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Pentecostalism is a charismatic renewal movement within Christianity that places special emphasis on a direct personal experience of God through the baptism in the Holy Spirit.[1] The term Pentecostal is derived from Pentecost, a Greek term describing the Jewish Feast of Weeks. For Christians, this event commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the second chapter of the Book of Acts,[2] and Pentecostals tend to see their movement as reflecting the same kind of spiritual power, worship styles and teachings that were found in the early church. For this reason, some Pentecostals also use the term Apostolic or full gospel to describe their movement.

Pentecostalism is an umbrella term that includes a wide range of different theological and organizational perspectives. As a result, there is no single central organization or church that directs the movement. Pentecostalism is theologically and historically close to the charismatic movement as it significantly influenced that movement, and sometimes the terms Pentecostal and charismatic are used interchangeably. Furthermore, Pentecostals are theologically diverse with some groups being Trinitarian and others Nontrinitarian.[citation needed]

Within North American classical Pentecostalism there are three major orientations: Wesleyan holiness, Higher Life, and Oneness.[3] Examples of Wesleyan holiness denominations include the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC). The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel is an example of the Higher Life branch, while the Assemblies of God (AG) was influenced by both groups.[3][4] Some Oneness churches include the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW), and Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC). Many Pentecostal groups are affiliated with the Pentecostal World Conference. Pentecostalism claims more than 250 million adherents worldwide.[5] When charismatics are included with Pentecostals the number increases to nearly a quarter of the world's two billion Christians.[1]



Pentecostalism is an evangelical movement emphasizing the reliability of the Bible and the need for the transformation of an individual's life through faith in Jesus.[6] Pentecostals generally adhere to the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, believing that the Bible has definitive authority in matters of faith and adopt a literalist approach to its interpretation. This belief is expressed in the doctrinal statements of various Pentecostal organizations, such as the Assemblies of God Statement of Fundamental Truths, the Affirmation of Faith of the Church of God in Christ, and the Declaration of Faith of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

There are common beliefs and traits that Pentecostals share. There are also many different sub-groups within the movement where teaching and practice differ from group to group and from congregation to congregation.



Reflecting its Methodist influences, Pentecostal soteriology is generally Arminian rather than Calvinist.[7] Pentecostals believe that in order to receive salvation and enter Heaven, one must accept the teachings of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. This includes being born again or being regenerated, and is the fundamental requirement of Pentecostalism. Most Pentecostals also believe that salvation is a gift received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, and cannot be earned through good deeds alone such as penance. Also, most do not believe that Spirit baptism or speaking in tongues is required for salvation; though believers are encouraged to seek these experiences. However, there are notable differences among them as to exactly how one is born again, especially between Oneness believers and other Pentecostals. For the Oneness Pentecostal perspective on salvation, see the Oneness Pentecostal section of this article below.

Spirit baptism and spiritual gifts

Pentecostal belief and practice center on their understanding of the infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit. Most Pentecostals understand this infilling to be subsequent to salvation which allows those who have been filled to experience spiritual gifts which are described in the Bible.[8] Traditionally, Pentecostals have taught that the "initial evidence" of Spirit baptism is speaking in tongues, unlike charismatics who generally assign no special importance to tongues considering the receipt of any of the gifts as evidence of infilling. Pentecostalism distinguishes between the Spirit's indwelling, which happens when one is saved, and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is subsequent to salvation.

Members of the Pentecostal Church of God in Lejunior, Kentucky pray for a girl in 1946.

While speaking in tongues frequently receives strong emphasis among Pentecostals, most also believe in the existence of other supernatural gifts that may be received from the Holy Spirit. Most Pentecostals believe that not all Christians necessarily receive all of these gifts. One frequently cited list is 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 which includes the following gifts: words of wisdom (the ability to provide supernatural guidance in decisions), words of knowledge (impartation of factual information from the Spirit), faith, healing, miracle-working, prophecy (the pronouncement of a message from God, not necessarily involving knowledge of the future), discerning of spirits (the ability to tell if evil spirits are at work), tongues, and interpretation of tongues.[8]

Speaking in tongues

Speaking in tongues is a distinctive Pentecostal practice. A Pentecostal believer in a spiritual experience may vocalize fluent, unintelligible utterances (glossolalia), or articulate an alleged natural language previously unknown to them (xenoglossy).

Within Pentecostalism, there is usually a distinction made between two types of tongues. First, many see it as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit when a believer speaks in tongues for the first time.[9] Most Pentecostal denominations consider this to be the sign of that believer being filled with the Holy Spirit.[10] Secondly, Pentecostals often refer to a gift of tongues.[9] This is when a person is moved by God to speak in tongues "as the Spirit gives him utterance" (Act 2:4). This gift of tongues may be exercised anywhere, but many denominations insist that it must only be exercised when a person who has the gift of interpretation of tongues is present—whether that be another person, or the same one who gives the tongue. The interpreter must translate the tongue into the language of the gathered Christians, so that all can understand the message. These regulations for church order are taken from 1 Corinthians 14:13 and 14:27-28.

Many Pentecostals, particularly after the growth and influence of the charismatic movement, believe that the gift of tongues is different than tongues as a prayer language or speaking in tongues (the unknown tongue). According to this view, speaking in tongues is an utterance granted by God for prayer, and the gift of tongues is a rare miracle in which God enables a Christian to speak in a foreign language he has not previously studied in order to proclaim the gospel. Other Pentecostals believe they are one and the same, in which the gift of tongues is speaking unknown languages (including that of angels) not for the purpose of communicating with others but for "communication between the soul and God".[11] When used this way, speaking in tongues is often referred to as a "prayer language". Certain groups of Pentecostals emphasize the idea of speaking in tongues only when the Holy Spirit comes upon an individual, and do not believe that anyone can legitimately speak in tongues at will.

Early in the 20th century, the majority of Pentecostal missionaries, along with prominent Pentecostal leaders, maintained that speaking in tongues was a form of xenoglossia in which the Holy Spirit enabled them to speak in other languages. As continued investigations repeatedly concluded that speaking in tongues was a form of utterance that lacked all syntactical structure, and almost always consisted of syllables taken from the speaker's native language, Pentecostal theologians redefined their beliefs.[12] Most now preach that speaking in tongues is a personal prayer language, or glossolalia; and is, with the above exceptions, not xenoglossia.

Ordinances and practices

Like other Christian churches, Pentecostals believe that certain rituals or ceremonies were instituted as a pattern and command by Jesus in the New Testament. Some Pentecostals commonly call these ceremonies ordinances. Many Christians call these sacraments, however, this term is not used by some Pentecostals as they do not see ordinances as imparting grace.[5] Instead the term sacerdotal ordinance is used to denote the distinctive belief that grace is received directly from God by the congregant with the officiant serving only to facilitate rather than acting as a conduit or vicar.

The ordinance of baptism is the outward symbol of an inner conversion that has already taken place. Pentecostal views on baptism are divided into two major camps: mainstream and Jesus' Name or Jesus Only. Mainstream teaching on baptism is that the exact phrasing of the baptismal formula is largely irrelevant, as it is the authority of God and the obedience of the recipient that form the critical factors. The Jesus' Name doctrine, largely held today by the Oneness Pentecostals, states that the baptizer must use a formula which says, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ", rather than the traditional Triune formula common to practically all other Christian churches.

Another point of divergence between Pentecostals is the question of whether Baptism is necessary for salvation; while all Pentecostals hold that the ordinance is commanded by Jesus Christ and incumbent upon all believers, they disagree sharply as to whether it is an indispensable requirement. Oneness Pentecostals tend to say that it is, while the Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal groups tend to disagree, putting the emphasis upon one's personal faith and inward conversion, rather than the external ordinance.

The ordinance of Communion is seen as a direct command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, to be done in remembrance of him. Some Pentecostal denominations reject the use of wine on the communion, using grape juice instead.[13][14]

Foot washing is also held as an ordinance by some Pentecostals, particularly the UPCI and the COGIC.[15][16] It is considered an "ordinance of humility", because Jesus showed humility when washing his disciples' feet in John 13:14-17.[5] Other denominations, such as the Assemblies of God and the Foursquare Church, do not hold this to be an ordinance but leave it to individual conscience.[17][18]

Though not an ordinance, some Pentecostals may believe in the use of prayer cloths which are believed to transfer healing.[5]


Classical Pentecostalism

Classical Pentecostalism is the earliest form of Pentecostalism. It includes groups in the holiness and higher life traditions as well as Oneness Pentecostals. With the exception of Oneness Pentecostals, classical Pentecostal churches share basic beliefs with the rest of evangelical Christianity.

Oneness Pentecostalism

The Oneness movement, which eventually arose from the Wesleyan-holiness and Higher Life movements, differs from the rest of Pentecostalism in several significant ways.

Oneness Pentecostalism retains the earlier Wesleyan holiness and Higher Life understanding of salvation, though—unlike some other Pentecostals—they insist that baptism is necessary for salvation.[19] Oneness Pentecostals insist that salvation comes by grace through faith in Christ, coupled with obedience to his command to be "born of water and of the Spirit"; hence, no good works or obedience to laws or rules can save anyone.[20] However, due to biblical interpretation baptism is required for salvation in Oneness theology. For them, baptism is not seen as a "work," but rather the indispensable means that Jesus himself provided to come into his kingdom, as opposed to a "sinner's prayer" or mere belief alone—which is the belief held by most Evangelicals and even most other Pentecostals. This has resulted in Oneness believers being accused by some (including other Pentecostals) of a "works-salvation" soteriology,[21] a charge they vehemently deny.[22] Oneness Pentecostals hold that repentance is necessary before baptism to make the ordinance valid, and receipt of the Holy Spirit manifested by speaking in other tongues is necessary afterwards, to complete the work of baptism. Without any of these elements, say Oneness believers, one cannot be saved.[23]

Oneness Pentecostals also differ from other Pentecostals by rejecting the traditional Christian Trinity. Oneness adherents do not describe God as three persons but rather as three manifestations: they believe that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are manifestations or titles of the one, indivisible God. Oneness Pentecostals practice Jesus' Name Baptism, insisting that baptisms must be performed in the name of Jesus Christ, rather than that of the Trinity. They tend to emphasize strict "holiness standards" in dress, grooming and other areas of personal conduct that are not necessarily shared by other Pentecostal groups, at least not to the degree that is generally found in Oneness churches.

Word of Faith teachings

The word of faith movement is not a denomination or organization but a movement of ministers who share a theological perspective built upon much of the same presuppositions, which have been based upon Pentecostal teachings. There is no ruling body or official structure, and personal relationships tend to be valued more than organizational unity.

The movement probably stems from the teachings of E.W. Kenyon (1867-1948) whose theology was popularized by Kenneth Hagin (1917-2003). The origins of the movement's thought is controversial, but many believe it is wrapped in the Higher Life movement & New Thought movements, which potentially inspired Kenyon. The word of faith movement has grown rapidly over time, expanding from Kenyon and Hagin to launch Christian television stations such as the Trinity Broadcast Network which has a word of faith orientation. There are many specific details within the word of faith belief system, some of which are particular to individual preachers, so it can be difficult to create any sense of a uniform system of belief. However, there are some distinctive beliefs that seem to be held by the majority of word of faith teachers. As the name suggests, they place importance upon faith, not simply faith in God, but faith in God over specific details. There is a heavy emphasis over the power of prayer within faith, believing with the proper usage or abstract amount of faith, anything can be made manifest by God through faith.[citation needed] The movement has gained many critics due to some preachers who have emphasized the ability to gain wealth through faith and prayer (prosperity gospel), as well as ministers who have claimed that any illness is due to a lack of faith and can be cured by proper prayer and faith.[citation needed]

Often referred to as "Name-It-Claim-It" and "Blab-It-Grab-It" religion by critics,[24] the word of faith movement is rejected by classical Pentecostal denominations such as the Assemblies of God,[25] whose leaders often seek to distance themselves from association with the movement.

Denominations and adherents

Estimated to number around 115 million followers worldwide in 2000, Pentecostalism is sometimes referred to as the "third force of Christianity."[26] Pentecostal and Charismatic church growth is rapid in many parts of the world.[27][28] The great majority of Pentecostals are to be found in developing countries although much of their international leadership is still in North America. The movement is enjoying its greatest surge today in the global South, which includes Africa, Latin America, and most of Asia.[29][30] One reason for this growth is Pentecostalism's appeal to the poor.[31] According to a United Nations report, the movement has "been the most successful at recruiting its members from the poorest of the poor."[32]

In 1998, there were about 11,000 different Pentecostal or charismatic denominations worldwide.[citation needed] The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, the Assemblies of God, claims approximately 57 million adherents worldwide.[33] It has a significant presence in many countries including Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.[34] The Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) has a membership of over 6 million,[35] the Church of God in Christ has a membership of 5.5 million,[2] the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel has 5 million members, the United Pentecostal Church International has a membership of over 4 million,[36] and the International Pentecostal Holiness Church has over 3 million members.[37]

The largest single Pentecostal church in the world is the Yoido Full Gospel Church in South Korea. Founded and led by David Yonggi Cho since 1958, it had 780,000 members in 2003.[38] Australia's largest church, Hillsong, has a membership exceeding 19,000 and its songs are sung in churches around the world.[citation needed] Indian Pentecostal Church of God and United Pentecostal Church International are among the major Pentecostal churches in India.


Historical predecessors

Pentecostals believe that their movement is faithful to the teachings and experience of the early Church, specifically the narrative of Acts. Though the most widely accepted origin of the movement is the revival around 1906, Pentecostal practice has predecessors in earlier charismatic experiences within Christianity.

Early church

Instances of prophecy, visions, healing, and exorcisms as well as both glossolalia and xenoglossia were recorded in the early Church. Sometimes, but not always, advocates of charismatic experience were labeled heretics, such as the Montanists of the 2nd century. Their leader, Montanus, claimed to receive direct revelation from the Holy Spirit. Other early Church leaders who advocated charismatic experience included Irenaeus (c. 115-202), Origen (c. 185-254), Augustine (354-430), Symeon (949-1022), and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274).[39]

Origen was reported to have healed people, exorcised demons, and engaged in other assorted "signs and wonders." Symeon and others discussed experiencing phenomena such as "baptism of the Holy Spirit," uncontrollable bouts of crying, and visions of the Transfiguration. Francis Xavier (1506-1552), Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419), Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), and Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) describe what seems to be glossolalia. Ignatius' described one such experience: "During the interior and exterior loquela (speech) everything moves me to divine love and to the gifts of loquela divinely bestowed."[39]

19th century

A Pentecostal-like revival began with a Prussian Guards officer, Gustav von Below, in 1817.[citation needed] He and his brothers started holding charismatic meetings on his estate in Pomerania. A Lutheran commission sent to investigate was at first suspicious, but ultimately determined the phenomenon to be "of God."[citation needed] This led to a growth in charismatic meetings across Germany, which quickly crossed the Atlantic during the great German migrations of the 19th century.[citation needed]

In the 1830s, a Presbyterian congregation in Scotland under the leadership of Edward Irving began to experience manifestations of tongues and prophecy.[citation needed] Certain men were appointed as apostles, until their number reached twelve. After Irving's death, the movement developed into what would be called the Catholic Apostolic Church, a name adopted from the Nicene Creed. Henry Drummond was perhaps the most influential man in this movement at its beginning. He was sympathetic to the writings of the early Church Fathers, and the movement took on a highly liturgical flair, including influences from Eastern Orthodox liturgy. The movement grew to several hundred thousand in England, Germany, and some other parts of Europe.[citation needed] This sect ultimately disappeared, though a splinter group in Germany did appoint new apostles and continue on. The last apostle from Drummond's Group, Francis Woodhouse of the Catholic Apostolic Church, died in 1901—just a few months after Agnes Ozman spoke in tongues in the United States.

During the 1870s, there were Christians known as "gift people" or "gift adventists" numbering in the thousands, who were known for spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues.[40] One preacher from the Gift People influenced A.J. Tomlinson, who would later lead the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee).[citation needed] Though some have considered the 1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival in Cherokee County, North Carolina as the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement, the remoteness of the region very likely kept it as a localized event.[citation needed]

Some Christian leaders who were not a part of the early Pentecostal movement remained highly respected by Pentecostal leaders. Albert Benjamin Simpson became closely involved with the growing Pentecostal revival. It was common for Pentecostal pastors and missionaries to receive their training at the Missionary Training Institute that Simpson founded.[citation needed] Because of this, Simpson and the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA), which Simpson also founded, had a great influence on Pentecostalism—in particular the Assemblies of God and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.[citation needed] This influence included evangelistic emphasis, C&MA doctrine, Simpson's hymns and books, and the use of the term "Gospel Tabernacle", which evolved into Pentecostal churches being known as "Full Gospel Tabernacles". Charles Price Jones, an African-American Holiness leader and founder of the Church of Christ, is another example.[citation needed] His hymns are widely sung at National Conventions of the Church of God in Christ and many other Pentecostal churches.

Early Pentecostalism

There was no one founder of modern Pentecostalism. Instead, isolated Christian groups were experiencing charismatic phenemenon such as speaking in tongues. The Wesleyan holiness movement provided a theological explanation for what was happening to these Christians, and they adapted the Wesleyan two stage soteriology to accommodate their three stage understanding: 1) saved by grace, 2) emptied or sanctified, 3) filled with the Spirit.[6][41][42] Charles Parham began teaching that speaking in tongues was the biblical sign of the Holy Spirit's baptism at his Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas on January 1, 1901.[43] Charles Parham later moved to Houston, Texas. In spite of segregation in Houston, William J. Seymour, a one-eyed African-American preacher, was allowed to attend Parham's Bible classes there. Seymour traveled to Los Angeles, where his preaching sparked the Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Despite the work of various Wesleyan groups such as Parham's and D. L. Moody's revivals, the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is generally considered to have begun with Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.[44]

The Azusa revival was the first Pentecostal revival to receive significant attention, and many people from around the world became drawn to it.[citation needed] The Los Angeles Press gave close attention to Seymour's revival, which helped fuel its growth.[45] A number of new, smaller, groups started up, inspired by the events of this revival. International visitors and Pentecostal missionaries would eventually bring these teachings to other nations, so that practically all classic Pentecostal denominations today trace their historical roots to the Azusa Street Revival.

William Seymour, leader of the Azusa Street Revival

Social aspects

Early Pentecostals were fueled by their understanding that all of God’s people would prophesy in the last days before Christ’s second coming. They looked to the biblical passages concerning Pentecost in the second chapter of Acts, in which Peter cited the prophecy contained in Joel 2, "In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams." (Acts 2:17) Thus, as the experience of speaking in tongues spread among the men and women of Azusa Street, a sense of immediacy took hold, as they began to look toward the Second Coming of Christ. Early Pentecostals saw themselves as outsiders from mainstream society, dedicated solely to preparing the way for Christ’s return.[46][47]

Pentecostalism, like any major movement, has given birth to a large number of organizations with political, social and theological differences. The early movement was countercultural regarding race, gender, and war: African-Americans and women were important leaders in the Azusa Revival, and helped spread the Pentecostal message far beyond Los Angeles.[citation needed]

African-Americans played an important role in the early Pentecostal movement. The first decade of Pentecostalism was marked by interracial assemblies, "...Whites and blacks mix in a religious frenzy," noted a local newspaper account, at a time when government facilities were racially separate and Jim Crow laws were about to be codified.[citation needed] While the interracial assemblies that characterized Azusa Street would continue for a number of years even in the segregated South, the enthusiasm and support for such assemblies eventually waned.[citation needed] After a while, interracial assemblies were nearly non-existent in most Pentecostal churches. However, this trend is starting to be reversed in many Pentecostal churches today.

Women were the catalyst of the early Pentecostal movement.[48] Even before Azusa Street, women led their own revivals as a result of Agnes Ozman speaking in tongues at Parham’s Bible college.[49][50][51] Florence Crawford was a prominent convert of Azusa Street. While at the Azusa Mission, she was active in The Apostolic Faith newspaper and became one the first from Azusa to evangelize, primarily through the Midwestern United States. Later, she moved to Portland where she established the Apostolic Faith Mission and ministered. Since Pentecostals believed in the presence and interaction of the Holy Spirit in their assemblies, and since these gifts came to both men and women, the use of spiritual gifts were encouraged in everyone. The unconventionally intense and emotional environment generated in Pentecostal meetings dually promoted, and was itself created by, other forms of participation such as personal testimony and spontaneous prayer and singing. Women did not shy away from engaging in this forum, and in the early movement the majority of converts and church-goers were female.[52] Since the movement relied on the efforts and participation of lay members, both within the church and outside, women gained great cultural influence in Pentecostalism and helped to shape it. Women wrote religious songs, edited Pentecostal papers, and taught and ran Bible schools.[53] The preponderance of its female adherents may stem from the availability of such opportunities to women from the start of the movement. In addition, evidence from three of the oldest Pentecostal groups—Assemblies of God, the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) and the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel—shows a number of women serving as clergy and missionaries.[54]

Other aspects of Pentecostalism also promoted the participation of women. Pointing to the biblical prophecy of Joel 2:28, Pentecostals focused their attention upon the end times, during which Christ would return. Given that the baptism of the Holy Spirit led to speaking in tongues, whoever was blessed with this gift would have the responsibility to use it towards the preparation for Christ’s second coming.[49][55] Due to this responsibility, any restrictions that culture or other denominations placed on women were often disregarded during the early part of the movement. Joel 2:28 also specifically included females, saying that both sons and daughters and male and female servants would receive the Holy Spirit, and prophecy in the end times. Thus, the focus on spiritual gifts, the nature of the worship environment, and dispensationalist thinking all encouraged women to participate in all areas of worship.

While the immediacy and the fervor of the initial revival atmosphere were subsiding, questions of authority and the organization of churches arose. Institutionalism took root. While it was clear that both men and women spoke in tongues, many started to see this gift as a non-intellectual one,[56] holding that more intellectual acts, such as preaching, should be undertaken by women only in conditions controlled by male leaders. The subsiding of the early Pentecostal movement allowed a more socially-conservative approach to women to settle in, and as a result female participation was channeled into more supportive and traditionally-accepted roles. Institutionalism brought gender segregation, and the Assemblies of God along with other Pentecostal groups created auxiliary women’s organizations. At this time, women became much more likely to be evangelists and missionaries than pastors; when they were pastors, they often co-pastored with their husbands. It also became the norm for men to hold all official positions: board members, college presidents, and national administrators. While the early movement eschewed denominationalism because of the dead spirituality they saw in other Protestant sects, later Pentecostal churches began to mirror the more-traditional evangelical community. However, while the number of female pastors declined, most Pentecostal denominations continued to ordain women.

The majority of early Pentecostal denominations taught nonviolence and adopted military service articles that advocated conscientious objection.[57] As the Azusa Revival began to wane, however, doctrinal differences began to surface as pressure from social, cultural and political developments from the time began to affect the church. As a result, major divisions, isolationism, sectarianism and even the increase of extremism were apparent.[citation needed]

Early controversies

In the first decade of the 20th century, controversy arose over a new doctrine, Finished Work, that differs from Wesleyan-holiness and Higher Life Pentecostalism. The Finished Work doctrine professes a two-fold experience of conversion and Spirit baptism, as sanctification is viewed as progressive rather than instantaneous.

The Pentecostal movement split over the "New Issue" or "New Revelation" which Frank Ewart, an Australian Baptist preacher, claimed to have received as a divine prophecy in 1913.[58] The Oneness Pentecostals separated from the wider Pentecostal movement during this time.

Latter Rain Movement

The Latter Rain Movement began out of an independent Bible school in Saskatchewan, Canada, and spread among many Pentecostal groups in the 1940s. Latter Rain leaders taught "an extreme congregationalism" where local authority was exercised by a restored fivefold ministry, led by apostles who through the laying on of hands could impart spiritual gifts.[59] Many traditional Pentecostal bodies, such as the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal Fellowship of North America, were critical of the movement and condemned many of its practices as unscriptural. One reason for the conflict between the traditional denominations and the "New Order", as the movement was also called, was the tendency of Latter Rain leaders to label existing groups as "apostasized" and "the old apostate Church of England".[59] The Latter Rain Movement was the most important controversy to affect Pentecostalism since World War II.

Charismatic movement

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Christians from mainline churches in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world began to accept the Pentecostal idea that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is available for Christians today, even if they did not accept other tenets of formal Pentecostalism. Charismatic movements began to grow in mainline denominations. Charismatic Episcopalians, Lutherans, Catholics, and Methodists emerged, and during that time period, Charismatic was used to refer to similar movements that existed within mainline denominations. Pentecostal, on the other hand, was used to refer to those who were a part of the churches and denominations that grew out of the earlier Azusa Street revival. Unlike classic Pentecostals, who formed strictly Pentecostal congregations or denominations, charismatics adopted as their motto, "Bloom where God planted you."[citation needed]

In recent decades many independent charismatic churches and ministries have formed, or have developed their own denominations and church associations, such as the Vineyard Movement. In the 1960s and still today, many Pentecostal churches were still strict with dress codes and forbidding certain forms of entertainment, creating a cultural distinction between Charismatics and Pentecostals.[citation needed] There is a great deal of overlap now between the charismatic and Pentecostal movements, though some Pentecostals still retain a strict understanding of "holiness living" principles.

Neo-charismatic movement

The "neocharismatic" movement is a broad collection of post-denominational and independent charismatic groups. It is the most recent movement of charismatic Christianity, and also the most numerous.[60]

This movement incorporates what has been called the "third wave", a term coined by C. Peter Wagner. Wagner described Pentecostalism as the "first wave", and the charismatic movement as the "second wave". The editors of the 2002 work The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements "broadened and relabeled" the term "third wave" to "neocharismatic".[61] "Third wave" has more of a Western focus.




  • A. A. Allen (1911–70) Healing Tent Evangelist of the 1950s and 1960s
  • Joseph Ayo Babalola (1904–59) Oke - Ooye, Ilesa revivalist in 1930. Also, spiritual founder of Christ Apostolic Church
  • William M. Branham (1909–65) Healing Evangelists of the mid 20th century
  • Jack Coe (1918–56) Healing Tent Evangelist of the 1950s
  • Rex Humbard (1919–2007) The first successful TV evangelist of the mid 1950s, 1960s, and the 1970s and at one time had the largest television audience of any televangelist in the United States
  • George Jeffreys (1889–1962) Founder of the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance and the Bible-Pattern Church Fellowship in the UK
  • Bishop R.A.R. Johnson (1876–1940) Founder of the House of God, Holy Church of the Living God, The Pillar and the Ground of the Truth, The House of Prayer for All People. A Commandment (Sabbath) keeping Pentecostal organization.
  • Kathryn Kuhlman (1907–76) American female evangelist who brought Pentecostalism into the mainstream denominations
  • Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) The Founder of the Church of God In Christ
  • Aimee Semple McPherson (1890–1944) American Female Evangelist, pastor, and organizer of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
  • Charles Fox Parham (1873–1929) Father of Modern Pentecostalism
  • David du Plessis (1905–87) South-African Pentecostal church leader, one of the founders of the Charismatic movement
  • Oral Roberts (1918-2009) Healing Tent Evangelist who made the transition to televangelism
  • William J. Seymour (1870–1922) Azusa Street Mission Founder (Azusa Street Revival)
  • Mary Magdalena Lewis Tate (1871–1930)[62] - Mother of Holiness. Founder of the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of the Truth, Inc. and its dominion churches.[63]
  • Smith Wigglesworth (1859–1947)
  • Maria Woodworth-Etter (1844–1924)

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ a b Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. "Pentecostalism". Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  2. ^ a b "Pentecostalism". The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  3. ^ a b Patterson, Eric; Rybarczyk, Edmund (2007). The Future of Pentecostalism in the United States. New York: Lexington Books. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-7391-2102-3. 
  4. ^ Blumhofer, Edith (1989). The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of America Pentecostalism Volume 1- -To 1941. Springfield,MO 65802-1894: Gospel Publishing House. pp. 198,199. ISBN 0-88243-457-8. 
  5. ^ a b c d BBC - Religion & Ethics (2007-06-20). "Pentecostalism". Retrieved 2009-02-10. 
  6. ^ a b Menzies, William W. (2007), "The Reformed Roots of Pentecostalism", PentecoStudies 6 (2): 78-99 
  7. ^ Stanley M. Horton Systematic Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective, 1994
  8. ^ a b Amos Yong (March 7, 2006). "Discerning the Spirit". Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  9. ^ a b Robeck, Cecil M. (2003), "An Emerging Magisterium? The Case of the Assemblies of God", Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 25 (2): 177 
  10. ^ Livingstone, E.A. (2000). "Pentecostalism". The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  11. ^ Robeck, Cecil M. (2003), "An Emerging Magisterium? The Case of the Assemblies of God", Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 25 (2): 174–175 
  12. ^ Glossolalia as Foreign Language an Investigation of twentieth-Century Pentecostal Claim, available online at
  13. ^ Abstinence: A Biblical Perspective on Abstinence. Springfield,MO 65802-1894: General Council of the Assemblies of God. 1985. p. 2. 
  14. ^ Blumhofer. The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of America Pentecostalism Volume 1- -To 1941. pp.156-158
  15. ^ See under "The Church," in Essential Doctrines of the Bible, copyright 1990, by Word Aflame Press.
  16. ^ "The Doctrine of the Church of God in Christ". Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  17. ^ "Statement of Fundamental Truths". Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  18. ^ "The Foursquare Declaration of Faith". 2008-05-12.,3.html. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  19. ^ See David Bernard, The New Birth, Chapter 6. Retrieved on 3/30/09. Bernard insists that the UPCI and other Oneness Pentecostals do not teach "baptismal regeneration," as the water itself does not save, but rather the obedience to Christ's command coupled with the grace He dispenses through this ordinance. But he does indicate the Oneness belief that the Scriptures require water baptism for salvation, as this—not any "sinner's prayer" or mere belief alone—is what Christ instituted.
  20. ^ See Essential Doctrines of the Bible, "New Testament Salvation", subheading "Salvation by grace through faith", Word Aflame Press, 1979.
  21. ^ See, for instance, Thomas A. Fudge: Chrisitianity Without the Cross: A History of Salvation in Oneness Pentecotalism. Universal Publishers, 2003.
  22. ^ See chapter 2: "Grace and Faith" in David Bernard, The New Birth. Retrieved on 30 March 2009.
  23. ^ See chapter 12: "Are There Exceptions?" in David Bernard, The New Birth. Retrieved on 16 May 2009.
  24. ^ Barnett, Raymond (2006). The Transformation of the Assemblies of God – From Christian Brother to Big Brother – In Less Than 100 Years. p. 1. 
  25. ^ Assemblies of God General Presbytery (August 19, 1980). "The Believer and Positive Confession (a position paper of the Assemblies of God)". Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  26. ^ Christianity's Third Force – Pentecostals Return to "Scandalous" Roots. By Dan Ramirez. May 13, 1997
  27. ^ David Stoll, "Is Latin America Turning Protestant?" published Berkeley: University of California Press. 1990
  28. ^ Jeff Hadden (1997). "Pentecostalism". Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  29. ^ Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2006-04-24). "Moved by the Spirit: Pentecostal Power and Politics after 100 Years". Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  30. ^ "Pentecostalism". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  31. ^ "The CT Review: Pie-in-the-Sky Now". Christianity Today. 2000. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  32. ^ Ed Gitre, Christianity Today Magazine (2000-11-13). "The CT Review: Pie-in-the-Sky Now". 
  33. ^ World Christian Database, Asia Pacific Mission Office
  34. ^ Johnstone, Patrick; Schirrmacher, Thomas (2003). Gebet für die Welt. Hänssler, ISBN 978-0813342757.
  35. ^ "A Brief History of the Church of God". Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  36. ^ United Pentecostal Church International. "About Us". Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  37. ^ International Pentecostal Holiness Church (2007). "24th General Conference Highlights". Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  38. ^ "Pentecostal churches". Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  39. ^ a b Patheos. "Pentecostal Origins". Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  40. ^ Hunter, Harold D. (January 1997). "Beniah at the Apostolic Crossroads: Little Noticed Crosscurrents of B.H. Irwin, Charles Fox Parham, Frank Sandford, A.J. Tomlinson". Cyberjournal for Pentecostal-Charismatic Research. Pentecostal-Charismatic Theological Inquiry International. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  41. ^ McGee, Gary B. (September 1999). ""Latter Rain" Falling in the East: Early-Twentieth-Century Pentecostalism in India and the Debate over Speaking in Tongues". Church History (Cambridge University Press) 68 (3): 648–65. 
  42. ^ Blumhofer, Edith (1989). Pentecost in My Soul: Explorations in the Meaning of Pentecostal Experience in the Early Assemblies of God. Springfield,MO 65802-1894: Gospel Publishing House. p. 92. ISBN 0-88243-646-5. 
  43. ^ "History of the Assemblies of God". Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  44. ^ Blumhofer. The Assemblies of God: A Chapter in the Story of America Pentecostalism, Volume 1—To 1941. pp.97-112
  45. ^ "Weird Babble of Tongues", Los Angeles Daily Times: April 18, 1906.
  46. ^ Blumhofer, Edith L. Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God, pentecostalism, and American culture. The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1993. 3–5.
  47. ^ Burgess. Encyclopedia of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. 460.
  48. ^ Wacker, Grant. Heaven Below: Earlier Pentecostals and American Culture. Harvard University Press. 2001. 160–161.
  49. ^ a b Burgess. Encyclopedia of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity. 460.
  50. ^ Burgess. Dictionary. 893, 895.
  51. ^ Wacker. Heaven Below. 158–59.
  52. ^ Keller. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion. 395–96.
  53. ^ Keller. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion. 401.
  54. ^ Wacker. Heaven Below. 160.
  55. ^ Keller. Encyclopedia of Women and Religion. 394.
  56. ^ Blumhofer. Restoring the Faith. 173.
  57. ^ Paul Alexander. Peace to War: Shifting Allegiances in the Assemblies of God (Telford, PA: Cascadia, 2009). Jay Beaman, "Pentecostal Pacifism" (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2009)
  58. ^ Blumhofer. The Assemblies of God. Vol 1. pp.217-239
  59. ^ a b Patterson, Eric; Rybarczyk, Edmund (editors) (2007). The Future of Pentecostalism in the United States. New York: Lexington Books. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-0-7391-2102-3. 
  60. ^ Stanley M Burgess, Eduard M van der Maas (eds) The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002) s.v. "neocharismatics"
  61. ^ Dictionary, "Introduction", page xvii–xviii
  62. ^ Lewis, Meharry H. (2005). Mary Lena Lewis Tate VISION!. The New and Living Way Publishing Company. ISBN 0910003084. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  63. ^ "The Church of the Living God". WikiChristian. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  64. ^ "Global Pentecostalism : Donald E. Miller and Tetsunao Yamamori". Retrieved 2009-11-12. 

External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary





Pentecostal (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. of, or relating to Pentecost
  2. of, or relating to a Christian religious movement that emphasizes the Holy Spirit




Pentecostal (plural Pentecostals)

  1. a member of a Pentecostal church


Related terms


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