Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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pp. vii-viii

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-x

I am grateful to my friends in the Society of Pentecostal Studies who have taught me so much about this fascinating movement and who offered advice on which works to include in this reader. They have helped me understand not only the historical dimensions of pentecostalism but also its inner dynamics. ...

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Introduction: The History and Significance of Early Pentecostal Theology

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pp. 1-18

Pentecostalism is almost certainly the fastest growing religious movement in history. Though it originated only a hundred years ago, it currently accounts for as much as 25 percent of the global Christian population. In raw numbers this means that approximately half a billion people can now be identified as pentecostal in one form or another. The nearest historical parallel ...

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1. Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter

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pp. 19-30

In many ways Maria Beulah Woodworth-Etter was a typical nineteenth-century Midwestern woman. Born in 1844 and married to a returning Civil War veteran, she had given birth to six children by the time she was thirty-five, though only the firstborn survived. Then her life changed. She received a call from God to preach, a call that included a vision of grain ready for harvest and ...

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2. Charles Fox Parham

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pp. 31-44

Charles Fox Parham was born in Iowa, grew up in Kansas, and spent most of his life in the central region of the United States. He had a public school education and then went on to attend several years of college with the goal of becoming a physician, but in matters of faith he was almost entirely self-taught. ...

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3. William J. Seymour

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pp. 45-56

William Seymour spent his first twenty-five years of life near his birthplace in Centerville, Louisiana. His parents were Catholic, but they attended the Baptist church as well, and they encouraged the intense spirituality that was evident in the dreams and visions of their young son. In his adult life, Seymour was a seeker, moving through a variety of holiness groups before ...

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4. George Floyd Taylor

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pp. 57-70

George Floyd Taylor was a North Carolinian. Born in the town of Magnolia in 1881, Taylor faced so many difficulties as an infant that people thought it was a miracle he survived. He struggled with a variety of physical disabilities for the rest of his life. Taylor was a fighter, however, and he succeeded against odds that might have discouraged others. ...

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5. David Wesley Myland

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pp. 71-80

David Wesley My land believed that words could never truly define or describe spiritual realities and that most certainly one particular formulation of theology could never apply to everyone. God acted in whatever way God wanted to, and theology had to acknowledge that divine freedom. His own approach to theology was thus more poetic and more empirically ...

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6. William Howard Durham

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pp. 81-94

We know little of William Howard Durham’s early life. He was raised in Kentucky and his family were members of the Baptist church, but Durham said he never felt any real “joy or peace or knowledge of salvation” during his time as a Baptist. He seems not to have liked Kentucky very much either, because he left home as soon as he could. When he was seventeen, he ...

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7. Ambrose Jessup Tomlinson

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pp. 95-108

Ambrose Jessup Tomlinson was born into a relatively secular family in central Indiana. One set of grandparents had been Quakers, but that faith never made its way down to Ambrose while he was a child. What Tomlinson did inherit from his grandparents on both sides of the family was a concern for politics. His maternal grandparents had been abolitionists, and ...

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8. Joseph Hillary King

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pp. 109-122

Joseph Hillary King was the most gracious and judicious of all the pentecostal theologians of the first generation. Like most other theologians, he was convinced that his own views represented the best expression of Christian faith, but he always showed his opponents the respect of arguing with them. He never merely denounced those with whom he disagreed. ...

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9. Esek William Kenyon

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pp. 123-136

Esek William Kenyon is one of the more enigmatic figures in early pentecostal history. In fact, there is some dispute about whether he should even be classified as a pentecostal. Kenyon was never formally a part of any pentecostal church, and his view of the Spirit’s work in the world is different from many other early pentecostals. But Kenyon himself counted a ...

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10. Fred Francis Bosworth

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pp. 137-150

As a child, Fred Francis Bosworth was an accident waiting to happen. He was a Nebraska farm kid, and on an almost regular basis he fell out of the barn, sliced himself up with scythes, ran pitchforks through his feet, and got attacked by bees. Writing years later, his biographer said this string of injuries was providentially provided so that Bosworth would later be able to ...

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11. Andrew David Urshan

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pp. 151-160

Andrew David Urshan was born in Persia (Iran) into that country’s Nestorian community. The Nestorians are a remnant of a once-flourishing Christian community in Iran that has slowly dwindled during the centuries of Islamic rule. Being a Nestorian in the late 1800s was as much a matter of ethnic identity as it was religious, and it is thus not surprising that Urshan ...

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12. Richard G. Spurling

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pp. 161-172

Richard G. Spurling grew up in the tristate region where Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina come together. His family was Baptist, and at some point Spurling was ordained by the Missionary Baptist Church. We know relatively little of his early years, but by the time he was an adult he seems to have developed a strongly restorationist view of what the church ...

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13. Garfield Thomas Haywood

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pp. 173-184

Garfield Thomas Haywood was the most intellectually wide-ranging of all early pentecostal theologians. In his various publications, he discussed theories of the atonement, the nature of the Godhead, the history of the world (including geologic developments and dinosaurs as well as the human saga), the resurrection of the dead, and the experience of conversion. ...

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14. Aimee Semple McPherson

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pp. 185-198

Aimee Semple McPherson was in a class by herself. She was winsome, flamboyant, theatrical, sincere, practical, generous, embracing, and opinionated all at the same time. Sister Aimee, as she was often called (sometimes shortened to just “Sister”), was by far the most visible of all first-generation pentecostal leaders. No one else even came close. She was an ...

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15. Robert Clarence Lawson

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pp. 199-212

Robert Clarence Lawson spent his childhood in New Iberia, Louisiana, about a hundred miles west of New Orleans, where he was raised by his aunt. We know almost nothing about the details of his youth, but he became a relatively successful singer in his adult years, first as a performer in the taverns of southern Louisiana and then further afield. ...

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16. Charles Harrison Mason

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pp. 213-222

Living on a farm in the South just outside Memphis, Tennessee, Charles Harrison Mason grew up in the shadow of slavery. His parents had been slaves all their lives and had just recently been freed when he was born in 1866. Virtually all the adults Mason knew had been slaves as well. That world was, of course, changing. Slavery was over and reconstructionist ...

INDEX

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pp. 223-226