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