Tag Archives: Pentecostal History

E. S. Williams: The Azusa Street Veteran Who Led the Assemblies of God for 20 Years

ESWilliams

Ernest S. Williams (2nd from left) sitting in a gospel car used for evangelism efforts by his Philadelphia congregation, Highway Mission Tabernacle, circa 1920.

This Week in AG History — June 9, 1957

By Glenn W. Gohr
Originally published on PE-News, 8 June 2017

Having just observed Pentecost Sunday, it is fitting to remember the Pentecostal testimony of Ernest S. Williams (1885-1981), who was the only participant in the Azusa Street revival to later become a general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (1929-1949).

Known for his spiritual depth, he led the Fellowship during a period of significant growth in numbers as well as expanding outreach programs. During his watch, the Assemblies of God opened several new Bible schools and developed programs such as the Sunday School Department, Education Department, U.S. Missions, Chaplaincy, Youth Ministries, and Speed the Light. He wrote several books on theology, taught theology courses at Central Bible Institute, and authored a “Question and Answer” column for the Pentecostal Evangel.

Ernest Williams was born in San Bernardino, California, where his family was active in a Holiness church. He testified that he was saved and sanctified in 1904 at age 19.

Two years later, in August 1906, Williams was living in Colorado when he received letters from his mother telling him about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Los Angeles. That September, Williams and a friend traveled to Los Angeles to observe for themselves what was happening.

His first visit to the Azusa Street Mission was on a Sunday morning. What touched him the most was the altar service at the end of the meeting. The front of the mission was packed with seekers and altar workers. Christians and unsaved spectators crowded around to see what was going on. Some at the altar were seeking to be filled with the Holy Spirit; others were worshiping God in unknown tongues. Some were prostrate under the power of God. People were worshiping everywhere. In his autobiography, Williams stated this worship was best described in Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

Williams looked on, not knowing what to think. His heart was hungry for God. He already had salvation, but he was not satisfied. After much prayer and study of the Word, he returned to the Mission and began to seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit. On Oct. 2, 1906, he received the Pentecostal blessing. Williams recalled, “How rich an experience, and in my private devotions spontaneous speaking in tongues became a large part of the outpouring of my heart in worship of God.”

This was Williams’ introduction into the Pentecostal Movement, and he never regretted his decision. Feeling called into the ministry, Williams was ordained by the Apostolic Faith Mission under the ministry of William J. Seymour in 1907. He went on to lead a Pentecostal mission in San Francisco in August 1907. From there he traveled as an evangelist to Colorado Springs, Portland, and other places in the Northwest. In Portland, he met Laura Jacobsen, and two years later she became his wife in 1911.

Together the Williamses pastored small churches in Kentucky; Conneaut, Ohio; and Seattle, Washington. E. S. Williams read in the Word and Witness, an early Pentecostal newspaper, about the formation of the Assemblies of God, and he decided to join the young fellowship in 1915.

Next the Williamses pastored in Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1916 and Newark, New Jersey, beginning in 1917, where Bethel Bible Training School had recently opened. In 1920, Williams became the pastor of Highway Mission Tabernacle in Philadelphia, where he served for a little over 10 years. He then was elected general superintendent and served for 20 years in that office (1929-1949) as he guided the Assemblies of God through the Great Depression, World War II, and the post-war era.

Throughout his ministry, Williams pointed back to his baptism in the Holy Spirit as being a defining moment in his life. In an article from 60 years ago titled, “Baptized With the Holy Spirit,” E. S. Williams explained the doctrine of being baptized in the Holy Spirit from a scriptural viewpoint.

Williams wrote, “The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a definite experience.” He further declared, “It was definite in the time of the early Church; it ought to be definite today.” He called the Holy Spirit “the promise of the Father.” To back this up, he quoted from Luke 24:47-49 where the disciples were instructed to “tarry in the city of Jerusalem” until they would be “endued with power from on high.”

The June 9, 1957, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel emphasized Pentecost Sunday. Read “Baptized With the Holy Spirit” on page 20.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Pentecostal Patience,” by Donald Gee

• “Endued With Power From on High,” by Myer Pearlman

• “Pentecost,” by Louis H. Hauff

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.

The 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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Now Hiring: Two Professional Archivist Positions at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center in Springfield, MO

fphc-vault

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center in Springfield, Missouri, seeks to hire an Archivist and a Digital Archivist. The two positions are full time with benefits (see job descriptions below).

The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC) is the largest Pentecostal archives and research center in the world. Located in the Assemblies of God National Office, the FPHC’s collections span the broader Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Staff members have the privilege of interacting with scholars, church leaders, and those who lived the history. The positions are ideal for a trained librarian or archivist who loves our Pentecostal heritage. Our work here is very meaningful.

Please forward this information to people who would be a good fit for the positions of Archivist or Digital Archivist. These are important positions, and it will take special persons to fill them.

All candidates must complete the application on the Assemblies of God National Office HR website: https://jobopenings.ag.org/careers.aspx  I would be delighted to speak to inquirers.

Darrin J. Rodgers, M.A., J.D.
Director, Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center
1445 North Boonville Avenue
Springfield, MO 65802 USA
phone: (417) 862-1447, ext. 4400
toll free: (877) 840-5200
email: drodgers@ag.org
website: www.iFPHC.org

___________________

The position descriptions are listed below.

Archivist

Position summary:

The Archivist is a key member of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center’s curatorial and special collections team and plays a pivotal role in helping the FPHC to care for and promote its collections. S/he will be responsible for overseeing the organization, cataloging, processing, care and accessibility of its archival materials and rare book collections.

Experience required:

1) Two years work experience in a library or archives, including online cataloging; 2) Knowledge of archival principles of arrangement and description for cataloging, and familiarity with MARC data elements; 3) A working knowledge of Pentecostal history is needed for purposes of cataloging; 4) Computer/PC proficiency. Aptitude to catalog in multiple languages preferred.

Education/Training required:

Master’s Degree in Library/Archival Science or equivalent experience.

Personality qualities required:

Position requires good organizational skills, a high level of concentration, and attention to detail, in order to maintain necessary high quality and consistency.

Salary:

The salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience (Salary Range Code 19).

Job duties:

1) Process/Catalog archival materials.

  • Accession, process, inventory and catalog archival materials and publications;
  • Create MARC-format catalog records for FPHC online catalog;
  • Create word processed finding aids to facilitate access to archives and manuscript collections;
  • Establish name and subject entries and ensure the implementation of current, consistent cataloging standards; and
  • Identify manuscript materials in need of conservation treatment and recommend appropriate treatment.

2) Reference services.

3) Fulfill special tasks assigned by the Director.

______________________

Digital Archivist

Position summary:

The Digital Archivist is a key member of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center’s curatorial and special collections team. S/he will be responsible for overseeing the development of the FPHC website and digital resources.  The Digital Archivist will also process archival materials and supervises Archives Specialists.

Experience required:

1) Two years work experience in a library or archives or in a related history field; 2)  Knowledge of archival principles and procedures; 3) Computer/PC proficiency. Familiarity with scanning, Adobe Acrobat, WordPress, DSpace, CONTENTdm, and video and audio editing preferred.

Education/Training required:

Master’s Degree in Library/Archival Science or equivalent experience.

Personality qualities required:

Position requires good organizational skills, a high level of concentration, and attention to detail, in order to maintain necessary high quality and consistency.

Salary:

The salary is negotiable and commensurate with experience (Salary Range Code 20).

Job duties:
1. Maintain and develop Heritage Center website.

2. Digitize archival materials.

  • Scan, OCR, or capture photographs, text, audio, and video materials according to the accepted archival standards;
  • Assign appropriate identification as well as physical location for files;
  • Provide means for physical and file-format migration when needed; and
  • Establish working relations with outside vendors when assistance is needed.

3. Process paper archival materials as assigned by the Director.

4. Train and supervise part-time Archives Specialists.

5. Other responsibilities.

  • Keep abreast of technology and procedures useful in creating digital access to archival materials;
  • Assist the Director in developing and maintaining digital exhibits in the Museum;
  • Maintain quality control on scanning equipment;
  • Work with freelancers and vendors on projects; and
  • Complete other assignments as delegated by the Director.

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Alexander C. Stewart Deposits Important African-American Pentecostal Collection at FPHC

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William L. Bonner (left), Chief Apostle of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., with Alexander C. and Shirlene Stewart on their wedding day, June 22, 1985, at Solomon’s Temple, Detroit, Michigan.

Alexander C. Stewart, the respected historian of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. (COOLJC), has deposited an important African-American Pentecostal collection at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC).

Stewart has a long history in both Trinitarian and Oneness African-American churches. He was raised in Bethel Gospel Assembly, the large Harlem congregation affiliated with the United Pentecostal Council of the Assemblies of God. In 1974, while still in high school, he accepted the Oneness message and became a member of Greater Refuge Temple, the COOLJC headquarters church located in Harlem. Immediately upon joining his new church, he began collecting historical materials relating to African-American Oneness Pentecostalism.

Stewart described his passion for preserving Pentecostal history: “My life was changed, and I wanted to ensure the preservation of the legacy, heritage and contributions of African Americans and African-Caribbean Americans to Pentecostalism and American religion. As denominations and religious movements mature, generations become disconnected from the values, struggles and sacrifices of their founders. We must remember where we came from, and we must know our roots, so we can shape the future for this generation and the next.”

Alexander Stewart has served the COOLJC in various capacities. In 1988, he was appointed Chairman of the Church History Committee for the Greater Refuge Temple Board of Youth Education. He was editor of the Board’s periodical, Educationally Speaking. In 1991, he was appointed Assistant Historian, serving under Dr. Robert C. Spellman. Stewart and his wife, Shirlene, moved in 1993 to Columbia, South Carolina, and assisted Chief Apostle William L. Bonner in planting a new congregation. When the W. L. Bonner School of Theology (now W. L. Bonner College) was established in Columbia in 1995, Alexander and Shirlene were founding faculty members. He holds a Masters of Theology (Parkerburg Bible College, 2002) and a Masters of Theological Studies (Regent University, 2014).

A careful researcher and writer, Stewart has edited or written for numerous scholarly and church-related publications. His first book, The Silent Spokesman: Bishop Robert Clarence Lawson (1994), was co-authored with Sherry Sherrod DuPree. He also served as editorial and research consultant for the 1999 biography of Presiding Bishop William L. Bonner, And the High Places I’ll Bring Down. He also wrote three articles in The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization (Blackwell, 2011), edited by Dr. George Thomas Kurian. He is a longtime member of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, and he has presented three papers at the society’s annual meetings.

Stewart

A few publications from the Alexander C. Stewart Collection.

The Alexander C. Stewart Collection consists of 6 linear feet of publications, newspaper clippings, and correspondence, primarily relating to the COOLJC, other African-American Oneness Pentecostal churches, and Bethel Gospel Assembly. The bulk of the collection documents the development of the COOLJC over the past 30 years, with special attention to denominational publications and W. L. Bonner College.

Stewart began depositing materials at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center over 20 years ago and has continued to add items over the years. Due to the collection’s size and importance, the items have been brought together and recataloged as a special collection, which will aid researchers. Stewart has placed additional collections of materials at the following repositories: the United Pentecostal Historical Center (Hazelwood, MO), Schomburg Center for Black Research (New York Public Library), and Pan-African Archive of the William Seymour College (Bowie, MD).

The Alexander C. Stewart Collection is important, as it provides researchers access to materials that may otherwise be difficult to find. African-Americans, other than the iconic figures of William J. Seymour and Charles H. Mason, are often neglected in standard Pentecostal history books. This is ironic, as African-Americans played leading roles in the origins and development of Pentecostalism in America. In concentrating on the development of certain white segments of the movement, historians often have under-represented the stories of ethnic minorities and those in the plethora of smaller Pentecostal denominations. In recent years, the FPHC has attempted to remedy this problem by building bridges across the racial, linguistic, national, and denominational divides, intentionally collecting materials from the broader Pentecostal movement.

The Alexander C. Stewart collection fills in important gaps in the FPHC’s collections by making accessible a large amount of primary and secondary source materials on the COOLJC, which is the second largest African-American Oneness Pentecostal denomination in the United States. The Alexander C. Stewart Collection takes its place alongside other significant African-American Pentecostal collections deposited at the FPHC in recent years, including:

_________________

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 archives and research center 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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Collection of Madison R. Tatman, Oneness Pentecostal Pioneer, Deposited at FPHC

Tatman

The personal papers and publications of Madison R. Tatman (1872-1953), an early Pentecostal evangelist who was active in both Trinitarian and Oneness Pentecostal circles, were recently deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. Known as the “Cyclone Evangelist,” Tatman traveled across North America and interacted with many key figures of the early Pentecostal movement.

Tatman started in the ministry in 1902 in the General Eldership of the Churches of God in North America (also known as the Winebrenner Church of God), a German Arminian Baptist denomination with congregations located mostly in Pennsylvania and the Midwest. After experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the spring of 1906, Tatman identified with the Pentecostal movement and transferred his credentials to the Apostolic Faith Mission.

Articles and revival reports by Tatman appeared in various early Pentecostal periodicals. He also published a book of sermons and poetry, 12 Loaves of Living Bread (1935), and several tracts and booklets. One of Tatman’s tracts, “Why I Left the Mission” (1911), detailed his disagreements with Chicago Pentecostal leader William H. Durham. In 1915, Tatman was re-baptized in the name of Jesus and received credentials from the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

In 1924, he transferred his credentials to the Assemblies of God, noting that he disliked “the quarreling, fighting, quibbling and strike over different doctrinal points” among the Oneness advocates. While in the Assemblies of God, he served as pastor of Glad Tidings Revival Assembly in Oakland, California. Tatman left the Assemblies of God in 1927 and returned to the Oneness fold and served as a pastor and evangelist until his death in 1953.

Madison R. Tatman’s personal papers and publications, deposited at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center by an anonymous donor, consist of approximately 250 pages of sermon notes, correspondence, poetry, newspaper clippings, tracts, an unpublished book manuscript, and 20 photographs. The Tatman collection, which provides valuable insight into segments of the Pentecostal movement that are otherwise poorly documented, will be a boon to researchers.

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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TBN Donates C.M. Ward Library to Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center

C. M. Ward, circa 1970

C. M. Ward, circa 1970

Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest Christian broadcaster and America’s most watched faith channel, announced today that it has donated the personal library of Dr. C.M. Ward (1909-1996) to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC), the official archives and research center of the Assemblies of God fellowship.

For 25 years, from 1953 to 1978, Dr. Ward was host of Revivaltime, the flagship weekly radio broadcast of the Assemblies of God. During its heyday Revivaltime was heard on hundreds of stations via the ABC radio network, and the program received from 12,000 to 15,000 letters each month from listeners around the world, including notes of appreciation from such well-known individuals as President Lyndon Johnson and Queen Juliana of Holland.

Thousands of listeners across the earth considered C.M. Ward their pastor, and many in the radio industry of the 1950s placed Revivaltime second in popularity only to Hour of Decision, the weekly radio program of the young evangelist Billy Graham.

A meticulous researcher who read voraciously in preparation for the weekly Revivaltime broadcasts, Dr. Ward was also a close personal friend of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch, and a regular guest on the network’s Praise the Lord show, where viewers looked forward to the warmth and practical approach to the gospel that made him such a popular radio pastor.

TBN Vice President Matthew Crouch recalled that in 1990 Dr. Ward donated a large portion of his personal library to TBN, including his collection of theology books, Bible commentaries, history volumes, biographies, and other Christian resources.

“My parents Paul and Jan Crouch realized the rich reservoir of Pentecostal history and heritage that Dr. Ward’s library represented,” explained Mr. Crouch, “and following the passing of my father in November of 2013, we decided to turn it over to the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, where it will be used and enjoyed for generations to come.”

FPHC Director Darrin Rodgers said that Dr. Ward’s library represents a significant chapter in the Assemblies of God fellowship’s evangelistic outreach through media. “For 25 years C.M. Ward took a message of salvation, hope, and healing to countless thousands of radio listeners on behalf of the Assemblies of God,” he said. “We are thankful to TBN for this generous donation that will help to honor Dr. Ward’s legacy.”

One Hundred Years of Pentecostal Heritage

It is significant that the donation from TBN comes during the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God. Paul and Jan Crouch were both raised in the Assemblies of God, and the roots of that fellowship’s faith and spiritual passion ran deep in their lives. Among the many connections:

– Paul Crouch’s father, Andrew Crouch, was a founding member of the Assemblies of God. As a young child Paul lived in Egypt, where his parents served as Assemblies of God missionaries.

– Jan Crouch’s father, Edgar Bethany, was one of the principal founders of what is now Southeastern University, the Assemblies of God’s university in Lakeland, Florida, and served as the Assemblies of God’s Executive Presbyter for the Southeastern United States until his passing in 1975.

– Paul Crouch graduated from the fellowship’s Central Bible Institute in 1955, and in 1961 the Assemblies of God appointed him to organize its newly formed Department of Television and Film Production in Burbank, California, a position he held until 1965.

Matthew Crouch said that his parents’ close connection with the Assemblies of God was foundational when they launched TBN in 1973. “The flame of the Holy Spirit that burned deeply in the hearts of the men and women who started this great fellowship back in 1914, was the same fire that ignited the passion of Paul and Jan Crouch to take the gospel around the world through television.”

He noted that in 1964 while serving with the Assemblies of God, his parents produced an historical documentary, entitled Like a River, for the fiftieth anniversary of the fellowship. “This year my wife Laurie and I have had the honor of working with Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, to produce a documentary to be aired on TBN for the fellowship’s centennial celebration.”

Added Mr. Crouch: “I think there is powerful significance that my grandfather was part of the founding of the Assemblies of God, my parents were there to document its first fifty years, and now as the third generation we are present to honor the hundredth anniversary of this continuing move of God. As with so many families, it’s one generation declaring God’s power to the next.”

Tune in to TBN Friday, August 15th, at 7 p.m. (Pacific Time) as Matthew and Laurie Crouch host a very special program celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God.

About the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks

With 28 networks and growing worldwide, the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks is the world’s largest faith-and-family television group, airing a broad range of church and ministry programming, Christian music, family friendly movies, children’s programming, and shows for teens and young adults 24 hours a day to every inhabited continent via 87 satellites and 20,000 television and cable affiliates. In addition, TBN’s most popular global networks are available on computers, smart phones, and other mobile devices, and over 25,000 hours of entertaining and inspiring On-Demand programming is accessible via TBN’s innovative online network, iTBN.org. To find out more about the Trinity Broadcasting Family of Networks, log on to www.tbn.org.

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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: Lithuanian Pentecostal History

Lithuanian Pentecostal History

Lietuvos Sekmininkų Bažnyčia: Istorine Apybraiza (The Pentecostal Church of Lithuania: Historical Sketch), edited by Rimantas Kupstys, et al. Vilnius, Lithuania: Apyausris, 2002.

Lietuvos Sekmininkų Bažnyčia: Istorine Apybraiza, published in 2002 upon the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Pentecostal church in Lithuania, provides a detailed grassroots account in the Lithuanian language of the development of Pentecostalism across the Baltic nation. The volume was assembled by an editorial committee headed by Rimantas Kupstys, Bishop of the Union of Pentecostal Churches of Lithuania.

The publisher notes the volume is not an exhaustive scientific study. However, this historical sketch is a valuable written account of a national history that, until now, was largely available only in scattered documents or in oral form. The work was based on archival materials, memories of eyewitnesses, published articles, and government documents.

Lietuvos Sekmininkų Bažnyčia begins by tracing Pentecostalism’s roots in the trans-Atlantic revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries, resulting in a significant evangelical and Holiness movement in England and America. The traditional version of Pentecostal origins is retold, identifying Charles Parham and the Azusa Street revival as central to the emerging movement. Thomas Ball Barratt, the Methodist minister from Oslo who received the Pentecostal message while visiting New York in 1906, is commended for, upon his return to Norway, helping to nurture Pentecostal leaders across Europe. Continue reading

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Top Pentecostal history books in libraries


Next to Assemblies of God Heritage magazine the Bible, what is your favorite reading material? Do you have a top ten list of your all-time favorite books?

We thought it would be interesting to see which Pentecostal history books are most popular in libraries. So, we logged onto FirstSearch (aka WorldCat or OCLC, which is available at your local library) and searched for books with the following terms in their subject headings. The top ten books for each term, in terms of the numbers of libraries holding each book, are below.

Pentecostal history
1. Heaven Below : Early Pentecostals and American Culture / Grant Wacker (Harvard University Press, 2001) 878 libraries
2. Reinventing American Protestantism : Christianity in the New Millennium / Donald E. Miller (University of California Press, 1997) 847 libraries Continue reading

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