Tag Archives: Oklahoma

Bert Webb: How a Teenager from Wellston, Oklahoma Became an Assemblies of God National Leader

Bert Webb, his wife, Charlotte, and their children, Tommy and Sue, sitting in their living room; circa 1956

This Week in AG History —June 20, 1954

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on AG-News, 24 June 2021

Bert Webb (1906-1995) held many positions of leadership in the Assemblies of God. He served as a district youth director, evangelist, pastor, district official, an assistant general superintendent for the Assemblies of God for 20 years, and in his retirement years he was campus pastor at Evangel College (now Evangel University) in Springfield, Missouri.

Born in Fayetteville, Arkansas, he moved with his parents to a farm at Weleetka, Oklahoma, when he was 8 years old. Three years later, his family moved to Wellston, a small farming community in the central part of Oklahoma. Before the 1920s, Webb described Wellston as “a most ungodly place.” As a teenager, he said that he did not know any young people who claimed to know Christ, including himself.

But that all changed when Bert was a senior in high school. Dexter Collins, a new convert, came to Wellston in 1922 and conducted what amounted to a year-long revival. Starting small, the meetings soon attracted many individuals and families who were saved, healed, and baptized in the Holy Spirit. After Webb’s mother was healed of asthma, he went to services out of curiosity. Then he too was saved and baptized in the Holy Spirit. When the meetings ended, it was estimated that some 300 were saved in his hometown of only 600. His high school senior class officers were saved and filled with the Spirit. Nineteen of the new converts went into the ministry, including Webb.

Ordained in 1926 in the Oklahoma district, Webb first ministered as an evangelist. He met his future wife, Charlotte Williamson, at a district youth convention where he was preaching in June 1927. They eventually were married at Faith Tabernacle in Oklahoma City in June 1931. The Williamson family were gifted musicians, and Charlotte’s musical abilities were an asset to Bert’s ministry as an evangelist and pastor.

Webb continued evangelizing and also pastored churches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Arkansas before coming to Springfield, Missouri, in 1939, when he was elected as pastor of Central Assembly of God. In addition to preaching at the church, Webb also spoke three times weekly on Springfield’s KTTS radio station with a program called The Church by the Side of the Road. At the same time, on KWTO radio station, he hosted a weekly radio broadcast called, Assembly Vespers. Charlotte Webb served as director of the orchestra, and Sunday School exceeded all previous attendance records when the Webbs were pastors. One of the high points of the Webbs’ ministry at Central was a meeting they hosted with Dr. Charles S. Price, which was held at the Shrine Mosque in 1940.

Next Webb was elected superintendent of the Southern Missouri district for six years before becoming an assistant general superintendent of the Assemblies of God from 1949 to 1969. In that position he served as the executive director of the Sunday School, Youth, Evangelism, Radio, Personnel, and Publications. He also was chairman of the building committee for the administration building at 1445 N. Boonville Avenue, which was erected in 1960 and dedicated on March 2, 1962.

Webb served on numerous interchurch committees. He was chairman of the Assemblies of God Commission on Chaplains. He served on the National Advisory Board for the U.S. Air Force Chief of Chaplains in Washington, D.C. He was president of the National Sunday School Association, which was comprised of some 40 Protestant denominations. He also served on boards with the National Religious Broadcasters and the National Association of Evangelicals. His ministry took him to more than 62 countries where he led missions conventions, teaching seminars, and revival campaigns.

In retirement, he and Charlotte moved to California, where they became administrators of a 262-bed church-operated convalescent home. In 1974 they started a church in Mission Viejo, California, pastoring there for a year. Webb then traveled in ministers institutes and camp meetings until January 1977, when he returned to Springfield to accept the position of campus pastor of Evangel College (now Evangel University), where he served until 1983.

The Webbs continued to accept ministry invitations from many places. They served interim pastorates in Eugene, Oregon; Houston and Fort Worth, Texas; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Omaha, Nebraska. He passed away in Springfield, Missouri in January 1995 at the age of 88. Assemblies of God General Superintendent Thomas Trask stated, “This Fellowship owes a great debt of gratitude to Bert Webb for his years of leadership…. This man faithfully served the Lord and this church and we shall miss him.”

While serving as executive director of the National Sunday School Department, Webb wrote an article called, “It is Time to Seek the Lord,” found on page 4 of the June 20, 1954, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Head of the House,” by James D. Menzies

• “Hundreds Converted in South Africa,” by Vernon D. Pettenger

• “Graduation at the L.A.B.I,” by Kenny Savage

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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E. L. Newby: How the Baptism in the Holy Spirit Launched This Assemblies of God Pioneer into Ministry

Newby ELThis Week in AG History — February 5, 1967

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 01 February 2018

Edgar Lee “E. L.” Newby (1889-1978) was an Assemblies of God pioneer in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona. In a 1967 Pentecostal Evangel article, he shared a testimony of how he received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Newby described his experience: “The baptism in the Holy Spirit, which I experienced in 1909, is still a vivid reality to me after more than 57 years.” He noted that he attended revival services held by evangelists Archie and Pearl Adams in his home town of Waurika, Oklahoma. They testified how they had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit themselves just a few weeks earlier.

“As the meetings progressed I developed an intense hunger for the Pentecostal Baptism,” declared Newby. In one of the morning services he heard the evangelist speak a few words in tongues. At the same service, Newby said, “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me also and I began to speak in tongues.”

Here is how he described this experience: “Such a holy quietness, such a flow of joy, such a deep peace possessed me that I have never been able to express it fully.” He said it was “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” His brother-in-law, J. J. Grubbs, also received the baptism in the Holy Spirit at that revival, and both were called to preach the gospel.

Looking back on his life, Newby said, “During these years of ministry I have seen the Lord work in many ways, confirming His Word with signs following.”

His baptism in the Holy Spirit and his call to ministry, both in 1909, led to a lifetime of service in ministry with his wife and four children. In the early years, Newby was an itinerant evangelist, holding meetings in various places in Oklahoma as well as Kingsland, Texas.

He was ordained by the Texas District of the Assemblies of God in 1916 and pastored churches in Electra, Bridgeport, and Wichita Falls, Texas. Then he decided to step out into evangelistic work in Bisby and Douglas, Arizona.

After a few months in Arizona, he returned to Texas and evangelized a while before returning to the church he had previously pastored at Bridgeport. Next he pastored Rosen Heights Assembly in Fort Worth, Texas, where he oversaw the building of a new brick sanctuary in 1927, which was one of four churches he built during the period of 1916-1927.

Newby served as North Texas District superintendent from 1931-1937. He worked as business manager two different times at Southwestern Assemblies of God College (now University) where he gained the reputation of being “a man of wisdom.” He also served as a general presbyter and a district presbyter. He became a recognized leader of the Assemblies of God in Texas and the Southwest.

In later years, he evangelized in Texas, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, and many other places. Evangelism really was his first love. After 61 years of ministry in the Assemblies of God, he passed way in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 13, 1978.

E. L. Newby was an important figure in Assemblies of God circles for over 60 years. His ministry, which impacted countless people, can be traced back to his baptism in the Holy Spirit in 1909.

Read E. L. Newby’s testimony of “The River Still Flows,” on page 7 of the Feb. 5, 1967, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “The Power of a Holy Church,” by James Stewart

• “Faith Fills the Pews,” by Jane Scott

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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