Lois Hodges, the widow of leading Assemblies of God missiologist Melvin L. Hodges (1909-1988), celebrated her 100th birthday on September 23, 2008. Darrin Rodgers, director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, recently sat down with Sister Hodges and recorded an oral history interview.
The interview was recorded in two parts. In part one, Sister Hodges discussed her childhood as well as the background of her husband. Melvin Hodges’s father, Charles, was a 1902 graduate of Boston Theological Seminary (now Boston University School of Theology), the oldest Methodist seminary in the United States. While pastoring in Washington State, he grew disenchanted with “ecclesiasticism,” cast his lot with the Pentecostals, and ultimately joined the Assemblies of God. His son, Melvin, was called to the ministry at age 10, learned Greek from his father at age 13, and matriculated at Colorado College at age 15. A precocious young man, Melvin’s theological knowledge and preaching skills became widely noted, including by a young woman named Lois from Fort Collins, Colorado. Melvin and Lois married in 1928.
In part two of the interview, Sister Hodges recounted her life and ministry with Melvin, telling stories of how they had to live by faith during the Great Depression — when they did not have a regular income and food was scarce. They pioneered churches in Colorado and Wyoming until leaving for the mission field in Central America in 1935 with three young children. Melvin and Lois returned to Springfield in 1954. From 1954 to 1973, Melvin Hodges served as AG field director for Latin America and the West Indies. He then became a professor of missions at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He was a prolific writer, and many of his publications deal with missions, church growth, and the indigenous church principle.
Posted by Darrin J. Rodgers