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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Notes: Final Exam: History of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

History of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

*The following are my personal notes taken from studying for the Final Exam for my class on the History of the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Because these are final exam notes and not a formal paper, I have not bothered with citations. However, reference texts are below for anyone interested in studying further. Please note: These are only rough sketches. Details are left out for time-sake. 

1. The Holiness Movement

Tracing their origins back to John Wesley and the Methodists, Wesleyan-Arminian in theology, the Holiness Movement dealt with the sin-life of the believer. Observing that "getting saved" wasn't enough to change the life of a person, they began to seek Christian Perfection. This lead to a belief in a second work of grace called "Sanctification". If sought this experience, they could be instantly transformed and become sinless. It would out of this movement that some within the Holiness Movement (late 1800s-1900) would begin to seek the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, kicking off the Pentecostal Movement.

Although many examples of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, including speaking in tongues, can be found cited in previous moves and ministries, no doctrine around the experience had yet been debated in the halls of theological circles. That would come in 1901. 

2. The Pentecostal Movement

Although most Pentecostals would trace their origins to Acts 2, the modern Pentecostal movement officially began on January 1, 1901, when Ages Ozman spoke in tongues at Charles Fox Parham's bible college. The movement was characterized by the following points:

  1. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for today.
  2. The evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is speaking in unknown tongues. 
a. Charles Fox Parham was a preacher operating out of Topeka, Kansas. He led a team of students to begin praying, fasting, and studying the scriptures while they awaited the Holy Spirit like the original Apostles, leading to the first tongues-speaking by Agnes Ozman. Combined with his Faith Healing ministry, these events led to The Topeka Revival. The rest of the students were filled with the spirit and people began to flock to the meetings until a few years later when excitement lost its momentum. Then Parham lost funding for the school and had to close it down.

b. William Joseph Seymour studied under Parham in Texas and then took those teachings with him when he was asked to come to California to preach. He was asked to pastor a Holiness Church but was kicked out after two weeks for his teaching on tongues. He started a prayer meeting at the house in which he was staying (on Bonnie Brea Street). After laying hands on Edward Lee who then spoke in tongues, a revival broke out. Meeting became so large that the porch collapsed under the weight of all the people. 

c. This break out of the Holy Spirit became known as The Azusa Street Revival. Before very long, they were forced to move from the house into a run-down building on Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California. This resulted in the formation of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) in that building (on Azusa Street). 

Note: From these meetings, nearly all of the original founders of Pentecostal Denominations can be tied. The leaders of these churches either visited this revival or were directly affected by someone who had been there. John G Lake was among those who visited. 

d. William H. Durham, and his Finished Work Theology (1910) saw sanctification as complete at salvation but worked out in the life of a believer as they gradually mature. Seymour was a devout "Second Blessing/Sanctification" believer.  Durham was preaching for Seymour at Azusa Street, but when Durham began preaching "Finished Work" Seymour rushed home and locked him out. That became a permanent split between them. 

This Finished Work doctrine replaced the Second Blessing Sanctification doctrine for many Pentecostals. Over 390 denominations adhere to this Finished Work, including Assemblies of God, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and the Open Bible Churches.
e. Aimee Semple McPherson was a preacher evangelist who rocked the world. She built a 5,300 seat church in Los Angeles (Angelus Temple), founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founded the Lighthouse of International Foursquare Evangelism (LIFE) Bible College. She held large meetings of thousands all over the country, she used creative means of theater and music productions. In an age when women were not involved in things outside of the home, Sister Aimee broke down every barrier.

f. Classical Pentecostals: The term "Classical" was added to the moniker around 1960 to separate the established Pentecostal Churches from the newly forming Neo-Pentecostal movement working its way through the older churches. These Neo-Pentecostals were eventually relabeled, Charismatics. 

David Johannes Du Plessis, Mr. Pentecost, was a link between the Pentecostal Movement, Ecumenical Movement, and the resulting Charismatic Movement, operating from 1935-1987. He began in the Pentecostal Movement and always identified as a Pentecostal. His work began as attempts to bring the various Pentecostal Bodies into unity; however, he was then thrust into the work of bringing the Pentecostal Message to the old churches, paving the way for a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit that would become known as the Charismatic Movement, or Charismatic Renewal. 

David's primary message was twofold:

  • Holy Spirit: You cannot (sustainably) grow a church with programs and organizations alone. You cannot grow without the power of the Holy Spirit. Unless you are empowered, your church remains cold and dead. In other words, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was required to be a healthy, vibrant, and growing church.
  • Missions: Sending missionaries and evangelists to preach doctrine is a dead lifeless activity. Rather, give men an experience with God that touches them, then send them out to witness to that experience. They need not be educated to be effective. It was the organic person-to-person style of the Pentecostals that allowed them the meteoric rise they enjoyed. 
As a result of his work, Du Plessis was “…the only Pentecostal invited to the third session of the Second Vatican Council in Rome in 1964. ”. He went on to be noted by Time Magazine (Sept 9, 1974, 66) as one of the key shapers and shakers of Christianity. He was given several prestigious awards and received an honorary doctorate from Bethany Bible College.

3. Charismatic Movement

On Easter Sunday, 1960, Dennis Joseph Bennett of Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California announced he had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Bennett resigned to avoid controversy and was handed a struggling church (St. Luke's Episcopal) in Seattle. They hoped to hide him away in a church that would soon be closing its doors; however, a revival struck that facility and with Bennett's leadership it became a thriving center of life.

This Neo-Pentecostal movement worked its way into all the old church denominations throughout the 1960-1970s. They adopted much of the flavor of Pentecostalism but avoided the label. They adopted the name Charismatic instead as it was more theologically and culturally appealing. 

Prior to the 1960s, people who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit either kept it private or left their church to join a Pentecostal Church. As a result of this renewal, many stayed within their original churches. 

3.1 The Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR)

Pope John XIII prayed that the Second Vatican Council might be a "New Pentecost" for the Catholic Church. Among those involved in the Vatican II was David Du Plessis, Mr. Pentecost himself. In 1967, several Catholic faculty at Duquesne University had been reading David Wilkerson's book The Cross and the Switchblade (1963) and John Sheeill's book The Speak with Other Tongues (1964). The faculty and students went on to attend a prayer meeting attended by those from the Protestant Charismatic Movement (Neo-Pentecostal Movement), and several students received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit at that meeting.  This kicked off the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. 

4. The Third Wave Revival was birthed into the churches that did not hold strict "denominational" ties. These are churches that remained independent and largely Evangelical in their beliefs. The Third Wave of the Holy Spirit worked its way into these independent and sometimes denomination-life organizations. Calvary Chapel, The Vineyard, and the British New Church Movement were all birthed out of this wave. A point of divergence among this movement was that they made room for all the gifts of the spirit but did not generally hold that the gift of tongues was "the" sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; but rather "a' sign. 

5. Healing Revival: Simultaneous and Overlapping with the Pentecostal Movement was the Healing Revival. Healing was part of the Pentecostal Movement from its inception. Charles Parham, a faith healer from his Holiness days, kicked off the Pentecostal Revival in Topeka Kansas with Faith healing. 

At the root of the Healing Revival was the fact that the men involved attracted Non-Pentecostal followings. The movement influenced the Charismatic Renewal of the 1960-1970s. 

William Marrion Branham (1909-1965) was the initiator of the post-WWII Healing Revival. He claimed that as a result of a visiation of an angel, he was given the power to heal and even discern people's illnesses and thoughts. Walter Hollenweger, who interpreted for him in Zurich, "is not aware of any case in which he was mistaken in the detailed statements he made". He also lived and dressed moderately which made the common people big fans. In his day, his meetings were the largest ever held in some cities, and he preached throughout the world. 

Granville Oral Roberts, known as Oral Roberts publicly, was "America's Premier Healing Evangelist". Roberts, a Pentecostal himself, launched his healing ministry in 1947 at a campaign in Enid, OK. Throughout his life and ministry, Oral Roberts conducted Healing Crusades and meetings around the United States and world. He was the first Pentecostal to take advantage of the Television as a means of spreading the Gospel. By the 1970s, he was the best known preacher in the USA and held a strong loyalty among his followers. Although his active role in the lime-light faded in later decades , he was still influential and active in ministry until his death in 2009.

6. Three Additional Movements: Although far more questionable, there were three additional movements that warranted further discussion. As with previous movements, each came with its own controversy. 

The Shepherding Movement, AKA the Discipleship Movement, came about in 1974. "The Shepherding Movement taught that every believer needed to submit to a "Shepherd" or pastoral leader". Pastors and leaders should also submit one to another. Key leaders of this moment were: Bernard (Bob) Mumford, DOC; Derek Prince, Philosopher; Charles Simon, Southern Baptist; among others. Several influential leaders, such as Pat Robertson and Kathryn Kuhlman, denounced this movement as a cult. The movement took a turn for the worse when a doctrine developed asking people to devote themselves to their leaders in Covenant Relationships, often considered lifelong. Eventually, all but Simson left the movement and renounced it. Charles Simson held firmly to the ideals and preferred the term: Covenant Movement; and formed the Fellowship of Covenant Ministers and Churches. As of the time of the article Charles Simson pastored Covenant Church, Mobile AL. 

Although not entirely wrong in its initial premise, this movement went so far off the reservation that they became an abusive cult… 

((( Holy Cow! This is the root of the Spiritual Abuse I witnessed and experienced in two separate churches in Southern California. Wow, just realized that! Is it good and right to submit to authority? Yes. But just like Jesus earned the right for our submission to Him, you have to die to yourself and become a servant if you want people to follow your leadership. I swear, if I hear the word "armor bearer" in a church, I'm out! ))

The Toronto Blessing, AKA Father's Blessing, was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the Toronto Airport Vineyard (TAV) in Jan 1994 led by Pastor John Arnott. In addition to those hallmarks that Pentecostals were used to (speaking in tongues, being laid out in the spirit, even shaking at times), this outpouring resulted in some odd behaviors that made some uncomfortable, including making barnyard animal sounds. These more odd behaviors led John Wimber of Vineyard (who himself was kicked out of Calvary Chapel for manifestations of the Holy Spirit) to kick out John Arnott. Thus, the name was changed to the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship. Arnott wrote a book on the experience called The Father's Blessing. Thousands were affected by the movement directly and many more as the movement spread throughout the world into various congregations. It could not have been all bad, as people were saved, healed, and brought closer to Christ as a result. But John Arnott himself was not clear on some of the odder manifestations, reasoning that it was God's business not his. 

On a personal note: I've met a man who was in these meetings who testified to the truth of these manifestations. Being an intellectual man, he's not phone to exaggeration. 

The Brownsville Revival, began on purpose, so to speak. Reverend John Kilpatrick, of the Brownsville Church in Pensacola, Florida, had been praying with his congregation for some time to ask God for a revival. For several years, they held a Sunday Evening Prayer Service. No sermon or alter calls, jut prayer and communion; asking God for revival. On Father's Day, 1995 (Sunday, June 18, 1995); Evangelist Steve Hill was invited to speak and the Holy Spirit fell during that service. Steve Hill canceled his future engagements and held revival services there at Brownsville from 1995-2000. In some cases, there were people waiting 14 hours or more to gain entrance into the services. The Movement became broiled in controversies under alleged financial mishandling, including non-payment of state taxes on merchandise sold at the meetings. There were also claims that leaders took huge salaries and put pressure on the people to give large amounts. Steve Hill officially ended his involvement on Father's Day 2000, exactly five years later. 

Side Note: The Assemblies of God (AG) had a fairly sketchy past. Although primarily Theological and not Racial in origin, in 1914, a largely white majority of 300 Pentecostal Ministries and laymen split from the African-American led Church of God In Christ (COGIC), under Bishop Charles Mason. They didn't even invite him to the assembly where they began the process. The creation of the AG officially ended the racial integration and unity that had become the hallmark of the Pentecostal Movement to that point. The finer point of the separation was over Sanctification as a "Finished Work" vs a "Second Grace". Although the Theological Reason for the separation was sound, the racial lines leave open questions about how it was handled. The AG made another terrible blunder when they revoked David Du Plessis' AG Preaching credentials. Having been birthed out of a church split, it's understandable that they would be wary of his active work with the old churches that treated them so harshly; however, they were clearly wrong in hindsight. Luckily, they corrected this error returning his credentials 20 years later (1962-1980). 


NIDPCM. "DU PLESSIS, DAVID JOHANNES." In The New International Dictionary of the Pentecostal and Charismatic (NIDPCM), by Stanley M. Burgess, & Eduard M. van der Maas, 589-592. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002.

Cauchi, Tony. David du Plessis 1905 - 1987. 2004. (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Dart, John. "OBITUARIES: David J. du Plessis; Force in Pentecostal Movement." Los Angeles Times. 2 5, 1987. (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Du Plessis, David. "David DuPlessis - "Forgiveness" June 30, 1967 pm." Elim Campmeeting. Lima, NY.: YouTube; Hearn, Jay, 1967. Audio Recording Posted to YouTube.

Du Plessis, David, The Spirit Bade Me Go : The Astounding Move of God in the Denominational Churches. Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos, 1970, 2004.

Du Plessis, David, and Bob Slosser. A Man Called Mr. Pentecost: David Du Plessis as Told to Bob Slosser. Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1977. 9 18, 2020. (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Hollenweger, Walter. "Two extraordinary Pentecostal ecumenists: the letters of Donald Gee and David Du Plessis." The Ecumenical Review, 52 no 3, 7 2000: 391-402.

NKJV. Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible: New King James Version. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers; Thomas Nelson, 1984.

Robeck, Cecil M. "A Pentecostal looks at the World Council of Churches." The Free Library. 1 1, 1995. (accessed 9 28, 2020).

Synan, Vinson. The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition. Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1971, 1997.

Wikipedia. David du Plessis. 12 31, 2019. (accessed 9 28, 2020).


Shalom: Live Long and Prosper!
Darrell Wolfe (DG Wolfe)
Storyteller | Writer | Thinker | Consultant @

Clifton StrengthsFinder: Intellection, Learner, Ideation, Achiever, Input
16Personalities (Myers-Briggs Type): INFJ


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