Since the Protestant Reformation, ordination within Protestant and evangelical movements has been a largely underemphasized field of study. Some historians have overlooked it entirely, while others have failed to grasp its overall significance to Christian belief, practice, and history. Studies on revivalism are prolific, but in-depth analyses of ordination practices within revivalism and specific revivalist denominations have been lacking. This study defends Robert Mapes Anderson’s thesis that cooperation, consolidation, and controversies in the Assemblies of God between 1914 and 1916 were due to the political struggle between two rival leadership groups. By comparing ministerial lists, mapping ministers’ location information, and tracking ministerial affiliations across the Churches of God in Christ and in the Assemblies of God, this study shows that Anderson’s thesis is undeniable. Doctrinal conflicts and power struggles over what were fundamental to ministry and faith, networks of relationships connected by railroads, World War I, and the role that women played in ministry were significant internal and external factors in the licensing and ordination shifts within the Assemblies of God.
Recommended Citation: Butler, Kent Landon, "Ordination and Licensing of Ministers within the Assemblies of God: Doctrinal Conflict, Railroads, and Relationships" (2023). Masters Theses. 1026. https://digitalcommons.liberty.edu/masters/1026
Recommended Citation: Butler, Kent. "Appendix A in Ordination and Licensing of Ministers within the Assemblies of God: Doctrinal Conflict, Railroads, and Relationships." Master's Thesis, Liberty University, 2023.
The Christian Evangel was published by J. Roswell Flower, an early leader of the Assemblies of God. In 1914, after the Assemblies of God was founded in Hot Springs, Arkansas, E. N. Bell joined J. R. Flower in publishing it.
The Christian Evangel along with the Word and Witness were the official mouthpieces of the Assemblies of God in its formative years. In 1916, the Word and Witness was discontinued, and the Christian Evangel became the Assemblies of God's sole weekly piece. In 1919, the Christian Evangel was renamed the Pentecostal Evangel.
The purpose of this site is to reclaim some of the lost legacy of the Christian Evangel and Assemblies of God history.