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AG History: 1914 -1950 The Early Years: 1914 -1927 Development: 1927 -1949
The Early Years 1914 -1926
A Call to Gather E. M. Bell called for a special convention in the Word and Witness publication: “This call is to all Churches of God in Christ, to all Pentecostal or Apostolic Faith Assemblies who desire with united purpose to cooperate in love and peace to push the interests of the kingdom of God everywhere. This is, however, only for saints who believe in the baptism with the Holy Ghost with signs following. ” (1913)
Reasons for the Convention The following reasons were published in the Word and Witness for the meeting: Unity among the churches Conservation of the work at home and on foreign fields Better support for missionaries Chartering with a legal name Bible school training for ministers
The First General Council August 1914 Ministers and Missionaries were half the delegates First 4 days dedicated to prayer and fellowship Mack Pinson’s Keynote Sermon: “The Finished Work of Christ” General Council of the Assemblies of God Voluntary Cooperation
Two Restrictions for Marriage Divorce: Disapproved except for adultery Divorced person should remain single No credential for anyone with two living spouses Women in Ministry Ordained only as Evangelists and Missionaries Not to be ordained as pastors (until 1935)
AG First Two Leaders E. N. Bell, General Superintendent (1914; 1920 -1923) Well-educated Baptist background, tall and 22 years older than Flower. Just began his first pastorate in Arkansas. Edited Word and Witness. Ideas about women in ministry strong influence. Supported tongues as initial evidence. He was a shaper of AG doctrine in its formative stages.
Two Leaders (con’t) J Roswell Flower, General Secretary (1914 -1916) (Executive until 1959) Immigrant from Canada. No formal training for ministry. Before his call, he read law. Founder of the Pentecostal Evangel, along with his wife. Strong upholder of AG doctrines.
General Superintendent E. N. Bell 1914 and 1920 -1923 Arch P. Collins 1914 -1915 Baptized in Spirit while pastoring a Baptist Church John W. Welch 1915 Protector and Shaper of AG beliefs Problems of the nature of the Godhead
The New Issue 1913 -1916 Overemphasis of Jesus Christ as Savior, Healer, Baptizer, soon coming King. Jesus Only Re-baptizing believers in Jesus name only (Acts 2: 38) 1916 General Council statement against “the new move of God”/Oneness Split: ¼ leave AG
Tongues 1918 General Council issue over Tongues as the Initial Physical Evidence of Spirit Baptism Reaffirmed that tongues for the AG was “our distinctive testimony” (Aug 1914)
Expansion 1915 General Council officially affirmed the evangelization of the heathen by NT methods. 1919 Missionary Department established with J Roswell Flower-funds to 206 Foreign Missionaries John Welch in 1920: “The General Council of the Assemblies of God was never meant to be an institution; it is just a missionary agency. ” HQ: Findlay, Ohio- St. Louis- Springfield (1918)
nd 2 General Council November 1914 Meeting at the Stone Church in Chicago "As a Council, . . . we commit ourselves and the Movement to Him for the greatest evangelism that the world has ever seen. " Why? Jesus is coming
What Grew The Assemblies of God? Henry C. Ball– Reaching the Spanish- speakers Ethel and Marcus Musick- She preached, he supported Robert and Mary Craig- sobering drunks and training leaders Evangelist: Aimee Semple Mc. Pherson- The Queen of the Evangelists
Challenges for Missions 1914 -1927 were the most unstable years for AG missions. Many early GC missionaries dropped out because of difficulties Age, illness, poorly trained and prepared, hardships on the field and some unable to work under man-made guidelines/policy
AG Missiology The Key: Evangelizing in Light of Jesus Soon Return Alice E. Luce, India: First significant AG missiologist. She wrote “New Testament Methods” influenced by Roland Allen’s Book: Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours? To the 3 -Self Formula, Luce added: Signs and Wonders
Early Missionary Characteristics Aim: Establish 3 -Self Churches that could reproduce themselves Lillian Thrasher: compassion, courage, and good business sense Ivan Voronaeff: sacrifice W. E. Simpson: Martyr for China/Tibet Victor Plymore: Paid with his family
1900 -1921: Summary Decisions that Framed AG Missions 1. April 1914: Reason for Being: Missions 2. Nov. 1914: Commitment to greatest world evangelism 3. 1915: New Testament Methods 4. 1917: First Mission’s Committee 5. 1919: Foreign Mission’s Department Formed 6. 1920: Survey of the Fields 7. 1921: Alice Luce: Pauline Methodology
1900 -1921: Lessons Learned 1. Spirit baptism is empowerment to bear witness to the ends of the earth. 2. Understanding that not all practices and trends are or equally effective. The guidance of the Spirit and Structure. 3. Deep commitment to the Bible. “Anything goes in the name of the Spirit” is not biblical. 4. Balance of the Spirit and the Word. 5. 1921 General Council stated the objective of missions was to produce indigenous churches, but it took a long time to work out.
Years of Development 1928 -1947
Indigenous Churches 1914: there were 40 AG missionaries, years of instability 1920 -1924: missionary numbers— 221 First indigenous churches and national bodies began to appear in the 1930 s: El Salvador and then Burkina Faso (1934) Problems with missionaries and old ways and resistance from US churches.
Compassion/ Charitable Work 1920: J Roswell Flower, first mission’s secretary wrote about Pentecostal Standard: Preaching as priority, with no time for schools, hospitals, etc. – the latter were distractions. However, in real life on the field compassion and proclamation went together.
Dislike of Denominationalism Pentecostals wanted to be Spirit-led, not man-led. Distrust of man-made organizations. Slow change of attitude and understanding of reality. “Cooperative Fellowship” or “The Fellowship” preferred.
Growth Ernest S. Williams elected Superintendent in 1929 and served 20 years. During this period: The Home Missions and Education Departments were created: 1937 Busy Bee- Buddy Barrel Bible Institutes multiplied Gospel Publishing House increased publications Evangelicals began to recognize Pentecostals Women were ordained as pastors
War Initially, WWII was not a worry– Jesus was coming soon. In 1941, Noel Perkin reported that 104 missionaries had reached field– only 4 failed. 1941: Mission’s Dept offered to pay for missionaries in China, Hong Kong and Philippines to come home, but too late. New Fields opened after the war
Strategic Planning Rapid Changes between 1943 and 1959 Continued development of Mission’s Department and strengthening of the role of the department– not appreciated by independent-minded missionaries By 1959, AG Missions was well-recognized by other agencies. 1943 Mission’s Conference
Plans Develop positions of field secretaries Add 500 new missionaries Develop an advisory groups of pastors and laymen Provide missionaries with better training Promote missions better in US Raise $5 million for missions.
AG History 1950’s and Beyond Passingthe Baton
Controversies New Order of the Latter Rain 1949 Healing Controversies
A New Generation for New Era Thomas Zimmerman (1912 -1991) Elected one of 4 Assisstant General Superintendents in 1953 and General Superintendent in 1959. “Let us never get the idea tat God has brought us to our present plateau to terminate progress– His command is, ‘Go Forward. ” (1968) Philip Hogan, Executive Director of DFM in 1959
Decade of Harvest G. Raymond Carlson: 1990 s Decade of Harvest Members and Adherents from 16 million to 30 million Bible Schools increased by 43% Total National Ministers increased 48%
The Charismatic Movement May 1960, Episcopal Priest Dennis Bennett baptized in the Spirit and spoke with other tongues. Revival within the Catholic Church. Feb. 1967 at Duquesne University: 30 students and 2 theologians. Influence by David Wilkerson’s Cross and the Switchblade. David du Plessis (1905 -1987): Pentecostal Ambassador Condemnation of the World Council of Churches
Key Missionaries Melvin Hodges (1909 -1988): The Indigenous Church J. W. Tucker: Assembly of God Martyr
Mission’s Developments Light For the Lost Chaplaincy Prison Ministry Speed the Light BGMC
Faith Promise Local Church Mission’s Convention Establish a regular income for missions Getting people committed and involved J Philip Hogan: “I have been selling missions to churches on a money-back guarantee for many years… If they set aside a portion for the lost abroad, God will help them in the local church” (1963).
Missionary Life Became More Complex Promotional duties Financial pressures Hostility and danger Qualifications
Scandal Jim and Tammy Bakker 1987 Jimmy Swaggart 1988
Partnership 1980’s change in the church around the world– partners in God’s work Morris O. Williams, The Indigenous Church and the Missionary (1978)
Mission’s Leaders Loren Tripplett (1989 -1997): stressed the Spirit’s supernatural role in calling people to enter the last days’ harvest in expectation of Christ’s return. The Fall of the Soviet Union opened up many fields previously closed, increasing urgency of the task AGWM still thinking in terms of geography, not people groups. John Bueno (1997 -2012): Partnership
Mission’s Core Our Four Pillars The widest possible evangelism (REACHING) Establishment of NT churches (PLANTING) Training national beleivers (TEACHING) Showing the Compassion of Jesus to the suffering (TOUCHING)
Unreached People’s “The ends of the earth” Acts 1: 8 Lack of strategy Partnership may have eroded pioneering Hostility Center for Ministry to Muslims/ Global Initiative International Ministry Department and Compassion