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Pandita Ramabai: Mother of India – Part One of Two

In 1905, Pentecostal revival spontaneously exploded at the Mukti Mission in India. Pandita Ramabai, an Indian widow, began the mission as a refuge for widows and a school for girls.  The remarkable life and ministry of Pandita Ramabai is a testament to God’s sovereignty, and the outpouring in India can be attributed to this woman’s […]

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Into All the World: Azusa Missionary Efforts

For the earliest Pentecostals, the outpouring of the Holy Ghost signaled God’s greatest restoration of apostolic power to the end-time Church. Spirit-baptized believers responded with urgency to the call to carry the Full Gospel message to the uttermost parts of the earth. While some well-intentioned messengers ultimately failed in their missions due to poor planning, […]

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From Paul to Pulpit: Men’s Hair and the Apostolic Tradition

In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Paul develops a lengthy argument concerning order and submission, connecting Creation’s hierarchy to the male and female relationship and extending the premise to appropriate hair length as a sign of natural and God-given position: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is […]

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Cotton Mather: An Early American’s Call To Holiness

Cotton Mather (1663-1728) is probably best remembered for his publications of The Wonders of the Invisible World (1692), published as a defense of the Salem witch trials, which led to the execution of nineteen men and women accused of practicing witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts. But, this important Boston minister, from a renowned Puritan family, was […]

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Holy Rollerism

  Holy Roller was an early assignation to Pentecostals, but the term is an Americanism that has existed since the mid-nineteenth century. In 1842, Holy Rollers were identified in the Southern Quarterly Review, published in New Orleans, as a “new species of religion,” and was loosely used for decades to refer to any Christian religions […]

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The Fracture of 1924

  In 1918, the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies (GAAA) and the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World merged, unifying Oneness Pentecostals into a large, interracial body. After being ousted from the Assemblies of God in 1916, the “Jesus Only” faction soon organized into the GAAA under the leadership of Daniel C. O. Opperman. The organization […]

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Reformers & Rebels: Women, Pants, and Power in Nineteenth Century America

In the mid-1800s, groups of women began organizing to fight against a diversity of social ills and injustices. From abolition to temperance to suffrage, many women became activists for reform and equality, and some groups became extremely radical in their effort to effect social change. Amongst those who supported the women’s vote, were a core […]

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Michel Servetus: Heretic or Hero?

On October 27, 1553, Michael Servetus was burned alive in Geneva, Switzerland, accused by John Calvin of heresy for his denial of the Trinity (Wilbur, Two Treatises xxv).  Servetus purportedly studied law in Toulouse and medicine in Paris and is credited with the initial discover of pulmonary circulation.  In 1531, just over twenty years of […]

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Morjoe Gortner

  The story of Marjoe Gortner is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of Pentecostal showmanship interlaced with hypocrisy, greed, and evangelistic gimmicks.  In 1972, the one-time child evangelist took to the revival circuit to produce a self-titled exposé on the “big business” of religion, duping church after church, posing as a prodigal son and […]

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The Birth of the Nativity Scene

  The Nativity scene is one of the most cherished remnants of the Christian celebration of Christmas, which is increasingly eclipsed by pagan and secular trappings in our modern, materialistic culture.  From live manger scenes with farm and exotic animals to miniature figurines in a moss-covered stable to electric-lighted plastic lawn sets, the contemporary Nativity […]

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