Tag Archives: Stanley Frodsham

Stanley Frodsham: Pioneer Pentecostal Author, Editor, and Teacher

This Week in AG History —August 24, 1946

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 26 August 2021

Stanley Howard Frodsham (1882-1969) was a writer, editor, and teacher during the formative years of the Pentecostal movement and the Assemblies of God. As editor of the Pentecostal Evangel for nearly 30 years, Frodsham stands as one of the most influential figures of 20th-century Pentecostalism.

Born to a Congregational family in England, Frodsham studied classical literature, French, Latin, and mathematics. As a young man, he came to personal faith in Christ through reading the biography of Hudson Taylor, founder of China Inland Mission. He immediately quit swearing, gave up his pack-a-day cigarette habit, and began attending F.B. Meyer’s weekly training classes at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in London.

While traveling with his brother, Arthur, in Canada in 1906 and 1907, Frodsham heard about a spiritual revival taking place and the restoration of the gifts of the Spirit as recorded in the New Testament Church. Upon his return to England, he sought this deeper work in his own life and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues on Oct. 13, 1908, in the Sunderland vicarage of Anglican minister, A. A. Boddy, one of the founders of British Pentecostalism.

In 1909, Frodsham commenced publishing the first Pentecostal paper in England, Victory, and began pastoring a small congregation in Bournemouth. In the same year, he and Alice Rowlands were married by their ministerial colleague and friend, Smith Wigglesworth. While continuing to publish Victory, the Frodsham’s traveled to the United States to attend meetings with Maria Woodworth-Etter in Dallas, Texas. They soon ventured to California where Wigglesworth joined them in ministry activities along the West Coast.

In 1916, Frodsham received a letter from J. W. Welch, general chairman (now called general superintendent) of the Assemblies of God (AG). Welch thanked him for articles he submitted to The Pentecostal Evangel, the weekly publication of the AG and stated they were “praying for God’s man” to be the editor of their periodical. “Are you that man?” Welch asked Frodsham. Included with the letter was an invitation to attend the upcoming 1916 General Council in St. Louis.

Frodsham came as a stranger to the Assemblies of God but, because of his writings, he was not unknown. During these meetings, he was elected the new general secretary and was appointed to serve on a committee with D.W. Kerr, and others, to draft a Statement of Fundamental Truths for the Movement. Frodsham served as general secretary from 1916 to 1919 and as assistant editor of the Evangel until 1921, when he became the editor-in-chief of not only the Evangel, but every other AG publication, including Sunday School materials. He served as the Evangel editor for 27 years, providing a stabilizing force in the young Movement.

Frodsham’s contacts with Pentecostal leaders in Europe and Canada gave the Evangel a broader scope than many of the Pentecostal publications of the time and opened it to an audience beyond the Assemblies of God. Frodsham introduced his audience to the writings of his British colleagues such as George Jeffreys, Smith Wigglesworth, A. A. Boddy, and Donald Gee, giving a greater unity between the Assemblies of God in the United States and in Great Britain. Following the lead of the former editor, J. Roswell Flower, Frodsham was intentional in using the Evangel to promote enthusiasm for the missionary work of the Movement. He also saw the need of using the pages of the Evangel to provide for ministers who were unable to attend the Bible institutes, using it for ministerial instruction, sermon ideas, and Sunday School lessons.

Earlier, E.N. Bell, the first general chairman of the AG, was given the assignment to write a book telling the story of the worldwide Pentecostal movement. Bell began to collect letters and written accounts from first-hand observers. When he died unexpectantly in 1923, the task fell to Frodsham. With Signs Following was published in 1926, updated in 1928, and fully revised in 1941. Frodsham’s work became the standard textbook on Pentecostal history for many years.

In the Aug. 24, 1946, Pentecostal Evangel, Frodsham titled his editorial “By My Spirit.” At a time when the Assemblies of God was gaining favor in the church world and influence with the National Association of Evangelicals, there was concern that the Assemblies of God was losing some of its spiritual fervor, Frodsham reminded the Movement that “many think they can be wholly independent of the Holy Spirit. They say, ‘Are we not graduates of such and such a school, college, or university? Have we not back of us all the experience and traditions of the great denominations? Have we not libraries filled with the works of the greatest thinkers of the centuries? Have we not learned to be experts in our own particular field of service?’” He continued, “Constant consciousness of poverty and need will provoke us to constant asking. The disciples did not strut around after the day of Pentecost and say, ‘Look what we have!’ Knowing there was more of the Spirit from the same blessed Source, they cried to God for yet more of what they knew would be theirs by the further coming of the Holy Spirit in power.”

Before his death in 1969, Frodsham published 15 books, including the biography of his friend, Smith Wigglesworth, and he wrote nearly 1,000 articles for the Pentecostal Evangel. In 1970, the organ in the Central Bible College (Springfield, Missouri) chapel was dedicated in his honor with the simple words, “He inspired others to worship.”

Read Stanley Frodsham’s article, “By My Spirit” on page 4 of the Aug. 24, 1946, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

• “God’s Work Among the Lisu” by Lavada Morrison

• “The Cross and Discipline” by L.E. Maxwell

• “Victory and Faith” by Josephine Turnbull

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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Stanley Frodsham: The Assemblies of God refuses “to be sectarians or insectarians”

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This Week in AG History — April 15, 1944

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 14 Apr 2014 – 4:28 PM CST

On the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of the Assemblies of God, Stanley H. Frodsham recounted the first General Council and its legacy. According to Frodsham, the long-time editor of the Pentecostal Evangel, Assemblies of God founders in 1914 were opposed to “sectarianism and denominationalism.” However, they also recognized that they had much in common and desired to “unite together on a voluntary cooperative basis” for “the furtherance of the gospel ministry in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Frodsham recalled that J. W. Welch, an early chairman, described missions as the reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God: “We simply recognized ourselves as a missionary society, and we saw the whole world as the field in which to labor.”

This vision for cooperation in order to achieve the evangelization of the world, Frodsham noted, still remained strong in 1944. To illustrate this continuing vision for cooperation, he pointed to the unanimous decision at the 1943 General Council for the Assemblies of God to become a member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Frodsham explained that the Assemblies of God desired a sweet spirit of fellowship, rather than a harsh spirit of condemnation of other faithful Christians who may not see eye to eye on everything. He quoted evangelist Gipsy Smith: “I refuse to be sectarian or insectarian.” Frodsham explained, “Many insects have stings. So have many sectarians. We as a people refuse to be sectarians or insectarians.”

Read the entire article by Stanley H. Frodsham, “These Thirty Years,” on page 4 of the April 15, 1944, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “My Soul Desireth First-Ripe Fruit,” by Zelma Argue

* “Thirty Years Ago,” by Ernest S. Williams

* “How God Saved a Communist Chieftan,” by Lester Sumrall

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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The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy

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This Week in AG History — September 17, 1927

By Darrin Rodgers
Originally published on AG-News, Mon, 16 Sep 2013 – 4:24 PM CST

Stanley H. Frodsham, in a September 17, 1927, Pentecostal Evangel article, weighed in on the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy that was dividing mainline Protestant churches in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy referred to the debate sparked by theological liberals who sought to undermine traditional views on doctrine, ethics, and the authority of Scripture. Frodsham viewed this debate as evidence of a great “falling away” from the Christian faith.

Frodsham quoted extensively from an article by a liberal Protestant minister who praised efforts by theologians to reject “antiquated hokus-pokus” and “hallowed tradition” in their search for “truth and freedom.” The liberal minister approvingly noted that theologians were working to supplant “superstitious reverence” for the Bible.

What resulted from this spread of theological liberalism? The liberal minister admitted that these beliefs were responsible for the decline of mainline churches. He wrote, “Protestantism as an organized religious force shows signs of rapid disintegration.”

Frodsham warned that Pentecostal churches could easily become “contaminated with germs of faithlessness.” He wrote, “Church history gives us the story of declension after declension…We need to pray that we do not become lukewarm.” Frodsham admonished Pentecostals to avoid the mistakes of the mainline churches by continuing to offer “pure religion” and “spiritual food.”

Pentecostals, according to Frodsham, are “a people who stand for the absolute verbal inspiration of the Bible, and who accept that Book as the all-sufficient rule for faith and practice. When ungodly critics are denying all the miracles recorded in His Word, God is once more confirming His Word with signs following as at the beginning, witnessing to the truth of the Scriptures with both signs and wonders, and divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost.”

Most mainline Protestant denominations experienced divisions in the 1920s and 1930s over the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy. Many conservatives who left mainline denominations helped to form what became the fundamentalist and evangelical movements. In the early 1940s, the Assemblies of God solidified its relationship with the broader evangelical movement and became a founding member of the National Association of Evangelicals.

Read the article by Stanley H. Frodsham, “From the Pentecostal Viewpoint,” on pages 2 and 3 of the September 17, 1927, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* “Soul Winning Methods” by Charles E. Robinson

* “What Hinders Your Healing?” by Carrie Judd Montgomery

And many more!

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangelclick 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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