History of Our Fellowship

HISTORY OF OUR FELLOWSHIP:  

Like any group, people want to know our origins-where we came from, and how we began.

REVIVALS IMPACT WORLD Our fellowship, the Assemblies of God, grew out of the Pentecostal revival, which began in the early 1900s in places such as Topeka, Kansas, and the Azusa Street Mission in Los Angeles, California. During times of prayer and Bible study, believers were baptized in the Spirit like the 120 followers described in the Book of Acts. Accompanied by speaking in tongues, their experience aligned with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Jewish feast of Pentecost (Acts 2). Soon participants in the Movement were called “Pentecostals.” Through the power of the Holy Spirit , these believers received strength to live holy lives and boldness to share their faith with others. The Pentecostal Movement has grown from a handful of Bible school students in Topeka, Kansas, to an estimated 600 million Spirit-filled believers in the world today.

THE NEED TO UNITE Many participants who were baptized in the Holy Spirit during revivals and camp meetings in the early 1900’s were not welcomed back to their former churches. These believers started many local churches and soon considered banding together for the purpose of fellowship and doctrinal unity. Other concerns included facilitating missionaries, chartering churches, and forming a Bible training school.

A NEW FELLOWSHIP IS FORMED Some 300 Pentecostals met at an opera house in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in April 1914, and agreed to form a new fellowship of loosely-knit independent churches. These churches were left with the needed autonomy to develop and govern their own local ministries, yet they were united in their message and efforts to reach the world for Christ. So began the General Council of the Assemblies of God-a cooperative Fellowship. Since the beginning, the organization has operated from the grass roots, allowing the local church to choose and develop ministries and facilities best suited for its needs.

(Our Church and Fellowship. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2010.)

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