Heart for the Harvest, Stories of Vision, Faith, & Courage, by Jeff Farmer and Andrea Johnson. Des Moines, IA: Open Bible Publishers, 2009.
Two Pentecostal groups starting from revival movements in the Northwest in 1919 and in Iowa in 1932 eventually discovered they shared most of the same doctrines and passion for spreading the gospel around the world. After comparing notes, praying, and attending each other’s conferences, they reasoned that they could more effectively minister for the Kingdom together than apart. They consolidated their efforts in 1935, becoming the Open Bible Standard Churches with headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. Today the group—much larger than in 1935—is known as Open Bible Churches and still operates from the capital city of Iowa.
The Northwest group began when Fred Hornshuh and other young Pentecostal ministers associated with Florence Crawford and her Apostolic Faith group in Portland, Oregon, came to disagreements with the leadership. They struck out on their own as the Bible Standard Mission to evangelize and plant churches. And they soon sent missionaries to foreign fields; created two periodicals: Bible Standard and Bible Standard Overcomers; and launched a Bible school in Eugene, Oregon.
Their evangelizing passion and excitement during the 1920s and the Great Depression apparently knew no bounds. Big game hunter Hornshuh could throw up revival tents, dig church basements, hammer nails, and advertise his meetings as well as he could preach from street corners and crude tent pulpits.
Sixty years after he pioneered as the Bible Standard Mission, Hornshuh reminisced: “We did things on the spur of the moment. We had no higher officer to consult like a district superintendent or board of evangelism. We had to find the mind of God quickly and then move as he directed. When we acted without analyzing all the difficulties, everything fell into line. As we bulldozed ahead, the Lord met us.”