This Week in AG History — May 24, 1941
By Ruthie Edgerly Oberg
Originally published on AG News, 23 May 2019
A.H. (Andrew Harvey) Argue (1868-1959) was a pioneering figure in the Pentecostal movement in North America, serving as a pastor and evangelist in Canada and the United States. He also played a significant role in the discussions leading up to the establishment of the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.
Argue was born near Ottawa, Ontario, in 1868 to a Methodist family. His father moved the family to North Dakota, where Argue was converted in a Salvation Army meeting. In this meeting he also met Eva Phillips, whom he later married. The young couple spent five years farming in North Dakota before moving to Winnipeg, a city that was experiencing an economic boom with the expansion of the Canadian West. Argue and his brothers began a thriving real estate business in Winnipeg that allowed him to be a self-supporting lay evangelist in the Methodist church.
Alongside his Methodist heritage, he received a conviction that personal holiness was integral to the Christian life. Argue also embraced a belief in divine healing through the ministry of A.B. Simpson. While preaching a camp meeting in Thornbury, Ontario, he read a written account of the Pentecostal revival taking place at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. He shared it with a colleague at the camp meeting and they both felt that “it could be possible” that God would give the gift of tongues to His people in the last days.
Returning to Winnipeg, Argue began to learn all he could about the new Pentecostal revival. In April 1907 he traveled to Chicago to visit W.H. Durham’s mission. He later described the experience: “I waited on God for 21 days … During this time I had a wonderful vision of Jesus … I was filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gave utterance.”
Argue began to share his testimony of Spirit baptism when he arrived home in Winnipeg. Upon hearing of Argue’s experience, people began to come to him and say, “we have walked with God for years , but your testimony has made us realize there is more for us. Where can we tarry for this deeper experience?” He and Eva immediately began opening their home for “tarrying meetings” — a time devoted to waiting on God. These meetings grew into ever larger quarters until the first Pentecostal church in Winnipeg was formed.
Argue sold his real estate business and invested the proceeds in income-producing ventures which allowed him the financial freedom to travel for ministry. From this beginning he quickly launched out into the evangelistic circuit. He devoted the rest of his life to the Pentecostal ministry in all parts of Canada and much of the United States. Thousands were saved, healed, and baptized in the Holy Spirit through His powerful preaching and praying. Due to his wise investments, he was often able to return the offerings he received as an evangelist back to the local church.
Argue wrote more than 40 articles for the Pentecostal Evangel from 1914 to 1959. In one of his articles, published in the May 24, 1941, issue, he answered the question of what he would do “if I had only one hour to live.” He stated, “my parting counsel would be: walk with God.” Using the examples of Enoch, Noah, and Elijah who “walked with God,” Argue said that these three men experienced protection and guidance as to what to do during difficult times due to their walk with God. He also encouraged the Evangel readers to “walk softly” with both God and man, walking in gentle holiness before God Himself and walking with graciousness toward others.
Argue lived into his nineties, dying in 1959. He and Eva were blessed with seven children, although the eldest died at four years of age. They lived to see the others saved, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and used in ministry. His grandson, Don Argue, served as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was president of North Central University and Northwest University.
Read more of Argue’s article on page 5 of the May 24, 1941, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
Also featured in this issue:
• “My God Shall Supply All Your Need,” by Marie Burgess Brown
• “A Light for the Blackout,” by Margaret Ann Bass
• “Liberian Christmas Convention,” by A.J. Princic
And many more!
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