Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | May 7, 2009

Day 7: Pentecostal History From The 1800’s

*the above clip is of my old church in New York City and Pastor, Bishop Bonner wayyyyyy back in 1987*

Pentecostals believe that their movement is faithful to the teachings and experience of the early church, specifically the day of Pentecost. They also believe that throughout the history of the church, outbreaks of Pentecostal-type experiences have occurred.


One such revival began with a Prussian Guards officer, Gustav von Below, in 1817. 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.” This led to a growth in charismatic meetings across Germany, which quickly crossed the Atlantic during the great German migrations of the 19th century. The Pentecostal revival originated within the Holiness movement, which was the first to begin making numerous references to the term Pentecostal. One example was in 1867, when the Holiness movement established The National Camp Meeting Association for the Promotion of Christian Holiness with a notice that said: “[We are summoning,] irrespective of denominational tie…those who feel themselves comparatively isolated in their profession of holiness…that all would realize together a Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost…”

In the 1830s, a Presbyterian congregation in Scotland under the leadership of Edward Irving began to experience manifestations of tongues and prophecy. 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. 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.

North America

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. One preacher from the Gift People influenced A.J. Tomlinson, who would later lead the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). 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, thereby limiting any possibility it may have had to impact the movement that grew out of Azusa Street.

(research can be attributed to Wikipedia)


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