Rev. Robert Edward McAlister
Reverend Robert McAlister was from Canada. He accepted the Pentecostal message, and became a vital proponant to the early development of the modern Jesus' Name movement. He helped to spark a great controversy that became known as the , "New Issue". An issue that would eventually disrupt and divide the Pentecostal ranks down the middle. In fact, the grounds of debate were of such great proportions, that it nearly swept the entire Pentecostal movement, which was basicly "Trinitarian" at the time, completly into the Oneness doctrine.
In 1913, during the first, world-wide Pentecostal camp meeting of it's kind, held in Arroyo Seco, California, Brother McAlister was called upon to preach a baptismal service one afternoon. During the course of his message, he simply stated that the Apostles never invoked the Matthew 28:19 words (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) over their candidates, but instead, they only used the Apostolic formula of, "In the name of Jesus" when baptizing.
A Camp participant named, John Schappe received a manifold understanding concerning the name of Jesus after listening to Brother McAlister's expostulation on the Acts 2:38 formula. As Brother Schappe began to share his enlightment with others, an intense interest began to grow ammong some of the camp participants, such as Frank Ewart, G.T. Haywood, and others. This meeting would lead to a revolutionary revival among Pentecostals. Within one year Frank Ewart preached the first message on Acts 2:38 as the Apostolic, new birth of, "Water and Spirit". From there, the revelation began to spread throughout the United States, eventually sweeping the world.
Although Brother McAlister did not remain with the Jesus' Name movement, he was instrumental in firing the shot that changed the theological landscape of modern Pentecost. He will always be remembered for his role in adjusting the thinking of those stalwart ministers who championed the cause for Apostolic doctrine.