Tag Archives: Charles F. Parham

Review: Charles F. Parham and the Apostolic Faith Churches

A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, by Charles F. Parham. Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, [c1944].

Selected Sermons of the Late Charles F. Parham and Sarah E. Parham, Co-founders of the Original Apostolic Faith Movement, compiled by Robert Parham. Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, c1941.

The Everlasting Gospel, by Charles F. Parham. Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, c1930.

The Life of Charles F. Parham: Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement, by Sarah Parham. Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, c1930. (this volume not pictured above)

Out in the Fields with God: My Life Story, by Pearl Menke. Kingman, KS: The Author, [1970s].

Bible Doctrine, by Jacob Regier. Baxter Springs, KS: Apostolic Faith Bible College, c1963.

The Apostolic Faith Churches, with its headquarters in Baxter Springs, Kansas, holds a unique distinction among Pentecostal churches.

Its founder, Charles F. Parham, provided the doctrinal framework for the young Pentecostal movement. Parham’s identification in scripture of speaking in tongues as the “Bible evidence” (later called the “initial evidence”) of Spirit baptism became a defining mark of the emerging Pentecostal movement. After students at his Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas, began speaking in tongues at a prayer meeting on January 1, 1901, Parham, through his Apostolic Faith Movement (later called Apostolic Faith Churches), had some success in promoting the restoration of the gift of tongues. While the Apostolic Faith Movement was largely confined to the south central United States, the 1906 revival at Azusa Street in Los Angeles catapulted Pentecostalism before a worldwide audience.

The Apostolic Faith Churches today consist of several dozen congregations, located primarily in the south central United States. The church also operates The Apostolic Faith Bible College, a ministerial training school located in Baxter Springs. The school does not charge tuition — a common practice among early Pentecostal groups but rare today.

The influence of the Apostolic Faith Churches has extended far beyond its own organization. Most famously, William Seymour, the leader at the Azusa Street revival (1906-09) in Los Angeles, was trained at an Apostolic Faith school in Houston, Texas, in 1905 before he moved to Los Angeles in 1906. The Assemblies of God also has roots in Parham’s Apostolic Faith — the largest group of ministers at the 1914 founding meeting of the Assemblies of God was part of an organization that parted ways with Parham in 1907.

Four extremely important early books by or about Parham have been reprinted by the Apostolic Faith Churches: The Life of Charles Parham, a biography by his wife, Sarah Parham; A Voice Crying in the Wilderness and The Everlasting Gospel, two theological works by Charles Parham; and Selected Sermons of Charles Parham, compiled by his son, Robert Parham. These four book are essential primary sources for serious students of the Pentecostal movement.

Two additional books, important for the understanding of the development of the Apostolic Faith Churches after Charles Parham’s 1929 death, are also available: Bible Doctrine, by Jacob Regier; and Out in the Fields with God, by Pearl Menke. Regier’s book, since its first publication in 1963, has been the Apostolic Faith Churches’ standard doctrinal work. Menke’s autobiographical volume provides firsthand insights from an Apostolic Faith minister, from her recollections of the Parham family to her faith-building experiences as a female preacher in the Midwest. Continue reading

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Top Pentecostal history books in libraries


Next to Assemblies of God Heritage magazine the Bible, what is your favorite reading material? Do you have a top ten list of your all-time favorite books?

We thought it would be interesting to see which Pentecostal history books are most popular in libraries. So, we logged onto FirstSearch (aka WorldCat or OCLC, which is available at your local library) and searched for books with the following terms in their subject headings. The top ten books for each term, in terms of the numbers of libraries holding each book, are below.

Pentecostal history
1. Heaven Below : Early Pentecostals and American Culture / Grant Wacker (Harvard University Press, 2001) 878 libraries
2. Reinventing American Protestantism : Christianity in the New Millennium / Donald E. Miller (University of California Press, 1997) 847 libraries Continue reading

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