Historical Archives | Pentecostal History 1

 

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The Early Church

The day of Pentecost (historically recorded to have taken place in 30 A.D.) produced the long awaited baptism of the Holy Ghost. It first fell on the apostles, and eventually encumbered a number totaling 120 that were gathered together in the upper room. The early church was not without a witness to the power of the Holy Ghost or the Name of Jesus.

After Peter preached his heart convicting sermon, 3000 souls responded, and were added to the church that same day. All that believed Peter's words were identified with Christ by being baptized into his Name, and were filled with the Holy Ghost.

Some of the first known departures from the Apostolicity of the church  were imposed on Christian believers during the first "Ecumenical Council " in church history - taking place at Nicea in 325 A.D. Although the theological  argument at Nicea was not directly associated with the development of the  Trinity, (bearing strong connotations such as the identity of Jesus Christ, and his place in the Godhead) it did however, lay the ground work for a full development of this doctrine, and, the soon adoption of its theological position into post-apostolic church history.

However, Nicea 325 A.D. did produce one of the first realized departures from the apostles doctrine by changing the baptismal formula from, "into the Name of Jesus Christ", to the titles, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The second Ecumenical Council was held at Constantinople in  381 A.D., at which time the Roman Emperor, Theodious I, adopted the tenents of the Trinity, and made it the legal state religious views of the Empire.

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 Pre-Pentecostal Events

 The Cane Ridge Revival in 1801

America's victory over the British in the Revolutionary War, ushered in a time of expansion and prosperity. Settlers headed west to seek free lands, a new  life, and more freedom. As the population of the frontier grew, so did a sense of religious indifference. Methodist circuit riders traveled hundreds of miles to reach out and become the only church that these rugged people knew. Camp meetings became popular as people looked forward to a break from the hard frontier life.

 In the Bluegrass State of Kentucky, about 20 miles outside of Lexington, people traveled from all over to experience a touch from God. Scott Ross conducted his investigation of revivals with what has been called the most important camp meeting in American history - the Cane Ridge revival. This outpouring set the western frontier ablaze.

Some have asked, "What were the events that led to the Cane Ridge revival? Cane Ridge was in Kentucky in 1801. It started as a communion service, and it began with a Presbyterian serving communion. It was kind of a community communion service, and a woman had a manifestation of the Holy Ghost.

These extraordinary services exploded into the Cane Ridge camp meeting. The firey preaching started at sun up, and didn't stop until well into the night. many people fell to their faces as the weight of their sins struck them cold. Others sang, and danced as they felt the presence of God in their midst. Thousands flocked to Cane Ridge to experience a touch from God.

But as you look at Cane Ridge, it had the Pentecostal manifestations that some of the other revivals didn't have. For instance, people would fall like timber before a sharp ax. When you look at the interviews, they would fall out of agony as in the phrase, "I was scared to death." "I was so scared that I couldn't move", and they would lay on the ground for two or three days out of agony - agonizing to pray through until they got saved.

The Cane Ridge revival changed the western frontier because from it exploded these circuit rider preachers who went everywhere planting churches. These churches became points of evangelization. These were the great things that changed the frontier from being a place of what we would call the wild west, with all types of lawlessness, to people wanting law and order because God had come into their life.

The Cane Ridge revival has gone down in the history books as a very " human" affair. Yet for a brief moment in time, people praised, groaned, shouted, danced and came face to face with the living God. This encounter changed their lives forever.

Cane Ridge Camp Meeting

 

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 Catholic Apostolic Church

Port Glasgow, Scotland (1830)

Edward Irving

Something supernatural took place in Edward Irving's church in Port Glasgow, Scotland, as a revival of charismatic gifts broke forth. This was the exciting beginning of the Catholic (not Roman) Apostolic Church of Scotland. These events would eventually circum-navigate the world, and influence millions of people, including the Christian Church of North America.

 

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The Catholic Apostolic Christian Church

Zion City, Illinois (1893)

Rev. John Alexander Dowie

Reverend John Alexander Dowie was born in 1847. He was a sickly child, and at the age of 13 his family migrated to Australia. At the age of 20, he decided to enter the ministry, and began to prepare for the University. In 1875, he moved to the Sydney suburb of Newton. There, he became convinced of the practical message of divine healing.

In 1878, Dowie left the Congregational Church, and launched an independant ministry. First in Sydney, and later in Melbourne. In 1888, Dowie his wife, and their two children migrated to the United States. After two years of healing evangelism, which took him to many parts of the country, Dowie established a base of operations in Evanston, Illinois in 1890. In 1893, he began conducting services in his spacious, Zion Tabernacle. In 1895, John Dowie organized his followers into the Apostolic Catholic Church (not associated with Roman Catholicism).

Being intensly evangelistic, he stressed consecration and holiness. In 1901, he reasserted his restorationist hopes. In 1904, he told his followers, which numbered approximately (6000) to anticipate the full restoration of Apostolic Christianity. Dowie's end-time expectations, his message of divine healing , and his restorationist vision made him an important forerunner of the modern Pentecostal movement. Rev. Charles F. Parham was highly influenced by Dowie's message. Many of Dowie's followers accepted Pentecostal views. Some, became prominate leaders in a movement that regarded itself as an end-time restoration. Most Pentecostal leaders with roots in Dowie's restoration movement affiliated with the Assemblies of God. Some, however, moved on into the Oneness Movement.

In September 1905, Dowie suffered a stroke. While traveling in the interests of both his health, and his Zion City ministry in 1906, he lost control of his community. Individuals there had suffered severly as a result of financial mismanagement. Dowie died in 1907, disgraced and ignored by most of the thousands who had acclaimed him.

 

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The Christian & Missionary Alliance (1887)

Rev. Albert Benjamin Simpson

Simpson was born in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, Canada as the third son and fourth child of James Simpson, Jr. and Janet Clark. Author Harold H. Simpson has gathered an extensive genealogy of Cavendish families in Cavendish: Its History, Its People. His research establishes the Clark family (A.B. Simpson's mother’s side) as one of the founding families of Cavendish in 1790, along with the Simpson family, and he traces common ancestors between Albert B. Simpson and Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables.

The young Albert was raised in a strict Calvinistic Scottish Presbyterian and Puritan tradition. His conversion of faith began under the ministry of Henry Grattan Guinness, a visiting evangelist from Ireland during the revival of 1859. [2] Simpson spent some time in the Chatham, Ontario area, and received his theological training in Toronto at Knox College, University of Toronto. After graduating in 1865, Simpson was subsequently ordained in the Canada Presbyterian Church, the largest of the Presbyterian groups in Canada that merged after his departure for the United States. At age 21, he accepted a call to the large Knox Presbyterian Church (closed in 1971) in nearby Hamilton, Ontario.

In December 1873, at age 30, Simpson left Canada and assumed the pulpit of the largest Presbyterian church in Louisville, Kentucky, the Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church. It was in Louisville that he first conceived of preaching the gospel to the common man by building a simple tabernacle structure for that purpose. Despite his success at the Chestnut Street Church, Simpson was frustrated by their reluctance to embrace this burden for wider evangelisticendeavor.

In 1880, Simpson was called to the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church in New York City where he immediately began reaching out to the world with the gospel. Beside active evangelistic work in the church, he published a missionary journal, The Gospel in All Lands, the first missionary journal with pictures. Simpson also founded and began publishing an illustrated magazine entitled The Word, Work, and World. By 1911, this magazine became known as The Alliance Weekly, then Alliance Life, and is now called a.life. It is the official publication of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, in the USA and Canada.

By 1881, after only two fruitful years at Thirteenth Presbyterian, he resigned in order to begin an independent gospel ministry to the many new immigrants and the neglected masses of New York City. Simpson began informal training classes in 1882 in order to reach "the neglected peoples of the world with the neglected resources of the church". By 1883, a formal program was in place and ministers and missionaries were being trained in a multi-cultural context (This school was the beginning of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary). In 1889, Simpson and his church family moved into their new home at the corner of 44th St. and 8th Av. called the New York Tabernacle. This became the base not only of his ministry of evangelism in the city but also of his growing work of worldwide missions.

Teaching

Simpson's disciplined upbringing and his natural genius made him a most effective communicator of the Word of God. His preaching brought great blessing and converts wherever he preached and his unique gospel of Jesus became known as the Four Fold Gospel: "Jesus our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King". The Four Fold Gospel is symbolized in the logo of the C&MA : the Cross, the Laver, the Pitcher and the Crown. He came to his special emphasis in ministry through his absolute Christ-centeredness in doctrine and experience.

Plagued by illness for much of his life since childhood, Simpson experienced divine healing after understanding it to be part of the blessing of abiding in Christ as Life and healing. He emphasized healing in his Four Fold Gospel and usually devoted one meeting a week for teaching, testimonies and prayer on these lines. Although such teaching isolated him (and the C&MA) from the mainline churches that either did not emphasize or outright rejected healing, Simpson's uncompromising trust in the Word and power of God kept him steadily forging ahead of his times without criticism or rancor with those who disagreed.

Simpson’s heart for evangelism was to become the driving force behind the creation of the C&MA. Initially, the Christian and Missionary Alliance was not founded as a denomination, but as an organized movement of world evangelism. Today, the C&MA plays a leadership role in global evangelism.

In his 1890 book, A Larger Christian Life, Simpson discussed his vision for the church:

He is showing us the plan for a Christian church that is much more than an association of congenial friends to listen once a week to an intellectual discourse and musical entertainment and carry on by proxy a mechanism of Christian work; but rather a church that can be at once the mother and home of every form of help and blessing which Jesus came to give to lost and suffering men, the birthplace and the home of souls, the fountain of healing and cleansing, the sheltering home for the orphan and distressed, the school for the culture and training of God's children, the armory where they are equipped for the battle of the Lord and the army which fights those battles in His name. Such a center of population in this sad and sinful world! [3]

Simpson composed the lyrics of over 120 hymns, [4] 77 of which appear in the C&MA's 1962 hymnal, Hymns of the Christian Life. [5]

His missionary vision is illustrated by these words of his hymn, "The Missionary Cry":

The Master's coming draweth near.
The Son of Man will soon appear,
His Kingdom is at hand.
But ere that glorious day can be,
The Gospel of the Kingdom, we
Must preach in every land. [6]

Influence on Pentecostalism

During the beginning of the twentieth century, Simpson became closely involved with the growing Pentecostal movement, an offshoot of the Holiness movement. It was common for Pentecostal pastors and missionaries to receive their training at the Missionary Training Institute, now Nyack College, Nyack, New York, that Simpson founded. Because of this, Simpson and the C&MA had a great influence on Pentecostalism, in particular the Assemblies of God and the Church of the Foursquare Gospel. This influence included evangelistic emphasis, C&MA doctrine (especially on healing and his articulation of a "fourfold gospel"), and Simpson's hymns and books. [7]

There eventually developed a severe division within the C&MA organization over "the initial evidence doctrine" within Pentecostalism. While Simpson and the C&MA wholeheartedly embraced the Filling of the Holy Spirit and all the spiritual gifts, including tongues, they could not embrace the position that only tongues would be the initial evidence for that Baptism experience.

 

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The Original Apostolic Faith Movement

1901 ~ Present

 

Rev. Charles Fox Parham

The history of 20th century Pentecostalism as we know it in North America, began in the humble life of a man who's heart was hungry for a deeper and more fulfilling walk with God. It was a long journey filled with many trials and tribulations.  

Charles Fox Parham was born June 4, 1873 in Muscantine, Iowa. When he was five, his parents, William and Ann Maria Parham moved south to Cheney, Kansas. They truly lived as, and considered themselves to be American pioneers. As a child, Charles experienced many debilitating illnesses, including, encephalitis, and rheumatic fever. These unfortunate confrontations with pain, and even death would greatly impact his adult life. In his biography, his wife (Sarah) wrote, "Charles was not a strong boy, but was weak, and sick a good part of the time".

When Charles was twelve his mother passed away. As the family gathered around her bed as she was dying, she turned to Charles and said, 'Charlie, be good'. He never got away from those words. The words "be good" made a deep impression on his heart, and influenced him in later years to consecrate his life to God, and the work of the ministry.

 In his own words, Charles Parham said, "At six months of age, I was taken with a fever that left me an invalid. For five years I suffered with dreadful spasms. At nine years of age, I was stricken with the first case of inflammatory rheumatism, virtually tied up in a knot; with other complications I suffered much. I took medicines of various kinds, and one of them destroyed the lining of my stomach, and dwarfed me so I did not grow for three years. 

Even before his conversion at the age of thirteen, Charles Parham felt an attraction to the Bible, and a call to preach. He began conducting revival meetings in local Methodist churches when he was fifteen. The services, by Parham's assessment, met " marked results." It seemed only natural that such promise be cultivated by formal training, and at seventeen he entered Southwest Kansas College at Winfield, to prepare for the Methodist ministry.

The national panic of 1893 temporarily damaged Southwest Kansas' rise in academic prosperity. Hard times deleted the available pool of students. Matters worsened when the college dormitory burned in 1894. By the spring of 1895 enrollment had dropped immensily. One of the casualities of the economic crises was the young preacher Charles F. Parham. His formal education came to an end when he failed to register to the 1893-94 school term.   There was more to Parham's uncompleted degree than financial panic. His experience at college had been an ordeal comparable to his childhood struggles. Priorities were a problem at first as he pursued the religious work with more vigor than the studies. He took the consequences personally, noting that such zeal caused him to be "severely reprimended and graded down in the examination." What followed was an even greater crises for Parham. During his freshman year he not only curtailed his ministerial schedule, but gradually suffered a complete vocational relapse. He decided the Methodist ministry "with its starvation stations and 'hard scrabble' circuits, was not near so alluring as some other professions."

A year later Parham turned his back on God, and the ministry. Deciding that he preferred the income, and social standing of a physician, he began medical studies. Soon his rheumatic fever returned, and it didn't seem that Parham would recover. He trusted God for his healing, and the pain and fever that had tortured his body for months, immediately disappeared. However, the healing was not yet complete. Months of inactivity had left him a virtual cripple. His ankles were too weak to support the weight of his body, so he staggered about walking on the sides of his feet. In December, 1891 Parham renewed his commitments to God, and the ministry, and was instantaneously, and totally healed.

From this time on Parham went forth proclaiming not only that Jesus saves, and sanctifies, but that He also heals. He preached in schoolhouses, homes or whatever was open for the gospel. He preached to people of various faiths. A little later he pastored in some Methodist churches. He preached Sanctification as a definite second work of grace as taught by John Wesley, and the early Methodist. He soon left "sectarian churchism" as he called it, and entered the Evangelistic work where he saw hundreds commit their lives to Christ, and were healed by the power of God. 

 

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Bethel Healing Home

In 1898, a "Divine Healing Home" was established on the corner of 4th and Jackson Streets, in Topeka, Kansas, which Parham called Bethel. The purpose of Bethel Healing Home was to provide home like comforts for those who were seeking healing, while prayer was made for their spiritual needs as well as their bodies.

At Bethel Healing Home, special studies were given to ministers, and evangelists, and many workers were instructed in Bible truths, and trained  for gospel work. They taught salvation, healing, sanctification, the second coming of Christ, and the  baptism of the Holy Spirit, although they had not yet recieved the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Also they practiced water baptism by immersion, and partook of the Lord's Supper.

Concerning the last days of the Healing Home, Charles Parham wrote, " Deciding to know more fully the latest truths restored by latter day movements, I left my work in charge of two holiness preachers, and visited various movements, such as Dowie's work who was then in Chicago; the Eye Opener work of the same city; Malone's work in Cleveland, Dr. Simpson's work in Nyack, New York, Sanford's 'Holy Ghost and Us' work at Shiloh, Maine, and many others. I returned home fully convinced that while many had obtained a real experience in sancification, and the anointing that abideth, there still remained a great outpouring of the power, for Christians who were to close out this age. Through underhanded scheming, and falsehoods, the ministers I left in charge of my work had not only taken my building, but also most of my congregation. My friends urged me to claim my own, but the Word says, 'We have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also, and if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also'. To practice His Word was our highest aim. "  

 

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The First Pentecostal Periodical

 

 It was at the Bethel Healing Home in 1899, that Charles Parham printed the first Pentecostal Periodical of its kind. It was called The Apostolic Faith. In the beginning, this paper was published twice every month. Sarah Parham writes, "Each number of the paper was filled with wonderful testimonies to healing, and sermons containing the teachings of the Home".

Charles F. Parham is commonly referred to as, the Father of 20th Century Pentecostalism. When he proclaimed to the world in 1901, that speaking in tongues was the physical evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Pentecostal truths of the early church were considered to be wonderfully restored. Parham gave his life to retore the revolutionary truths  of healing, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit to the Christian church at large.

However historians may view Charles F. Parham, he holds a very significant place in modern church history, and to those within the rank and file of the Apostolic Faith, will always view him as the original projector of the modern movement.   The "Pre-Nicene Apostolic Faith Church" became dominated  for 1250 years by "Post Apostolic Catholicism." Many people   on the  European continent did not survive the pressure that came from Rome to compromise their Apostolic faith traditions or suffer great persecution, and thus became absorbed into the dictation of mainstream of Roman Catholic practices. Although the Pre-Nicene Apostolic Faith Church survived the persecutions of the Medivel Inquisitions, it lacked the clear distinction of aggression of its earlier identity beginning at Jerusalem in (30) A.D. That is until the dawning of the 20th century. Parham is credited with giving Christendom (especially those who embraced spiritual gifts) something in which to reconnect to and identify with. There was no place for a Methodist "tongue talker" to remain in the Methodist church. Therefore, all Holy Spirit filled believers had to make a mass exodus from their respective Reformation churches, and join ranks with the newly formed Apostolic Faith Movement. It has been said that the 20th Century Pentecostal revival has proven to be one of the greatest "spiritual awakenings" since the Day of Pentecost.

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 The Topeka Outpouring

~January 1, 1901~

"Stones Folly"

After the trifled experience of losing his Healing Home to so called friends, brother Parham went to his room to fast and pray, and be alone with God, that he might know His will for his future work. In his own words, Parham wrote, "Many of my friends desired me to open a Bible School, and by a series of wonderful miracles, we were enabled to secure what was then known as 'Stones Folly' a great mansion patterned after an old English Castle, located just one mile west of Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas.

 Stones Folly is the name given to the mansion built at a cost of about $40.000 in boom days by a wealthy Englishman named E.R. Stone. Stone made considerable money in the boom of Topeka real estate, built the mansion modeled after the medieval castles he had seen in Europe.

The grounds of Stones Folly covered ten acres, planted in evergreens, and fruit trees. The interior was finished throughout with no two rooms being trimmed with the same variety of wood. Mahogany, Rosewood, Magnolia,   Walnut... Black and White, Curly Pine, Birds-Eye Maple, Butternut, and Oak, came from all parts of the country are said to have been used in the inside decorations.

Outside, the house was striking in appearence. It was of three-stories, surmounted with towers, and battlement. The walls were of heavy studding with a brick veneer, and stone cornices. Mr. Stone could not keep the pace he had set, and when the boom broke, he was forced to part with his pretentious dwelling. After the Stone family left, several tenents tried to occupy the place, but it was too large for the use of an ordinary family, and was finally closed up. Eventually, the Parham School of Tongues procured the building, which was then owned by the American Bible Society.

Sarah Parham wrote, "We opened the Bible School at Topeka, Kansas in October, 1900 to which we invited all ministers, and Christians, who were willing to forsake all, sell what they had, give it away, and enter the school for study, and prayer, where all of us together might trust God for food, fuel, rent, and clothing. The purpose of this school was to fit men and women to go to the ends of the earth to preach the gospel as a witness to all the world before the end of the age."

There were about forty students that made the decision to give up all, and follow after the will of God for their lives, and ministries. Their purpose in the Bible School was not to learn the things of God in their heads only, but to have each thing in the Scriptures wrought out of their hearts, and that every command that Jesus Christ gave should be literally obeyed. This can especially be seen in the way that Charles Parham baptized his converts. He came to understand that the command to baptize was prolific, and could not be anything less than what Jesus demanded.

 

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"The Latter Rain"

As Told By The Late Charles F. Parham

Re-printed in The Apostolic Faith - April 1951

We Opened the Bible School at Topeka, Kansas in October, 1900. To which we invited all ministers and christians who were willing to forsake all, sell what they had, give it away, and enter the school for study and prayer, where all of us together might trust God for food, fuel, rent and clothing. The purpose of this school was to fit men and women to go to the ends of the earth to preach, "This Gospel of the Kingdom." Matt. 24:14 as a witness to all the world before the end of the age.

Our purpose in this Bible School was not to learn these things in our heads only but have each thing in the Scriptures wrought out in our hearts. And that every command that Jesus Christ gave should be literally obeyed.

No one paid board ot tuition, the poor were fed, the sick were entertained and healed, and from day to day, week to week, and month to month, with no sect or mission or known source of income back of us, God supplied our every need, and He was our all sufficiency in all things.

In December of 1900 we had had our examination upon the subject of repentance, conversion, consecration, sanctification, healing, and the soon coming of the Lord. We had reached in our studies a problem. What about the 2nd Chapter of Acts? I had felt for years that any missionary going to the foreign field should preach in the language of the natives. That if God had ever equipped His ministers in that way He could do it today. That if Balaam's mule could stop in the middle of the road and give the first preacher that went out for money a "bawling out" in Arabic that anybody today ought to be able to preach in any language of the world if they had horse sense enough to let God use their tongue and throat.

But still I believed our experience should tally exactly with the Bible, and neither sanctification nor the anointing that abideth taught by Stephen Merritt and others tallied with the 2nd Chapter of Acts. Having heard so many different proofs as the evidence of their having the Pentecostal baptism, I set the students at work studying out diligently what was the Bible evidence of the baptism of the holy Ghost, that we might go before the world with something that was indisputable because it tallied absolutely with the Word.

Leaving the school for three days at this task, I went to Kansas City (Missouir) for three days services. I returned to the School on the morning preceding Watch Night services in the year 1900.

At about 10 o'clock in the morning I rang the bell calling all the students into the Chapel to get their report on the matter at hand. To my astonishment they all had the same story, that while there were different things occured when the Pentecostal blessing fell, that the indisputable proof on each occasion was that they spoke with other tongues. About 75 people beside the school which consisted of 40 student, had gathered for the watch night service. A mighty spiritual power filled the entire school.

Sister Agnes N. Ozman, (now LaBerge) asked that hands might be laid upon her to receive the Holy Spirit as she hoped to go to foreign fields. At first I refused, not having the experience myself. Then being further pressed to do it humbly in the name of Jesus, I laid my hand upon her head and prayed. I had scarcely repeated three dozen sentences when a glory fell upon her, a halo seemed to surround her head and face, and she began speaking in the Chinese language, and was unable to speak English for three days.  When she tried to write in English to tell us of her experience she wrote the Chinese, copies of which we still have in newspapers printed at that time.

 

Agnes Ozman's Handwriting in Chinese

(Continued) Seeing this marvelous manifestation of the restoration of Pentecostal power, we removed the beds from a dormitory on the upper floor, and there, for two nights and three days we continued as a school to wait upon God. We felt that God was no repector of persons, and what He had so graciously poured out upon one, He would upon all.

Those three days of tarrying were wonderful days of blessings. We all got past any begging or pleading, we knew the blessing was ours with ever swelling tides of praise and thanksgiving and worship, interspersed with thangsgiving and worship we waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

On the night of January 3rd, I preached at the Free Methodist Church in the City of Topeka, telling them what had already happened, and that I expected upon returning the entire school to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. On returning to the school with one of the students, we ascended to the second floor, and passing down along the corridor in the upper room, heard most wonderful sounds. The door was slightly ajar, the room was lit with only coal oil lamps. As I pushed open the door I found the room was filled with a sheen of white light above the brightness of the lamps.

Twelve ministers, who were in the school of different denominations, were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues. Some were sitting, some still kneeling others standing with hands upraised. There was no violent physical manifestation, though some trembled under the power of the glory that filled them.

Sister Stanley, an elderly lady, came across the room as I entered, telling me that just before I entered tongues of fire were sitting above their heads.

When I beheld the evidence of the restoration of Pentecostal power, my heart was melted in gratitude to God for what my eyes had seen. For years I had suffered terrible persecutions for preaching holiness and healing and the soon coming of the Lord.I fell to my knees behind a table unnoticed by those upon whom the power of Pentecost had fallen to pour out my heart to God in thanksgiving. All at once they began to sing, "Jesus Lover of My Soul" in at least six different languages, carrying the different parts with  more angelic voice than I had ever listened to in all my life.

After praising God  for some time, I asked Him for the same blessing. He distinctly made it clear to me that He raised me up and trained me to declare this mighty truth to the world, and if i was willing to stand for it, with all the persecutions, heardships, trials, slander, scandal that it would entail, He would give me the blessing. And I said, "Lord I will, if You will just give me this blessing. " Right then there came a slight twist in my throat, a glory fell over me and I began to worship Gos in the Swedish tongue, which later changed to otherlanguages and continued so until the morning.

Just a word: After preaching this for all these years with all the persecutions I have been permitted to go through with, misunderstanding anf the treatment of false brethren, yet knowing all that, this blessing would bring to me, if I had the time and was back there again I'd take the same way.

No sooner was this miraculous restoration of Pentecostal power noised abroad, than we were besieged with reporters from Topeka papers, Kansas City, St. Louis and many others cities sent reporters who brought with them professors of languages, foreigners, Government interpreters, and they gve the work the most crucial test. One Government interpreter claimed to have heard twenty Chinese dialects distincly spoken in one night. All agree that the students of the college were speaking of the languages of the world, and that with proper accent and intonation. There was no chattering, jabbering, or stuttering. Each one spoke clearly and distincly in a foriegn tongue, with earnestness, intensity and God-given unction. The propriety and decency of the conduct of each member of the bible School won the warment comment from many visitors.

Our first public appearance after others had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit was in Kansas City, in the Academy of Music, about January 21st. The Kansas City papers loudly announced our coming. Two columns appeared in the Kansas City Journal, with large headlines on the front page. These headlines, being the largest on the fron page, attracted the attention of the newsboys, andthey not knowing a Pentecost from a holocaust ran wildly up and down the street crying their papers, Pentecost, Pentecost, real all about the Pentecost.

I have on record the sermon preached on this occasion. The first upon the baptism of the Holy Ghost in all modern Pentecostal Apostolic Full Gospel movements. Also on file all that the papers had to say about these things in those days. Through great trials and persecutions we conducted the bible school in the city of Topeka itself, then on in Kansas City.

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearance of Jesus Christ." - Peter 1:7.

 

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The Importance of Water Baptism

Written by: Rev. Charles F. Parham (1902)

In the early stages of his ministry, Charles Parham struggled with the absoluteness of water baptism as it related to regeneration. But soon he had a clearer understanding, that not only did Jesus expect it from a believer, but that water baptism would be the emminant response of a believers faith in Christ, and one of the identifying marks of the A postolic faith. In his theology, Parham realized that as believers, we are buried with Christ by baptism into His death. In his book entitled, A Voice Crying In The Wilderness, which he first published in 1902, Parham deals with the subject of water baptism as it pertained to the doctrines of his Apostolic Faith Movement.

Parham writes, "For years after entering the ministry, we taught no special baptism of water, believing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to be the only essential one; having been marvelously anointed from time to time, and received the anointing that abideth, we put the question of water baptism aside. One day, while meditating alone in the woods, the Spirit said, 'Have you obeyed every command you believe to be in the Word'. I answered, yes; the question repeated, and the same answer was given. The third time the question was asked, I answered, no! for like a flood, the covincing  evidence of the necessity of obedience rushed in upon me, how Peter said, 'Repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ'. Was not this one baptism?"

"Then came the second; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Again Peter preceeded at once to baptize Cornelius, and all his house, who had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, with the Bible evidence of speaking with other tiongues. Thrusting aside all arguments, Peter replied,'Can any man forbid water, that these should be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we'. Paul did not recognize the baptism of John to repentance as sufficient, but rebaptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ before he would lay hands upon them that they might receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  These and other Scriptures were so convincing that the next day we were baptized by single immersion".

Parham continues by saying, "I can well remember when we sought God in this cleansing, how some of the teachings we had believed to be so Scriptural, and some we had loved so dearly were wiped from our minds. Among them was triune immersion; we could not afterward find a single argument in its favor. One day at the Bible School we were waiting upon God that we might know the Scriptural teaching on water baptism. Finally, the Spirit of God said: 'We are buried by baptism into His death'. Although we had known that for years,   again the Spirit said: 'God the Father and the Holy Ghost never died." Then how quickly we recognized the fact that we could not be buried by baptism in the name of the Father, and in the name of the Holy Ghost, because it stood for nothing, as they never died or were resurrected. So, if you desire to witness a public confession of a clean conscience toward God, and man, faith in the divinity of Jesus Christ, you will be baptized by single immersion, signifying the death, burial, and resurrection: being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ". 

 

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Agnes Ozman's Personal Testimony of being the first person to Receive the Holy Ghost at "Stones Folly" in Topeka, Kansas. (January 1, 1901)

Printed in the Apostolic Faith April - 1951

Agnes N. Ozman

We will let one of the students, Mrs. N.O. LaBarge, formerly Miss Agness N. Ozman, who was the first to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost in the school, give her testimony:

"I had been a Bible student for some years and had attended T.C. Horton's Bible School at St. paul, Minnesota, and A.B. Simpson's Bible School at New York City. Foir some time I had been doing mission work. In the fall of 1900 I was in Kansas City and heard that a bible School was to be opened at Topeka, Kansas. I had a desire to go to this school, and asked the Lord that it it was His plan for me to go, to provide the fare. A sister gave me more than enough to pay for my fare and so I felt assured it was God's will for me to go. I was living by simple faith in the Lord, trusting Him to supply all my needs according to Phil. 4:19.

It was in October 1900, that I went to this school which was known as Bethel Bible college. We studied the Bible every day and did much work down town at night. Prayer was offered night and day continually in a special tower. I had many blessed hours of prayer in this upper room during the night watches. As we spent much time in the presence of God, He caused our hearts to be opened to all that is written.

I had some experience with the Lord, and tasted the joy of leading some souls to christ, and had some marvelous answers to prayer for guidance and in having my needs supplied. I was blessed with the presence of the Lord, who, in response to my prayer, healed some who were sick. like some others, I thought that I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost at the time of consecration, but when i learned that the holy Ghost was yet to be poured out in greater fullness, my heart became hungry for the promised comforter and I began to cry out for an enduement with power from on high.  At Times I longed more for the Holy Spirit to come in than for my necessary food. At night I had a greater desire for him than for sleep.

We were admonished to honor the blood of Jesus christ to do its work in our hearts, and this brought great peace and victory. A text often used was this, ' Now the God of peace has brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, thru the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, thru Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen' (Hebrews 13:20-21)

As the end of the year drew near some friends came from Kansas City to spend the holidays with us. On watch night we had a blessed service, praying that God's blessing might rest upon us as the New Year came in. During the first day of 1901 the presence of the Lord was with us in a marked way stilling our hearts to wait upon Him for greater things. The spirit of prayer was upon us in the evening. It was nearly seven o'clock on this first of january that it came into my heart to ask Brother Parham to lay his hands upon me that I might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was as his hands were laid upon my head that the holy Spirit fell upon me and I began to speak in tongues, glorifying God. I talked several languages, and ir was clearly manifest when a new dialect was spoken. I had the added joy and glory my heart longed for and a depth of the presence of the Lord within that I had ne4ver known before. it was as if rivers of living waters were preceeding from my innermost being.

The following morning I was accosted with questions about my experience of the night before. As i tried to answer i was so full of glory that i pointed out to them the Bible references, showing that i had received the baptism according acts 2:4 and 19:1-6. I was the first one to speak in tongues in the bible school and it seemed to me that the rest were wanting to speak in tongues too. But i told them not to seek for tongues but to seek for the Holy Ghost. I did not know at that time that anyone else would speak in tongues. I did not expect the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself to others as He did to me.

On January 2, some of us went down to Topeka to a mission. As we worshipped the Lord I offered prayer in English and then prayed in another language in tongues. A Bohemian who was present said that he understood what I said. some months later at a school house with others, in a meeting, I spoke in tongues in the power of the spirit and another Bohemian understood me. since then others have understood other languages I have spoken.

The hearts of other students were made hungry for the holy Spirit and they continued to tarry befor the Lord. On the 3rd of January some of the students went to the mission and others gathered in prayer at the Bible School praying for the holy Spirit. God answered their prayers by pouring out His Spirit and one after another began speaking in tongues and some were given interpretation."

 

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The Wonderful History of the Latter Rain

By the Late Miss Lillian Thistlewaite "Sister In Law of Charles F. Parham "

Printed in the Apostolic Faith - April 1951

 

The first Shower of the Latter Rain - Bethel Bible School.

In the year 1900, Charles F. Parham, and his wife and family and a number of Bible students, gathered in the Bethel Bible School to study the Word of God, using no text book except the Bible.

The building procured for this school was known by the people of Topeka, Kansas, as the "Stone Mansion" of " Stones Folly" because it had been patterned after an English castle, and he, having failed to "count the cost," was unable to finish in the style planned. The beautiful carved staircases and finished woodwork of cedar of Lebanon, spotted pine, cherry wood and bird's eye maple, ended on the third floor with plain wood and common paint.

The outside was finished in red brick and white stone with winding stairs that went up to an observatory on the front of the highest part of the building. There was also a cupola at the back of the building and two domes built on either side. Into one of these  a door was cut, making a room large enough for a small stove, a table and a chair. This was known as the "Prayer Tower." Volunteers from among the students took theirbturn of three hours watch; so day and night prayer ascended unto God. Sometimes a student would desire to spend the night in waiting before the Lord and this privilege was allowed.

When the building was dedicated for the school, while in preayer, on the top of the building, captain Tuttle, a godly man, who was with Mr. Parham said he (in a vision) just above the building a "vast lake of fresh water about to overflow, containing enough to satisfy every thirsty soul." This we believe was the promise of the Pentecostal baptism which followed later.

There were about forty persons gathered here including the children. The method of study was to take a subject, learn the references on tha subject, also where each quotation was found, and present to the class in recitation as though they were seekers, praying praying for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon the message in such a way as to bring conviction.

Mr. Parham also taught through lectures. I shall never forget the one he gave on the Songs of Solomon. How we were all lifted into the heavenlies and the room seemed filled with the glory of God's presence!

It was just before the Christmas holidays that we took up the study of the Holy Ghost/ Mr. Parham was going to Kansas City to conduct meetings there and to bring some friends back with him to spend Christmas and be present for the watch night meeting. before leaving, the following is the substance of what he said:

"Students, as I have studied the teachings of the various Bibls Schools and full gospel movements, conviction, conversion, healing and sanctification are taught virtually the same, but on the baptism there is a difference among them. some accept Stephan Merritt's  teaching of baptism at sanctification, while others say this is a baptism received through the "laying on of hands" or the gift of the holy Ghost, yet they agree on no definite evidence. Some claim this fulfillment of promise "by faith" without any special witness, while others, because of wonderful blessings or demonstrations, such as shouting or jumping. Though I honor the Holy Ghost in anointing power, both in conversion and in sanctification, yet I believe there is a greater revelation of His power. The gifts are in the Holy Spirit and with the baptism of the Holy Spirit the gifts, as well as the graces, should be manifested. Now, students, while I am gone see if there is not some evidence given of the baptism so there may be no doubt on the subject.

"We see the signs already being fulfilled that mark the soon coming of the Lord and I believe with John Wesley that at Christ's second coming the Church will be found with the same power that the apostles and the early Church possessed."

Thus closed the regular Bible lessons, for a time, but there was individual and collective prayer and study of the bible continuously.

On Mr. Parham's return to the school with his friends, he asked the students whether thay had found any Bible evidence of the baptism of the holy Spirit. The answer was, unaninous, "speaking in other tongues. "

Services were held daily and each night. There was a hallowed hush over the entire building. All felt the influence of a mighty presence in our midst. Without any special direction, allmoved in harmony. I remember Mrs. Parham saying, "Such a spirit of unity prevails that even the children are at peace, while the very air is filled with expectancy. Truly He is with us, and has something more wonderful for us than we have known before."

The service on New Year's night was especially spiritual and each heart was filled with the hunger for the will of God to be done in them. One of the students, a lady (Agnes N. Ozman) who had been in several other Bible Schools, asked Mr. Parham to lay handsupon her that she might receive the Holy Spirit. As she prayed, her face lighted up with the glory of God and she began to speak with "other tongues. "

She afterward told us she had received a few words while in the Prayer Tower, but now her English was taken from her and with floods of joy and laughter she praised God in other languages.

There was very little sleeping among any of us that night. The next day still being unable to speak English, she wrote on a piece of paper, "Pray that I may interpret."

The following day was Thursday. This day Mr. Parham observed as a day of special prayer and waiting upon the Lord. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., he believes to be the six hours Christ spent on the cross, so these hours were observed in special waiting on the Lord that all that was purchased upon Calvary should be wrought out in our individual lives. The "broken body" or the atonement for healing was especially honored in these meetings.

On this particular day the baptism of the Holy Ghost was sought earnestly, but no one received the gift. Having other duties in the home I had not searched the scriptures to know the bible evidence, nor heard the decision of those who had, but in my mind concluded as the gifts are in the Holy Ghost any of the nine gifts would prove the baptism; and as Paul said "desire earnestly the best gifts. " I, feeling "faith" was the most to be desired was looking for this gift in some way to be manifested.

An upper room was set apart for tarrying before the Lord, and here we spent every spare moment in audible or silent preayer, in song or in just waiting upon Him. There was no confusion as only one prayed audibly at a time, and when more than one sang it was the same hymn. It was truly a time of precious waiting. His presence was very real and the heart-searching definite.

Mr. Parham was holding night services in Topeka and before leaving he said, "I don't suppose I shall be able to understand any one of you when I return."

Still I was not looking for "tongues" but some evidence from God, I didn't know of what nature that would convince me I had the baptism. We prayed for ourselves, we prayed for one another. I never felt so little and utterly nothing before. A scrap of paper charred by a fire is the best description I can give of my feelings. Then through the Spirit this message came to my soul, " Praise Him for the baptism for He does come in by faith through the laying on of hands."

Then a great joy came into my soul and I began to say, "I praise Thee," and y tongue began to get thick and great floods of laughter came into my heart. I could no longer think words of praise, for my mind was sealed, but mu mouth was filled with a rush of words I didn't understand. I tried not to laugh for I feared to grieve the spirit. I tried to praise Him in English but could not, so I just let the praise come as it would in the new language given, with floodgates of glorywide open.

He had come to me, even to me to speak not of Himself but to magnify the Christ, - and oh, what a wonderful, wonderful Christ was revealed. Then I realized I was not alone for all around me I heard great rejoicing while others spoke in tongues and magnified God. I think Mrs. Parham's language was the most perfect. Immediately following came the interpretation, a beautiful poem of praise and worship to Christ, proving the words of the Saviour - "When the Comforter is come"  - "he shall not speak of himself" - "He shall teach you all things and bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you." Then as with a simultaneous move we began to sing together each one singing in his own new language in perfect harmony.

As we sang, "All hail the Power of Jesus' Name," and other familiar tunes, it would be impossible to describe the hallowed glory of His presence in our midst. The cloven tongues of fire had been seen by some when the evidence had been received. Mr. Parham came into the room while we were standing singing - kneeling he thanked God for the scene he was allowed to witness, then asking God if it was His will that he should stand for the baptism of the Holy Spirit as he had for healing, to give him the Bible evidence. His prayer was answered, the gift bestowed, and the persecution came also.

Never had such a hallowed joy, such a refined glory or such an abundance of peace, ever come into my life. The Comforter had come and the words of Jesus being brought continually to my remembrance as Scripture after Scripture was unfolded by day and by night filled me with a settled rest and quietness my soul had never known before, I lived in the heavenlies.

 

As we went into meetings it seemed impossible that any could resist the messages given. Some understanding the language were convinced but others fulfilled the prophecy, "With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that they will not hear me, saith the Lord. " I Cor. 14:21.

On one occasion a Hebrew Rabbi was present as one of the students, a young married man, read the lesson from the Bible. After services he asked for the Bible from which the lesson was read. The bible was handed him, and he said, "No not that one, I want to see the Hebrew Bible. That man read in the Hebrew tongue. "

At another time while Mr. Parham was preaching he used another language for some time during the sermon. At the close, a man arose and said, "I am healed of my infidelity; I have heard in my own tongue the 23rd Psalm that I learned at my mother's knee."

The Bible School building was sold. We moved to a building in Topeka where we stayed for a short time, then went to Kansas City. While living in Kansas City we heard that the building where Pentecost first  fell was burned. This was not a surprise to us, as it had been turned into a road house and the rooms that once had heard only the voice of supplication and praise to God, had been desecrated by worldly revelry. Warning was given that such actions would not go unpunished for the house was dedicated to the Lord from its highest place of observation to the cellar.

In Kansas Citym Missouri, Mr. Parham held a Bible School, also meetings. During this time souls were saved, some received their baptism and others were healed. The persecutions were great and we were learning many lessons. In the third year of the work Gid mightily vindicated the cause and many souls were saved, wonderful healings took place, and the falling of the Pentecostal Baptism was very convincing.

I do not know to what denomination all belonged who received the baptism at Bethel Bible School, but some were Methodists, others Friends, and some Holiness, while many belonged to no denomination. There were only white persons present at the first Pentecostal shower. No colored people were ever in the school. As Mrs. Parham's sister, it has been my privilege to be in their home or in touch with their work continually. To witness Mr. Parham's zeal and untiring energy you would not believe it possible he had been a suffewrer for years until healed by the power of God.

The work of his ministry was conducted entirely on faith lines. He looked to the Lord to open the field of labor and was obedient to that which he felt to be His will, then left the results with God, who hath said, "His Word shall not return unto Him void." His family was dear to him. He enjoyed doing the little things about the home, caringfor the children and giving the loveservice, which maked life worth living.

Soon after they were married he was given some land in the country, and I remember him saying to my sister, "If the Lord would only let me, we would have a little home, and raise chickens." But choosing the "better part," together they continued the life of service for others.

He taught as the discipline of the Movement he represented, and for his own life and practice, the keeping of the commandments of Jesus. He rejoiced in the opportunity to "overcome evil with good." He also practiced the command to "Give to every man that asketh of thee, and to him that would borrow of thee, turn not away," and God rewarded an hundred fold.

Many times he gave the last cent he had, or clothes and food that would be needed the following day; but the Scripture obeyed brought "good measure" returned, even to the running over. A marked characteristic of his work was his ability to reach all classes, the rich and the cultured, the poor and the outcast of society, with the same touch of understanding that makes of one common brotherhood all God's creatures.

Having known the power of healing in his own life, and believing God's promises are the same today for those who could believe, he prayed for the sick who were healed, even as sinners were delivered from the power of sin thru faith in the atonement. When Mrs. Parham first wrote me about the wonderful healings they were having among the people, I could hardly believe it possible. I knew Christ and the disciples healed the people and I aslo believed that Mr. Parham was healed, but I thought these were special cases.

I had a physical disorder that had troubled me for years,I would try the Lord and see if He would heal now as when here in person. God, searching the heart, knoweth all things. How great His patience and tender mercies toward us! He graciously healed me. later I contracted a cold resulting in a cough which instead of getting better grew worse till I was confined to bed. My mother and the others were anxious about me, feeling I should have a doctor. To this I could not consent for I had not only been healed myself but had seen many others healed thru prayer.

I remembered I had come for healing to prove God's promises, now I felt God was proving me. They were prayin g for me at bethel bible School where Mr. and Mrs. Parham were incharge, yet I still remained sick. Later, Mr. Parham came into my mother's home and prayed for me. I felt the healing virtue go thru my body and was entirely delivered. I thank God for His great love for His children; that He has purchased not only salvation for the soul but also healing for the body, which is the temple of the holy Ghost. I also thank God for His faithful messenger, who has been an inspiration and blessing to so many and truly given his Life as a living sacrafice in service for others, though his faith was often tried, as by fire.

  

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