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Fall 2007, Vol. 4, No. 1

"Brought into the Sphere of the Supernatural": How Speaking in Tongues Empowered Early Pentecostals (Inaugural Lecture, Wednesday, September 13, 2006)

Gary B. McGee, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Church History and Pentecostal Spirituality, Assemblies of God Theological Seminary

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“We wanted power from on high to help save the world,” declared Charles Parham matter-of-factly to a newspaper reporter as he reviewed the events of the January 1901 revival at his Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas. “We prayed for it; we received it.”1 To Parham and his band of followers, who embraced his novel teaching on the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the “Apostolic Faith” of the Early Church now had been restored to bring in the end-time harvest of souls. Through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:28-29), God miraculously had begun to bestow unlearned languages on Spirit-baptized believers to preach the Good News to the nations, just as it happened on the Day of Pentecost nineteen centuries before.2

It was all heady stuff for this little band of radical evangelicals, gaining the full restoration of the Spirit’s power ahead of others who had sought unsuccessfully for the Pentecostal blessing or thought they already had it without speaking in tongues. More Pentecostal revivals came in the succeeding years, though the hope of heralding the Apostolic Faith around the globe would take longer than initially expected. The earliest-known Pentecostal missionary would depart not from Topeka, but from Fargo, North Dakota for South Africa in 1904.3 Others would venture overseas as a result of revivals in Los Angeles, Spokane, Chicago, and Toronto, as well as Oslo; Sunderland, England; Stockholm, and elsewhere.

Histories of Pentecostalism have recounted how early North American adherents anticipated preaching in their newfound languages until disappointing reports from missionaries trickled home.4 Yet relatively little attention has been paid to how Pentecostals adjusted to this development. In the intervening years it has been assumed that with embarrassment they returned to the New Testament to discover that tongues largely serves as an avenue of prayer and praise. With Pentecostals themselves saying little about the transition, they may have judged it to be a chapter in their pilgrimage best forgotten.5

Notwithstanding, careful scrutiny of published testimonies and other information about tongues-speech from 1901 to 1908 at home and abroad paints a different picture, namely one of theological and spiritual continuity.6 Throughout this period, many Pentecostals saw the values of glossolalic utterances to include not only languages for preaching, but “prayer in the Spirit,” signifying an embryonic entwining of deed and doxology that would long characterize Pentecostalism. When the failure of tongues as a missio-linguistic tool became apparent, they retained their confidence in praying in tongues as the source of power, an approach both biblical and already familiar to them. Instead of this traumatizing the self-understanding of the movement and blunting its growth, the fledgling diaspora of Pentecostal ministers and missionaries steadily increased decade after decade.

Though the psychological and social factors of speaking in tongues and the theologies of some early leaders have been carefully examined,7 how the earliest Pentecostals described their Spirit baptisms and struggled to comprehend the relationship to spiritual enablement, deserves further consideration. In this essay, I will explore how they perceived their experiences to square with biblical teachings and how they knew the Holy Spirit had empowered them for evangelism and mission.

Reception of Spirit Baptism

Judging by their testimonies, Pentecostals knew that speaking in tongues—“prophesying” (preaching) according to Joel 2:28—afforded them the absolute certainty of communicating in unlearned languages.8 Hence, at Topeka, Agnes Ozman claimed to receive Chinese, Howard Stanley spoke the “language of the East Indians, the Hindoos,” while others gained Turkish, Yiddish, Zulu, and many more.9 Languages announced at the later Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles included German, Italian, Japanese, Bengali, Chippewa, and Eskimo, among others.10 Languages not identified were simply “unknown tongues,” as was the case with John Lake who received his Spirit baptism at Zion, Illinois and journeyed to South Africa as a missionary.11

But tongues brought them much more. In India, Presbyterian missionary Max Wood Moorhead marveled that in Spirit baptism, “God has brought one into the sphere of the supernatural, the sphere of the Holy Ghost who can now work in and through one’s being much more effectually.”12 Another Presbyterian-missionary-turned-Pentecostal who served in China, Arthur Street, said it “brings into a man the entire range of workings of the Holy Spirit Himself who is thus ready to work in all His completeness all the nine [gifts].”13 In the estimation of one Azusa participant, “It is a greater light than when you were sanctified. It is the full blessing of Christ.”14

The dynamics included new levels of rapturous joy and love; control of the “unruly member”—the tongue (Jas. 3:8-10);15 heightened sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit in personal prayer, corporate worship, and ministry; the prerequisite to be a channel of the charismatic gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11);16 invigorated boldness to witness for Christ; and ability to cast out demons.17 While holiness believers had similarly portrayed the effects of their own encounters with the Spirit, what distinguished Pentecostals and also alienated them from their spiritual parents was the central role of speaking in tongues in producing this bliss.18

Pentecostals surfed the English language for metaphors to describe the blessing that came with speaking in languages they had never learned. “Great floods of laughter came into my heart,” recalled Lilian Thistlethwaite when hands were laid on her at Bethel Bible School to receive Spirit baptism, “so I just let the praise come as it would in the new language given, with the floodgates of glory wide open.”19 Tom Anderson at Azusa Street felt the Holy Spirit “pulling the rope which rings the joybells of heaven in my heart.”20 Blanche Appleby told the Atlanta-based Bridegroom’s Messenger that “the waves of glory that flowed through my soul were like the turbulent Niagara that flows over the precipice to the rocks beneath,” leaving “a joy that remaineth, a power that does not yield to the flesh in the hour of temptation, and a heart, mind, and body dedicated to God, perfectly willing to go where He wants me to go.”21 Appleby later sailed for East Asia as a missionary and spent twenty-five years in China and the Philippines.22

Empowerment through Love

Like their evangelical and holiness predecessors, Pentecostals understood love to be indispensable to Christian integrity and noted Paul’s emphasis on it in relation to the Spirit-filled life (Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 13). Pioneer evangelist Howard Goss considered love the “most necessary accompaniment which the Spirit freely confers.”23 Because the disciples “were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1 [AV]) on the Day of Pentecost, Pentecostals took this to mean that love and unity had to prevail among them—the result of sanctification or consecration—in preparation for the Spirit’s outpouring and their work in the vineyard of the Lord. At Topeka, “all moved in harmony” in spiritual expectancy.24 Whether Methodists, Friends, “holiness,” or independents, the students prayed collectively, though “only white persons [were] present at the first Pentecostal shower.”25 After their reception of tongues, they “began to sing together [with] each one singing in [their] own new language in perfect harmony.”26

The solidarity lived beyond Topeka. A newspaper article on the 1903 revival in Galena, Kansas expressed surprise that “[Parham’s meetings have] brought about conditions that were never before witnessed in this section.” In observing the audience, the writer commented on the leveling effect: “Here the man of prominence and position clasps hands with the uneducated son of toil or oft times with those who have a prison record back of them. Here women who have formerly lived for society and gaiety kneel beside some fallen sister and endeavors [sic] to point her heavenward and here the ‘followers’ receive what they term ‘the Pentecost.’”27 An even more spectacular demonstration of love and reconciliation happened at Azusa Street three years later where “the ‘color line’ was washed away in the blood,”28 leading one of the faithful to say that “Pentecost means to live right in the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, which is the standard. . . . [It] makes us love Jesus more and love our brothers more. It brings us all into one common family.”29

In another display of unity, a wide swath of Pentecostals said that as the Spirit’s “overcoming power” came upon them, they began singing in tongues, an occurrence that virtually vid30 “Oh, it was like bursting clear through the earthly into the heavenly,” hummed Kate Knight, serving with the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Bombay. “The music is all new and seems to transport my soul into the choir of the angels.”31 Someone else said, “The Lord drops down sweet anthems from the paradise of God, electrifying every heart,” a marvel eliminating the need for song books and musical instruments since the “Holy Ghost plays the piano in all our hearts.”32 For “Brother Burke” in Anaheim a “music band of a thousand instruments was set up within me” that left him singing days afterward.33 To Church of God in Christ founder, Charles Mason, “It was the sweetest thing to have [the Holy Spirit] sing through me.”34 But when the whole congregation sang in tongues, reported Susan Duncan on the revival in Rochester, New York, the immanent presence of the Spirit transformed them into a “heavenly choir” with its voice “sounding out like a great oratorio of angelic voices.”35 Frank Bartleman called this group experience at Azusa Street a “gift of God of high order,” sovereignly bestowed by the Holy Spirit and bringing a “heavenly atmosphere, as though the angels themselves were present and joining with us.”36 Such an encounter was nothing less than one’s soul being ushered “into the throne room of God,” insisted Arthur Street who received Spirit baptism in Chicago.37

At a Swiss Pentecostal meeting, an interpretation of tongues announced that the “Spirit would sing.” Immediately, a young woman (a soprano) began to sing in tongues shortly before another young woman (an alto) followed suit. “The blending of the two was like celestial music,” penned Madame Seifer, “for the Holy Spirit was singing through them in a strange yet very soft and musical language,” while the congregation listened in silence with rapt attention.38 Though in this instance only two voices were heard, the audience participated in the theater of the event. The harmony that emanated by way of such happenings involved far more than music: it united Pentecostals together from many backgrounds, swept them up into the eschatological worship of heaven—pulling back the curtain briefly to let them glimpse the divine love for humankind,39 and thereby energized them to enlist in the mission of God. “We would have messages [in tongues] and interpretations and we would sing by the power of the Holy Ghost in the Heavenly Choir, and weep for a lost world,” remembered William Booth-Clibborn, grandson of William Booth, about the early Pentecostal revivals in Germany.40

The bonding of Spirit baptism with the Christian world mission appears as well in comments like the following from the pages of the Apostolic Evangel: “This baptism puts more love in us for God and His people and for the lost than anything that has ever come to this world.”41 Church of God founder A. J. Tomlinson observed that Joel’s prophecy indicated that believers would receive visions in the last days. He knew something of this himself because when he began speaking in tongues, a vision transported him to Central America to see the plight of the masses, resulting in a “paroxysm of suffering [that] came over me as I seemed to be in soul travail for their salvation.” From there the vision took him to other countries as he spoke in their languages.42 The Methodist Thomas Barratt of Oslo “could easily distinguish the different languages by the . . . difference in the sound of the words,” as he saw the nations in his vision.43 Barratt soon traveled across Europe and to India to promote the Pentecostal message. Minnie Draper, an associate of A. B. Simpson in the ministry of healing at Berachah Home in Nyack, New York also experienced a vision at Spirit baptism and “spoke of train men going through the cars, saying, ‘Last call for dinner,’ and the Spirit was showing His children that now the last call is going out to the world.”44 She and several other Alliance Pentecostals organized the Pentecostal Mission in South and Central Africa in 1910, the first permanent Pentecostal mission agency in North America.45 Others viewed Christ suffering on the cross for the salvation of the world and were moved to action.46

The Pentecostal baptism inspired women and men to reach over ethnic and cultural barriers. “God makes no difference in nationality,” said one Azusa enthusiast, “Ethiopians [African-Americans], Chinese, Indians, Mexicans, and other nationalities worship together.”47 They also freely disclosed how the “fullness” of the Holy Spirit altered their attitudes. Carrie Judd Montgomery, a well-known advocate of faith healing living in California and a promoter of missions, told of gaining a “remarkable love” for the Chinese people, “something different—an outgoing of the Spirit in divine love toward them, an intercession which was wonderful.”48 In India, two women missionaries “came into such a measure of the joy of the Lord in their immersion in the Holy Ghost that their hearts overflowed in love and longing to have their native brothers and sisters in the adjoining district share the great blessing [of the baptism in the Holy Spirit].”49

Tasting the ideal of equality in Christ, however, both gratified and challenged the faithful. During the revival at the Alliance orphanage in Kaira (Gujarat State) in which missionaries and Indian Christians received Spirit baptism, Sarah Coxe remembered that “one little Indian girl was so happy after she was baptized that she laughed and laughed and finally went up to Mrs. Schoonmaker . . . and said: ‘God loves me as well as He does you. I’m black, you’re white, but He has given me the Baptism too.’”50 The promise of God’s conferral of spiritual gifts “also upon the servants and upon the handmaids” (Joel 2:29 [AV]) in places of social and political oppression explains in part why Pentecostalism has been so easily contextualized around the world.51

The fledgling unity in the movement did not survive the period under study.52 Still, assisted by their dogged activism and readiness to face human opposition and spiritual warfare, the early Pentecostals persevered and growth often followed.53 When young women evangelists of the Mukti Mission (at Kedgaon in Maharashtra State) went out to preach in the villages, they stayed “unmoved and fearless by the power of the Holy Ghost,” in spite of being “despised, evil spoke against [and] stones, dirt, and all manner of things thrown at them.” Hearing the stories of what Jesus had done for these evangelists and what he could do for them, “the people are often wonder-struck and cannot understand by what power these girls can speak in such a way.”54 Such accounts reminded Pentecostals of first-century Christianity and affirmed the legitimacy of their own endeavors.

Empowerment through Prayer

With the impending close of history in view and wondering how the gospel could be preached “in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” (Matthew 24:14), Parham and other Pentecostals had daringly looked at Acts 2 as the precedent for preaching in divinely given languages.55 In describing his Spirit baptism, he said “a glory fell over me and I began to worship God in the Swedish tongue, which later changed to other languages and continued so until the morning.”56   “The Holy Ghost knows all the languages of the world,” he told a Kansas City reporter, “and all we have to do is to yield ourselves wholly to God . . . and power will be given us so that we can have such control of our vocal chords, that we can enter any country on earth and talk and understand [the] language.”57

Pentecostals could embrace the two components of language proficiency and prayer and worship in Spirit baptism because they read of the disciples “declaring the wonders of God” on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11) and “praising God” in tongues in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10:46). Thus, Parham “began to worship God in the Swedish tongue.” Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 14:2 took on great importance: “For those who speak in a tongue do not speak to other people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit.” It is here that the published testimonies—the voices of insiders, though lacking the precision of formal theological exposition—show that Pentecostals had discovered an avenue of adoration not restored extensively since the time of the ancient church. The charismatic dimension of spirituality then notably changed their perception of the Holy Spirit. No longer regarding the Third Person of the Trinity as an “influence or a blessing,” evangelist Carl Hanson now saw the Spirit “as a person, [who] took possession of His Temple, speaking in other tongues.”58

Because the exceptional feature of tongues-speech as a missio-linguistic tool drove the notoriety of the new movement, the concomitant role of prayer and worship observed in the New Testament and experienced at Topeka was obscured. Nevertheless, it steadily gained more attention. After hearing Parham preach at a meeting in Joplin, Missouri, people buzzed that tongues brought “not only a . . . crown of rejoicing to us who have received, but gives us power to witness for our Master.”59 In the summer of 1905, Parham’s Apostolic Faith (Melrose, Kan.) newspaper announced that when the glossolalic utterances of the newly Spirit baptized at the revival in Orchard, Texas were interpreted, the meaning was “always in praise or supplication to God.”60

Commenting on criticisms about unknown tongues at their meetings, as well as the intent of 1 Corinthians 14:2, Warren Carothers, a lieutenant of Parham, explained it even more forthrightly: “Tongues . . . are praises to God in language, peculiarly acceptable to Him for the reason that He forms the words, and there is abundant use for the tongue whether any man understands him or not, in fact the inevitable inference from St. Paul’s statement is that it is not primarily intended that any man should understand the tongues.”61 Others shared a similar outlook: In early 1907 in Calcutta, when unable to preach in the language he claimed to have gotten at Azusa Street, missionary Alfred Garr, who still believed he prayed in but could not preach in Bengali, located prayer and praise in tongues as the fountain of Pentecostal power: “Oh! the blessedness of His presence when those foreign words flow from the Spirit of God through one’s soul, and then are delivered back to God in praise to Him or in edification to others or in prophecy.”62 In Wales, just a few months before Garr published his opinion, Catherine Price expressed the same idea, looking upon “these languages . . . as avenues or doors by which I was led in and out of heaven.”63

Pentecostals also coupled Romans 8:26b-27 with tongues-speech where Paul says: “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Thus Lillian Garr could profess a greater “burden on my heart for India’s hungry souls. The Spirit has groaned through my soul for hungry ones until the pain was like travail.”64

Revealing the nexus of pneumatology, eschatology, and the urgent summons of the Great Commission in their thinking, Pentecostals identified such intercessory “prayer in the Spirit” as essential to the Lord’s work.65 Although periodicals continued to tell of its appearance as a “sign . . . for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14:22),66 the hope of tongues as a gift of language for preaching had diminished by 1908.67

In a related development and in contrast to the notion that tongues represented unlearned human languages, some Pentecostals believed that tongues-speech comprised the languages of angels (1 Cor. 13:1). This surfaced as early as February 1904 in Audobon, Minnesota where A. O. Morken described the tongues heard in revival meetings there as “Angel Language.”68 Three years later, Alfred Garr concluded that unknown tongues could be either recognizable languages or those of angels.69 The belief that tongues operated primarily for prayer meant that Spirit-inspired speakers were “setting forth the mysteries of God.”70 “It is like a message from heaven to your own spirit,” said another, “and your spirit is edified though your understanding may be unfruitful.”71

Empowerment through the Gift of Interpretation

Even as Pentecostals affirmed the twofold usage of speaking in tongues, they struggled with how the gift of interpretation worked.72 Their quandary stemmed in part from distinguishing the perceived personal function of tongues in the Lukan literature (Acts 2, 10, 19), denoting that Spirit baptism had occurred, from the Pauline requirement that a manifestation of the gift of tongues in a church service necessitated interpretation (1 Cor. 14:13).73 Questions naturally arose: Should the personal utterance of tongues be interpreted? Does the public use of the interpretive gift, expressed when people are gathered in worship, parallel the gift of prophecy in a way that makes their purposes virtually identical? The faithful generally answered “yes” to both questions.74 In England, the Anglican pastor and influential editor of Confidence, A. A. Boddy, provided the rationale: “Speaking in tongues when there is interpretation can be ‘prophecy’ (‘forthtelling’ [preaching]) and more. Peter on the Day of Pentecost says of the speaking in tongues: ‘This is that,’ quoting Joel, who said that they should ‘prophesy’ (Acts 11:17).”75

Pentecostals frequently heard interpretations of tongues. For example, in paying tribute to “some of the finest singers in the world baptized with the Holy Ghost,” Azusa Street pastor William Seymour happily added, “The Holy Spirit sings through [them] and some interpret right along while singing is going on.”76 But this was not the case everywhere: “I believe that the next thing that our Father is going to give us, is the gift to interpret,” wished E. G. Murrah in a letter to the Bridegroom’s Messenger.77 In certain revival contexts, only one person received the gift of interpretation as happened at the Calcutta revival.78 However, as Agnes Ozman contended, “This is the privilege of all who speak in tongues.” God would generously allow anyone to have the interpretation of their own tongues or those of others,79 a view still in vogue in some places over a century later.80

The content of the interpretations varied from warnings of the soon return of Christ, common across the Pentecostal movement for many years,81 to calls for sinners to repent;82 to the reciting of “Scripture passages, praises to God, [and] exaltation of Christ”;83 to stringent calls for clean living;84 and even personal direction for another individual.85 Indeed, such reports “from all quarters” about “utterances of tongues . . . attended with interpretations full of the praises of Jesus and of the shed blood . . . precludes the assumption that they could be from the devil,” avowed E. A. Spence with obvious relief in the New Acts.86

If they believed prospective missionaries had been miraculously equipped to preach in the native languages, Pentecostals also pondered how this phenomenon related to the growing number of Spirit-filled believers who did not travel overseas as missionaries and to their audiences in the homeland. In the period under study, and in light of their observation of the meaning of tongues in Acts 2:11 and 10:46, the frequent hortatory nature of interpretations, and the close association of that gift with the gift of prophecy, some Pentecostals concluded that a preacher could speak in tongues before an American audience and expect a miracle to take place.

In her reflection on the Topeka revival, Lilian Thistlethwaite recalled that on one occasion during a sermon, Charles Parham began speaking in tongues at length. When he finished, a man stood 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.”87 Parham justified this style of preaching on Paul’s appeal to a prophecy of Isaiah: “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people“(Isa. 28:11; 1 Cor. 14:21 [AV]). Hence, “God intends to use the speaking in other tongues in preaching to our people.”88 In a different context, missionary Minnie Abrams said that in the revival at the Mukti Mission a few of the youth “have given addresses in unknown tongues giving the interpretation sentence by sentence.”89

In Houston at the Bible Training School, reopened by former followers of Parham,90 interest grew in preaching in tongues conducted with the gift of interpretation as a “clearly supernatural ‘sign to unbelievers.’” “In such preaching the Spirit does not theorize, argue, or reason with men,” according to the Apostolic Faith (Houston), “but simply announces with authority God’s truth, and then commands or exhorts [sinners] to flee to Christ for refuge.” Proponents pointed to the marked success of this divine dictation in street meetings, gathering “vast throngs and held what would otherwise have been a mob, spellbound, as they, like the people on the day of Pentecost, heard the ‘wonderful works of God.’”91

While this specific approach to preaching declined,92 forms of it continued for many years with preachers occasionally interrupting their sermons with spontaneous expressions of tongues and interpretation.93 With the line of demarcation between clergy and laity less pronounced in the earlier decades of Pentecostalism, especially when it came to participation of the latter in worship services, the sermon also could be a shared production. In keeping with Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 14:26 (“When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation”), some maintained that “if anyone is speaking or delivering a message or preaching the gospel, and the Holy Spirit desires to reveal something by prompting someone to speak in tongues and someone to interpret the same, or to prophesy, giving light at that point in the message,” wrote E. N. Bell, the first General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, “then this is scriptural, and it would be scriptural for the speaker of the regular message to stop for the promptings of the Holy Ghost to be brought forth.”94 Another author explained that “when the Holy Spirit can work unhindered, the message in the tongue and its interpretation . . . becomes, and is, a part of the sermon being preached.”95 Although this practice could be found in wide sectors of Pentecostalism, it too declined as worship and preaching became routinized and manifestations of the vocal gifts (especially tongues, interpretation, and prophecy) became less prevalent.96

The Gift or the Giver?

After hearing reports about Pentecostal meetings or gleaning information directly from firsthand contact, bystanders grimly warned “of many instances where the alleged gift of tongues led the subjects and the audiences into the wildest excesses and were accompanied with voices and actions more closely resembling wild animals than rational beings, impressing all unprejudiced observers that it was the work of the devil.” “Indeed,” lamented Alliance founder A. B. Simpson, “the worst feature of the whole thing is the tendency to seek some special gift rather than the Giver Himself,” though ironically certain of his oldest and most trusted colleagues would join the new movement.97

The charged atmosphere of Pentecostal meetings both at home and abroad produced widely varied emotional responses, with nervous onlookers scandalized by the “emotional mania” and the “wildest [kind of] fanaticism.”98 To them, the “freedom in the Spirit” that Pentecostals trumpeted sounded more like the percussion of hysteria or the counterpoint of malevolent influence on human emotions. In Minnesota, Carl Hanson vigorously rejected allegations of hypnotic manipulation by declaring that regardless of the ecstasy of charismatic encounter, Pentecostals “know exactly what they are doing at all times.”99

Pentecostals themselves wasted little time in condemning the shortcomings of those who erred in their thinking and behavior and were guilty of “excesses.” “The devil plays football,” growled Daniel Opperman, with offenders who “grieve the Holy Spirit” and forget that “Holy Ghost baptism was given that we might have power to witness for Jesus in a sinful world.”100 “If you get angry, or speak evil, or backbite,” huffed one Pentecostal, “I care not how many tongues you may have, you have not the baptism with the Holy Spirit. You have lost your salvation.”101 In their minds, they had been raised up by God to evangelize the world in the end-times; too much was at stake to tolerate the misdeeds of those who might betray the good testimony of the movement.

Nonetheless, the judgment pronounced by Simpson and others became a stereotype of Pentecostal seekers long used by their critics. That rational behavior and prescribed (Western) cultural decorum in worship should mark Christian behavior reflected a widespread conviction in the larger evangelical community, particularly with “satanic counterfeits” now threatening to undermine the spiritual security of believers.102 Nevertheless, the real issue centered on glossolalic utterances more than the emotional demonstrations in Pentecostal meetings, phenomena long seen on the trail of American revivalism. Those who scaled over the wall of respectable piety by engaging in the irrational behavior of tongues-speech would land in the devil’s domain, not in a newly restored dimension of biblical spirituality. Stories that Mormons spoke in tongues and demons did the same in exorcisms in China did little to sanction the Pentecostal cause.103 Consequently, recognition that Pentecostals had waded further than others into the charismatic currents of New Testament Christianity and the Christian spiritual tradition would not find acceptance for many years to come.104

Despite the accusations of their opponents, Pentecostals readily professed that Christ—the “Giver”—stood at the heart of their faith, disclosing their pedigree in the Christocentrism of the evangelical movement.105 “The baptism with the Holy Ghost gives us power to testify to a risen, resurrected Saviour,” averred William Seymour. “Our affections are in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.”106

New World of Realities

Pentecostals consciously strove to model the spirituality of first-century Christians and hem their own experiences within the borders of Scripture. Yet the spiritual and missiological unity they shared did not hinder the surfacing of different perspectives on the linguistic nature of tongues, the gift of interpretation, and prayer in the Spirit.107 Parham and other leaders held only a limited sway over how Pentecostal distinctives were understood and applied; the populist bent of the movement encouraged participants to tease out the details for themselves. Within a few years of the initial broadcast of his influential connection of glossolalia with Spirit baptism, Parham found the stage crowded with an entire cast of enterprising leaders; others appeared in the mission lands. After all, in their estimation, “There is no man at the head of this movement. God Himself is speaking in the earth.”108

Early Pentecostal literature reveals a more textured theology of Spirit baptism than previously acknowledged, focused not just on “doing,” but on “being” as well. Even as first-century Christians received divine power to speak the “wonders of God” in “other tongues,” Pentecostals believed prophetic speech as a charism would increase their Christlikeness through individual prayer and corporate worship. It was precisely here in their vulnerability of stepping beyond the rational into the Christian mystical arena of speaking glossolalic utterances that they told of an augmented intuition in the spiritual currents of their hearts and learned to obey the Spirit’s promptings as God bestowed gifts for the building of his church. This subsequently re-formed them into being “partners with the Holy Spirit” in mission.109

After the students at Topeka had begun to sing together (in tongues) such familiar songs as “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” remembered Lilian Thistlethwaite, Parham entered the room and was astounded by what he saw and heard. Kneeling down, “he thanked God for the scene he was allowed to witness” and asked that should it be God’s will that he “stand for the baptism of the Holy Spirit . . . to give him the Bible evidence.”110 But more than the vocal manifestations, Parham perceived something greater about this astonishing scene. The return of the apostolic power meant one almost could hear the “whirring” of the clock of time as it readied to strike the last hour; and with that, the presence of the Spirit apparent in the singing and accompanying unity had lifted the students’ consciousness into the celestial realm. There, above the cultures that have divided mortals since the dispersion at Babel, they could join in the victory song of the redeemed in heaven, while receiving their marching orders for the battle in the here and now.

Therefore, “it is a mistake to think that the outward signs . . . are the most important part,” mused Arthur Street. “The real wonder is the new world of realities in which we live, the new possibilities that arise from our spirit being restored to its proper place under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”111 For the Pentecostal pioneers, Spirit baptism enlarged the charismatic potential of their spirituality and practice of ministry, though denoting less of a human achievement than a gift of supernatural awakening for Christian witness in an unbelieving age.112 Certitude of this “world of realities”—the “sphere of the supernatural”—would ultimately characterize later generations of Pentecostals and their charismatic siblings more than any particular spiritual gift.113

The world changed dramatically in the century following the early revivals, and so did North American Pentecostals. With the passage of time, they came to resemble their evangelical and holiness parents more than they had in their infancy and youth. While benefiting from better visibility in the family picture of American evangelicalism, their distinctive features have faded noticeably, but not their missionary zeal. Solving the puzzle of identity may lie less in the slogan “Back to Pentecost,” so frequently heard among early Pentecostals, than forward in the eschatological vision of the marriage supper of the Lamb when the “great multitude” of Christians from every tribe, nation, and language who confessed Jesus as Lord shouts: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns” (Rev. 19:6). The accounts of Spirit baptisms in Acts 2, 10, and 19, scripture texts fundamental to classical Pentecostal doctrine, unfurl the Lukan blueprint in which early Christians proclaimed the Good News and announced the reign of God in the power of the Spirit as they broke through barricades of spiritual enslavement, race, culture, and social and economic status.114

The challenge of peoples far and wide still needing to receive invitations to the wedding, as well as the conflicts driven by poverty, injustice, and militarism that rage in society will require of twenty-first-century Pentecostals all the love and gifts they profess to obtain in the Spirit-empowered life if they are to successfully pursue the mission of God in the twenty-first century.

Endnotes

1. Charles F. Parham quoted in “New Religion ‘Discovered’ at ‘Stone’s Folly’ Near Topeka,” Topeka Mail and Breeze, February 22, 1901; in Larry Martin, ed. The Topeka Outpouring of 1901, rev. ed. (Joplin, Mo.: Christian Life Books, 2000), p. 219.

2. For the background of this expectation, see Gary B. McGee, “Taking the Logic ‘a Little Further’: Late Nineteenth-Century References to the Gift of Tongues in Mission-Related Literature and Their Influence on Early Pentecostalism,” Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 9 (January 2006): 99-125.

3. P. B. Thompson, “A Pentecostal Outpouring of Thirty-four Years Ago,” Pentecostal Evangel, November 27, 1937, p. 8; Darrin J. Rodgers, Northern Harvest: Pentecostalism in North Dakota (Bismarck: North Dakota District Council of the Assemblies of God, 2003), pp. 13-14.

4. Robert M. Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 89-92; Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997), pp. 89-92, 101-102; Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2001), pp. 44-51.

5. For example, British Pentecostal writer Donald Gee ignored the issue entirely by not mentioning the early North American Pentecostal expectancy of preaching in the newly bestowed languages; The Pentecostal Movement: Including the Story of the War Years (1940-1947) (London: Elim Publishing Co., 1949), pp. 11-19.

6. In 1908, Pentecostal missionary Alfred Garr wrote to the British periodical Confidence and announced to the Pentecostal world that he had “not seen any one who is able to preach to the natives in their own tongue with the languages given with the Holy Ghost.” By this time, many Pentecostals had abandoned the hope that one could preach in the mission lands with their newly acquired languages. See A. G. Garr, “A letter from Bro. Garr,” Confidence, Special Supplement to Confidence, May 1908, p. 2.

7. Anderson, Vision, pp. 10-27; Wacker, Heaven, pp. 51-57; Douglas Jacobsen, Thinking in the Spirit: Theologies of the Early Pentecostal Movement (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003).

8. While virtually all early Pentecostals valued speaking in tongues, there were those who questioned the exegetical underpinning of requiring this experience for everyone seeking Spirit baptism; for example, W. H. Piper, “Manifestations and ‘Demonstrations’ of the Spirit,” Latter Rain Evangel, October 1908, pp. 16-20. The hermeneutical issue of how to correctly interpret Acts 2, 10, 19 and 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 represented the first theological division in the Pentecostal movement, predating the later Finished Work Controversy on sanctification (1910) and the New Issue on the nature of the Godhead (1913), both of which took permanent form in organized Pentecostalism.

9. For Howard Stanley, see Martin, Topeka, p. 215; references to other languages on pp. 235, 244, 247. Early Pentecostals often identified the languages by the familiar sounds of the utterance, by hearers who recognized the language, through the assistance of a vision of a foreign country when speaking in tongues, or direct confirmation from God.

10. News note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1906, p. 1, col. 4.

11. Diary of John G. Lake, entry for October 1907, p. 5. Available at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, Missouri.

12. Max Wood Moorhead, “A Personal Testimony,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, September 1907, p. 38. Moorhead served with the YMCA in Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and lived at different times in Bombay (Mumbai), India.

13. A. E. Street, “What Is Pentecost?” Intercessory Missionary, June 1907, p. 38.

14. “Salvation According to the True Tabernacle,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1907, p. 3, col. 3.

15. R. A. Jaffray, “’Speaking in Tongues’—Some Words of Kindly Counsel,” Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, March 13, 1909, p. 396; Ethel E. Goss, The Winds of God: The story of the early Pentecostal movement (1901-1914) in the life of Howard A. Goss, rev. ed. (Hazelwood, Mo.: Word Aflame Press, 1977), p. 95.

16. George F. Taylor, The Spirit and the Bride (Falcon, N.C.: By the author, 1907), p. 128. Written by Pentecostal holiness leader George Taylor, it represents the first book-length treatise on Pentecostal theology.

17. Garfield T. Haywood, “Baptized with the Holy Ghost and Healed,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, December 1, 1908, p. 3.

18. For example, A. M. Hills, Holiness and Power for the Church and Ministry (Cincinnati: Revivalist Office, 1897), pp. 297-343. The alienation of Pentecostals from the ranks of the holiness movement because of tongues is discussed in Taylor, Spirit, pp. 39-59. See Grant A. Wacker, “Travail of a Broken Family: Radical Evangelical Responses to the Emergence of Pentecostalism in America, 1906-16,” in Pentecostal Currents in American Protestantism, ed. Edith L. Blumhofer, et al. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999), pp. 23-49.

19. Lilian Thistlethwaite, “The Wonderful History of the Latter Rain,” in Sarah E. Parham, The Life of Charles F. Parham, Founder of the Apostolic Faith Movement (Baxter Springs, Kan.: Apostolic Faith Bible College, 1930), p. 61.

20. “Pentecostal Testimonies,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, p. 8, col. 1.

21. Blanche Appleby, “A Transformation,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, October 1, 1907, p. 1.

22. Inez Spence, With a Song in Her Heart: Blanche Appleby, Heroes of the Conquest, No. 1 (Springfield, Mo.: Foreign Missions Department of the Assemblies of God, n.d.), pp. 3-14.

23. Howard Goss quoted in Goss, Winds, p. 96.

24. Thistlethwaite “History,” in Parham, Life, p. 59.

25. Ibid., p. 63.

26. Ibid., p. 61.

27. “Three Months of Religious Fervor,” Joplin Daily News Herald, January 24, 1904, p. 11. The revival services were apparently open to all races, including Native Americans; the writer refers to an “Indian who had come from the Pawnee reservation that day to attend the services.” See James R. Goff, Jr., Fields White Unto Harvest: Charles F. Parham and the Missionary Origins of Pentecostalism (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1988), pp. 107-111.

28. Frank Bartleman, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-Day Pentecost (S. Plainfield, N.J.: Bridge Publishing, 1980; originally published in 1925 as How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles), p. 54. See also, Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., The Azusa Street Mission & Revival: The Birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement (Nashville: Nelson Reference & Electronic, 2006).

29. Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), May 1908, p. 3, col. 2.

30. Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1907, p. 3, col. 4.

31. Kate Knight, “For His Glory,” Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, January 25, 1908, p. 274.

32. Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), December 1906, p. 2, col. 5.

33. Bro. Burke, “The Holy Ghost from Heaven,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), November 1906, p. 3, col. 2.

34. C. H. Mason, “Tennessee Evangelist Witnesses,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, p. 7, col. 2.

35. Susie [sic] A. Duncan quoted in Stanley H. Frodsham, “With Signs Following”: The Story of the Latter Day Pentecostal Revival (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1926), p. 53.

36. Bartleman, Azusa, p. 56. Bartleman referred to it as the “heavenly chorus.” Other accounts include Marie E. Brown, “I Remember,” Pentecostal Evangel, March 15, 1964, pp. 20-21; Ruth Carter, “An Unusual Experience in the Upper Room Mission,” Pentecostal Evangel, August 7, 1966, p. 9; Alice Reynolds Flower, “The Ministry of ‘Brother Tom,’” Pentecostal Evangel, June 12, 1966, p. 23. In the Chilean Pentecostal revival that began in 1909, Willis C. Hoover said people described the phenomenon as the “Heavenly Anthem,” “Heavenly Choir,” and “Song of the Lord.” Willis Collins Hoover, History of the Pentecostal Revival in Chile, trans. Mario G. Hoover (Lakeland, Fla.: By the translator, 2000), pp. 154-155.

37. A. E. Street, “The Way to Perfect Satisfaction,” Intercessory Missionary, January 1908, p. 63.

38. Madame Seifer, “The Work of the Holy Ghost in Switzerland,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, March 1908, p. 27.

39. Warren F. Carothers connected singing in tongues with the song of the 144,000 (Rev. 14:3) in The Baptism with the Holy Ghost and the Speaking in Tongues (Zion City, Ill.: n.p., 1906), p. 24.  Others related it to the “wedding song of the Lamb” in Rev. 19:9; see “Notes by Two Visitors,” Confidence, June 30, 1908, p. 14.

40. William Booth-Clibborn quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, p. 111.

41. “Some Infallible Evidences,” an article reprinted from Apostolic Evangel in Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, September 1907, p. 55. Chicago pastor William H. Durham said that as a result of his Spirit baptism, “I had a depth of love and sweetness in my soul that I had never even dreamed of before, and a holy calm possessed me, and a holy joy and peace, that is deep and sweet beyond anything I ever experienced before, even in the sanctified life.” W. H. Durham, “A Chicago Evangelist’s Pentecost,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, p. 4, cols. 2-3.

42. A. J. Tomlinson, The Last Great Conflict (Cleveland, Tenn.: Walter E. Rodgers, 1913), p. 212.

43. T. B. Barratt, “The Seal of My Pentecost,” Living Truths, December 1906, p. 737; Gee, Pentecostal, pp. 14-15.

44. S. G. Otis, “Work in Boston and Vicinity,” Word and Work, June 1907, p. 178.

45. Gary B. McGee, “Pentecostal Mission in South and Central Africa,” in New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (2002).

46. For example, the vision that accompanied the Spirit baptism of Marguerite Fell at the Rochester, New York revival; Elizabeth V. Baker, et al., Chronicles of a Faith Life, 2d ed. (Rochester, N.Y.: Elim Publishing Co., ca.1926), p. 135; also that of Christian H. Schoonmaker in India: “My Baptism in the Holy Spirit,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, November 1908, p. 2.

47. “The Same Old Way,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), September 1906, p. 3, col. 2; Bartleman, Azusa, pp. 43-66.

48. Carrie Judd Montgomery quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, p. 213.

49. Max Wood Moorhead quoted in ibid., p. 130.

50. Sarah Coxe quoted in ibid., p. 135.

51. See Murray W. Dempster, Byron D. Klaus, Douglas Petersen, eds., The Globalization of Pentecostalism: A Religion Made to Travel (Oxford: Regnum Books International, 1999); Allan Anderson, An Introduction to Pentecostalism: Global Charismatic Christianity  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

52. Synan, Holiness-Pentecostal, pp. 143-166. Nonetheless, this exceptional unity continued in some contexts; see ”’Holy Ghosters’ Win Whites and Negroes,” New York Times, June 8, 1908, p. 5, cols. 3-4.

53. Wacker, Heaven, pp. 1-14. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from Today’s New International Version.

54. Miss K. Steele, “Tongues in Pandharpur,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India,” March 1908, p. 6.

55. A. A. Boddy corrected this interpretation: “On the day of Pentecost the Divine ecstasy and the tremendous crying out in snatches of tongues—the praise and adoration—the speaking of the wonderful works of God—this attracted multitudes, but it was Peter’s speech which was used to convert. The speaking in tongues was not the converting instrument. It attracted. The 120 knew that the blessed Holy Ghost was in them because He had taken their mouths and used them to speak through. He testified thus to His presence.” A. A. Boddy, “Speaking in Tongues—2,” The Christian, August 8, 1907, p. 25.

56. Charles F. Parham quoted in Parham, Life, p. 54.

57. Charles F. Parham quoted in “Story of His Belief: Rev. Charles F. Parham Tells How He Learned His Religion,” Kansas City Times, February 4, 1901; reprinted in Martin, Topeka, p. 252.

58. C. M. Hanson, “My Personal Experiences of the Graces of Salvation, Healing and Baptism in the Holy Spirit” (tract) (Dalton, Minn.: By the author, 1906), p. 4. Hanson’s Spirit baptism probably occurred in 1899. I am indebted to Darrin J. Rodgers for sharing this tract and other related materials with me.

59. Mrs. D. M. Preston quoted in an unnamed Joplin, Missouri newspaper article reprinted in Parham, Life, p. 111.

60. “Revivals at Orchard and Houston, Texas,” Apostolic Faith (Melrose, Kan.), August 1905 (pages not numbered); see also, “The Apostolic Faith,” Apostolic Faith (Melrose, Kan.), October-November 1905 (pages not numbered).

61. Carothers, Baptism, p. 21. In contrast, George Taylor recommended that seekers praise God as the means of gaining Spirit baptism and tongues; however, once received, speaking in tongues functioned only for preaching in the mission lands; see Taylor, Spirit, pp. 134-135.

62. A. G. Garr, “Tongues. The Bible Evidence to the Baptism with the Holy Ghost,” Pentecostal Power (Calcutta), March 1907, p. 3.

63. Catherine S. Price quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, p. 70.

64. Sister A. G. (Lillian) Garr, “In Calcutta, India,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), April 1907, p. 1, col. 1.

65. For example, Cora Hansen, “Testimony,” India Alliance, August 1908, p. 23.

66. Referring to his conversion during Parham’s meetings in Galena, Kansas in 1903, Howard Goss said: “I feel that I owe my conversion to Christianity to hearing people speak in other tongues. The 14th Chapter of 1 Corinthians tells us that tongues are a sign to the ‘unbelievers.’ Today, I still thank God that I heard and saw His own sign from heaven.” Goss,  Winds, p. 37. A. A. Boddy described similar happenings in England in “A Visit to Kilsyth,” Confidence, April 1908, p. 9.

67. Pentecostals continued to be enamored with anecdotes of people being converted through hearing someone speaking in tongues in their own language, though the person speaking had never studied it; see Frodsham, With Signs, pp. 208-229; Ralph W. Harris, Spoken by the Spirit: Documented Accounts of “Other Tongues” from Arabic to Zulu (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1973). In November 1906, Warren Carothers expressed hesitations about Pentecostal missionaries being able to preach in unlearned languages: “Just what part the gift of tongues is to fill in the evangelization of heathen countries is [a] matter for faith as yet. It scarcely seems from the evidence at hand to have had much to do with foreign mission work in New Testament times, and yet, in view of the apparent utility of the gift in that sphere and of the wonderful missionary spirit that comes with Pentecost, we are expecting the gift to be copiously used in the foreign field. We shall soon know.” Carothers, Baptism, p. 21.

68. A. O. Morken, “From Our Own Learning Circle,” [trans. Erik L. Williamson], Folke-Vennen (“The People’s Friend”), February 25, 1904, p. 4; Garr, “Tongues,” p. 3. Rodgers writes, “I did not find any evidence that the Scandinavians from Minnesota and the Dakotas had contact with Parham’s Apostolic Faith band, which operated primarily in Kansas, Missouri, and Texas. Parham’s group did not grow significantly until 1905, well after Pentecostal congregations had formed on the northern Great Plains.” Northern, p. 16.

69. A believer speaking in a language of angels would account for unfamiliar sounds. In this event, only God could provide the meaning through bestowing the gift of interpretation; others present would not be able to recognize it. A. A. Boddy said that speaking in tongues “may be the tongue of men or of angels, or changing swiftly and unmistakably from language to language, until three or more languages have been used. Sometimes with interpretation—more often at first no interpretation. But it is Divine worship indeed.” A. A. Boddy, “Speaking in Tongues”—1, The Christian, August 1, 1907, p. 23.

70. Garr, “Tongues,” p. 3.

71. “Questions and Answers,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, November 1, 1908, p. 2.

72. For example, [Susan A. Duncan], “The Field,” Trust, September 1908, p. 15.

73. For example, G. B. Cashwell, “Speaking in Other Tongues,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, November 1, 1907, p. 2.

74. In regard to the second question, see Boddy, “Speaking in Tongues”—2, p. 25. For later writers, see Ralph M. Riggs, The Spirit Himself (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1949), pp. 162-168; cf., Anthony D. Palma, The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 2001), pp. 227-232.

75. Ibid.

76. W. J. Seymour to “Brother Carothers,” July 12, 1906. Available at the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center, Springfield, Missouri.

77. E. G. Murrah, “The Unaskable and the Unthinkable Blessing,” Bridegroom’s Messenger,November 1, 1907, p. 3.

78. Max Wood Moorhead, “Pentecost at Calcutta,” Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, March 1908, p. 10.

79. Agnes N. O. LaBerge, What God Hath Wrought: Life and Work of Mrs. Agnes N. O. LaBerge (Chicago: Herald Publishing Co. Press, n.d.), p. 33. Ozman cautiously added, “as God wills.” Similarly, William Seymour wrote: “Beloved, if you do not know the language that you speak, do not puzzle yourself about it, for the Lord did not promise us He would tell us what language we  were speaking, but He promised us the interpretation of what we speak.” W. J. Seymour, “The Baptism with the Holy Ghost,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), February-March 1907, p. 7, col. 1. See also, Dagmar Gregersen, “Sister Dagmar Gregersen (interpreted by Mrs. Beruldson),” Confidence, June 30, 1908, p. 16.

80. For example, Oral Roberts, Unleashing the Power of Praying in the Spirit! (Tulsa: Harrison House, 1993), pp. 48-53.

81. For example, Addie M. Otis, “The Apostolic Faith Movement,” Word and Work, February 1907, p. 51; untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), May 1907, p. 3, col. 4; J. Roswell Flower, “The Pentecostal Commission,” Pentecostal Evangel, June 12, 1920, p. 12.

82. Mrs. G. R. [Wilhelmine] Polman quoted in Frodsham, With Signs, p. 208.

83. Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), December 1906, p. 4, col. 3.

84. Moorhead, “Pentecost,” 10.

85. For example, [Mrs.] C. Beruldsen, “A Testimony from Edinburgh,” Confidence, April 1908, p. 12; also, Hoover, History, p. 53; S. P. Hamilton, “More About Revival,” India Alliance, June 1908, p. 137.

86. E. A. Spence, “Speaking with Tongues,” New Acts, March 1908, p. 5.

87. Thistlethwaite, “History,” in Parham, Life, p. 62.

88. Charles F. Parham, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, 2d ed. (Baxter Springs, Kan.: Apostolic Faith Bible College, 1910; originally published in 1902), p. 31; cf., Cashwell, “Speaking,” p. 2.

89. Minnie F. Abrams, “Mukti Mission,” Mukti Prayer Bell, September 1907, p. 19.

90. For the decline of Parham’s influence, see B. F. Lawrence, The Apostolic Faith Restored (St. Louis: Gospel Publishing House, 1916), pp. 67-68; Goff, Fields White, pp. 128-146.

91. “The Bible Training School in Houston, Texas,” reprinted from an issue of the Apostolic Faith (Houston) (date not mentioned) in Cloud of Witnesses to Pentecost in India, August 1909, p. 11.

92. Evident in W. F. Carothers, “The Gift of Interpretation,” Latter Rain Evangel, October 1910, pp. 7-10; this article originally appeared in the Apostolic Faith (Houston).

93. For example, see Donald Gee, “Smith Wigglesworth,” Redemption Tidings, March 13, 1964, pp. 5-6.

94. E. N. Bell, Questions and Answers (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1923), p. 81.

95. Frank Lindblad, The Spirit Which is from God (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1928), p. 174; cf., David Lim, Spiritual Gifts: A Fresh Look (Springfield, Mo.: Gospel Publishing House, 1991), pp. 68-69, 139-144.

96. For an insightful case study of the tension between charisma and routinization within Pentecostalism, see Margaret M. Poloma, “Charisma and Structure in the Assemblies of God: Revisiting O’Dea’s Five Dilemmas,” in Church, Identity, and Change: Theology and Denominational Structures in Unsettled Times, ed. David A. Roozen and James R. Nieman (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2005), pp. 45-96.

97. A. B. Simpson, editorial, Christian and Missionary Alliance Weekly, February 2, 1907, p. 1; cf., “Editorials,” India Alliance, June 1908, pp. 138-139; see also, Charles W. Nienkirchen, A. B. Simpson and the Pentecostal Movement (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1992), pp. 107-122. George Taylor responds to criticism that Pentecostals “exalt the ‘gifts’ above the ‘Giver’’’ in Spirit, pp. 45-46.

98. A. T. Pierson, “Speaking in Tongues”—II, Missionary Review of the World XX (New Series) (September 1907): 683.

99. “Fined $35,” Fergus Falls (Minn.) Daily Journal, March 11, 1905, p. 3. See also, Ann Taves, Fits, Trances, & Visions: Experiencing Religion and Explaining Experience from Wesley to James (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), pp. 328-341.

100. Bro. Opperman, “Wayside Notes,” Apostolic Faith (Houston), October 1908, p. 8.

101 “To the Baptised Saints,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), June-September 1907, p. 2, col. 1.

102. An apprehension expressed in Kenneth Mackenzie, Jr., Anti-Christian Supernaturalism (New York: Christian Alliance Publishing Co., 1901); Jessie Penn-Lewis, with Evan Roberts, War on the Saints (New York: T. E. Lowe, 1973; originally published in 1912).

103. John L. Brooke, The Refiner’s Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 220, 228; John L. Nevius, Demon Possession and Allied Themes (New York: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1896), pp. 46-47, 58-59.

104. Simon Chan offers insights in Pentecostal Theology and the Christian Spiritual Tradition (Sheffield, U.K.: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000); Kilian McDonnell, ed., Presence, Power, Praise: Documents on the Charismatic Renewal, 3 vols. (Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 1980).

105. For example, H. C. G. Moule, “The Presence of the Ever-Living Christ,” in Students and the Missionary Problem: Addresses Delivered at the International Student Missionary Conference, London, January 2-6, 1900 (London: Student Volunteer Missionary Union, 1900), pp. 3-10. See also, David W. Bebbington, The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005), pp. 85-86; Wacker, Heaven, pp. 87-89.

106. W. J. Seymour, “River of Living Water,” Apostolic Faith (L.A.), November 1906, p. 2, col. 2.

107. See James R. Goff, Jr. and Grant Wacker, eds., Portraits of a Generation: Early Pentecostal Leaders (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2002).

108. Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), October-January 1908, p. 1, col. 4. 

109. Untitled note, Apostolic Faith (L.A.), May 1908, p. 2, col. 2.

110. Thistlethwaite, “History,” in Parham, Life, p. 61.

111. Street, “To Our Readers,” p. 50; also, Hanson, “My Personal,” pp. 5-6.

112. Elizabeth A. Sexton, “Editorials,” Bridegroom’s Messenger, July 15, 1908, p. 1.

113. Donald Miller, “The New Face of Global Christianity: The Emergence of ‘Progressive Pentecostalism,’” interview by Erin O'Connell (The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, April 12, 2006), http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=101; John Dart, “Debunking some Pentecostal stereotypes,” Christian Century, October 31, 2006, www.christiancentury.org/article.lasso?id=2458.

114. See J. Massyngberde Ford, “The Social and Political Implications of the Miraculous in Acts,” in Faces of Renewal: Studies in Honor of Stanley M. Horton on His 70th Birthday, ed. Paul Elbert (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988), pp. 137-160.

Updated: Friday, June 16, 2006 10:22 AM