Tag Archives: Church of God in Christ

Important COGIC Collection: Nearly 500 Early Photographs Now Online at iFPHC.org

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers with Rev. Elijah L. Hill, displaying the collection.

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers with Rev. Elijah L. Hill, displaying the collection.

An important collection of almost 500 historic photographs relating to the Church of God in Christ is now accessible for free on the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website. The photographs (circa 1899-1960s), from the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection, portray men and women who pioneered the African-American Pentecostal denomination.

The photographs were collected by Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945) and her daughter, Ida F. Baker. Robinson organized the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Women’s Department in 1911 and was the most prominent female COGIC leader until her death. As head of women’s auxiliaries, she founded the Prayer and Bible Band and the Sewing Circle. She also helped to lay the foundation for the creation of the Missions Department (originally known as the Home and Foreign Missions Band).

Mother Lizzie Robinson

Mother Lizzie Robinson

Elijah L. Hill, the COGIC minister and historian who deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC), described the photographs as “a rare glimpse into the faces of those who suffered and yet overcame the world.” In his biography of Robinson, Women Come Alive, Hill detailed how Robinson encouraged COGIC women to become self-determining, before the broader society recognized women’s suffrage and civil rights for African-Americans.

FPHC director Darrin Rodgers praised Hill for building bridges. According to Rodgers, “Elder Hill rescued these photographs from destruction decades ago. He has joined hands with the Heritage Center, and together we are working to preserve and promote these treasures that bring to life the heritage of African-American Pentecostals.”

The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection consists of, in addition to the photographs, approximately 100 publications and Hill’s research files on Robinson. The collection was dedicated in a special service on October 4, 2013, in the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.

The online collection will be unveiled at the biennial General Council of the Assemblies of God, slated for August 2-8, 2015, in Orlando, Florida. Elijah L. Hill will join Darrin Rodgers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center booth at General Council, where they will interact with expected crowds in excess of 20,000 people.

Click here to view thumbnail images of the photographs. Click on the title next to each thumbnail image to see larger images.

Click here to watch the dedication service of the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection.

Click here to watch a panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, COGIC historian Glenda Goodson, Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks. Panelists dialogued about Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC and the Assemblies of God.

Rev. Elijah L. Hill is assembling biographies of Church of God in Christ leaders pictured in the photographs. To submit biographies, go to Hill’s website: www.cogicmuseum.org.

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, located in the Assemblies of God National Office in Springfield, Missouri, is the largest Pentecostal archive and research center in the world. The FPHC collects historically significant materials from across the denominational, ethnic, linguistic, and national divides within the broader Pentecostal and charismatic movements. For additional information, explore the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website.

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Do you have Pentecostal historical materials that should be preserved? Please consider depositing these materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. 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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Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Symposium Slated for Springfield, MO, September 17-18, 2012

A symposium honoring the late Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr., is scheduled to be held in Springfield, Missouri, September 17-18, 2012. James O. Patterson, Sr. (1912-1989) served as Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States, from 1968 to 1989.

The Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Symposium will celebrate the centenary of Patterson’s birth and also will dedicate the Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Collection. Patterson’s widow, Mother Mary P. Patterson, deposited Bishop Patterson’s personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in Springfield, Missouri, in the national offices of the Assemblies of God, is the largest Pentecostal archive and research center in the world.

Four Church of God in Christ dignitaries will be participating in the Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Symposium:

Mother Mary P. Patterson
Bishop Lemuel Thuston (Kansas East Jurisdiction, COGIC)
Dr. David Daniels (the foremost COGIC historian)
Sara Jordan Powell (Gospel music artist and founder of the COGIC Fine Arts Department)

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

Monday, Sept 17, 2012
10:30-11:30 am
Honoring the Centenary of the Birth of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.
Speaker: Bishop Lemuel Thuston
Location: Central Bible College chapel, 3000 N. Grant Ave., Springfield, MO 65803

3:30-5:00 pm
Reception for Mother Mary P. Patterson, David Daniels, and Sara Jordan Powell
Location: Assemblies of God Theological Seminary Great Hall, 1435 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO 65802

Tuesday, Sept 18, 2012
8:00-9:00 am
Dedication of the Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Collection
Speaker: Dr. David Daniels
Location: Assemblies of God National Office chapel, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802

Mother Mary P. Patterson organized an earlier event, held on July 19 at the Tower Center in Memphis, commemorating the centenary of Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.’s birth. The event made the front page of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

The Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Collection is an important part of the expanding collection of African-American Pentecostal treasures at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. These historical materials provide the basis for ongoing research and reflec­tion about our shared Pentecostal heri­tage and are attracting increasing num­bers of students and researchers to Springfield.

The Patterson collection takes its place alongside other significant collections, including the original Azusa Street newspapers and Smith Wigglesworth’s original sermon notes. In the last year, ten major research collections were deposited at the FPHC, including collections assembled by these scholars, church leaders, and institutions: Pentecostal historians Grant Wacker, William W. Menzies, and Steve Durasoff; Hispanic-American Pentecostal pioneer H. C. Ball; German-American Pentecostal pioneer George H. Rueb; Bethany University; and African-American Oneness collector Robert James McGoings, Jr.

The dedication of the Patterson Collection is not just about archiving history. Mother Mary P. Patterson believes it has much broader implications. The 2011 edition of AG Heritage magazine (p. 73) reported the following:

Mother Patterson believes that establishing the Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Collection at the FPHC is part of a larger divine plan. “My husband worked to build bridges between the Church of God in Christ and other churches. I believe this could be a catalyst for significant bridge-building between our Pentecostal churches. God is bringing things together in a miraculous way.”

Patterson is excited about the broader implications of this archival relationship. She states, “I am entrust­ing the Assemblies of God to help preserve and promote my husband’s materials. I want to send a signal that our two churches can and should cooperate in areas like education and historical archives.”

Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. often quoted Mark 12:37: “And the common people heard Him gladly.” According to Mother Patterson, the symposium in Springfield will pro­vide “an opportunity for the ‘common people’ — not just leaders — from the churches to rub shoulders and to get to know each other.”

The Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr. Symposium is free and is open to the public. An oral history video interview is also scheduled to be recorded with symposium participants. Gospel music artist Sara Jordan Powell will provide sacred music for the two chapel services. For additional information about the symposium, contact the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center by email (archives@ag.org) or toll free by telephone (877-840-5200).

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Review: Northern Harvest

rPentecostalism in North Dakota

Northern Harvest: Pentecostalism in North Dakota, by Darrin J. Rodgers. Bismarck, North Dakota: North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God, 2003.

Northern Harvest documents the rise of Pentecostalism in North Dakota from a few scattered congregations at the turn of the twentieth-century to its present status as the state’s fourth largest religious group. While many historians contend that revivals in Topeka, Kansas (1901) and Los Angeles, California (1906-09) became the focal point of the emerging worldwide Pentecostal movement, Rodgers unearthed evidence that earlier revivals in Minnesota and the Dakotas provided it with precedents and leaders. North Dakotans, Pentecostals, and historians will be intrigued that a network of Scandinavian immigrant churches on the northern Great Plains practiced tongues-speech and healing before the better-known Topeka and Azusa Street revivals. This is the first significant study of Pentecostal origins in Scandinavian pietism in Minnesota and the Dakotas, exploring the movement’s roots outside the American Wesleyan and Holiness traditions. Continue reading

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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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