Tag Archives: COGIC

Andrae Crouch: The COGIC Minister Who Bridged the Racial Gap in Gospel Music

Andree Crouch

David Mainse (right) welcomes guest Andrae Crouch (left) to the Assemblies of God television program, Turning Point, in 1977.

This Week in AG History — May 22, 1977

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 24 May 2018

Andrae Edward Crouch (1942-2015) was a gospel singer, composer, music producer, and pastor of New Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in Los Angeles. As an 11-year-old preacher’s son, Crouch’s father asked him, “Andrae, if the Lord gives you the gift of music, will you use it?” Young Andrae replied, “Yeah, Daddy. I’ll play for the Lord.”

That week Crouch’s mother bought him a cardboard keyboard to learn some fingering techniques. According to a 1977 interview published in the Pentecostal Evangel, two weeks later his father called him to the church piano and said, “If you’re going to play, then play!” The song the church was singing was What A Friend We Have in Jesus and Andrae begin to hit different notes until he found one that sounded right. He remembered, “In our churches they sing in any key, you know, and just take off without a songbook. And there was, oh, it was just really a touch of God, and I knew that He had a plan for my life.”

Andrae and his twin sister, Sandra, spent their childhood singing in their father’s church and in community choirs, including one led by gospel musician, James Cleveland. When they were 14 years old, Andrae and Sandra were invited to Cleveland’s home for a barbeque. Andrae recalled looking up to Cleveland and thinking, I wish I could write a song. Watching the adults pour the large vat of barbeque sauce over the ribs, it reminded Andrae of the blood of Jesus and he begin to sing, “The blood that Jesus shed for me way back on Calvary, the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power.” Sandra wrote the words down but Andrae wasn’t happy with it and threw it in the trash. Sandra said, “Andrae, that was a good song!” She dug it out of the trash can, and kept it.

In 1965, Crouch was attending the annual COGIC conference when the speaker asked, “Is there anyone here that wants to be used of God?” Crouch responded to the altar call and after the service several young men came up to him and said, “Hey, we’ve heard you play at your dad’s church. Would you come over and play for us at Teen Challenge?” Upon learning that Teen Challenge was a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, Crouch tried to put them off by saying, “Maybe I’ll come over sometime.” They responded with, “Come by tonight.” Andrae went with them but had no desire to work with them. Yet on the way home he kept hearing an addict’s choir singing in his head. After a long prayer session, Crouch felt God telling him to sell the car he loved, quit his job, and go to Teen Challenge to start a traveling choir of former drug addicts.

Alongside his work with the choir at Teen Challenge and at his father’s church, Crouch starting singing locally with a group of friends who called themselves “The Disciples.” In 1969, Ralph Carmichael, a Pentecostal record producer, heard them and invited them to a session to record an album, Take the Message Everywhere. Thirteen years after Sandra pulled Andrae’s first attempt at songwriting out of the trash can, listeners heard on the airwaves the song, The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.

Crouch soon left Teen Challenge and began traveling full time in music ministry, including an early engagement with a traveling evangelist who took him on a world tour just a few short years after his first album, giving a wide audience to the musician and songwriter whose popularity was burgeoning. By 1973, Crouch had recorded a live album at Carnegie Hall and in 1975 appeared with Billy Graham at a televised crusade in New Mexico.

The impact of Andrae Crouch’s influence on contemporary Christian music in the 1970s and forward is impossible to quantify. For the first time, mainstream Christian radio stations were playing music performed by a black man for white audiences on a large scale. Crouch’s concerts drew both black and white audiences at a time when most concerts were segregated whether by intention or not.

Today Crouch’s songs, such as Bless the Lord, O My Soul; My Tribute (To God Be the Glory); and Through It All can be found in most contemporary hymnals. Few musicians can say they had both the respect of evangelist Billy Graham and the respect of pop-icon Michael Jackson, whose public memorial service included Crouch’s choir singing his song, Soon and Very Soon.

When he died in 2015, he had won eight Grammy awards and had an Oscar nomination for his music on the movie, The Color Purple. Despite the fame and fortune, Andrae Crouch remained in the COGIC ministry and, along with his sister, Sandra, served as co-pastor of the church his father founded in Los Angeles. Broadly speaking, Andrae Crouch was one of the most widely influential Pentecostal ministers of the 20th century.

Read more about David Mainse’s interview with Andrae Crouch for Turning Point TV program on page 20 of the May 22, 1977, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
• “Just Waiting,” by Carolyn G. Tennant
• “Tooling Up for the Unfinished Task,” by Thomas F. Zimmerman
• “The Ex-Smuggler,” by Rachel Petersen, missionary to the Dominican Republic
And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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AG Educator Helps Dedicate Mississippi Historical Marker Where COGIC Bishop Mason Was Jailed in 1918

Bishop Mason was incarcerated in 1918 in the jail cell in the Holmes County Courthouse. He was falsely accused of treason by those opposed to his Holiness message. The jail cell is now a pilgrimage site, open to the public and decorated with hand-painted murals depicting his incarceration.

Bishop Mason was incarcerated in 1918 in the jail cell in the Holmes County Courthouse. He was falsely accused of treason by those opposed to his Holiness message. The jail cell is now a pilgrimage site, open to the public and decorated with hand-painted murals depicting his incarceration.

Dr. Byron Klaus, retired president of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (1999-2015), was a keynote speaker at the dedication of a State Historical Marker honoring the birthplace of the Church of God in Christ. The event, held in Lexington, Mississippi, on October 16, 2015, evidenced the deepening relationship between the Assemblies of God and the Church of God in Christ.

While the Church of God in Christ is the largest predominantly black Pentecostal denomination in the United States, its roots are often overlooked. Few people noticed when Charles H. Mason founded a small Holiness church in 1897 in Lexington. Rejected by his fellow African-American Baptists on account of his Holiness teachings, he represented a marginalized religious group within a marginalized race. But his teachings caught fire among both African-Americans and whites, and his followers soon stretched far beyond the small Mississippi town. When Mason identified with the Pentecostal revival in 1907, he parted ways with ministry colleague Charles P. Jones and reorganized his followers as the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Immediately, the COGIC became one of the largest and most-respected fellowships in the fledgling Pentecostal movement.

Lexington’s role in COGIC history has been largely overshadowed by Memphis, home of COGIC international headquarters. Seeing this inequity, Mother Mary P. Patterson (widow of former Presiding Bishop J. O. Patterson, Sr.) launched a grassroots campaign to encourage COGIC members to rediscover their Lexington roots. Since 2006, Patterson has organized tours of the historic sites through her company, The Pentecostal Heritage Connection, and she built relationships with Lexington officials, church leaders, and historians.

Patterson’s efforts culminated on October 16, 2015, when a State Historical Marker honoring the COGIC’s birthplace was dedicated at the south entrance of the Holmes County Courthouse in Lexington. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History approved the marker, and the Church of God in Christ Board of Bishops, chaired by Bishop John H. Sheard, sponsored and paid for the recognition. David Daniels, chairman of the COGIC Commission on Education, supported the project with historical documentation.

The dedication ceremony, organized by Patterson, featured three keynote speakers: Byron Klaus; Superintendent William Deans, pastor of St. Paul Church of God in Christ, Lexington (the first COGIC congregation); and Dr. Percy Washington, pastor of Sweet Canaan Church of God in Christ, Lexington (the second COGIC congregation). Each speaker provided historical insight into Lexington’s significance in COGIC history.

Two buses of ministers and members from the COGIC’s Tennessee 5th Jurisdiction, located in Memphis, traveled to Lexington, where they supported their bishop, Jerry W. Taylor, who unveiled the marker on behalf of the Board of Bishops. Over 80 young people from Taylor’s jurisdiction attended. Local government officials were in full force, each offering their heartfelt prayers and committing the city to provide hospitality for pilgrims. Speakers frequently drew parallels between Scripture and COGIC history. “If Memphis is the Church of God in Christ’s Jerusalem,” stated Patterson, “then Lexington is its Nazareth.”

Byron Klaus noted that the marker’s location is “is a poignant reminder that following Jesus is not an easy path.” The Holmes County Courthouse, he explained, intersected with COGIC history several times. In 1897 Mason began preaching on the courthouse steps, and then moved services to private homes and an abandoned gin house. While in Lexington, he founded St. Paul Church of God in Christ, the world’s first COGIC congregation. Later, in 1918, Mason was incarcerated in the jail cell in the basement of the courthouse on trumped-up charges that he opposed American involvement in World War I. Other church leaders who opposed the Holiness message tried to sabotage Mason’s ministry by falsely accusing him of treason. The jail cell that once held Mason is now a pilgrimage site, open to the public and decorated with hand-painted murals depicting his incarceration.

Lexington was also home to Saints Industrial and Literary School, established in 1918 by Sister Pinkie Duncan and Professor James Courts to train African-American children. Under Dr. Arenia Mallory, president of the school from 1926 to 1983, the school became known as Saint’s Academy and was a prominent K-12 school in the community. Dr. Mallory was a leading advocate for civil rights and the poor in Holmes County. The school closed in 2006.

Mason, a bridge builder, was ahead of his time. He worked with both blacks and whites, striving to overcome the color barriers of his day. Klaus recounted that Mason gave his blessing in 1914 to the formation of the Assemblies of God. “I am forever grateful for that blessing from a father in the faith,” Klaus told the crowd.

Patterson believes that God is bringing the Assemblies of God and the Church of God in Christ into closer relationship. She demonstrated her commitment to this in 2011, when she deposited her husband’s personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The FPHC, located in the Assemblies of God national office, is the world’s largest Pentecostal archives. Patterson stated, “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.”

The heritage of the Church of God in Christ has much to teach the broader church. Its Lexington roots remind believers that great things often germinate from small beginnings, that the way of holiness is often marked by suffering, and that Pentecostalism emerged at the turn of the 20th century with an interracial impulse. These lessons come to life in Lexington, Mississippi.

Originally published 23 October 2015 on PE News

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

State Historical Marker dedicated on the south lawn of the Holmes County Courthouse, October 16, 2015.

State Historical Marker dedicated on the south lawn of the Holmes County Courthouse, October 16, 2015.

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Pictured (L-R): Darrin Rodgers, director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center; Mother Mary P. Patterson; Byron Klaus, former president of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

About 125 people attended the dedication.

About 125 people attended the dedication.

Lexington

St. Paul Church of God in Christ, the oldest COGIC congregation in the world, was founded in Lexington in 1897.

St. Paul Church of God in Christ, the oldest COGIC congregation in the world, was founded in Lexington in 1897.

Bishop Mason began preaching in 1897 on these steps on the south end of the Holmes County Courthouse.

Bishop Mason began preaching in 1897 on these steps on the south end of the Holmes County Courthouse.

Dr. Byron Klaus, standing in the original pulpit in St. Paul Church of God in Christ, Lexington, MS. Bishop Mason preached from this pulpit.

Dr. Byron Klaus, standing in the original pulpit in St. Paul Church of God in Christ, Lexington, MS. Bishop Mason preached from this pulpit.

Bishop Mason was incarcerated in 1918 in the jail cell in the Holmes County Courthouse. He was falsely accused of treason by those opposed to his Holiness message. The jail cell is now a pilgrimage site, open to the public and decorated with hand-painted murals depicting his incarceration.

Bishop Mason was incarcerated in 1918 in the jail cell in the Holmes County Courthouse. He was falsely accused of treason by those opposed to his Holiness message. The jail cell is now a pilgrimage site, open to the public and decorated with hand-painted murals depicting his incarceration.

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Elder Eddie R. Driver and Saints’ Home Church of God in Christ (Los Angeles, CA)

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This Week in AG History–December 2, 1916
By Darrin Rodgers

Also published in AG-News, Mon, 01 Dec 2014 – 4:42 PM CST

A small notice about an ongoing revival at the Saints’ Home Church in Los Angeles might have escaped the attention of readers of the December 2, 1916, issue of the Weekly Evangel (the predecessor to the Pentecostal Evangel). Unless the reader was familiar with the pastor and the congregation, the revival report would have been indistinguishable from countless similar articles. The congregation’s pastor, Eddie R. Driver, reported spiritual progress: “God is blessing these meetings with a full house, souls are being saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost, the sick are being healed, and there is a great outpouring of God’s choicest blessings accompanying every service.”

The pastor, Eddie Driver (1868-1944), was an African-American businessman and attorney (he was licensed to practice general and corporation law in Memphis in 1892). He accepted the call to preach in 1893 and became a Baptist pastor. Several years later he became friends with Charles H. Mason, the influential African-American Holiness Baptist pastor who went on to found the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Driver joined Mason’s organization, became Chairman of the COGIC Council of Elders, and drafted the COGIC’s original articles of incorporation.

In 1914, Mason asked Driver to move from Memphis to Los Angeles to establish a COGIC congregation. Driver complied and became pastor of an existing Pentecostal congregation, the Apostolic Mission at 14th and Woodson Streets. The congregation had roots in the interracial Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909), which had been a focal point in the emerging Pentecostal movement. As the Azusa Street revival fires grew dim, numerous small Pentecostal missions popped up across the City of Angels. The Apostolic Mission was one of those new congregations.

Driver organized the congregation as Saints’ Home Church of God in Christ in 1914, the first COGIC located in the western states. Driver personified the interracial nature of early Los Angeles Pentecostalism. He had a mixed ethnic heritage and could pass as an African-American, a Mexican, or a Filipino. The congregation’s leadership consisted of blacks, whites, Mexicans, and Filipinos.

Something else about the 1916 article in the Weekly Evangel merits attention. Driver was promoting the ministry of a white evangelist, Thomas Griffin, who had been holding services at Saints’ Home Church. Griffin, an Irish Catholic who immigrated to the United States, accepted Christ and became a prominent Pentecostal evangelist during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Large portions of early issues of the Weekly Evangel were dedicated to small revival reports such as the one submitted by Driver. What was the racial makeup of these early congregations that promoted their activities in the Evangel? No one knows. It would require significant research to discover the identities of these early Pentecostal leaders and congregations. What we can know, as this article demonstrates, was that the early Pentecostal revival crossed the racial and ethnic divides.

Read the article, “Notes from the Field,” on page 14 of the December 2, 1916, issue of the Weekly Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Faith in Action in the Mission Field,” by Paul Bettex

* “God’s Prayer House,” by Elizabeth Sisson

* “Three Christian Soldiers,” by C. W. Doney

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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Video Now Available of COGIC Collection Dedication and Panel Discussion of Women in Ministry

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Originally published by AG-News, Mon, 14 Oct 2013 – 9:09 PM CST

The personal papers of Mother Lizzie Robinson, an important church leader in the early decades of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), have been deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC). The COGIC, a historic African-American church, is the largest Pentecostal denomination in the United States.

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The collection was dedicated in a special service on October 4 in the William Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Scholars, church leaders, and students from across the denominational and racial divides filled the chapel to honor the life of Mother Lizzie Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC.

Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945) organized the 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).

ElijahHillElijah Hill, the COGIC minister and historian who deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the FPHC, delivered the keynote address. He noted that Robinson lost her position as matron of Arkansas Baptist College after she was baptized in the Holy Spirit at age 46. COGIC founder Charles H. Mason then asked her to organize women in the COGIC. Hill explained how Robinson encouraged COGIC women to become self-determining, before the broader society recognized women’s suffrage and civil rights for African-Americans.

Hill noted that the original Pentecostal vision, which “transcended racism and sexism,” made it possible for Robinson to emerge as a leader. Importantly, Robinson provided the initial vision for COGIC world missions and the Women’s Department funded COGIC missionaries. Hill noted, “the globalization of COGIC came from Lizzie Robinson.”

GlendaGoodsonGlenda Goodson, a COGIC historian who also spoke at the dedication, provided an overview of the history of women in ministry in the COGIC. In one memorable story, she related how COGIC women desegregated the hotels in Albany, New York, in 1964. Goodson emphasized the powerful role of women in promoting the Holiness and Pentecostal message.

FPHC director Darrin Rodgers, as emcee of the program, praised Hill for building bridges. According to Rodgers, “What we’re witnessing today is more than just archiving old treasures. We are joining hands to work together, to honor not just one woman, but to honor and learn more about our shared Pentecostal testimony.”

Two African-American churches in Springfield participated in the dedication. Anitra Appleby of Sanctuary of Praise COGIC read Scripture, and David Knox and Quinci Williams of Deliverance Temple led worship. AGTS president Byron Klaus gave the prayer of dedication, noting that Robinson was “an example of how the power of Pentecost can break down man-made barriers in a world that desperately needs to hear the gospel.” Assemblies of God U.S. Missions executive director Zollie Smith offered a heart-felt prayer of dismissal, encouraging the present generation to grab the torch passed from Robinson and other Pentecostal pioneers. He prayed for unity in Christ “so that souls might be reached in America.”

Elijah Hill IMG_0229 web
The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection includes the papers of Robinson and her daughter Ida F. Baker, as well as other publications collected by Hill. The collection includes approximately 500 original photographs (circa 1899-1960s), approximately 100 publications, and Hill’s research files on Robinson.

A panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, Glenda Goodson, FPHC director Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks was also filmed. Panelists dialogued about Robinson and the legacy of women in the COGIC and the Assemblies of God.

Watch the dedication service of the Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection.

Watch the panel discussion.

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Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection to be Dedicated October 4, 2013

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Mother Lizzie Robinson

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) is delighted to announce the dedication of a significant collection of Church of God in Christ (COGIC) historical materials.

The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection will be dedicated on Friday, October 4, at 2 p.m. in the William Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

Mother Lizzie Robinson (1860-1945), the organizer of the COGIC Women’s Department, served alongside Bishop Charles H. Mason in an important role in the formational decades of the COGIC. 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). Elijah Hill, a COGIC minister and historian, deposited Robinson’s personal papers at the FPHC.

The public is welcome to attend the dedication service. The service will honor Lizzie Robinson and highlight the legacy of women in the COGIC. Elijah Hill, who has authored seven books, including a biography of Robinson, will speak on Mother Robinson’s life and legacy. Glenda Goodson, who has authored a history of pioneer women COGIC missionaries, will also participate in the program, providing an overview of the history of women in ministry in the COGIC. FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers will emcee the program and AGTS President Byron Klaus will deliver the dedicatory prayer. Dr. David Knox and Minister Quinci Williams of Deliverance Temple will lead worship with an introduction to Church of God in Christ hymnody. Zollie Smith, Executive Director Assemblies of God U.S. Missions, and representatives from Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ will also participate.

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The Mother Lizzie Robinson / Rev. Elijah L. Hill Collection includes the papers of Robinson and her daughter Ida F. Baker, as well as other publications collected by Hill. The collection includes approximately 500 original photographs (circa 1899-1960s), approximately 100 publications, and Hill’s research files on Robinson.

A panel discussion featuring Elijah Hill, Glenda Goodson, Darrin Rodgers, and Assemblies of God missions historian Barbara Cavaness Parks is also scheduled to be filmed.

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, located in Springfield, Missouri, is the largest Pentecostal archive and research center in the world. The Center collects historically significant materials from across the denominational, ethnic, linguistic, and national divides within the broader Pentecostal and charismatic movements. For additional information about the dedication, contact the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center by email (archives@ag.org) or toll free by telephone (877-840-5200).

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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 (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 Story Behind the Foot Washing at the 1994 “Memphis Miracle”

Click here to listen to Donald Evans tell the story behind the foot washing at the Memphis Miracle

Certain segments within early Pentecostalism – most prominently the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909) in Los Angeles, California – promoted a vision of “brotherly love” across the racial divides. However, this interracial vision was quickly eclipsed as Pentecostals set out to organize churches and did so largely along cultural and racial lines. When the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America – an umbrella organization for Pentecostal denominations – was formed in 1948, its founding members were all mostly-white denominations.

Recognizing the need to heal the racial divisions within Pentecostalism, church leaders came together in Memphis on October 18, 1994 and dissolved the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America. The next day the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) was formed by both white and black denominations. The meetings surrounding this monumental act of racial reconciliation came to a climax when, on October 18, a white Assemblies of God pastor, Donald Evans, approached the platform. He tearfully explained that he felt God’s leading to wash the feet of Church of God in Christ Bishop Ithiel Clemmons, while begging forgiveness for the sins of the whites against their black brothers and sisters. A wave of weeping swept over the auditorium. Participants sensed that this was the final seal of the Holy Spirit’s approval from the heart of God over the proceedings. This event, which became known as the “Memphis Miracle,” is a significant milestone in the annals of Pentecostal history. Continue reading

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Church of God in Christ tour with Mother Patterson

 

Mason Temple, Memphis, Tennessee

TOUR OF COGIC HOLY SITES (LEXINGTON AND MEMPHIS)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mother Mary P. Patterson (widow of Presiding Bishop J.O. Patterson Sr., 1968-1989) has agreed to lead a tour of Church of God in Christ holy sites in Lexington (MS) and Memphis (TN). The tour will occur on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, the day before the beginning of the Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) annual meeting.

Guests will see St. Paul Church Of God In Christ (the birthplace of the COGIC), Asia Baptist Church, Saints Industrial and Literary School, the jail cell where Bishop C.H. Mason was imprisoned in 1918 for allegedly preaching against the war, and other sites in Lexington, in addition to Mason Temple in Memphis.

Three scholars will accompany the tour and provide historical commentary: Dr. Elton Weaver (COGIC historian and Assistant Professor of History, Le Moyne-Owen College); Dr. Anjulet Tucker (Assistant Professor of Sociology and Religion, Boston University); and Dr. Percy Washington (pastor of Sweet Canaan COGIC, Lexington, MS).

The March 9, 2011 tour on Luxury Motor Coach will depart from and return to the Marriott Memphis Downtown (the official SPS hotel). Departure: 8:30 am. Return: 4 pm. Cost: $65 (lunch included). SPS members should make reservations through the SPS website prior to Feb. 1. Starting Feb. 1, any remaining seats will be offered to the general public. If insufficient guests register by Feb. 15, the tour may be cancelled and all fees will be refunded. For additional information, contact Darrin Rodgers at drodgers@ag.org or toll free at 877-840-5200.

This is a rare opportunity!

Tickets for the tour may be purchased on the SPS website: http://www.sps-usa.org/meetings/registration.htm. Non-SPS members may purchase tickets on the SPS website starting on February 1.

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A House No Longer Divided

 
 
 
Dr. Stanley Horton extemporaneously addressing participants at A House No Longer Divided, Timmons Temple COGIC, Monday, April 13. Horton was explaining that his father was pastor of a multiracial church in Arroyo Seco, Los Angeles, in 1926-1927. Members – half were black, half were white – would eat dinner together after every Sunday service. (Photo courtesy of Ken Horn)

Dr. Stanley Horton extemporaneously addressing participants at A House No Longer Divided, Timmons Temple COGIC, Monday, April 13. Horton was explaining that his father was pastor of a multiracial church in Arroyo Seco, Los Angeles, in 1926-1927. Members – half were black, half were white – would eat dinner together after every Sunday service. (Photo courtesy of Ken Horn)

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Co-sponsors Demonstration of Unity, Marking Unlikely Dual Anniversary of Springfield Lynching and Azusa Street Revival

On April 13-15, 2009, people from various ethnic, social, and denominational backgrounds gathered in Springfield, Missouri, to celebrate their unity in Christ. This demonstration of unity, dubbed “A House No Longer Divided,” was sparked by the unlikely dual anniversary of two events — the horrific Springfield Lynchings and the beginning of the multiethnic Azusa Street Revival, which has become a worldwide symbol for racial reconciliation. The meetings were held each evening from 7-9 pm at Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ (April 13-14) and at the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (April 15).

On April 14, 1906, three African-American men were lynched by a mob on the Springfield town square. The lynching of Horace Duncan, Fred Coker and Will Allen led to the flight of possibly hundreds of blacks to less hostile areas. The ethnic makeup of the community, to this day, reflects that horrific event. The African-American community in Springfield remembers the event much like Jews remember the Holocaust.

That same day, on April 14, 1906, William J. Seymour began holding services at the run-down mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles. The interracial Azusa Street revival, which emerged from meetings in a home on Bonnie Brae Street, became a focal point for the emerging Pentecostal movement. Azusa participant Frank Bartleman famously exulted that “the color line was washed away in the blood.” A little more than one year later, Rachel Sizelove, a Free Methodist-turned-Pentecostal evangelist, brought the movement to Springfield from Azusa Street and started what became Central Assembly of God.

“A House No Longer Divided” featured special speakers, preaching, and music. Timmons Temple Pastor T.J. Appleby emceed the services, and speakers included both seasoned and young ministers. Organist Beverly Daniels and the Timmons Temple gospel choir led participants in worship each evening. Half of each evening was devoted to gospel music, which was interspersed between speakers (each was given either 10 or 30 minutes to speak).

Continue reading

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Documenting the Early Days of Pentecost in Alabama


An early tent meeting in Geneva County, Alabama, about 1913
An early tent meeting in Geneva County, Alabama, about 1913

Rachel Dobson of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, has been researching the early history of the Assemblies of God movement in (mostly) southeast Alabama, for a series of independent study projects in the master’s program in library and information studies at the University of Alabama. She has been collecting documentation on tent revivals, camp meetings, brush arbor meetings (from newspapers, posters, oral histories like those at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center) that took place from about 1906 (when M. M. Pinson came to what is now El Bethel AG just north of New Brockton) until about 1918 or 1919, in a few counties of southeast Alabama, and possibly northwest Florida. She also has been resourcing information from county histories, church histories, Google Maps, and references such as The First Fifty Years: A Brief Review of the Assemblies of God in Alabama (1915-1965), by Robert H. Spence, 1965.

Her great grandfather, Lafayette Snellgrove, and her great-great uncle, Handy W. Bryant, and their families were born and raised in Coffee, Dale, and surrounding counties in Alabama. They attended many Pentecostal revivals and camp meetings around Wicksburg, New Brockton, Midland City, and as far away as Florala, in the first decades of the twentieth century. Lafayette and Handy were both ordained ministers, and her great-great aunt, Daisy S. Bryant, was licensed to preach. They attended the organizing meetings for the southeastern District in 1915, 1916, and 1917. She also located Handy Bryant’s name on some of the early rosters of the Churches of God in Christ. See links to these rosters at the blog entry for Church of God in Christ and in unity with the Apostolic Faith.

Rachel is especially interested in the early locations of camp meetings and the history of how churches were established because of these early meetings. Her research has taken her to reports of revival services in early publications such as the Word and Witness and the Christian Evangel (forerunner of the Pentecostal Evangel). Recently she posted some photographs of early camp meeting locations and historic churches in Alabama. These photos can be viewed on a photoset at Flickr.com called Early Pentecost in Alabama.

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Church of God in Christ and in unity with the Apostolic Faith

When the Assemblies of God was formed in 1914, the largest contingent of incoming ministers came from a loosely-organized group which, on its credentials, was identified as “Church of God in Christ and in unity with the Apostolic Faith.” This group had its roots in Charles Parham’s Apostolic Faith Movement, but had, by late 1910 or early 1911, changed its name to incorporate the term “Church of God in Christ.” This group, which consisted mostly of white ministers (although at least two black ministers were members), was better known as “Church of God in Christ.”

Little is known about this organization. Scholars have given it the label the “[white] Church of God in Christ” to differentiate it from another organization also named the Church of God in Christ, a largely-black group led by Charles H. Mason.

The [white] Church of God in Christ issued its own credentials, elected its own officers, published its own newspaper, and had its own system of short-term Bible training centers for ministers. Despite having similar names, the two groups organizationally seemed to have little, if anything, in common.

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC), in its vault, holds the ministerial rosters of the [white] Church of God in Christ from 1912 through 1914.

To view the [white] Church of God in Christ rosters, please click the links below:
Roster of August 1, 1912
Roster of February 1, 1913
Roster of December 1913
Roster of 1914 (missing the first one or two pages)

Can anyone provide information about any ministers on these rosters?

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