Tag Archives: Evangelicalism

Should the Assemblies of God Change Its Name?

AGname_728
This Week in AG History — October 8, 1927

By Glenn Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 8 October 2015

At the 1927 General Council, the Assemblies of God considered a possible name change as one of two hot topics covered on the Council floor. Delegates also considered and adopted the formal constitution and bylaws of the Assemblies of God (which included several minor changes to the Statement of Fundamental Truths).

The Oct. 8, 1927, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel includes lively discussion of the reasons for a name change and whether the AG is a denomination. Two years earlier, the 1925 General Council had rejected a proposed constitution and bylaws. A Revision Committee was formed to craft changes that would be more acceptable. In the process of making revisions, this committee explored the possibility of a new name.

J. Narver Gortner, the chairman of the committee, reported: “When the Revision Committee was looking for a name, we wanted to find one that would indicate what we are, one in harmony with our real character. And we all agreed that we are Pentecostal people. Then we are evangelical too, we believe in evangelization.”

The committee recommended changing the name “Assemblies of God” to “Pentecostal Evangelical Church.”

“For a long time there has been widespread dissatisfaction concerning the name by which we have been known,” Gortner said. He found precedence for a name change in Scripture, since God changed the name of Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, and several others.

After continued discussion from a number of delegates, Harold Moss interjected. “We as a people are evangelical, that is, we have a worldwide evangelistic program to get men and women saved through the blood of Jesus Christ,” Moss said. “But the name is not sufficient as there are other evangelical churches, so we need another name to draw a clear line of demarcation — Pentecostal Evangelical church. We are Pentecostal, thank God; and I am not ashamed.”

T. K. Leonard, who had originally suggested the name Assemblies of God in 1914, reminded everyone that “after days of meditation and trying to get an undenominational, nonsectarian name” the founders saw this as the “God-given name” for the Fellowship. “When It was read to the audience, by one standing vote, unanimously, the whole body stood there and sang, ‘Praise God from whom all blessings flow,’ Leonard said. “And the whole house was filled with the power of God.”

The discussion of a possible name change went on for several days. At the close of the discussion, delegates decided to delay the suggested change until the next meeting of the General Council, to allow additional feedback and study on the matter. The constitution was adopted at the 1927 General Council, but not the name change. In the years since its founding, the name Assemblies of God had become familiar to the world at large. So with very little further discussion, when the General Council met two years later in 1929, the name Assemblies of God was retained and continues to be the name of the Fellowship, 101 years after its founding.

More information is available in the article “The Assemblies of God: A Good Name” in the Fall 1994 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage.

The Pentecostal Evangel article, “A Suggested Change of Name,” is on pages 5-7, and 9-10 of the Oct. 8, 1927, edition.

Also featured in the issue:

* “Continuous Revival,” by R. E. McAlister

* “A Fine New Church,” by Mae Eleanor Frey

* “God’s Call to Pentecostal Saints,” by Sara Coxe

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions are 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

2 Comments

Filed under Church, History

Frodsham: Prophecy Fulfilled by Pentecostal Participation in National Association of Evangelicals

This_Week_may10_728x350
This Week in AG History–May 10, 1947
By Darrin Rodgers

Also published in PE News, 7 May 2015

Pentecostals were relatively isolated from mainstream Protestantism in the early twentieth century. When the Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal churches were invited to become founding members of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) in 1942, it was a watershed event that paved the way for increased cooperation between Pentecostals and other theologically conservative evangelical churches.

In 1947, Pentecostal Evangel Editor Stanley H. Frodsham recounted how participation in the NAE seemed to be a fulfillment of prophecy. Frodsham recalled that, years earlier, “a mature Pentecostal saint” made the following prediction: “The time will assuredly come when God will unite all true children of God in real heart fellowship, and will break down all the barriers that are now separating us from one another.”

The early Pentecostals who heard this prediction, according to Frodsham, discerned that it was in accordance with Scripture: “In our hearts we were convinced that this was a true prophecy, for did not our Lord Jesus pray that they (all His children) may be one?”

While the Bible admonished believers to exhibit unity, such unity was elusive. Frodsham lamented that “the saints have been busy through the centuries building denominational and sectarian walls of partition between themselves and other saints.”

Tearing down these walls of division among believers was one of the reasons why the Assemblies of God formed, Frodsham reminded readers. He wrote, “At the first Council of the Assemblies of God, held at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914, the ministers who attended all came with one mind, determined to oppose the raising of walls that would separate us as a Pentecostal people from other children of God.”

Frodsham believed the formation of the NAE helped to achieve the vision of unity promoted in the Bible and by early Pentecostals. He noted that the NAE brought together different strands within the broader evangelical family: “When the National Association of Evangelicals came into being five years ago, those who called for the convention did what no other group of Fundamentalist believers had done before – they invited the brethren of both the Holiness and the Pentecostal groups.”

Moreover, the NAE helped usher Pentecostals into the evangelical mainstream and also provided opportunities for interaction between the churches: “They recognized us as a people outstandingly aggressive in evangelism and missionary vision, and acknowledged that our coming together with others who are true to the fundamentals of the faith could mean mutual blessing,” Frodsham stated.

Today the Assemblies of God is the largest of the 39 denominations that are members of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Read Stanley Frodsham’s entire article, “Fifth Annual Convention of the NAE,” on pages 6 and 7 of the May 10, 1947, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:
• “When Mother Looked!” by John Wright Follette
• “Divine Rules for Parents,” by S. M. Padgett
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

Leave a comment

Filed under Church

The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy

frodsham_P6899

This Week in AG History — September 17, 1927

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 16 Sep 2013 – 4:24 PM CST

Stanley H. Frodsham, in a September 17, 1927, Pentecostal Evangel article, weighed in on the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy that was dividing mainline Protestant churches in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy referred to the debate sparked by theological liberals who sought to undermine traditional views on doctrine, ethics, and the authority of Scripture. Frodsham viewed this debate as evidence of a great “falling away” from the Christian faith.

Frodsham quoted extensively from an article by a liberal Protestant minister who praised efforts by theologians to reject “antiquated hokus-pokus” and “hallowed tradition” in their search for “truth and freedom.” The liberal minister approvingly noted that theologians were working to supplant “superstitious reverence” for the Bible.

What resulted from this spread of theological liberalism? The liberal minister admitted that these beliefs were responsible for the decline of mainline churches. He wrote, “Protestantism as an organized religious force shows signs of rapid disintegration.”

Frodsham warned that Pentecostal churches could easily become “contaminated with germs of faithlessness.” He wrote, “Church history gives us the story of declension after declension…We need to pray that we do not become lukewarm.” Frodsham admonished Pentecostals to avoid the mistakes of the mainline churches by continuing to offer “pure religion” and “spiritual food.”

Pentecostals, according to Frodsham, are “a people who stand for the absolute verbal inspiration of the Bible, and who accept that Book as the all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. When ungodly critics are denying all the miracles recorded in His Word, God is once more confirming His Word with signs following as at the beginning, witnessing to the truth of the Scriptures with both signs and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost.”

Most mainline Protestant denominations experienced divisions in the 1920s and 1930s over the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. Many conservatives who left mainline denominations helped to form what became the fundamentalist and evangelical movements. In the early 1940s, the Assemblies of God solidified its relationship with the broader evangelical movement and became a founding member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Read the article by Stanley H. Frodsham, “From the Pentecostal Viewpoint,” on pages 2 and 3 of the September 17, 1927, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Soul Winning Methods” by Charles E. Robinson

* “What Hinders Your Healing?” by Carrie Judd Montgomery

And many more!

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick 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

Leave a comment

Filed under Church, Theology

Review: From Oslo to Berlin

From Oslo to Berlin! : European Pentecostalism

From Oslo to Berlin! : European Pentecostalism, by Paul Schmidgall. Erzhausen, Germany: Leuchter Publishing, 2003.

From Oslo to Berlin! : European Pentecostalism made its appearance just in time for the Pentecostal European Conference in Berlin during June 2003. As Director of the Church of God’s theological seminary in Germany and as an active participant in the European Pentecostal Fellowship, Paul Schmidgall has insight into past events and present happenings in European Pentecostalism. Due to his personal interaction with European Pentecostal leadership, Schmidgall’s work reflects much depth.

Schmidgall provides a scholarly overview of the historical developments of the Pentecostal movement in Europe on a country by country basis. He also presents current information on contemporary developments that effect Pentecostalism in a very diverse European setting. This book includes important bibliographical and statistical data that will greatly assist those who have a keen interest in Pentecostalism in the European context. At the end of the book there are helpful color maps showing the strength (or weakness) of Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism in Europe. Schmidgall’s book is a good starting point for those who desire a deeper understanding of the Pentecostal movement in any given European country.

Reviewed by Paul Clark, Assemblies of God missionary to Germany

Paperback, 204 pages, illustrated. Also published in German. To order, contact Leuchter Edition.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

2 Comments

Filed under Education, Reviews