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The Genesis of the Pentecostal Movement

(continued from part 1)


Apostolic Taith Group, ca. 1910. Charles F. Parham is third from the right.

A list of the 352 recognized ministers
published in the December 20, 1913
Word and Witness.
The Apostolic Faith Movement, which was centered in Houston, was steadily growing in spiritual power and influence. It has been estimated that at that time there were approximately 1,000 persons in the Midwest who had received the Pentecostal baptism, and 60 or more recognized Pentecostal ministers. The original Apostolic Faith Movement in the Southwest was destined to form the nucleus of the Assemblies of God some years later. It should be noted that in the December 20, 1913, issue of the The Word and Witness, a Pentecostal periodical published in Malvern, Arkansas, a list of 352 recognized ministers of the Movement was published, most of whom were laboring for Christ in the Midwestern states.

The great impetus to the spread of the Pentecostal message worldwide came from Los Angeles. It was from Los Angeles the good news spread abroad by word of mouth and the printed page, and it was to Los Angeles that hundreds of ministers came, received the Holy Spirit in Pentecostal fullness, and then scattered out with the message to all parts of the United States and Canada. The periodical, Apostolic Faith, published in Los Angeles, was also instrumental in bringing the message to many hungry Christians, who, inspired by what was happening elsewhere, sought the Lord diligently, thus spreading the fire in communities which had not been touched with personalities from Los Angeles.

C.H. Mason, a black holiness minister, left his home in Memphis, Tennessee, and came to Los Angeles in 1906. There he received the Pentecostal baptism and returned to Memphis to spread the message among his own people. He was the founder of the Church of God in Christ, which, according to claim, rivals in number of constituents the largest of the white Pentecostal groups. C.H. Mason is highly revered by both white and black Pentecostals for his work's sake.

G.B. Cashwell, a minister of the Holiness Association of North Carolina, went to Los Angeles in 1906, received the Pentecostal baptism, and returned to his home in Dunn, North Carolina, where he rented a large warehouse and began meetings. G.B. Cashwell was the link in the chain that opened the Southeastern States to the Pentecostal message. It is recorded that before the year 1907 was concluded, all, or nearly all, the ministers of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church had received a personal experience of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Three groups in the Southeastern States, which had received the message through Brother Cashwell, later combined to form the Pentecostal Holiness Church.


G. B. Cashwell


A. J. Tomlinson, 1913


H. G. Rodgers, 1913


M. M. Pinson


T. B. Barratt

A year after Cashwell's return to the Southeast, in January of 1908 he preached in Cleveland, Tennessee, at the conclusion the General Conference of the Church of God. A.J. Tomlinson, at that time pastor of the church in Cleveland, received the Pentecostal baptism. He had not at the first accepted the Pentecostal message, although the church which he served had been Pentecostal since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Shearer schoolhouse in 1896. Brother Tomlinson was a strong personality and a capable leader, and was chosen to serve as moderator of the General Assembly in 1909. The church was confirmed in this Pentecostal position and has throughout the years that followed contributed greatly to the spread of the Pentecostal message.

Others were influenced by G.B. Cashwell, included two evangelists by the name of H.G. Rodgers and M.M. Pinson. These men carried the message into Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. They also carried it to south Florida. Later, these two men were instrumental in bringing into the Assemblies of God a number of churches that had been created under their ministry in the Southeast.

In the meantime, the Pentecostal fire was being carried into Canada by R.E. McAlister, Brother and Sister Hebden of Toronto, and A.H. Argue of Winnipeg. It was not long until the Pentecostal message was spread throughout the Dominion.


Ivey Campbell

Miss Ivey Campbell, a woman of profound piety, received the baptism in the Holy Ghost in Los Angeles and carried the message to Akron, Ohio.

In the summer of 1907, a glorious camp meeting was held at Beulah Park campground in Cleveland, Ohio, where many of the ministers and laity of the Christian and Missionary Alliance came into the Pentecostal experience. Some of these later aligned themselves with the Assemblies of God. Others remained with the Alliance, modifying their views somewhat on speaking in tongues in conformity with the Alliance position on that subject.

The years 1906–08 were notable years because during those years the Pentecostal message was spread all over the world. Los Angeles and the Azusa Street Mission became symbols of Pentecost. The Movement, however, was soon out of hand, for new centers were being established which gave no particular allegiance to the Azusa Street Mission. Periodicals began to appear following the early periodical published in Houston, Texas, the Apostolic Faith, and the second periodical bearing the same name, the Apostolic Faith, that was published in Los Angeles. Other periodicals appeared such as: The Bridegroom's Messenger published in Atlanta, Georgia; the Way of Faith of Columbia, South Carolina; The New Acts, Alliance, Ohio; the Latter Rain Evangel, and Pentecostal Testimony, Chicago, Illinois; The Church of God Evangel, Cleveland, Tennessee; the Pentecostal Holiness Advocate, Franklin Springs, Georgia. All these contributed to spread the Movement so it was out of hand so far as the leadership of the Azusa Street Mission or the Houston, Texas, group was concerned. The Apostolic Faith Movement had indeed become a Pentecostal movement, and a force to be reckoned with in the religious world.

But the spread of the Movement was not to be confined to the United States and Canada. It was to spread overseas to every continent, and the rapidity with which the chain reaction took place was startling indeed.

Who can understand the leadings of the Lord? Who would have imagined the outcome of the decision made by Pastor T.B. Barratt to visit the United States in 1906? Pastor Barratt, a minister of the Methodist Church in Christiania, Norway, visited America to solicit funds to open a large city mission in his nation's capital. His fund-raising mission was not too successful—but he came in contact with the Apostolic Faith Mission in New York City, was brought under conviction for his spiritual need, opened his heart, and tarried for and received the Pentecostal baptism on October 7, 1906. He returned home, and under his ministry a revival broke out in Norway in January 1907.

Christiania, later named Oslo, became the center for a chain reaction that carried the Pentecostal message to Sweden, England, Denmark, and many places on the continent. Pastor Lewi Pethrus read of the Barratt meetings in a Stockholm newspaper in January of 1907, and went to Oslo. Through this contact, the Pentecostal message was introduced into Sweden. A.A. Boddy, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church at Sunderland, England, spent 4 days with Pastor Barratt, and then returned home. Under his ministry, showers of latter rain began to fall in Sunderland in September of 1907. The first city in Scotland to experience the latter rain baptism was the city of Kilsyth, also in the year 1907. Two missionaries were sent from Oslo to Switzerland, bringing the Pentecostal message to that country in the year 1908.

South Africa was visited with a Pentecostal revival early in 1908. Thomas Hezmalhalch came from Los Angeles to Indianapolis, Indiana, in March of 1907. He and his party then went to Zion, Illinois, where God gave them an outstanding Pentecostal ministry. The work in Zion had been opened in 1906 by Charles F. Parham, the leader of the Apostolic Faith Movement of Houston, Texas, so that the ground was well prepared for the ministry of the Hezmalhalch party. Following this meeting, the party returned to Indianapolis and plans were laid for the outfitting of a party to go to South Africa. The party, consisting of Thomas Hezmalhalch and wife, John G. Lake and wife, J.O. Lehman, Louis Schneiderman, and others, left for South Africa in the spring of 1908, and went directly to Johannesburg. The same signs that followed the ministry of the Word in the U.S.A. were experienced in South Africa, and the Apostolic Faith Mission was born. Later, these American workers returned to America, but the seed they had planted continued to germinate until the Apostolic Faith Mission has reached its present proportions.


Minnie Abram's book

What more can we say. Early missionaries went to China and to India. A book by Miss Minnie Abrams entitled, The Baptism of the Holy Ghost and Fire, describing the revival in the girls' home operated by Pandita Ramabai, fell into the hands of W.C. Hoover, a Methodist missionary in Chile, in 1907. As a result, the Holy Spirit was outpoured in Chile under the ministry of Brother Hoover in July 1909.

During those first few years, the Pentecostal message was carried by a spiritual chain reaction into Germany, the eastern European countries, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Egypt, many parts of Africa, India, China, Japan, Central and South America, Australia, and New Zealand. It would be impossible to tell the whole story. Thousands upon thousands, perhaps millions of souls, have been enlightened as to their privilege in Christ of a full salvation, and have received the baptism in the Holy Ghost. The Acts of the Apostles has been repeated on a grand scale that surpassed the fondest expectations of the early participants. What the end shall be no one can possibly know.


ENDNOTES

1. Stanley H. Frodsham, With Signs Following, (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1941), 253–262.

2. Ibid., 19–29.

The late J. Roswell Flower served as the first secretary-treasurer of the Assemblies of God in 1914. He and his wife, Alice, founded the Christian Evangel in 1913 (later The Weekly Evangel and since 1919 The Pentecostal Evangel. From 1919 to 1923, Flower served as the Fellowship's first missionary secretary-treasurer. In 1929, he was elected superintendent of the Eastern District, and in 1931 was elected to serve as nonresident assistant superintendent until selected in 1935 to serve as general secretary-treasurer. When the Assemblies of God established the position of general treasurer in 1947, Flower continued as general secretary until his retirement in 1959. This article is adapted from The Pentecostal Evangel, January 29, 1956.

 

 

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