Tag Archives: Stanley M. Horton

Dr. Stanley Horton: Influential Pentecostal Theologian, Educator, and Writer

Horton desk

Stanley M. Horton at his desk at Gospel Publishing House, working on the Adult Teacher, circa 1955

This Week in AG History — April 27, 1975

By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on PE-News, 27 April 2017

Stanley M. Horton (1916-2014), the noted Pentecostal author and educator, was one of the most influential teachers of laypeople in the history of the Assemblies of God. He taught at the highest level in Assemblies of God institutions of higher education and authored the standard textbook on the Pentecostal understanding of the Holy Spirit, but it was through his “side job” as a writer of Sunday School material that he yielded his broadest influence.

Horton’s Pentecostal background goes back to the Azusa Street revival of 1906-1909. His mother, Myrle Fisher, was baptized in the Holy Spirit at the meetings at Azusa Street. She later married Harry Horton, who followed Myrle’s father, Elmer Fisher, as pastor of the Upper Room Mission, located just blocks from the Apostolic Faith Mission on Azusa Street.

The family often attended Angelus Temple, the home church of Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. One of Horton’s childhood memories is being led to the Angelus Temple platform to lead in prayer for a children’s meeting. He sat on Sister Aimee’s lap until it was his turn to pray.

Exposure to some of the early leaders and ministries of the Pentecostal movement gave Horton an inside understanding of the relationship between the development of theological ideals and their practical application to Christian living.

From his youth, Horton exhibited unusual intellectual prowess. He graduated from high school in 1933 at age 16 and in 1937 received his undergraduate degree in science from University of California at Berkeley. He went on to earn a Master of Divinity from Gordon Divinity School, a Master of Sacred Theology from Harvard, and ultimately his doctorate from Central Baptist Theological Seminary in 1959.

In a day when Pentecostal scholarship was considered “an oxymoron,” Horton was a rarity. While many of his peers considered higher education to be a hindrance to the Spirit’s anointing, Horton felt that God had called him to develop his intellectual abilities. If he did not fulfill that calling, he reckoned, he would be disobeying God.

Horton went on to teach at the college and university level for 63 years and traveled the world as a lecturer until age 92. He authored dozens of books — many of which have been translated into multiple languages — and published more than 250 scholarly articles. His book, What the Bible Says About the Holy Spirit, still serves as the definitive text on the topic in seminaries and universities around the world.

However, it is possible that his broadest influence in the Pentecostal world came through the humblest of his writings. In the April 27, 1975, issue of The Pentecostal Evangel, Horton was honored for serving as author of the Adult Teacher Sunday School quarterly for 25 years. Students in churches of every size and teachers of every level of ability would open these quarterlies each Sunday to glean a deeper understanding of biblical principles from the same pen that was writing university textbooks.

Balancing a heavy teaching load and raising three children, the scholar would stay up late into the night, at the beginning rate of $1 per hour, to develop lessons that would take the deepest theological truths and convey them in a manner that applied to the daily lives of farmers, factory workers, and businessmen and women. Dr. Bob Cooley, past president of the Evangelical Theological Society, former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a 1949 student of Dr. Horton, wrote, “If you read the adult quarterly, you can see that the lesson material grew out of an academic understanding of Scripture but was very practical . . . a technical understanding of the biblical text but a remarkable way of translating that into a body of applied theology.”

Dr. Horton’s sacrifice of time proved to be an investment in the lives of tens of thousands of Assemblies of God laypeople who would never attend one of his seminary classes, but who were still able to receive theological training from one of the greatest minds of the Pentecostal movement — just by attending Sunday School.

Read the article, “A/G Editors Honor Stanley Horton for 25 Years of Writing Ministry,” on page 26 of the April 27, 1975, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel. 

A biographical sketch of Horton, a bibliography of his writings, and video interviews are accessible on the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center website.

Also featured in this issue:

• “Unveiling the Man of Sin,” by Ian McPherson

• “Build A Bridge of Friendship,” by Marjorie Stewart

• “Navajo Trails Assembly Outgrows Its Building,” by Ruth Lyon

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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Dr. Stanley M. Horton (1916-2014), Bridge Builder and Servant

Horton COGIC

This photo shows Dr. Stanley M. Horton at Timmons Temple COGIC (Springfield, MO) in 2009 telling the story of his mother’s Spirit-baptism at the interracial Azusa Street Mission as a little girl. I was present and can testify that everyone was listening with rapt attention. The service, part of a three-day event, “A House No Longer Divided,” brought black and white Pentecostals together on April 13-15, 2009, remembering the unlikely dual anniversary of the beginning of the Azusa Street Revival and the Springfield Lynching. Both happened on April 14, 1906. This is one of my favorite pictures of Dr. Horton, because it captures his Pentecostal identity, rooted in the iconic Azusa Street Revival, and it shows his calling to teach, not just in the academy, but to those in the pew.

Dr. Stanley M. Horton (1916-2014), who went to be with the Lord yesterday at age 98, was a bridge builder. He built bridges across the racial, denominational, and academic divides. He was one of the Pentecostal movement’s most revered scholars, one of its most prolific authors, and one its most respected educators. His theological writings shaped generations of Pentecostals. But Stanley, to those of us who knew him, possessed something much greater than his Harvard degree. He was a gentle, humble, loving Christian man. He was a man of impeccable integrity. He loved his wife, Evelyn, and his children. He loved his students. He took time for everyone.

I am grateful that he poured himself into countless thousands of students who are now pastors, evangelists, missionaries, and educators. I am grateful for the late evenings he spent for 25 years, authoring the Adult Sunday School curriculum for the Assemblies of God. I am grateful for his numerous theological volumes. Stanley went home to be with the Lord, but his influence continues to be profound through the lives of those he discipled — in person and through the printed word.

Just seven weeks ago, Dr. Horton deposited his personal papers at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. The collection consists of correspondence, class notes as a student and as a professor, his writings, and other materials related to his leadership in the church and the academy. Future researchers, students, and church leaders will have access to his thoughts for years to come.

Dr. Horton’s obituary is accessible on the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary website. Please take time to leave a personal note for the family. Dr. Horton was a giant, not because of his impressive achievements, but because he embodied what it meant to have a servant’s heart. I pray that his legacy of godliness and servanthood will live on in future generations of Pentecostal scholars.

–Darrin J. Rodgers, M.A., J.D.
Director, 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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2009 SPS Tribute to Stanley Horton


The audio above is the session “Honoring Stanley Horton” at the Society for Pentecostal Studies meeting held at Eugene Bible College (Eugene, OR) on March 26, 2009.  The Participants included:

  • George O. Wood, Chair
  • Lois Olena, Panelist
  • Russell Spittler, Panelist (by video)
  • Stan Burgess, Panelist
  • Marty Mittelstadt, Panelist
  • Lemuel Thuston, Panelist
  • Ken Horn, Panelist
  • Stanely M. Horton, Respondent

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2007 Interview with Stanley Horton

In the featured audio below, Dr. Martin Mittelstadt and Matthew Paugh interview Stanley M. Horton (Parts 1 and 2) in, Springfield, Missouri, 2007

Part 1 (25:37):

Part 2 (19:21):

See also:
Martin William Mittelstadt and Matthew Paugh, “The Social Conscience of Stanley HortonAssemblies of God Heritage (2009): 15-19.

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Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology

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Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology, by Lois E. Olena with Raymond L. Gannon. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2009.

The second half of the twentieth century has seen Pentecostal scholarship emerge and thrive. Out of that emergence, few names are more recognizable than Stanley Horton. Called to teach Bible while a chemistry student at UC Berkeley, Horton did the unthinkable and went to Harvard to prepare for ministry as a Pentecostal scholar. The long shadow of Horton’s influence among Pentecostals began humbly and now stretches around the world and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. You may have read his books, but Stanley Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology will tell you “the rest of the story.” As you read, be encouraged and see what a long obedience in the same direction can yield.

–Dr. Byron Klaus, President, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

I am very happy to see in print this tribute to Stanley Horton, one of my esteemed professors, a model of godliness, sacrifice, and scholarship. I am also delighted to learn more about his life, and through it the history of the Pentecostal movement in North America. All who have been touched by this rich heritage will appreciate this work.

–Dr. Craig Keener, Professor of New Testament, Palmer Theological Seminary

Who has been a greater luminary in the twentieth-century Pentecostal galaxy than Dr. Stanley M. Horton? Many make their mark on but one island of ministry, but heroes impact many. This book shows how this scholar-saint set the standard for Pentecostal scholarship as a model professor, left a unique Gospel witness across the globe, and kept on “getting it right.” In a nation of conflicted social policies and in a church of confusing racial standards, he showed how one man’s life could clearly reveal Christ’s Church. May this volume inform others as much as my teacher Dr. Horton reformed me. Paul said in 1 Timothy 5:17 to give double honor to the elders who rule well; this read is just a portion of such honor.

–Bishop Lemuel Thuston, Kansas East Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, Church of God in Christ

Paperback, 318 pages, illustrated. $19.95 retail. Order from: Gospel Publishing House

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A House No Longer Divided

 
 
 
Dr. Stanley Horton extemporaneously addressing participants at A House No Longer Divided, Timmons Temple COGIC, Monday, April 13. Horton was explaining that his father was pastor of a multiracial church in Arroyo Seco, Los Angeles, in 1926-1927. Members – half were black, half were white – would eat dinner together after every Sunday service. (Photo courtesy of Ken Horn)

Dr. Stanley Horton extemporaneously addressing participants at A House No Longer Divided, Timmons Temple COGIC, Monday, April 13. Horton was explaining that his father was pastor of a multiracial church in Arroyo Seco, Los Angeles, in 1926-1927. Members – half were black, half were white – would eat dinner together after every Sunday service. (Photo courtesy of Ken Horn)

Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Co-sponsors Demonstration of Unity, Marking Unlikely Dual Anniversary of Springfield Lynching and Azusa Street Revival

On April 13-15, 2009, people from various ethnic, social, and denominational backgrounds gathered in Springfield, Missouri, to celebrate their unity in Christ. This demonstration of unity, dubbed “A House No Longer Divided,” was sparked by the unlikely dual anniversary of two events — the horrific Springfield Lynchings and the beginning of the multiethnic Azusa Street Revival, which has become a worldwide symbol for racial reconciliation. The meetings were held each evening from 7-9 pm at Timmons Temple Church of God in Christ (April 13-14) and at the William J. Seymour Chapel at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (April 15).

On April 14, 1906, three African-American men were lynched by a mob on the Springfield town square. The lynching of Horace Duncan, Fred Coker and Will Allen led to the flight of possibly hundreds of blacks to less hostile areas. The ethnic makeup of the community, to this day, reflects that horrific event. The African-American community in Springfield remembers the event much like Jews remember the Holocaust.

That same day, on April 14, 1906, William J. Seymour began holding services at the run-down mission at 312 Azusa Street in Los Angeles. The interracial Azusa Street revival, which emerged from meetings in a home on Bonnie Brae Street, became a focal point for the emerging Pentecostal movement. Azusa participant Frank Bartleman famously exulted that “the color line was washed away in the blood.” A little more than one year later, Rachel Sizelove, a Free Methodist-turned-Pentecostal evangelist, brought the movement to Springfield from Azusa Street and started what became Central Assembly of God.

“A House No Longer Divided” featured special speakers, preaching, and music. Timmons Temple Pastor T.J. Appleby emceed the services, and speakers included both seasoned and young ministers. Organist Beverly Daniels and the Timmons Temple gospel choir led participants in worship each evening. Half of each evening was devoted to gospel music, which was interspersed between speakers (each was given either 10 or 30 minutes to speak).

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Dr. Stanley Horton Endowment announced


horton_stanleyTo honor Dr. Stanley M. Horton’s remarkable service to AGTS, to the Assemblies of God, and to the greater Pentecostal community over the past seven decades, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary has initiated the Dr. Stanley M. Horton Scholarly Resources Endowment Fund, in conjunction with the Pillars of the Faith initiative.

You are invited to help AGTS reach its goal of $25,000 for this endowment. For those who contribute $125 or more, AGTS will send a complimentary copy of Dr. Horton’s forthcoming biography, Stanley M. Horton: Shaper of Pentecostal Theology, by Lois E. Olena with Raymond L. Gannon.

Interest from this endowment will be used to purchase scholarly resources for the Cordas C. Burnett Library at AGTS — specifically biblical-theological and biblical language resources, as these areas have been so important to Dr. Horton over the years.

Please go to this link at the AGTS website for more information, to contribute to the endowment, and to reserve your copy of Dr. Stanley Horton’s biography. (The book releases in April and will be shipped in May to those who contribute $125 or more to the Dr. Stanley M. Horton Scholarly Resources Endowment.) For a $250 gift, AGTS will send you a copy signed by Dr. Horton. Contributions can also be made by mailing or calling the AGTS Development Office, 1435 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, MO 65802; ph. 1-800-467-2487×1012.

In conjunction with the release of Dr. Horton’s biography, the 2009 issue of Assemblies of God Heritage will include an article by Lois E. Olena called “Stanley M. Horton: A Pentecostal Journey,” which outlines his rich Pentecostal heritage and the unfolding of his life to become Pentecostalism’s “premier theologian.” A related article slated for the 2009 issue is “The Social Conscience of Stanley Horton” by Martin William Mittelstadt and Matthew Paugh.

Posted by Glenn Gohr

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