Tag Archives: Initial Evidence

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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Rex Humbard Biography

Rex Humbard Biography

The Soul-Winning Century, 1906-2006 : The Humbard Family Legacy … One Hundred Years of Ministry, by Rex Humbard. Dallas, TX: Clarion Call Marketing, 2006.

Since almost the beginning of the twentieth century Pentecostal movement, members of the Humbard family have been engaging in earnest, energetic ministry to reach the lost for Christ. Rex Humbard, whose preaching has graced the airwaves for over 65 years, has now told his family’s story in his memoirs, The Soul-Winning Century.

While Rex Humbard became a household name through his groundbreaking television ministry, his father, Alpha E. Humbard also was an important pioneer preacher in his own right. Alpha Humbard, born in 1890 sixty miles north of Little Rock, Arkansas, had a rough childhood. Poverty, fights, liquor, and hard work dominated the world in which young Alpha was reared. However, he sensed God’s calling at a young age and overcame the odds to answer this call. Alpha was a practical, direct, no-nonsense kind of preacher whose compassion for people, according to this telling, overcame any deficit created by his lack of formal education. Perhaps it was this lack of haute couture – combined with a dependence upon God — that allowed him to touch the masses where they were at.

Alpha once recalled that a seminary-trained minister bitterly complained that, while he was a learned man with good diction and degrees, he could not draw the crowds like Alpha, whom he described as “an old farm boy, a clodhopper who can’t talk good English.” Alpha recalled that he recommended that the minister throw away his cigar, which he was smoking while complaining, and get on his knees and pray (p. 27). Alpha was not alone – his innovative, sometimes rough-and-tumble ways reflected a whole generation of early Pentecostal preachers. Continue reading


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Review: Pentecostalism in Germany

Freikirchliche Pfingstbewegung in Deutschland

Freikirchliche Pfingstbewegung in Deutschland: Innenansichten 1945-1985 (Pentecostal Free Churches in Germany: Inside Story, 1945-1985), by Ludwig David Eisenlöffel. Kirche–Konfession–Religion Band 50. Göttingen, Germany: V&R Unipress, 2006.

Freikirchliche Pfingstbewegung in Deutschland: Innenansichten 1945-1985, an important study of the evolution of the Pentecostal movement in Germany, is one of the latest additions to the prestigious Kirche-Konfession-Religion series produced by Konfessionskundliches Institut des Evangelischen Bundes and Evangelischer Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen. Portions of the publication originally were submitted as the author’s doctoral work at Life Christian University in Tampa, Florida, which was completed in 2004.

The author, Ludwig Eisenlöffel, served as longtime director of the Beröa Bible School and Theological Seminary (an institution associated with the Bund Freikirchlicher Pfingstgemeinden, a German denomination which works with the Assemblies of God) and also was managing director of the Forums Freikirchlicher Pfingstgemeinden (FFP). Furthermore, he has a considerable history with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Christengemeinden (ACD), which was renamed Bund Freikirchlicher Pfingstgemeinden (BFP) in 1982. Continue reading

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