Tag Archives: NAE

80 Years Ago: The Assemblies of God was a Founding Member of the National Association of Evangelicals

This Week in AG History — May 10, 1947

By Darrin J. Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, 12 May 2022

Pentecostals were relatively isolated from mainstream Protestantism in the early twentieth century. Eighty years ago, in 1942, when the Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal churches were invited to become founding members of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), 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 40 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
Website: www.iFPHC.org

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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

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Review: Ivan Q. Spencer on the Faith Life

Ivan Q Spencer

Faith: Living the Crucified Life, by Ivan Q. Spencer, selected and edited by Edie Mourey. Big Flats, NY: Furrow Press, 2008.

When Ivan Quay Spencer was healed of typhoid fever in 1909, this event set him on a trajectory to become a leader within the emerging Pentecostal movement. He soon identified with Elim Tabernacle (Rochester, NY), the influential Pentecostal congregation led by the Duncan sisters. In 1911 he matriculated at Rochester Bible Training School, which was affiliated with the church. Following several years of pastoral ministry with the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Assemblies of God, Spencer launched out on his own and started Elim Bible Institute at Endwell, NY in 1924. Spencer intended his school to carry on the mantle of the Duncan sisters’ school, which had closed. He began editing the Elim Pentecostal Herald (now called Elim Herald) in January 1931. The following year, Elim Ministerial Fellowship (renamed Elim Missionary Assemblies in 1947, then Elim Fellowship in 1972) was formed to commission and credential graduates of the school.

Spencer charted a course marked by interdenominational cooperation and openness to new revival movements. He attended the constitutional convention of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1943 and served on the board of administration for the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America at its inception in 1948. Spencer also led the school and denomination to accept the New Order of the Latter Rain, a revival movement beginning in 1948 that was rejected by most other Pentecostal denominations. Elim later became a prominent supporter of the charismatic movement. Spencer’s son, Ivan Carlton Spencer, succeeded him as president of the school in 1949 and as chairman of the fellowship in 1954. Elim, while maintaining a strong base in the northeastern states, has made a broad impact through its graduates who have ministered across the globe.

The important story of Ivan Q. Spencer’s life and ministry was told by Marion Meloon in the book, Ivan Spencer: Willow in the Wind (Logos, 1974). Now Spencer’s granddaughter, Edie Mourey, has assembled a book of his writings on the faith life. Mourey’s compilation, Faith: Living the Crucified Life, is important for a number of reasons. First, Spencer’s influence on the Pentecostal movement outstripped the size of his own organization. Many independent Pentecostal ministries drew upon his spiritual leadership. Spencer’s insights into the faith life – culled from his writings published from the 1930s through the 1950s – illustrate theological themes important to a whole segment within Pentecostalism. Second, Spencer’s reflective devotional musings challenge the assumption, held by certain critics, that early Pentecostals lacked theological substance. Third, Faith: Living the Crucified Life could be considered a companion volume of primary source essays to accompany the biography by Meloon. Continue reading

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