Pentecostal and Charismatic Revival

Pentecostal RevivalsThe rise of the Pentecostal Movement has become a phenomenon of our times. The Pentecostal/Charismatic church now numbers in excess of 550 million adherents across the world and since the second half of the twentieth century it has experienced exponential growth. It is no exaggeration to say that this movement has witnessed the greatest number of conversions and church plants in the entire history of the worldwide church! Such growth has caused the twentieth century to be described as the “Pentecostal Century” or the “Century of the Spirit.”

There were many streams of Christendom that converged to produce this mighty river of Spirit-filled Christianity. Theologically, John Wesley’s doctrine of a “second blessing” of sanctification, which one of his Methodist associates, John Fletcher, called a “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” was the seed from which all else grew.

In the mid-nineteenth century Edward Irving, a Presbyterian minister, saw and then experienced a restoration of spiritual gifts, first in Scotland and then in London. The gift of tongues and prophecy were regularly exercised in his meetings, which often gathered two thousand people. Healings were also experienced.

Charles Finney undoubtedly experienced a mighty infilling of the Spirit after his conversion and his successor as president of Oberlin College, Asa Mahan, published a book entitled “The Baptism of the Holy Ghost.” He thereafter widely proclaimed its message.

The Keswick movement’s  “Higher Life” teachings took Wesley’s “second blessing” and changed it’s  focus from ‘inner cleansing’ and ‘heart purity,’ to an ‘enduement of spiritual power for service.’ This was popularised by Hannah Whitall Smith, William E. Boardman, D. L. Moody and Reuben Torrey.  Divine healing was added to the mix by other Keswick supporters like the Americans, A. B. Simpson and A. J. Gordon.

The western world was awash with holiness movements at the end of the nineteenth century where people were vigorously seeking after God for more power. American Camp meetings had experienced supernatural phenomenon for over a century and anything that expressed a living, Holy Spirit empowered Christianity was described as “Pentecostal”.

It was into this spiritual milieu that Charles Parham emerged. His story is told in the Pensketches section of this site. Parham is known as the theological ‘father’ of the movement because he was the first to teach that ‘speaking with tongues’ was the initial evidence of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. It was at his Bible School in Topeka, Kansas that there Agnes Ozman was the first to speak in tongues during a Holy Spirit outpouring on January 1st 1901. Subsequently he travelled as an itinerant revivalist, with powerful signs following his ministry.

He started another Bible School, in Houston, Texas, where William Seymour heard the message of the Baptism in the Spirit with speaking in tongues. He took this message to Los Angeles and the Azusa Street Pentecostal Revival broke out. His story is also in the Pensketches section of this site.

Thousands of Christians visited Azusa Street from around the world in 1906-9 and took the Pentecostal message – and the experience – back to their homes and to the mission field.

Thomas B. Barratt was baptised in the Spirit while staying in New York in November 1906 after hearing news of the Azusa revival. He took the message back to Norway then over to his native England. Alexander Boddy in Sunderland became the catalyst for a myriad of spiritually hungry seekers and his invitation to Barratt to visit in 1907 began a British revival. George and Stephen Jeffreys, Smith Wigglesworth and others received the gift of the Spirit at Sunderland. The first organised Pentecostal missionary agency was birthed in Sunderland as the Pentecostal Missionary Union and the message was taken to the nations.

The Pentecostal message spread like wildfire everywhere and, despite two world wars, economic depressions, open hostility from existing denominations and periodic persecution the movement has become a major player on the world scene. It was described in 1958 by Henry P. Van Dusen as the “Third Force in Christendom,” The Pentecostal Movement embodies a passion for a return to New Testament Christianity. It has been a shining beacon to an archaic and irrelevant church and may well provide the pattern of a great end-time revival in the 21st century. Let it be, O Lord!

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  • Barratt, T.B. Open or Close

    How Pentecost Came to Britain

    We found these reports taken from T. B. Barratt's personal diary, printed in the Redemption Tiding's Magazines of December 1933, January and February 1934.

    They record the exciting details of those early days when he visited Britain and attended the first Pentecostal Conventions in Sunderland, London and Bournemouth, all places destined to be centres of spiritual power during the next few years.

    They were amazing days! Many were converted and baptised in the Holy Spirit and others experienced authentic divine healing. The local and national press reported favourably on the various meetings resulting in even wider exposure to the virgin movement of the Spirit in the UK.

  • Chapman, Diana Open or Close
    Searching the Source of the River

    This fabulous book tells the stories of ordinary women who played key roles at the beginning of the Pentecostal Revival in Britain. The hub of this revival was the parish of All Saints, Sunderland in the north east of England where Mary Boddy played a pivotal role alongside her husband Revd. Alexander Boddy.

    In Britain the 'charismatic moment' of this revival was between 1907 and 1914 and as in all revivals women, unfettered by institutionalism, seized the day. They were strong, knew their God and empowered by the Holy Spirit, 'did exploits'. They pioneered in ministry, led churches, were popular speakers and gave their lives to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

  • Frodsham, Stanley Open or Close

    Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith

    Smith Wigglesworth, often referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith,’ was one of the pioneers of the Pentecostal revival that occurred a century ago.

    Without human refinement and education he was able to tap into the infinite resources of God to bring divine grace to multitudes.

    Thousands came to Christian faith in his meetings, hundreds were healed of serious illnesses and diseases as supernatural signs followed his ministry.

    This is his amazing story.

  • Gee, Donald Open or Close

    Wind and Fire

    The original  ‘Pentecostal Movement’ was first written during the Second World War and gives readers a detailed account of the people, places and events that gave British Pentecostalism its influential place amongst world Pentecostal movements. Though it deals mainly with British history it frequently reflects upon personalities from other nations who played a part in the formation of Britain’s Pentecostal movements.

    Beginning with the Welsh Revival and the Azusa Street Outpouring, the author documents the spreading flame of Pentecost from Barratt in Sunderland, Smith Wigglesworth in Bradford and a host of other pioneers who became leaders of the fledgling Pentecostal denominations.

  • Newsholme, Geo. Open or Close

    I came across this small booklet some time ago and thought it would benefit readers to hear what British Pentecostals thought about revival. It was penned by seven Pentecostal ministers including Donal Gee, Percy Brewster, John and Howard Carter, all of whom saw substantial evangelistic success, sometimes bordering on authentic local church revival. It was penned after the second world war, probably around 1970.

  • Riss, Richard M. Open or Close

    A History of the Awakening of 1992-1995

    During the early 1990s, a revival, or reawakening of Christian faith, became evident in many parts of the world. Receiving its initial impetus from the ministries of many people, including Claudio Freidzon of Buenos Aries, Argentina, Rodney M. Howard-Browne, a South African evangelist ministering in the United States, Mahesh Shavda of Charlotte, North Carolina and Cindy Jacobs of Colorado Springs, Colorado, this outpouring of God's Spirit touched a large number of people in many places throughout the world.

  • Roberts, H. V. Open or Close
    New Zealand's Greatest Revival

    The Story of Smith Wigglesworth's visit to New Zealand in 1922 which sparked miraculous healings, thousands of conversions and an unprecedented revival.

    This visitation of God thrust the Pentecostal work into a new and exciting era as New Zealand experienced authentic revival.

    Smith Wigglesworth  always moved in healing power but his visit to New Zealand in 1922 was attended by an unprecedented wave of revival that reaped multitudes of converts and advanced the cause of Christ in that land.

  • Stadsklev, Julius Open or Close
    William Branham: A Prophet Visits South Africa

    This book was written by Julius Stadsklev, who joined William Branham, F.F. Bosworth, Billy Paul Branham and Ern Baxter for  a 10 week evangelistic trip to South Africa from October to December, 1951. It contains many photographs, first-hand testimonies, and newspaper reports on Branham's meetings and ministry during this campaign.

    The healing testimonies are astounding and their clear documentation, including newspaper and medical reports adds a degree of authenticity which is indisputable.

  • Woodworth, Maria B. Open or Close
    Life and Experience of Maria B. Woodworth

    Maria Woodworth-Etter was an outstanding preacher of the Gospel who saw amazing signs and wonders attending her ministry. By the time the Pentecostal movement was born in 1906 Maria, in her early sixties already had two-and-a-half decades of Pentecostal ministry under her belt!

    She was an itinerant evangelist who travelled coast–to-coast across the United States holding meetings in church halls, Gospel tents and public buildings. Though simply evangelistic in the early days it was in 1813 that supernatural signs began to accompany her service. People fell into trances, experienced visions of heaven and hell, collapsed on the floor as if they’d been shot or had died. Thousands were healed of a wide variety of sicknesses and diseases and many believers, even ministers, received mighty baptisms of the Holy Spirit.

    This small book records the early beginnings of this powerful ministry – before she married for the second time, adding Etter to her first married name of Woodworth.

  • Woodworth-Etter, Maria B. Open or Close
    Signs and Wonders

    Maria Woodworth-Etter's powerful Pentecostal ministry pre-dates the beginning of the Pentecostal Movement which started over 20 years after her ministry began in 1876. Her meetings were filled with supernatural phenomena - prostrations, speaking and singing in tongues, falling under the power of the Spirit, trances and visions and, of course, abundant miracles of healing, were commonplace.

    Her most widely read book, the 584-page 'Signs and Wonders,' was reprinted in an abridged form (160 pages) to overcome post-war import restrictions caused by the war and make the work more accessible to more people. This is that book.

  • Woodworth-Etter, Maria B. Open or Close
    Marvels and Miracles

    “I cannot let this opportunity go by without again bringing to the notice of my readers, ‘Acts of the Holy Ghost,’ or ‘Life and Experiences of Mrs. M. B. Woodworth-Etter.’ It is a book I value next to the Bible. In special seasons of waiting on God I have found it helpful to have the New Testament on one side of me and Mrs, Etter’s book on the other; this latter is a present day record of ‘the Acts’ multiplied. Mrs. Etter is a woman who has had a ministry of healing since 1885, her call as an evangelist being some years previous to this. I venture to think that this ministry is unparalleled in the history of the Church, for which I give all the glory to the Lord Jesus Christ, as Mrs. Etter would, I know, wish me to do. This ministry should be made known, for the glory of the Triune God and the good of believers.”

    Rev, Stanley Smith - one of the famous “Cambridge Seven” and for many years a worker with “The China Inland Mission.”

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