Noted Pentecostal Historian To Present Evening Lectures

SCU-Graduate School of Ministry Presents
Evening Lectures with Dr. Vinson Synan
Sept. 12-14, 2010 - 7:00PM
Open to the public

Lectures presented:
Pentecostal/charismatic History and Theology
Dr. Vinson Synan will be conducting a series of evening lectures in conjunction with his graduate class being taught at Southwestern Christian University. The dates for these evening lectures are Sunday evening, Sept. 12, through Tuesday evening, Sept. 14th, 2010. Lectures begin at 7:00PM nightly in the Minchew auditorium on the Bethany campus and are open to the public.

Dr. Synan - widely respected across denominational lines for his scholarship and balance - holds a unique position: personal involvement in many of the extraordinary events of the last hundred years that gave birth to the charismatic and Pentecostal movements.

Synan will also do a book signing each evening for his newest book, An Eyewitness Remembers the Century Holy Spirit.

For more information, contact the school at 405-789-7661, ext. 3447. or email us at terry.tramel@swcu.edu .

Southwestern Christian University
Graduate School of Ministry
7210 NW 39th Expressway
Bethany, Oklahoma 73008


History Timeline of Pentecostalism in Oklahoma: A Work in Progress. M.A. Hudson

Compiled by Marilyn A. Hudson, MLIS
In progress August 27, 2010

The history of the Pentecostal movement in and around Oklahoma has been only sporadically recorded and in some ways ignored. Several rivers of Pentecostalism converged in the early days and were dominated by independent bodies and such denominations as The Fire Baptized Holiness, The Pentecostal Holiness, The Church of God (Cleveland, TN), and the Assemblies of God. The movement was met, like its parent the Holiness Movement, by ridicule, abuse, and name calling. The terms 'holy rollers', 'tongues folk', and other appellations were used and mis-used for decades. Cult groups were confused with members of these traditional Pentecostal congregations further tangling both the labels and the groups in the minds of the public.

Deleware, Ohio Daniel Awrey, who will be significant in ministry and schools later, receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaks in an unknown language (note, some sources question this early but enough research exists to not totally discard it). He would later be a leader and missionary in the Fire Baptized Holiness Church and play roles in the formaiton of several major pentecostal groups. He will be in and out of the Oklahoma regions numerous times in the first decade of the new century.

1895 –
Reports appear of possible Pentecostal experiences, mostly among the Fire Baptized Holiness (FBHC) people, in Iowa, Nebraska or Kansas.[ Martin, Larry. The Life and Ministry of William J. Seymour.” Joplin, MO: Christian Life Books, 1999.pg. 26]

Charles Parham speaks with a member of the FBHC discussing a spiritual baptism with tongues; this turns his attention to assigning his Bible College students to explore the scriptures over Christmas break.

Topeka, Kansas, Bethel Bible College, Agnes Ozman is the first of several students to speak in tongues in response to their study and prayer over the holiday break. [Synan, Old Time Religion, Advocate Press, 1973,pg. 92.; ]

Lamon, OK FBHC convened its General Council Meeting in the church at Lamont, Ok. This church was the one and only church in the FBHC work in Oklahoma. The conference, or state association as it was known, disbanded until Sept. 1909 when it was reorganized.

“Saloon Was closed Up by An Order of Court”, The Oklahoman (Jan. 22, 1904):9. Charges by a grand jury investigating corruption in city government were served to the owner of the Blue front Saloon, Dick J. Cramer ; “Jack du Bois choked a Boy”, The Oklahoman (Dec. 24, 1904): 5 About 8 p.m. one night local drunk Jack du Bois, was assaulting and choking a 12 year old boy, Joe Dishman, behind the Blue front Saloon and was arrested. The Saloon is clearly established as part of the infamous 'OKC Hell's Half Acre'.

1905 –
People experience the 'Pentecostal Blessing' in a revival at Billings, OK led by Harry P. Lott and an unnamed Free Methodist minister.

 Jan. 18, Richard Beall and Oscar C. Wilkens appear in OKC to start a mission work, start with a Sunday School on S. Robinson ;
 An African-American restaurant, Haynes CafĂ©, is located at 7 West Grand Avenue. In May edition of the Oklahoman there is a small news report of a fire that broke out in the middle of the night from an overheated stove. “Last Night’s Fire”. Oklahoman (May 9, 1906):5.
 Beulah Holiness School, or Emmanuel Bible College, established (Clancy, Bryon. The history of Beckham County. Accessed at http://files.usgwarchives.org/ok/beckham/history/carter.txt). Established by a group of Holiness people called, ‘The Indian Creek Band’ settled a community they called Beulah and there established a Bible school to teach holiness. Reports were it was a three story brick structure near a Baptist Church and they mailed a newspaper, Apostolic Faith, out of nearby Doxy, Oklahoma.
 Asuza Street revival starts in the spring in L.A. (Martin, pg.165).
 George G. Collins, one time farmhand for the 101 Ranch in Oklahoma, is ordained at Azusa Street (date unclear) and returns to minister (Martin, pg.13).
 A Reverend Cook, who had been in California at Asuza street now comes back and goes to Lamont to conduct a Pentecostal revival.

 Feb. 6 Harry Lott, Beall & Wilkins rent the Blue Front Saloon, 7 West Grand, for $40 a month [Muse papers; Campbell; Harold Paul]. The saloon was located on the edge of the wild center core of the city, known as OKC’s “Hell’s Half Acre”. Today the area between Santa Fe and Broadway and Sheridan to Reno is largely known as the area of the Cox Convention Center (the old Myriad Convention Center), a hotel, and the turn off into Bricktown. "Back in the day" this was the wildest place in the newly opened "Oklahoma Town" or "Oklahoma Station" ("City" did not come about formally till nearly forty years after the 1889 land run). It was so wild it earned - through blood, sweet, and tears - the nickname "Hell's Half Acre." If you stand on the platform of the Amtrack station and look west and slightly north that is where this wild town within in a town was located. If you walked west on Sheridan (called Grand back then), just past Santa Fe (called Front then) on the north would be "Bunco Street" with its gambling halls and con men. Look south and there would be "Hop Boulevard", perfect if you were thirsty. And just behind that, "Alabaster Row" was located on California, featuring brothels, gambling halls, and other businesses for the African-American population in those days.Walk up Santa Fe (Front) to Main and turn west and you would see a bit finer offerings with The Arlington and, in 1900, the Lee Hotel at the corner of Main and Broadway. Turn east and across the tracks and there were the depot and just beyond to the northeast "Old Zulu's" original brothell/saloon establishment in current Bricktown. Travel south to 312 E. Grand and you would have seen the spot of "Big Annie" Wynn's original land run tent brothel. It had grown into a two story building, and moved a few blocks east, by statehood. From at least 1902, a walk up Broadway (into the 100 to 300 blocks) would have found "fortune-tellers', "crystal ball gazers", "clairvoyants", "mediums", and "pyschics". All world traveled and well known, or so they said as they advertized their stay in the parlors of local hotels and boarding house along the street. [Hudson, M. Mystorical accessed at www.mystorical.blogspot.com]
 In this setting, the first Pentecostal work begins in Oklahoma City.
 Mary A. Sperry, a local woman, opens her home for ‘tarrying services” designed to provide prayer and support for those seeking the baptism experience. It was a model employed in teh famed Asuza Street Revival. (Campbell, Pentecostal Holiness Church history)
 Rev. Irwin opens a pentecostal church in El Reno, OK (Welch, pg. 36]
 May 1907, Bishop J.H. King holds a FBHC revival in Lamont, Ok [King, Yet Speaketh, PHC, 1949, pg. 127, he had received his baptism just the previous February back east];
 In the summer there is a revival at Beulah under once Nazarene and now Pentecostal minister Rev. Robinson. The 1st person to receive baptism there was an elderly woman named McClung (Campbell 210-211). Daniel Awrey goes to Beulah this year also as Emmanuel Holiness Bible College Bible instructor and then principal. That summer the Pentecostal experience is said to have arrived at the school. Dolly and Dan York, of the FBHC, go to Beulah where the “Pentecostal folk” were .[One nightclub]
 August, Beall, Lott and others are reported to have received ‘their baptism’ [Paul, pg. 12]
 As a result of these events, the FBHC reestablished its presence along with other independent Pentecostals . As a result numerous churches were started : Yukon, Billings, Drummond, Perry. Pawnee, Muskogee, Mazie, Witchita, McAllister, Quinton, Cowen, Hart, Stratford, Paul’s Valley, Castle, Swan Lake, Manitou, Faxon, Tipton, and also in KS, NE, TX, ARK, IA and AZ;
 Lott organizes the OKC Mission aka Blue Front Saloon Mission into the First FBHC of OKC. Oldest organized church in the OK Conference and one of the oldest Pentecostal churches in the Midwest
 November well known and colorful figure of “Old Zulu” aka Martha Fleming, a notorious OKC madam, prostitute, pick-pocket, and addict received salvation and was the next day baptized in the local river. Although, she appears to have later renounced her conversion, it is extremely interesting that in a day and age when Oklahoma and the nation was extremely racist, that an African American was welcomed into a mission service at the Blue Front Saloon Mission. This is extremely telling of how wide-spread the Azusa ethos might have been and the value racial and gender equity was esteemed in the early days of Pentecostalism. [McRill, A. Satan Came Also, 1955. pg. 4; Paul, p. 13]

1908 –
 Dan and Dollie York rec’d Pentecostal baptism summer at Foss under F.M. Brittain, FBHC
 JH King holds revival at Synder ;
 Harry Lott named ruling elder of the FBHC in Ok;
 Beulah School becomes fully Pentecostal.
 “Blasphemy and Gun Play Enliven Church Service” The Oklahoman (Nov. 10, 1908):10. Services disrupted at the “Pentecostal mission, 7 West Grand Avenue”, pastored by Harry P. Lott

1909 –
 September F.M. Brittain comes to Oklahoma to reorganize the FBHC in the state. Agnes Ozmen LeBerge is one of several women listed as ministers
 “Minister’s Wife Restrains Him”, The Oklahoman (Sept. 29, 1909):4, Lott’s wife Emma, filed a restraining order citing assault and lack of support. Lott, made $75 a month pastoring the German Holiness church (not sure if this is a typo or another congregation, cites rescue home at 300 Maple street His church is identified as located corner of Hudson and California, which would mesh with the 317 W. California address of the “First Church.”
 “Minister fined, sent to a Cell”. The Oklahoman (Oct. 3, 1909): 31. Harry P. Lott, supt. Of the Pentecostal Rescue Home for Fallen Women, 300 West Maple, OKC. Numerous newspaper accounts up to this time period underscored the challenges young women faced in the big city. In 1910, Shawnee, Oklahoma a 19 yr old Pierce Hammack, was jailed because his actions seemed consistent with "white slave traffickers". Hammack said he was employed by the Franklin Theatrical Company and either for them, or his own side line activity, he solicited girls through "mind reading" and "fortune telling". In an earlier incident from 1902, a Kansas father chased a "voodoo man" - a fortune-teller and/or magician - who he claimed had enticed his 15 year old daughter away in a similar fashion. Between 1903 and 1910 numerous incidents appeared in local Oklahoma City papers of girls met at the train depot and offered "jobs" as maids at local "hotels". The establishments, they soon learned, were staffed by working girls. Some were drugged, raped, and intimidated into staying. Some, because of previous abuse at home from family or friends, simply had no heart to move on. Others, were successfully "rescued" through various religious and social efforts. [Mystorical]
 October, Blue Front becomes the “First FBHC of OKC”

 Lott appointed ruling elder of the FBHC;
 Mary A. David appointed to a church in Manitou,
 “Divorces Given to Three Wives”, The Oklahoman Jan. 28, 1910): 12. Emma Lott granted divorce from Harry P., they had married in 1898 in Longmont, CO. He is described as being a pastor ‘’for the holy rollers.”

 FBHC and the PHC merge in Falcon, NC, January.
 August 30, the new Pentecostal Holiness Church convenes in sessions at the Capital Hill Park Camp under the oversight of Harry P. Lott (Paul, Harold. From Printer’s Devil to Bishop, Advocate Press, 1976, pg.16; Minutes of the Third Annual Session of the Oklahoma Pentecostal Holiness Church, pp.2-3]. Ministers listed included several women: Miss Mary K. Davis (later Shannon), Dolly York, Agnes La Berge, Pearl Burroughs. And Annie Aston (Campbell, pg. 214).
 The conference boosted 25 churches or mission stations, 17 pastors, and 12 evangelists.


 May 1, 1913, future bishop Dan Thomas Muse attends his first Pentecostal Holiness Church meeting, held on the street at the corner of Grand and Robinson in OKC. He subsequently attended ‘the mission’ and received his baptism [Paul, pg. 22]
 PHC Convention held at Delmar Gardens; W.D. York gains approval to start a school at Stratford (One Nightclub)

 Wagoner Literary Bible School (One Night Club)

 General Overseer of the Church of God Roy Cotnam

 Harry P. Lott founds the Capital Hill Full Gospel Church. It was first the Apostolic Faith Church and in 1924 it was the site of a conference of the wider Apostolic Faith Church.

 -General Overseer of the Church of God, John Burk
 -First Pentecostal Holiness Church Sunday School Convention held in OKC [Paul, pg. 43]

 Kings College, Checotah, Ok (PHC)

 Monte Ne, Ark Ozark Industrial College

 Kings College, Kingfisher (PHC)

 Southwestern Pentecostal Holiness College, OKC (PHC)


Campbell, J. The Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1898-1948. P.H.C. Publishing, 1948.
Conn, Charles W. Like A Might Army. Church of God Pub. House, Cleveland, TN, 1955.
Hudson, Marilyn. “Mystorical” accessed at www.mystorical.blogspot.com; When Death Rode the Rails with Tales from Hell’s Half Acre (2010).
King, J.H. Yet speaketh. P.H.C. 1949
One Nightclub and a Mule Barn: the first 60 years of Southwestern Christian University. Tate. 2006.
Paul, Harold. Dan T. Muse: From Printer’s Devil to Bishop. Advocate. 1976.
Synan, Vinson. The Old-Time Power: a history of the Pentecostal Holiness Church. Advocate Press, 1973.
Welch, Kristen Dayle. ‘Women with the Good News’: The rhetorical heritage of Pentecostal Holiness Women Preachers. CPT, 2010.

Image is Oklahoma City at the opening land run of April 22, 1889
Orignally published on Mystorical. Used by Permission.



The Blue Front Saloon was located at the corner of Grand Avenue and Santa Fe (7 Grand Avenue) in downtown Oklahoma City.

When it was established has yet to be discovered. It was mentioned as a wild locale in a newspaper account dated 1904. It was well known as a part of the rowdy "Hell's Half Acre" of Oklahoma City. Gunplay, gambling, prostitution and crime were rampent. The area had swiftly developed from its founding in 1889 and the town was filled with brick and morter structures within months of its birth. The saloon was described as being fronted by broad windows normally covered by blinds.

In 1906 a revival began in far off Los Angeles that would have a direct impact on the life of many in Oklahoma. An African American holiness minister would begin a series of services in an old warehouse that would cross denominational, gender, and race lines in promoting a spiritual experience bringing the Book of Acts alive to a new century. These people sought redemption and experienced signs and wonders akin to the Biblical examples. People from across the nation who had been ardently seeking deeper spiritual experiences when to California to see first hand what was happening there. Some were shocked and left and others were certain that as Amie Simple McPherson would later say, "This is that", this was the experience the prophets had foretold. Those believed spilled out across the land sharing the vital new message of renewal and renewed spirituality.

In 1907 the notorious but now closed saloon was leased by two Holiness ministers and became the Blue Front Saloon Mission. In August of that same year the two men, R.B. Beall and O.C. Wilkins received what was known as the 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' and spoke in other tongues. In November 1907, a well known prostitute, Martha Fleming aka "Old Zulu," received a spiritual experience in a meeting there and was baptized the next day in a nearby river. This is significant because it reveals that the racial barriers broken in California were also being done away with in early Oklahoma. Early day Oklahoma was in the larger society very racist due to a high number of southerners who had transplanted before and after the Civil War.

It became one of the first pentecostal churches in the central United States. Although no known photo of the saloon has been found, it may have looked like the saloon in Carnegie dated at about 1900. Unidentified photo.
In about 1907-08 it was being pastored by Rev. H.P. Lott. He had been in a revival in Billings, Ok in 1905 when one of the earliest recorded instances of speaking in tongues and the classical Pentecostal experience occurred in Oklahoma.

Under Lott's leadership the mission expanded to include a rescue home for 'wayward women'. This was a common outreach by churches and civic groups in a time when girls and women were often seduced and abandoned in a society that was often unforgiving of such falls from a moral high ground. The local prostitution business also sometimes used deceptive means to renew their 'stable' of workers. Young, naive girls coming to the city for the first time were often easy targets to lure into the trade or to assault and coerce into working in one of the houses or, as they were coyly called, 'resorts.'

Some Sources:
McGill, Albert. Satan Came Also. 1955
Paul, Harold. Dan T. Muse: From Printer's Devil to Bishop. 1975



2,000 Years of Penteost
by W.H. Turner
In the “foreward” , Turner states a hope that similar small books will become a useful literature tool for Pentecostal evangelism. This brief book, one of many written by Turner, was about sixty-two pages and was used in his own travels as a speaker and evangelist.
The topics covered were surprisingly broad and the coverage quite inclusive indicating a wide reading of both history and religion. The chapters were “Pentecost in the Promises”, “Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles”; all cover the basic New Testament verses dealing with the birth of the Church and the arrival of the promised “Comforter” who provided motivation to the disciples in the book of Acts.
“Pentecost in the Post-Apostolic Age” covers several notable instances of deeper spiritual experiences among the Early Church Fathers and other leaders. “Pentecost in the Middle Ages”, examines the spiritual experiences of the Waldenese and the Albigenese, the Medicant Friars, the Quakers, and the Methodists. “Pentecost in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries”, continues by looking at Thomas Walsh, Martin Luther, Vincent Ferrer, Edward Irving and the MacDonalds. “Pentecost in Modern Times”, explores the Holiness roots of the Pentecostal movement and the early Tennessee, Kansas, and California origins. It also touches on leaders in other cultures, including Pandita Ramabi of India. “Pentecost in the Region Beyond” details the work across the globe.
The Turners served as missionaries to China for many years. They were interred for almost 2 years by the Japanese in World War II and that adventure is chronicled in other of his writings.

by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University


Spring Time of the Soul: April's Revival History

Across the expanse of IPHC history the month of April stands out as a beacon of spiritual work.

April 14, 1906 the meetings began in Los Angeles in the Azusa Street Apostolic Mission. A year later on the front page of "The Apostolic Faith" newsletter, testimonials of experiences from around the globe burst out like colorful spring buds after a long spiritual winter.

One writer was the noted IPHC minister, F.M. Britton writing from Alvin, SC: "My wife and I have been in six wonderful meetings of late in which quite a number of saints have received the baptism with the Holy Ghost and all spoke with other tongues. Backsliders are being reclaimed and some honest souls being converted, quite a lot of sick ones being healed, and also many demon possessed persons are being delivered in Jesus' name from the power of Satan. Glory be to God!" {Source: Like as of Fire: a reprint of the old Azusa Street Papers, collected by Fred T. Corum, published 1981.) In those early years, revivals in Alabama, Tennessee, and elsewhere all blossomed in April.

by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University


The Stratford Pentecostal Holiness School
Today, Stratford in south central Oklahoma is famous for vast peach orchards that make it the Peach Capital of Oklahoma. In the early years of the 1900’s another type of seed was planted in the fertile minds and hearts of the people living there.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the history of the IPHC is that, like the Methodists and the Holiness groups before, there was an appreciation for education from early days. Although depicted in popular novels and films as being uneducated or little more than simpletons many early Pentecostals knew the value of education. These people, in various parts of the country, were some of the earliest and most vigorous promoters of schools and training.
In 1913, the annual conference of the Pentecostal Holiness church met in the picturesque Delmar Gardens in Oklahoma City. There, in one of the lovely Victorian pavilions, W.D. York, who had continued to promote education,[1]spoke on behalf of the idea of a Pentecostal Holiness School in Stratford, Oklahoma. The address motivated the 251 members present that day to raise over seven hundred dollars for the school.

The Stratford school opened for its first term on February 24, 1914. It was a first through eighth grade grammar school with plans for a high school. Its faculty consisted of Dan W. Evans and Rexie Evans. The Board of Trustees included James Patterson, W.D. York, Dollie York, M.L. Dryden, and L.F. Menser. The York and Evans would figure prominently in the development of the IPHC in the heartland regions.
The dream was not to last long, however, by 1915 the school was closed down by an invasion of what early Bishop Dan T. Muse termed “unscriptural teaching” that had arrived in the area. The teachings were declared to be both “unscriptural” and “erroneous” in both the 1913 and 1914 annual conference meetings.[2] In this time period it is known that many Pentecostal groups were fleshing out what they believed about sanctification and this may have been the nature of the problem at Stratford.
Whatever the nature of this theological conflict, it was serious enough that the school soon closed. A short time later it was so destroyed in a severe storm that no thought of rebuilding was possible. Once, however, on a cold February day, a dream of solid and Christian education bloomed in the heart of the heartland and in the IPHC leaders who lived there.
----Source, adapted from the book One Night Club and a Mule Barn: The 60 Years of Southwestern Christian University History. (Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing, 2006).
[1] York, Advocate, pg. 5. In this article, York indicates that he sent for Dan Evans to come and teach at a school in Ong, Oklahoma and that then Evans was in Stratford in 1910-1912. The IPHC Archives has an early flyer and postcard for the school.
[2] Oklahoma Conference Minutes, 1913-1914; Historical Sketches by Dan W. Evans; referenced in papers of Dan T. Muse in the SCU Archives. An excellent volume covering the probable nature of the theological dispute is “The Rejected Blessing” by Jim Kerwin (Minneapolis: OTC, 2003.) The issue may have been an understanding of the nature of sanctification in the life of the believer.
by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University


Change is hard and produces some of the most deeply felt resistance and stress of any actions a person or organization can experience. Change, is however, a vital aspect of growth and its absence a sign of problems. In this cold winter time we can recall one episode where pioneer leaders faced the fear of change and followed God's guidance.

January 31, 1911 in a small octagon shaped chapel called the Little Tabernacle of Falcon, two groups met to give the final word on a plan of consolidation between the original Pentecostal Holiness Church and the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church.

From the heartland came 32 Fire-Baptized Holiness people: F.M. Britton, G.O. Gaines, J.J. Carter, M.D. Sellers, H.P. Lott, E.D. Reeves, C.M. Wheeler, Mrs. F.M. Britton, J.H. Blake, S.D. Page, C.O.Daniels, Howard Sellers, Ralph Taylor, A.E. Robinson, J.H. Inman, J.M. Howell, J.H. Spain, J.T. Crumpler, J.A. James, M.H. Israel. From the east and the Pentecostal Holiness came six: A..H. Butler, G.F. Taylor, J.A. Culbreth, R.B. Jackson, J.T. Herring, and B.B. Pleasants. Nearly all are names that loom large in any study of the Pentecostal movement in North America. Many are names that can be found in the pages of the early newspaper of the 1906 Azusa Street Revival of California.

Lamps had burned into the late hours of the 30th as the assembled parties gathered night before, one in a school and one in a private home. The crisp southern air of the North Carolina night was taut with the sense that something momentous was occurring, something unprecedented in the new Pentecostal Movement. Visionary leaders and praying people had arrived at the idea in 1909 that their two groups, so alike in major beliefs and history, should come together as one stronger group. It was inspiring as men and women laid aside egos, vanity, and their own desires to seek and follow the will of God. To boldly step onto a new level of existence and ministry as the 20th century began.

As the document of government and belief was signed, the two groups broke out into song. As "Blest Be The Tie That Binds" soared through the little tabernacle the presence of God's spirit was strongly felt and long remembered. "Heaven descended, and the "old-time" power filled the place…" wrote A.E. Robinson (Synan, pg. 123). These groups could have clung to their identities, their individualism, their separate groups, but they recognized and responded to the call of the Spirit to take the next step in a future filled with many more important decisions.

Bundy, V. Mayo. A History of Falcon, North Carolina. Walsworth, 1980.
Campbell, Joseph. A History of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1898-1948. PHC, 1951.
Synan, Vinson. Oldtime Power: A Centennial History of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church. LifeSprings, 1998.
by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University


There is a story from the end of WWII of a statue of Christ in a European city and where once the figure of Jesus had stood in the city square with hands outstretched, the bombs had left mere stubs. When asked why the town did not replace the hands, they said it was a reminder that Christ has no hands but ours.

In the late 1940's the women of the IPHC were organizing , and while some forecast this move would lead to nothing but "gossip fests", the women were quick to show, however, that they were able organizers with a heart for meaningful ministry. One of the first targets of the women was the Falcon Children's Home (North Carolina), soon to be followed by other benevolent ministries, such as the Carmen Home (Oklahoma). Dependent on sometimes sporadic support the women wanted to "remember the orphans."
For about the first ten years this covey of kindness made its way to the orphanage. Called a "cavalcade", "caravan", and "parade" the term "Harvest Train" developed later, coinciding with the "Feast of Ingathering" held on the denominational campuses.

In 1958 Charles Bradshaw wrote in the IPHC Advocate "…I realized that they too were aware of the fact that their pantries and storage rooms were full only when friends who love them came and brought supplies." (Oct. 28, 1958, pg. 5) during the Thanksgiving season it should be recalled that it is a time when its traditional spirit of national thanksgiving calls to each Christian to be the hands of Christ.

Sources: IPHC Advocate; Synan. The Old-Time Power, (1986); IPHC Helping Hand (Nov. 1956, pg. 1).

by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University


A Christian…can learn mathematics, for example, from a teacher who is not a Christian; and truth is truth however learned. But while truth is truth however learned, the bearing of truth, the meaning of truth, the purpose of truth, even in the sphere of mathematics, seem entirely different to the Christian from that which they seem to the non-Christian; and that is why a truly Christian education is possible only when Christian conviction underlies not a part but all, of the curriculum of the school.
~ J. Gresham Machen, in Education, Christianity, and the State. (Jefferson, MD: Trinity Foundation, 1987. page 81).

From earliest days, the IPHC considered education and a well-trained ministry of great import. Its early leaders were all men who were trained and capable. They had a goal of balancing quality education with the vital spiritual energy of Pentecost.

The great IPHC leader G. H. Montgomery noted in 1938 that, “Education is bound to come in for more and more prominence in our ranks…Spiritual leaders will promote a spiritual program. We cannot afford to commit spiritual suicide by opposing education. Neither can we afford to let anything take the place of the Holy Spirit in the church and our ministry…” PH Advocate (Feb. 3, 1938).

Articles appeared, by S.N. Greene and others, noting the need for ministerial training and education for the creation of a clergy of which churches need not be ashamed. R.O. Corvin later added, “No denomination will rise above its highest educational institution….If we want a growing, spiritual…church, we must have a school of higher learning with those characteristics…”Advocate (July 26, 1945). A year later, Montgomery was pondering, as were many in that time period, “Do We Need a Seminary?” Advocate (Feb.15, 1946).

In 1966, the denomination had its first seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The General Conference finally named the program at ORU as the official PH Seminary but, with Roberts leaving the denomination in 1968, the celebration was short lived. (Synan, Old Time Religion ).

In 1987, the dream of a Graduate School arose seriously once more as Jack Goodson and IPHC leadership began a plan to unify the education program of the denomination. This dream was further realized with the appointment of Dr. Garnet Pike as Dean of the I.P.H.C. Graduate School in 1992. In September of 1993, the denominations first graduate school opened its doors on the campus of Southwestern Christian University. It allowed students to become part of a milestone in denomination history. The school offered a Master of Ministry focusing on practical equipping for successful ministry and taught by some of the finest leaders in the country. The impact of the program on ministers has proven true the words of G.H. Montgomery “…Spiritual leaders will promote a spiritual program.”

by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University


Charles Edwin Jones has held archival, library, and teaching positions at the University of Michigan, Houghton College, and Brown University.
He has also written:
-Perfectionist Persuasion
-A Guide to the Study of the Holiness Movement
-A Guide to the Study of the Pentecostal Movement
-Black Holiness (Scarecrow, 1974, 1983, and 1987).
No studies into the holiness, pentecostal or charismatic movements of the 19th and 20th centuries would be complete without referring to the vital work of this researcher.

THE GENTLEMAN OF GOD: J.H.King (1869-1949)

On July 1, 1900, a young minister named J.H. King, aged 31 years, then member of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association of the United States and Canada was elected by unanimous ballot to be the new General Overseer. This group, with mission and evangelist work in the central and western United States in 1911 would became part of the pedigree of the present IPHC.

J.H. King was born in 1869, converted in 1885 and soon felt a definite call into the ministry. He served as a Methodist minister until he united with the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association in Royston, Georgia in 1898. Early works in Oklahoma and elsewhere would bear strong fruit years later as the “full gospel” Pentecostal Holiness Church emerged from the seeds planted under his leadership in the FBHA. His well-noted humility, intelligence, education, and leadership qualities would mean that he would be chosen to lead the new merged organization of the Pentecostal Holiness Church.

He added to the doctrinal development and instruction of the church through writings that have become classics in Pentecostal history: Passover to Pentecost (the first hardback published by the IPHC), Christ: God’s Love Gift, and Yet Speaketh: a memoir. His legacy was a strong, yet humble, spirit, a deep faith, and excellence in leadership and integrity.

Bishop King’s life was an example that God will use those who dedicate themselves, prepare themselves, and then make themselves available to God’s will. Shortly before his death he was quoted as saying, “One thing I know; I will not die unless it is God’s will for me to go. If I die, I know that it will be God’s will for me now.” Bishop J.H. King, a Gentleman of God, died as he had lived: following the will of his Creator.

For more information, see also Campbell, Joseph. The Pentecostal Holiness Church (1951) and King, J.H. Yet speaketh (1949).
by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian

FOR GOD AND COUNTRY. by Marilyn A. Hudson

In June of 1943, Joseph Goebbels gave his famous speech declaring the inevitable victory of Nazism. On the other side of the world, several groups of the IPHC were uniting to provide ministry, support, and a different type of victory to the vast numbers of men going into the war effort.

Prior to the war the denomination had adopted a pacifist stance, but as the dreadful war toll mounted after Dec. 7, 1941- and its force was felt in nearly every home in America - many attitudes changed (Synan, V. Oldtime Power, pg. 210).

The Rev. Samuel J. Todd, whose heart had been moved to do something, had already applied to the War Department for the Chaplaincy Corp (the IPHC's first chaplain was Lt. J. Vinson Ellenberg, quickly followed by Thomas E. Myers, Julius W. Green, Freeman Mashburn, and EL. Shirey, Synan, Oldtime Power, pg. 210). Then Todd was approached to head a "Service Men's Commission." He realized quickly that here was an equally great opportunity to minister to thousands of men in the American armed forces.

The Service Men's Commission requested the youth groups (called societies) join with the Home Missions Department and the Evangelism Department to develop a coordinated effort. The Commission board was comprised of: J.A. Synan, H.T. Spence, T.A. Melton, W.W. Carter, B.R. Dean, G. H. Montgomery, T.L. Aaron, J.W. Butler, Byron A. Jones, Virgil Gaither.Operating under the umbrella of the new Home Missions Department, the new commission was introduced via the pages of the P.H. Advocate: "We believe that this present world situation affords our church one of the greatest opportunities…to be a blessing to many young men in the armed forces… and we must take advantage of this opportunity…" (Advocate, June 17, 1943; pg. 7).

By November of that same year, Samuel Todd was already distributing a 4-page newsletter to service men. The November and December the pages of the Advocate were full of testimonies by men whom the new ministry had been able to connect with, and positively impact, in most perilous times.

by Marilyn Hudson, Author & Historian
Director of Library Services, Southwestern Christian University



May 10-1944 Women’s Auxiliary formally organized in NC Conference, Lila Berry elected 1st Pres. Originally a “preacher’s Wives Club”.

Lila Berry, remarking on the first organization of Pentecostal Holiness women in May 10,1944, noted: “A small group of women (and nearly as many men) met in the historic little church in Falcon…I hardly think any of us knew just what we wanted , but out of a yearning heart to do something to help the church and a determination to find our places in God’s great harvest field, we met….” (Campbell, J. The Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1898-1948; pg.388-389). The first group was organized under the conference leadership of W. Eddie Morris in Falcon, N.C. and their first speaker was T.A. Melton. (Synan, Old Time Power, pg. 214). The first leader was Mrs. Lila Berry who set her sights on expanding the new outreach across the denomination and did so in the General Conference of 1945. The ministry touched a cord and provided a new and vital means of ministering to P.H. women – but to also reach out and impact their communities and the world.



Another new work being added is - WOMEN WITH THE GOOD NEWS: The Rhetorical Heritage of Pentecostal Holiness Women Preachers - by Dr. Kristen Dayle Welch
Order from Amazon.com (click title for link) or direct from CPT Press.

The first book to share interviews with women preachers of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC), Dr. Welch explores rhetoric, gender, and religion in the biographies, autobiographies, and histories that detail what it means to be a Pentecostal woman preacher in Oklahoma. Archival materials provide a picture of Pentecostalism years before Oklahoma became a state in 1907, and a transcribed interview with the former Presiding Bishop of the IPHC, James Leggett, gives a contemporary view of what it means to be Pentecostal in the 21st century. A Christian scholar who grew up in the IPHC, Dr. Welch draws upon the field of rhetoric to use Jim Corder's theory of generative ethos to illuminate the way identity is constructed on individual, collective, and spiritual levels. She shows the role place plays in the development of faith and character in her chapter "We are of this Place: Oklahoma and Ethos." She concludes the book with an honest look at the administrative levels of the IPHC and ends with a note of hope for the future.

AUTHOR:Kristen Dayle Welch (PhD, University of Arizona) is Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia, USA.

Dr. Stanley Horton Donates Work to Collection

Dr. Stanley M. Horton, recognized as a pivotal shaper of pentecostal theology in the 20th century, has graciously donated a copy of the biography written by Lois E. Olena with Raymond L. Gannon with a Foreword by George O. Wood.
Stanley M. Horton is well known and respected as a gifted leader—a history-maker whose impact will be felt on future generations forever.

Discover how God used his writings and teachings to affirm the doctrinal destiny of Pentecostalism and the Assemblies of God in the twentieth century and up to the present. You’ll enjoy the adventures and miracles of his childhood set against the backdrop of early Pentecostalism. You’ll also learn how he went on to unite passionate faith and disciplined scholarship in a beautiful balance.

Leaders young and old will be inspired by the humble grace of this faithful servant of Christ. Paper.