Tag Archives: Military

Ministering to Military Families Since 1957: Assemblies of God Retreats in Germany

Military retreat

Assemblies of God servicemen’s retreat,  Berchtesgaden, Germany, 1968

This Week in AG History — April 27, 1969

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG News, 25 April 2019

An annual retreat for AG servicemen (and now servicewomen) in Europe has been held in Germany for the last 62 years. This yearly event has done much to encourage military personnel and their families stationed in Europe.

The first AG servicemen’s retreat in Europe was held at the Chiemsee Retreat Center in Berchtesgaden in March 1957, and these retreats in the Bavarian Alps have continued to be held every year. Since 2004 the retreats have been held at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, also in the mountains of Southern Bavaria.

The retreat was started so that Assemblies of God military personnel serving in Europe would have an annual retreat of their own, since they would not be able to attend a retreat in the U.S. while serving overseas. Organized by the Commission on Chaplains, the Berean Missionary Fellowship (BMF), and the Chaplain Liaison Officers, the retreat was set up to offer spiritual support to servicemen and channel funds into missions projects in Europe.

The speakers and the planning for the annual event for many years were organized by the BMF, with the assistance of chaplains who were assigned to teach classes, lead in worship, do special music, offer prayers, and participate in Communion.

At the 12th annual retreat held in 1968, as reported in an article in the Pentecostal Evangel, over 450 Assemblies of God servicemen and their families were in attendance, coming from various places across Europe. Missionaries and other denominational personnel currently on assignment in Europe also attended the spiritual emphasis retreat. The week was packed with recreation, inspiration, worship, challenge, and Christian fellowship.

The retreat theme, “Christ Is Lord,” became the “personal testimony of many who gave their hearts to Christ before the week ended,” it was reported. “Others made new consecrations, and several were filled with the Holy Spirit,” the article continued.

Howard S. Bush, assistant general superintendent and chairman of the Assemblies of God Commission on Chaplains, was the speaker for each of the morning services. James E. Hamill, pastor of First Assembly in Memphis, Tennessee, spoke at the evening services. Morning devotions were conducted by Joseph Mazzu, missionary to France. Eddie and Ruth Washington were in charge of music for the retreat, and the Singing Kolenda Family also added to the spiritual tone of the retreat.

Read more in “Spiritual Tone Prevails at Servicemen’s Retreat” on page 30 of the April 27, 1969, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Hallmarks of Genuine Revival,” by John W. Everett

• “He Is Keeping Me,” by Louie Stokes

• “A Man Greatly Beloved” [Howard S. Bush, assistant general superintendent]

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: http://www.iFPHC.org

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Assemblies of God Chaplains: Serving United States Men and Women in Uniform Since 1941

this-week-military

Assemblies of God chaplain A. C. Lane (standing on far left), with American servicemen in New Guinea during World War II.

This Week in AG History — November 11, 1944

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on PE-News, 10 November 2016

When President Woodrow Wilson declared the United States’ first observation of Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, he envisioned a world that would “work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations.” However, history would show that the world was not yet done with international war. Twenty-five years after that first declaration, the Pentecostal Evangel reported on Nov. 11, 1944, that nearly 12,000,000 men had taken up arms and were serving their country in war-time military service. The Assemblies of God provided several ministry avenues to these servicemen but one of the most critical was to “give our prayers and our wholehearted support to those who are in by far the most strategic position to sustain them — the United States chaplains.”

As early as 1917, the Assemblies of God began work among servicemen when a motion by Raymond T. Richey, of Houston, Texas, to “adopt every available means consistent with Scriptural teaching and example to co-operate with every approved agency for revivals among our soldiers” was approved by the General Council.

However, at the 1941 General Council in Minneapolis, which took as its theme “Our Place in the Present World Crises,” the need became apparent that a more complete plan for providing ministry to servicemen was needed. This plan came to include quarterly publications for military personnel, service centers near military bases and the creation of resources for local churches to minister to soldiers. The Assemblies of God also felt the need to provide some of its ministers as U.S. Military Chaplains.

The qualifications for chaplains were very high. In December of 1941, Army Regulation 605-30 stated that an applicant must be “a male U.S. citizen, between the ages of 23 and 34, regularly ordained and in good standing with an organization which holds an apportionment of chaplain appointments, a graduate of both 4-year college and 3-year theological seminary, and have 3 years of ministerial experience.”

Many ministers from the Assemblies of God, as well as other denominations, wished to serve their country as chaplains but found the educational requirements prohibitive. Due to the overwhelming need, educational and experiential requirements were at times waived or relaxed until the end of the crises. The first Assemblies of God Chaplain was Clarence P. Smales, who received his commission in June of 1941. During World War II, 34 Assemblies of God ministers left their churches, homes, and families to serve their country in providing spiritual care for military personnel. Of these, two were awarded the Purple Heart and three the Bronze Star.

The Servicemen’s Department of the Assemblies of God (created in 1944) provided these chaplains with needed equipment not provided by other sources, such as public address systems, short wave radios, Bibles, and communion sets.

In the Nov. 11, 1944, article, Hard But Glorious, Assemblies of God Navy Chaplain Joseph Gerhart tells of a seaman needing an immediate removal of an appendix. The operation was set to be carried out on the dining room table, and the roughness of the sea added to the peril. The ship’s doctor had not performed an operation for several years, adding to the young man’s apprehension. The sailor had been attending Chaplain Gerhart’s services but did not come from a church that believed in divine healing. Gerhart reports that he “prayed that God would heal his body … the boy began to improve immediately and the doctor came in after a while and said that the operation would not be necessary.” The boy was back on his feet the next day, much relieved at foregoing the surgery.

On this 25th anniversary of Armistice Day (renamed Veterans Day in 1954) the Evangel editors called their readers to assist these chaplains by use of the most powerful weapon the church has in its arsenal: prayer. “We are sure you feel with us the urgent necessity of sparing no effort — for the reward is great! We must not let them down! … PRAY!”

Read the full article “Hard But Glorious” on page 9 of the Nov. 11, 1944, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “The Apostolic Message, Method and Might,” by H. B. Garlock

* “That Blessed Hope,” by D. A. Clark

* “A Trophy of God’s Grace,” by D. W. Murphy, missionary to North India

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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Assemblies of God Chaplain Talmadge F. McNabb and the Korean Conflict

McNabb_1400
This Week in AG History — February 27, 1966

By Glenn Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 25 February 2016

Chap. Lt. Col. Talmadge F. McNabb (1924-2002), a man of many talents and interests, is remembered for his service as an Assemblies of God army chaplain in Korea, Fort Knox, Fort Dix, and other places.

He was influential in helping start an adoption agency for Korean orphans called Holt International Children’s Services. He also was an evangelist, teacher, pastor, historian, and writer, contributing articles to newspapers and magazines across the country. He donated a number of historical materials to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center.

An article entitled “Chaplain With a Guitar,” gives an inspiring testimony about Chaplain McNabb in the February 27, 1966, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

McNabb, who was then serving as chaplain of the 4th Missile Command, Camp Page, Korea, began thinking of ways he might better serve the lonely men in the units for which he was responsible. Remembering that men usually love to sing, he decided “why not visit the men during their off-duty hours and have informal songfests?” He took his guitar and a religious film, “climbed in his jeep and made the rounds.” He found the groups eager to join in happy, informal singing. He reported, “For an hour or so the men forget the loneliness of their isolated situation.” These songfests were a great success in boosting morale and ministering to the spiritual needs of servicemen.

This same issue of the Pentecostal Evangel had other features concerning ministry to servicemen. One article called “Reveille No. 33 Joins the Ranks,” told about a new release of Reveille, a nondenominational periodical produced by the Servicemen’s Department of the Assemblies of God. The article proclaimed, “Another issue of Reveille, G. I. Joe’s favorite gospel bulletin, has joined the ranks. Issue No. 33 has just been printed and mailed to thousands of military personnel around the world. After 25 years, Reveille is still going strong.” These attractive service bulletins earned distinction during World War II for their “hard-hitting gospel articles, written in servicemen’s language and dressed up with eye-catching illustrations.” More than 17,550,000 copies were printed between 1941 and 1966.

Read “Chaplain With a Guitar” and “Reveille No. 33 Joins the Ranks” on page 24 of the February 27, 1966, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Recent Vatican Council,” by Charles A. Bolton

• “Cracks in the Bamboo Curtain,” by Maynard L. Ketcham

• “Under the Anointing,” by Oscar W. Neate

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of 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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Minna Seaholm: Pioneer Assemblies of God Military Chaplain

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This Week in AG History — February 13, 1943

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on PE-News, 11 February 2016

The United States government did not permit females to serve as military chaplains during World War II, but that did not deter Minna Seaholm (1894-1944), an Assemblies of God evangelist who felt a call to minister to young men in uniform.  A 1943 Pentecostal Evangel article titled “Our Lady Chaplain” reported on her activities, noting that she overcame significant odds to follow God’s call.

Seaholm served as a roving chaplain to military bases and Civil Conservation Corps camps. Assemblies of God literature regularly published reports of her meetings, and the Home Missions Department (now U.S. Missions) collected offerings to assist her.  She often held three or four speaking engagements each day. “Her absorbing passion,” the article explained, was to offer young men “a chance to find God before they go out into the dangers and uncertainties of war.”

Seaholm experienced difficulty in obtaining official government approval to meet with the troops and to hold meeting on the bases. However, the article reported that Seaholm was “never daunted” and made contact with President Franklin Roosevelt and other high-ranking officers in the army. She succeeded in gaining access to numerous camps and bases across the United States and also spoke at high school assemblies. Although Seaholm did not hold a commission as a chaplain from the United States government (the military restricted the chaplaincy to males until 1974), the article noted that “her commission has been granted from a heavenly source.”

Read the article, “Our Lady Chaplain,” on page 11 of the February 13, 1943, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Why Preach Divine Healing Today?” by Lee Krupnick

• “The Message of the Scars,” by Noel Perkin

• “Self-Test Questions for Christians,” by W. R. Munger

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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Work Amongst the Soldiers


This Week in AG History–December 22, 1917
By Glenn Gohr

Also published in PE News, 19 December 2014

Ministry to military servicemen has been promoted in the Assemblies of God almost from the beginning. Known for his patriotic red, white, and blue tent outreaches in World War II, Raymond T. Richey first began ministering to servicemen during World War I. Throughout his lifetime he ministered to thousands of military personnel and civilians in healing campaigns all across the globe.

In this edition of the Evangel, Richey reports on a big campaign scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas, on Dec. 23. In “Work Amongst the Soldiers,” he reports that the building would by 80 x 150 feet and would seat more than 2,000 people.

“In every respect it is believed that it will be one of the truest evangelist efforts being put forth anywhere in the United States in behalf of the soldiers now in camp,” Richey states. The article continues by saying that assisting Pastor Richey “will be a corps of workers, organized to do a real soul-saving work, before the men of Camp Logan are called to go to the trenches in France.”

Richey was planning many more revival campaigns similar to this: “God’s favor on the work will mean that at every point in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, where troops from the Northern and Central Mississippi Valley States are located, that such Tabernacle meetings will be conducted by real Holy Ghost filled leaders.”

Read the article, “Work Amongst the Soldiers” on page 10 of the Dec. 22, 1917, issue of The Weekly Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Christmas Worship”

• “The Supernatural,” by F. A. Hale

• “Questions and Answers,” by E. N. Bell

• “The Porto Rican Revival,” by Frank Ortiz, Jr.

• “God’s Redeeming Love,” by Susan C. Easton

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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