitors attended this first general council of the Assemblies of God, held April 2-12, 1914.

Prior to the first general council, D. C. O. Opperman conducted a short-term Bible school at the downtown Hot Springs Opera House. Several of Opperman’s students stayed in Hot Springs to participate in the founding council. The council, which lasted for 10 days, included a march down Main Street, waving flags and singing gospel songs; street rallies; times of prayer; lively worship; preaching; and business matters.

Read the entire text of “‘The Call’ to Hot Springs” on page 1 of the December 1913, issue of Word and Witness.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Bible School is Soon to Be Held in Hot Springs, Ark.” by Daniel C. O. Opperman

* “Woodworth-Etter Meetings”

* “The Second Blessing” by E. N. Bell

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

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

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Central Assembly of God in Springfield, MO: 100 years of ministry


This past weekend Central Assembly here in Springfield, Missouri (Pastor James Bradford), held an all-church banquet on June 1, 2007 and special services on Sunday, June 3rd. The banquet commemorated to the day, the 100th anniversary of the church. It was during the wee hours of the morning of June 1, 1907 when Lillie Harper Corum was baptized in the Spirit in her living room in Springfield, after praying with her sister, Rachel Sizelove, an evangelist who had come from the famed Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles.

Further details of this testimony and much of the early history of Central Assembly is contained in a book produced by the Corum Family called The Sparkling Fountain. The book is still available for those interested. (See the Seen in Print section of the FPHC website.)

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers and Assistant Archivist Glenn Gohr sold copies of The Sparkling Fountain, and Central Assembly sold copies of its new history book, Windows Into Central’s 100 Years of Ministry: Ordinary People God Used to Build an Extraordinary Church. This brief history contains vignettes of some of the former pastors and important families in the church as well as a time line of significant events in the church’s history. Central, now located on the block south of the AG Headquarters, became the mother church for several of the 30 AG congregations now in Springfield.

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Celebrating 100 years of Pentecost in Springfield, Missouri

Corum Farmhouse


Farmhouse where Lillie Corum was baptized in the Spirit in 1907

June 1, 2007 marks 100 years of Pentecost in Springfield, Missouri.

Just after the Azusa Street revival broke out in Los Angeles in 1906, Evangelist Rachel Harper Sizelove began writing glowing reports to her sister, Lillie Corum, who lived in Springfield, Missouri. Mrs. Corum started reading copies of William Seymour’s Apostolic Faith paper, and she earnestly began seeking and praying to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

The next May, Rachel Sizelove traveled from Azusa Street to Springfield to visit her sister and family. And in an all-night prayer meeting, Lillie Corum was baptized in the Spirit at her farmhouse in the wee hours of June 1, 1907. She is credited with being the first person in Springfield to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. And soon afterwards, the Corum family, rejected by their Baptist pastor, began holding prayer meetings in their home. This was the beginning of Central Assembly of God, the mother church in Springfield, Missouri.

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Eureka Springs Assembly celebrates 100 years


The 100th anniversary celebration of First Assembly of God in Eureka Springs, Arkansas takes place this weekend (March 30-April 1, 2007). The theme of the three-day event is “Celebrating 100 Years of Pentecost and More.” The public is invited to attend any or all of the services. The church is located on Ark. Hwy. 23 on the south side of Eureka Springs.

Former pastor Bob Willhite is preaching on Friday night at 7 p.m. Then a number of former pastors will be on hand Saturday morning at 11 a.m. for the church’s radio program, “Christian Perspective,” hosted by pastor Gene Gilmore on KTCN, 100.9 FM. A barbecue is planned for Saturday afternoon and a 7 p.m. concert with Louisiana-based New Liberty Quartet.

Sunday activities include a special Sunday school class on “The Church and Its Mission” taught by three former pastors. Rev. Glenn Beaver, secretary-treasurer of the West Texas District AG, is the speaker for the 10:30 a.m. service. Afterwards a time capsule will be placed on the grounds of the church, followed by an afternoon luncheon.

That evening, Rev. Eugene Rose will preach, and a commemorative gift of $35,000 will be given to Missionary Kerry Mauldin for the construction of a new church building in India.

Eureka Springs Assembly of God is one of several AG churches in the nation currently celebrating 100 years.

Adapted from an article in the Carroll County News Weekend Edition.

Additional information can be found in “Centennial Churches: A Survey” in the 2007 issue of Heritage.

Posted by Glenn Gohr

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Review: The Azusa Street Revival and Its Legacy


Azusa Street Revival and Its Legacy

The Azusa Street Revival and Its Legacy, edited by Harold D. Hunter and Cecil M. Robeck, Jr. Cleveland, TN: Pathway Press, 2006.

The Azusa Street Centennial (Los Angeles, 2006) brought together approximately 45,000 Pentecostal pilgrims who traveled from all corners of the globe to celebrate, worship and reflect on the paths that led them to where they are in their spiritual journeys. Right in the heart of the celebration, historians gathered in an academic track where they presented a series of papers highlighting the most up-to-date scholarship on the history and legacy of the Azusa Street revival. Two leading Pentecostal historians, Harold D. Hunter and Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., assembled the majority of these papers, now available in The Azusa Street Revival and Its Legacy. Continue reading

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