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Pentecostalism is a movement within Evangelical Christianity that places special emphasis on the direct personal experience of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), as shown in the Biblical account of the Day of Pentecost. Pentecostalism is similar to the Charismatic movement, but developed earlier and separated from the mainstream church. Charismatic Christians, at least in the early days of the movement, tended to remain in their respective denominations.
Beliefs[change | change source]
There are three basic streams of Pentecostal churches. The majority believe that one must be saved by believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of sins and to be made acceptable to God. Pentecostals also typically believe, like most other evangelicals, that the Bible has definitive authority in matters of faith. To this first group, speaking in tongues is the sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and is not related to a person's salvation. This majority group believes that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural empowerment for ministry that only comes upon someone after they have become a Christian. The other two groups fall under an "Acts 2:38" based salvation message which says that a person needs to repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and then receive the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). In that understanding receiving the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation and includes speaking in tongues. Of the Acts 2:38 based churches, they fall into four categories of "Jesus Name", "First", "United" or "Oneness." Pentecostals which baptize in Jesus name only, and those that baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Because many Pentecostal denominations come from Methodism and the Methodist Holiness Movement, Pentecostal soteriology is generally Arminian rather than Calvinist, believing that the ability to believe in Jesus is a power of the human free will.
Statistics[change | change source]
See also: List of Christian denominations by number of members
This list indicates that there may be 150 million Pentecostals. The largest Pentecostal denominations are:
Denomination Statistics[change | change source]
- Assemblies of God-51 million
- Independent - 50 million
- Church of God in Christ - 9 million
- The Apostolic Church - 6 million
- The Pentecostal Mission -6.7 million
- Church of God (Cleveland, Tennesee) - 5 million
- United Pentecostal Church International - 4 million
- Christ Apostolic Church - 2.8 million
- Christian Congregation of Brazil- 2.5 million
- Zion Christian Church - 2.5 million
- Church of the Lord Aladura - 2.5 million
- International Church of the Foursquare Gospel 2 million
- Universal Church of the Kingdom of God - 2 million
- Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada - 1 million
- Christian Outreach Centre - less than 1 million
- Christian City Church = less than 1 million
- World Christian Ministries Association - less than 1 million
While not as large as some of the above organizations the following have made quite an impact on Pentecostalism:
- Northgate Pentecostals (Dallas - Fort Worth, Texas, USA [Colleyville, TX 76034])
- Church of Jesus Christ of Prophecy (AKA Mercy Tabernacle, Benton Tennessee)
- International Church of Jesus Christ (Columbus, Ohio)
- Potter's House Christian Fellowship (Prescott, Arizona)
- United Christian Church (Cleveland, Tennessee)
- Igreja Pentecostal e Apostólica Missão Jesus (São Paulo, Brazil)
- Revival Centres International and The Revival Fellowship in Australia
Geographical distribution[change | change source]
- Africa: 41.1 million
- America: 58.9 million
- United States: Total of: 30 million; 20.2 million (30.0 million ; 80.0 million including Charismatics and Neo-charismatics )
- Brazil: 15.0 million (20-90 million ; 84 million )
- Argentina: 3.5 million
- Mexico: 2.7 million
- Guatemala: 2.0 million (7.2 million )
- Chile: 1.8 million (4.8 million )
- Canada: 1.3 million
- Asia: 15.3 million
- Europe: 9.5-11.0 million
- Oceania: 3.3 million
Leaders[change | change source]
Precursors[change | change source]
Early history[change | change source]
- Maria Woodworth-Etter (1844 - 1924)
- Smith Wigglesworth (1859 - 1947)
- Mary Magdalena Lewis Tate (1879 - 1930) - Mother of Holiness. Founder of the Church of the Living God and its dominion churches.
- Charles Fox Parham (1873 - 1929) Father of Modern Pentecostalism
- William J. Seymour (1870 - 1922) Azusa Street Mission Founder (Azusa Street Revival)
- 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.
- George Jeffreys (1889 - 1972) Founder of the Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance and the Bible-Pattern Church Fellowship in Britain
- Aimee Semple McPherson (1890 - 1944) American Female Evangelist and organizer of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
- Joseph Ayo Babalola (1904 - 1959) Oke - Ooye, Ilesa revivalist in 1930. Also, spiritual founder of Christ Apostolic Church
- David du Plessis (1905 - 1987) South-African Pentecostal church leader, one of the founders of the Charismatic movement
- Kathryn Kuhlman (1907 - 1976) American female evangelist who brought Pentecostalism into the mainstream denominations
- William M. Branham (1909 - 1965) Healing Evangelists of the mid 20th century
- Jack Coe (1918 - 1956) Healing Tent Evangelist of the 1950s
- A. A. Allen (1911 - 1970) Healing Tent Evangelist of the 1950s and 1960s
- Oral Roberts (1918 - 2009) Healing Tent Evangelist who made the transition to televangelism
- Rex Humbard (b.1919) 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 U.S.
Other pages[change | change source]
References[change | change source]
- "Evangelist Oral Roberts dies in Calif. at age 91". http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091215/ap_on_re_us/us_obit_oral_roberts;_ylt=AsCmL.eK.RFcU2mTL2h0XFUEtbAF;_ylu=X3oDMTJxdGJwZG81BGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxMjE1L3VzX29iaXRfb3JhbF9yb2JlcnRzBHBvcwM0BHNlYwN5bl9wYWdpbmF0ZV9zdW1tYXJ5X2xpc3QEc2xrA2V2YW5nZWxpc3Rvcg--. Retrieved 2009-12-15.
Studies[change | change source]
- Paul Alexander, (2000), "An Analysis of the Emergence and Decline of Pacifism in the History of the Assemblies of God", PhD Dissertation, Baylor University.
- Grant Wacker, (2001), Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA - An academic history of early Pentecostalism.
- Walter Hollenweger, (1972), The Pentecostals: the charismatic movement in the churches, Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, ISBN 0-8066-1210-X
- Walter Hollenweger, , (1997), Pentecostalism : origins and developments worldwide, Peabody, Mass. : Hendrickson Publishers, ISBN 0-943575-36-2
- Clifton, S. J., (2005), An Analysis of the Developing Ecclesiology of the Assemblies of God in Australia, PhD thesis Australian Catholic University
- Matthew Steel, (2005), Pentecostalism in Zambia : Power, Authority and the Overcomers, MSc Dissertation - an examination of the growth and effects of Pentecostalism on development, University of Wales
- Pentecostalism losing its youth? 
Other websites[change | change source]
- Journal of Pentecostal Theology is published by SAGE publications. The editorial board is comprised of members of the Church of God Theological Seminary faculty.
- The REFLEKS journal is published by REFLEKS-Publishing in Oslo, Norway and contains scholarly Scandinavian and English articles on Pentecostalism and neo-Pentecostalism.
- Encounter: Journal for Pentecostal Ministry is a published by the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS)
- The European Research Network on Global Pentecostalism (GloPent) is an initiative by three leading European Universities in Pentecostal studies networking academic research on Pentecostal and Charismatic movements.
- Hollenweger Center for the interdisciplinary study of Pentecostal and Charismatic movements at the Free University of Amsterdam
- Cyberjournal for Pentecostal Charismatic Research
- Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (Assemblies of God archives), one of the largest collections of materials documenting the global Pentecostal movement; website contains free research tools, including over 250,000 digitized pages of periodicals and online catalog with over 80,000 entries.
- Lecture on "Pentecostalism"
- Map showing Percentage of Pentecostal Population in USA by county from Valparaiso University
- Apostolic Herald Online newsletter sharing Pentecostal and Apostolic concepts written primarily by Pentecostal authors.
- Pentecostal Conference of the North American Keralites
- Australasian Pentecostal Studies journal
- Pew Religious Forum Pentecostal Hub
- Some statistic