Pentecostalism is arguably the most important mass religious movement of the twentieth century. Today, this movement is the second largest sub-group of global Christianity. It has over 30 million American adherents and a worldwide following of 430 million.1 Pentecostalism’s inauspicious beginnings at the turn of the century make the movement’s growth all the more surprising. This essay will examine how historians have interpreted the origins of American Pentecostalism and will suggest some areas for further study. Before discussing the historiography, it will help to survey the movement’s early history.
Pentecostalism grew out of the Holiness revival during the second half of the nineteenth century. This revival was an expression of both social and theological discontent among the nation’s lower and middle-class groups. Holiness advocates disapproved of the impiety in mainline denominations and were alienated by the growing wealth and elaborateness of their churches. Not content to remain in mainline churches, they formed new religious communities committed to the theological doctrine of perfectionism.2 These former Methodists, Presbyterians, and Baptists believed they were experiencing a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit much like the early church experienced in the book of Acts. The holiness revival spawned zeal for "Spirit Baptism" (a divine empowerment of believers) and for other gifts of the New Testament church such as healing and prophecy. Holiness leaders such as Charles Cullis, John Alexander Dowie, and Albert B. Simpson established healing missions across the U.S. They, like other holiness advocates, believed a new, miraculous era of the spirit was occurring which would end in the second coming of Christ.
Pentecostalism took "Spirit Baptism" and the restoration of New Testament gifts one step further. In January, 1901, holiness minister Charles Fox Parham asked the students at his Topeka Bible school to study the scriptures and determine what evidence might be given of Spirit baptism. Using the pentecost account in Acts chapter two, they concluded that speaking in tongues was the confirmation of Holy Spirit baptism. This first wave of Pentecostalism spread in the revival that followed, but remained regional, moving into Kansas, Missouri, Texas, and Arkansas.
The 1906 revival at Azusa street, Los Angeles marks the second phase of the Pentecostals’ origins. William Seymour, who studied under Parham in Houston, Texas, carried the message of pentecost to Los Angeles where he began a revival in one of the poorer sections of the city. The Azusa street revival gathered the "ethnic minority groups of Los Angeles," who discovered a "sense of dignity and community denied them in the larger urban culture."3
From Azusa street the revival spread throughout the U.S. Holiness leaders from the Church of God in Christ (Memphis, Tenessee), the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), and the Pentecostal Holiness Church (Georgia and the Carolinas), were present at Azusa, and carried its message back to their churches. Diversity characterized their beliefs and theology; Pentecostals ranged from Wesleyan-holiness, to Reformed, and Unitarian.4
The historiography of Pentecostalism is as multifaceted as the movement itself. The initial historical works on Pentecostalism came from within the movement. Pentecostal historians wrote within a "providential" framework and focused on the role of God rather than human and natural causation. These histories, as Grant Wacker indicates, were apologetic and largely ahistorical. They depicted the Pentecostal revival as dropping from heaven like a sacred meteor. This approach is evident in the titles of such early works as The Apostolic Faith Restored (1916), and in such account as Suddenly From Heaven: A History of the Assemblies of God (1961).5
Before 1970 few historians outside of Pentecostalism were interested in the movement. Academics’ unfamiliarity with the world of ecstatic religion might have been one reason for this oversight. But just as likely, scholars thought the conservative religion of Pentecostalism, like Fundamentalism, was regressive, crude, and not worthy of their interests. In the late 1960s, the historian William G. McLoughlin argued that Pentecostalism did not constitute a dynamic new force in American Religion. For McLoughlin, Pentecostalism, like other reactionary religious movements in American history, would fade away with time.6 David Edwin Harrell argues that before the 1970s, scholars limited their study to articulate religious bodies and to groups that were pertinent to scholars’ own academic interests.7
Since the 1970s, historians both outside of and within the movement have critically engaged Pentecostalism. The rapid expansion of Pentecostalism in the U. S. and abroad drew scholars’ interest. At the same time scholarship on Pentecostalism grew along with the increase in university and seminary-trained Pentecostal historians. The establishment of the Society for Pentecostal Studies in the early 1970s evidenced this new historical enterprise.8
As historians have analyzed Pentecostalism, they have developed several explanations for its origins and growth. Some scholars focus on the historical-theological roots of the movement and emphasize the primacy of doctrine. They note the importance of Pentecostalism’s historical and theological predecessors and emphasize the religious appeal of the movement to it adherents. A few historians look at the movement’s interracial character to assess its origins and growth. In its initial stages, Pentecostalism was multi-ethnic and often challenged racial norms. Scholars looking at the interracial aspect view the movement as a radical protest to segregation and as a dynamic force of social change. With the ascendence of the new social history in the early 1970s, scholars began to analyze the demographics of Pentecostalism, assessing the movement’s adherents according to social status and class.
But before the rise of historical enquiries, sociological studies used class analysis and theories of deprivation to understand the movement’s appeal. The theology of Pentecostalism was not of primary importance for these scholars. They reflected Richard Niebuhr’s class analysis of religion and posited that theology mirrored cultural and political conditions.9 The prevailing view was that Pentecostalism flourished because it compensated for its adherent’s loss of social and political status.10
|"As Grant Wacker notes, Anderson’s study is the most thorough monograph on the origins of Pentecostalism."
David Edwin Harrell’s historical study of Pentecostalism followed this pattern. Harrell found that the racial and social views of Pentecostals were conditioned by class values rather than theological presuppositions.11 Robert Mapes Anderson also rooted the movement in its class status. In Vision of the Disinherited, Anderson studied the social class origins of Pentecostalism and discovered that extreme social strain among the nation’s poor and dispossessed was the source of Pentecostalism. Following Eric Hobsbawm and E. P. Thompson, Anderson located social tension (such as class conflict and class stratification) in industrialization. The shift from an agrarian to an industrial society fed estrangement and those most at odds with this change suffered "status anxiety" and turned to Pentecostalism.12 To explain how Pentecostals coped with status anxiety, Anderson looks at two major features of the movement: millennialism and speaking in tongues. Pentecostals’ belief in the immanent, apocalyptic return of Jesus, he contends, brought order to their chaotic lives and alleviated social strain. Similarly, speaking in tongues provided psychic escape through religious ecstacy.13
Anderson concludes that Pentecostalism represented a dysfunctional and maladjusted reaction to social pressures. Because of the Pentecostals’ negative appraisal of society and their pessimistic outlook for the future, they were an apolitical, "conservative bulwark of the status quo." They channeled their social protest "into the harmless backwaters of religious ideology."14 For Anderson, the radical social impulse inherent in the vision of the disinherited was squandered away in escapism and conservative conformity.
As Grant Wacker notes, Anderson’s study is the most thorough monograph on the origins of Pentecostalism. The breadth of Anderson’s book and the amount of data he looked at makes it a monument in the field of Pentecostal history. At the same time Wacker is critical of some of Anderson’s basic arguments. Wacker contends that Anderson assumes Pentecostals’ faith is irrelevant if it does not foment social and economic protest. Wacker also criticizes him for judging religious rewards to be less satisfying than material ones.15 For Wacker, and a number of other scholars, theology and doctrine, as much as social class, explains the roots of the movement.
Wacker dwells on the positive functions of faith in the origins and spread of Pentecostalism. He notes that the movement provided individuals with certitude about the reality of the supernatural. Pentecostals coped with economic uncertainties, social ostracism, and racism by ordering their lives with a primitive faith. Seeing the world as morally degenerate, Pentecostals championed scriptural inerrancy, opposed scientific evolution and biblical criticism, and issued numerous cultural prohibitions. Pentecostalism, Wacker contends, was appealing because its doctrines were situated in a traditional, mythic system that protected believers from the encroachments of modernity.16
Scholars, including Grant Wacker, Edith Blumhofer, and D. William Faupel, have looked at the restorationist and millennial roots of the movement. Wacker describes the restorationist impulse as "a yearning to return to a time before time, to a space outside of space, to a mythical realm that Alexander Campbell [founder of the Disciples of Christ] called the ‘ancient order of things." This was not a nostalgic longing for frontier revivalism, but a desire to return to first century Christianity.17 Pentecostals linked the sprititual gifts they received, such as speaking in tongues, prophesying, and healing with those described in the book of Acts. Edith Blumhofer sees restorationism and millennialism shaping the foundation of the Assemblies of God. Pentecostals, according to Blumhofer, asserted that the new era of the spirit, before Christ’s second coming, would bring about a return to primitive Christianity. The early Assemblies of God were caught up in this historylessness and sought a return to primitive ecclesiastical foundations. Church leaders advocated a strict congregational government and opposed creeds and the formulation of doctrine.18
This millennial vision, according to James R. Goff Jr., led to increased missionary activity among Pentecostalis. Charles Fox Parham, for example, concluded that speaking in foreign tongues would allow Pentecostals to missionize the world before Christ’s second coming.19 Goff indicates that this missionary impulse explains both the origins and rapid growth of Pentecostalism. Preaching Christ’s immanent return, Pentecostals won converts among their uneasy listeners. Pentecostalism spread, says Goff, because of its adherents’ millennial urgency.
Scholars also have accounted for the origins of Pentecostalism by locating the movement within late nineteenth century religious currents. Donald Dayton suggests that the roots of Pentecostalism lie in the emergence of four theological doctrines during the second half of the nineteenth century: salvation, healing, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and the second coming of Christ.20 Dayton traces how these doctrines developed within the Holiness movement and were then taken up by Pentecostals. He stresses both the Wesleyan-holiness origins, which accented the perfectionist side of Spirit baptism, and the Keswick-Reformed origins, which emphasized Spirit baptism as a spiritual empowerment in the believer.21 Like Dayton, Raymond J. Cunningham has studied the roots of Pentecostalism in the healing and faith cure movements of the late nineteenth century. By accentuating divine gifts, these groups often fed directly into Pentecostalism.22
Vinson Synan’s The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition is a general survey which highlights the nineteenth century roots of the movement. Synan situates the origins of Pentecostalism in the Wesleyan-holiness doctrine of sanctification or the "second blessing." For Methodists and pre-Pentecostals, sanctification perfected the believer after conversion. The Pentecostals, states Synan, made the second blessing synonymous with the pentecost account in Acts. Thus, speaking in tongues became a sign of sanctification.23
Scholars from the Reformed wing of Pentecostalism have argued that the Keswick-Reformed roots better address the movement’s origins. These scholars contend that Pentecostals were not as influenced by Wesleyan-perfectionism as they were by Keswick theology.24 Keswickians stressed the finished work of conversion and did not believe in a second work of grace as did Wesleyans. Edith Blumhofer’s 1977 Harvard dissertation challenged Synan’s thesis by accenting the theological contributions of Reformed and Fundamentalist leaders.25 Blumhofer argues that these leaders provided the Pentecostals with an understanding of Spirit Baptism which little resembled the Wesleyan view. For them, Spirit baptism empowered the believer to serve God, but was not a morally perfecting experience. Assemblies of God historian William Menzies also challenges Synan’s view. Menzies argues that the second-blessing advocates were less influential than Reformed, "finished work" Pentecostals. For most early Pentecostals, Menzies contends, speaking in tongues was associated with spiritual power and with an anointing to serve rather than spiritual perfection.26
These internecine historiographic battles get at an important point: from the beginning Pentecostals experienced internal and external antagonisms that helped shape and transform them.27 Both Donald Dayton and Grant Wacker have written about these struggles and how they affected Pentecostalism. Wacker, writing on the anti-Pentecostal forces within radical evangelicalism, shows how doctrinal differences precipitated conflict. Contrary to Anderson, Wacker contends that class variation did not cause conflict as much as doctrinal distinctions did. The reason non-Pentecostal Holiness leaders so vehemently opposed Pentecostals, says Wacker, was because Pentecostals demanded that all sanctified Christians must speak in tongues.28 Doctrine also gave rise to schisms within the movement. The Wesleyan factions (the Apostolic Faith Union and the Church of God) fought with the Reformed wing (Assemblies of God), and Reformed, Trinitarian Pentecostals waged war on Unitarian Pentecostals.
|"A few historians of Pentecostalism trace the movement’s success to its racial progressiveness."
Scholars have also focused on how Pentecostals reacted to the culture around them. Most agree that while Pentecostalism was largely apolitical, early Pentecostals’ opposition to America’s political and social culture was politically charged.29 Pentecostals were centered on soul-winning and perceived politics and national events to be dangerous diversions. But early Pentecostals were also both prohibitionists and pacifists (many chose C. O. status during WW I). According to Mickey Crews, the predominately rural Church of God (Cleveland) often stood in opposition to the prevailing contemporary attitudes toward wealth, recreation, and dress. Likewise, during the Jim Crow era the Church of God was one of the more racially integrated churches in the South. The early years of this church were marked by racial cooperation. Like Populism, Crews indicates, the Church of God offered women as well as blacks opportunities to serve in positions of leadership which they would not have had in traditional organizations.30
A few historians of Pentecostalism trace the movement’s success to its racial progressiveness. Church of God in Christ historian Leonard Lovett contends that historians have not viewed black Pentecostalism in its proper historical context and have failed to appreciate the movement’s black roots. Lovett stresses the prominence of the black leader William Seymour and the importance of Azusa’s interracial character. He also gives attention to the Africanisms of the early revival.31 Similarly, Iain MacRobert studies the black roots of Pentecostalism, emphasizing both the role of Seymour in the revival and the place of African concepts of "community, spiritual power, spirit possession . . . equality, black personhood," dignity, and the desire for revolution. MacRobert attributes schisms in the movement to white racism. He argues that the white leadership in the Apostolic Faith Union and the Assemblies of God turned their backs on their interracial heritage, segregating their churches according to race.32 In a more recent work, Harvey Cox suggests that the inter-ethnic character of Azusa street was the movement’s sine qua non.33
Edith Blumhofer and Joe Creech have countered that a "myth of Azusa street" prevails in these accounts. Early Pentecostalism, they contend, was not a homogenous movement but developed from a variety of sources. Blumhofer argues that "Azusa street could not hold the allegiance of its own enthusiasts, who broke away to form numerous rival congregations nearby, none of which was known to replicate the racial mix of the mother congregation."34 Creech maintains that Azusa has remained important in the historiography because it provides historians with a racially progressive narrative of Pentecostalism and because it serves to unify and homogenize a heterogeneous movement.35
Pentecostalism’s diverse heritage has drawn the attention of historians who have sought an explanation for the movement’s origins. The rise of Pentecostalism at the turn of the century tells us how a number of America’s poor coped with the economic, social, and religious challenges of modernity. Like Fundamentalists, Pentecostals built their faith on doctrinal certitude and religious zeal. Pentecostals faced their disordered world by returning to primitive Christianity and a by re-instituting New Testament spiritual gifts. Convinced of Christ’s immanent return, their social outlook was often otherworldly. Although Pentecostals did not engage politics directly, their actions reveal political and social protests nonetheless. Early Pentecostals were often pacifists as well as prohibitionists. Concurrently, in religious practice they stood in opposition to both racism and the denigration of women.36
It is becoming more difficult for historians to dismiss Pentecostals as socially irrelevant. Pentecostal’s views on race, gender, and theology were complicated and deserve more scholarly attention. Since the 1970s the movement has been studied in greater detail. However, the fields of American history and American religious history would benefit from a broadening of the current scholarship.
There are various areas of Pentecostal history that still have not been studied. Certain institutional and biographical histories need to be written. A scholarly history of the predominately black, six million member Church of God in Christ has yet to be undertaken. Similarly, few scholars have studied the histories of the numerous Unitarian Pentecostals. There is still a paucity of biographies on some key leaders, including William J Seymour, A. J. Tomilson (Church of God Cleveland), Charles H. Mason (Church of God in Christ), and Gaston Barnabas Cashwell (Fire Baptized Holiness Church, Pentecostal Holiness Church, Church of God, Pentecostal Free-Will Baptist Church).
Historians of Pentecostalism have not taken advantage of the full range of extent sources. Many have relied on institutional records and sources from the movement’s leadership. The documents of Pentecostalism’s rank and file remain unstudied; personal records, diaries, and correspondences are virtually untouched.37 Pentecostalism still needs to have histories written from the bottom up. Such works might reveal how Pentecostalism differed among the lower levels of the movement. Did doctrinal controversies plague the laity as it did church leaders? Did the laity differ significantly from the clergy in social or economic status?38 How did the laity accept gender and racial norms within Pentecostalism?
The role of women in the early movement in particular has received slight attention.39 Historians know that women often acted as worship leaders and evangelists in early Pentecostalism, but as of yet no one has critically assessed the role of women in the movement as a whole. Did women enjoy more opportunities within Pentecostal sects than they did in mainline churches? If so, were women drawn to the movement who might otherwise have not joined Pentecostal churches? Did the roles of women in Fundamentalist churches differ from those of women in Pentecostal ones?
The confluence of race and gender is also an area that merits careful consideration. A church such as the Church of God in Christ did not ordain women, but still had the most powerful Women’s Department of any black denomination in the U. S. Were women’s roles in this church like those Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham describes in the National Baptist Convention? One Historian of Pentecostalism suggests that they were similar. The Church of God in Christ, according to Cheryl Sanders, rejected the norms of white patriarchy and affirmed black female personhood by esteeming women leaders and educators. Sanders also suggests that it was not gender, but spiritual gifts that qualified individuals for leadership in the Holiness and Pentecostal churches.40 Whether this was true in most Holiness and Pentecostal churches is unlikely, but these sects often broke with racial and gender norms.
|"Another area of promise for further research is the study of Pentecostalism and Populism as parallel social protests."
Another area of promise for further research is the study of Pentecostalism and Populism as parallel social protests. Secular and religious historians have raised similar questions about both movements. Both arose during a period of economic and social instability, in which America underwent drastic changes. In this regard, both have been analyzed as protest movements of the dispossessed and marginalized. Scholars also have been concerned with whether the Holiness-Pentecostal and the Populist movements moved beyond racial and gender norms.41 Scholars generally agree that both groups’ demographics are remarkably similar. Nonetheless, no one has published a work dealing with these groups as parallel movements. Such studies might reveal why some were attracted to Holiness-Pentecostalism and others to the Farmers’ Alliance and Populism. Was affiliation arbitrary? Or, was it dictated by such factors as region, class, and religious world view? Could the success of Pentecostalism in the South and Midwest after 1900 and 1906 be accounted for by the failures of Populism in these same regions? Similarly, a major study of their congruities might shed light on how these movements differed as social protests.
In the coming years scholars may be asking these and other questions in their search for the origins of Pentecostalism. Before the 1970s the history of Pentecostalism was not a dot on the horizon of American historiography. The state of the field has grown significantly in the last thirty years and will continue to advance in the twenty first century. As of yet, however, the amount of scholarship is not equal to the movement’s numeric strength. Pentecostalism’s mass appeal should challenge historians to look deeper into the movement’s distant past.
1. Grant Wacker, "Searching for Eden with a Satellite Dish: Primitivism Pragmatism and the Pentecostal Character," in Religion and American Culture, David G. Hackett, ed. (New York and London: Routledge, 1995), 440. Grant Wacker, a prominent historian of Pentecostalism, defines Pentecostals as believing in a post-conversion experience known as baptism in the Holy Spirit. Pentecostals, he says, believe that a person who has been baptized in the Holy Spirit will manifest one or more of the nine spiritual gifts described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. Ibid., 441.
2. Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century (Layham, Maryland and London: Scarecrow Press Inc., 1996), 199-200. Examples of these new sects include: the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church, the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene, and the Apostolic Holiness Union.
3. Robert Mapes Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), 69.
4. The best surveys of early Pentecostal history in America are: Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited, Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century (Grand Rapids and Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1997), Edith Blumhofer, Restoring the Faith: The Assemblies of God, Pentecostalism, and American Culture (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 1-141, and Wacker, "Pentecostalism" in Encyclopedia of American Religious Experience, Vol. 7, Charles H. Lippy and Peter Williams, eds. (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988), 933-945.
5. Wacker, "Are the Golden Oldies Still Worth Playing? Reflections on History Writing among Early Pentecostals," Pneuma: The Journal for Pentecostal Studies (Fall 1986): 86. For a discussion of the "providential" approach, see, Augustus Cerillo, Jr., "Interpretive Approaches to the History of American Pentecostal Origins," Pnuema 19, no. 1 (Spring 1997): 31-36.
6. McLoughlin was responding to Henry P. Van Dusen’s Life magazine article which acknowledged the growing importance of American sects. Van Dusen "The Third Force’s Lesson for Others," Life (June 9, 1958):122-123. McLoughlin, "Is There a Third Force in Christendom?" Religion In America, William G. McLoughlin and Robert N. Bellah, eds. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968), 47, 52, 56. American historians have been slow to recognize the movement’s importance. There is no mention of Pentecostalism in all the following: Arthur M. Schlesiger Jr.’s The Almanac of American History (Greenwich, Connecticut: Brompton Books Corporation, 1993), Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, eds. The Readers Companion to American History (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991), George Brown Tindall America: A Narrative History, Vol. II (New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 1988).
7. David Edwin Harrell, White Sects and Black Men (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1971), 5, 6.
8. Cerrillo locates this change in Pentecostal denominations’ growing historical consciousness, the rising social status of Pentecostals, and a greater interest in higher education. The number of Pentecostals completing their Ph.D.s at major universities was rising in the 1960s and 1970s: Vinson Synan (University of Georgia), Grant Wacker (Harvard), Edith Blumhofer (Harvard), James Goff (University of Arkansas), Mickey Crews (Auburn), Leonard Lovett (Emory). "The Origins of American Pentecostalism," Pnuema 15, no. 1 (Spring 1993): 78.
9. H. Richard Niebuhr maintained that religion "is so interwoven with social circumstances that the formulation of theology is necessarily conditioned by these." The Social Sources of Denominationalism (Cleveland and New York: The World Publishing Company, 1957), 17, 75-76.
10. In the 1940s, sociologists Liston Pope and John Holt argued that Pentecostalism found most of its adherents among society’s dispossessed, rural poor. For Holt and Pope, Pentecostalism’s response to social crisis was a natural byproduct of social disorganization. Holt posited that, "migration and concomitant urbanization of an intensely rural, and religiously fundamentalist population" led to the creation of holiness sects which attempted to "recapture their sense of security . . ." "Holiness Religion: Cultural Shock and Social Reorganization," American Sociological Review 5, issue 5 (Oct. 1940): 740-741. Pope, Millhands and Preachers: A Study of Gastonia (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1942), 84-91, 126-140. For sociologists like Charles Y. Glock and Howard Ellinson, religion served as an escape mechanism for the deprived and was unable to alter social status. Glock, "The Role of Deprivation in the Origin and Evolution of Religious Groups," in Religion and Social Conflict, Robert Lee and Martin E. Marty eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964), 27, 29. Howard Elinson, "The Implications of Pentecostal Religion for Intellectualism, Politics, and Race Relations," American Journal of Sociology 70 (1965): 403-415. For a counter view, see, Harry G. Lefever, "Religion of the Poor: Escape or Creative Force?" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 16, no. 3 (September 1977), 525-534.
11. Harrell, Black Sects and White Men, xvi, 130-131. Racial integration most often occurred, says Harrell, in the poorest sects like the Church of God (Cleveland) and the Church of God of Prophecy which were not vying for middle-class status.
12. Robert Mapes Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited: The Making of American Pentecostalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 113. Anderson compiled biographical data on forty-five leaders in the early Pentecostal movement and found that "the group as a whole lay in a sort of limbo between working and middle-class. Neither quite one nor the other, they were marginal men and women." ibid., 108, 136. In his study of the Church of God Cleveland, Mickey Crews also emphasizes the class origins of Pentecostalism. Crews argues that the Populist movement and the Church of God arose among farmers in similar socio-economic circumstances. Church of God: A Social History (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990), 1-18.
13. Ibid., 80, 113, 96.
14. Ibid., 239. R. Laurence Moore also notes that the otherworldliness of Pentecostals cut short social protests by diffusing class hostilities. Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 140-142.
15. Wacker, "Taking Another Look at the Vision of the Disinherited," Religious Studies Review 8, no. 1 (January, 1982): 18, 19, 20
16. Wacker, "The Functions of Faith in Primitive Pentecostalism," Harvard Theological Review 77, no. 3 (1984): 355, 356, 363. D. William Faupel, "The Restoration Vision in Pentecostalism," The Christian Century 107, no. 29 (October 17, 1990): 938. On the importance of restorationism to Pentecostal eschatology, see Faupel’s, The Everlasting Gospel: The Significance of Eschatology in the Development of Pentecostal Thought (Sheffield, England: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996)
17. "Searching for Eden with a Satellite Dish," in Religion and American Culture: A Reader, David G. Hackett, ed. ( New York, London: Routledge, 1995), 442-444. Wacker, Functions of Faith," 361, 364.
18. Blumhofer, Restoring the Faith, 4-5, 84, 116.
19. James R. Goff Jr. Fields White Unto Harvest: Charles F. Parham and the Missionary Origins of Pentecostalism (Fayetville and London: The University of Arkansas Press, 1988), 15, 164.
20. Dayton, The Theological Roots of Pentecostalism (Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1987), 11, 173-174. Pentecostals often speak of a four-square gospel, using these doctrines to identify themselves.
21. Ibid., 92-104, 104-106. Timothy Smith has written on the evolution of Wesleyan perfectionism into Pentecostalism in "How John Fletcher Became the Theologian of Wesleyan Perfectionism, 1770-1776," Wesleyan Theological Journal 15, no. 1 (Spring 1980): 67-86. On Sprit Baptism as an enduement of power, see: John Fea, "Power from on High in an Age of Ecclesiastical Impotence: The ‘Enduement of the Holy Spirit’ in American Fundamentalist Thought, 1880-1936," Fides Et Historia 26, no. 6 (Summer 1994): 23-35.
22. Raymond J. Cunningham, "From Holiness to Healing: The Faith Cure in America 1872-1892," Church History 43, no. 3 (September 1974): 507, 508.
23. Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Tradition, xi. Synan is a member of the Holiness-Pentecostal Church, which is Wesleyan in orientation.
24. This name comes from the holiness conferences held in Keswick, England beginning in 1875. Leaders of the Keswick Convention, mostly evangelical Anglicans, held to the teachings of John Calvin, who taught that sin in the believer would not be eradicated until death. William W. Menzies, "The Non-Wesleyan Origins of the Pentecostal Movement," in Aspects of Pentecostal Charismatic Origins, Vinson Synan ed. (Plainfield, New Jersey: Logos International, 1975), 85-89.
25. Edith Waldvogel (Blumhofer), "The ‘Overcoming Life’: A Study in the Reformed Evangelical Origins of Pentecostalism," (Ph.D. diss., Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University, 1977), 1-148. Blumhofer looks at such leaders as Reuben A. Torrey, Albert B. Simpson, Dwight L. Moody, and a number of British Keswick leaders. Allen L. Clayton argues that the prominence of the Reformed wing, which was Christocentric rather than pneumatocentric in orientation, gave rise to the Oneness, "Jesus only" Pentecostals. By emphasizing the central role of Christ, Oneness Pentecostals began to baptize in Jesus’ name only. "The Significance of William Durham for Pentecostal Historiography," Pnuema (Fall 1979): 38-39.
26. William W. Menzies, "The Non-Wesleyan Origins of the Pentecostal Movement," 93.
27. According to Wacker, "the secondary literature on Pentecostalism is almost as contentious as the controversies it describes." "Travail of a Broken Family: Evangelical Responses to Pentecostalism in America, 1906-1916," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 47, no. 2 (July 1996): 509.
28. Ibid., 508, 526-527. Dayton, "The Limits of Evangelicalism: The Pentecostal Tradition," in The Variety of American Evangelicalism, Dayton and Robert K. Johnston, eds. (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter Varsity Press, 1991), 49-51. Dayton gives insight on the recurrent battles between Holiness and Pentecostal Wesleyans to lay claim to the Wesleyan heritage, "Wesleyan Tug-of-War on Pentecostal Link," Christianity Today 23 (December 15, 1978): 43. On the enmity between Pentecostals and Evangelicals, see Horace S. Ward Jr., "The Anti-Pentecostal Argument," in Aspects, 102-107, and Wacker, "Travail of a Broken Family." Others look at the communal and societal opposition the movement experienced: Synan, Old Time Power: A Centennial History of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (Franklin Spring, Georgia: LifeSprings Resources, 1998), 140-145, Crews, Church of God, 117-123, 74-78. Kurt O. Berends analyzes the communal antagonism Pentecostals spawned in "Social Variables and Community Response" in Pentecostal Currents in American Protestantism, ed. Edith Blumhofer, Russell P. Splitter, and Grant A. Wacker (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1999), 68-89.
29. Both R. Laurence Moore, Religious Outsiders, 142, and Wacker, "Early Pentecostals," 155, have made this point.
30. Crews, The Church of God, 17-18, 93-107
31. Lovett, "Black Origins of the Pentecostal Movement" in Aspects, 127, 137-138
32. Iain MacRobert, The Black Roots and White Racism of Early Pentecostalism (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1988), 36.
33. Harvey Cox, Fire From Heaven: The Rise of Pentecostal Spirituality and the Reshaping of Religion in the Twenty-First Century (Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1995), 58-59.
34. Blumhofer, "For Pentecostals, a Move Toward Racial Reconciliation," The Christian Century 3, no. 14 (April 27, 1994), 445.
35. Joe Creech, "Visions of Glory: The Place of the Azusa Street Revival in Pentecostal History," Church History 65, no. 3 (1996): 408, 409, 410.
36. On the participation of women in the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition, see Cheryl J. Sanders’, Saints in Exile: The Holiness-Pentecostal Experience in African America Religion and Culture (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 32-34. According to Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, although the major black Pentecostal bodies denied women ordination, they nonetheless assumed powerful roles as exhorters, church mothers, missionaries, teachers, and deaconesses. "‘Together and in Harness’: Women’s Traditions in the Sanctified Church," Signs 10, no. 4 (Summer 1985): 683.
37. David Bundy, "The Historiography of the Wesleyan/Holiness Tradition," Wesleyan Theological Journal 30, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 70.
38. Mickey Crews suggests that in the Church of God there was a difference: "Although the overwhelming majority of Church of God members and ministers came from the lower socioeconomic classes, their principal spokesmen did not." The Church of God, 6.
39. Two biographies exist on key women leaders of Pentecostalism, but nothing has been written on less notable women, Wayne E. Warner, The Women Evangelist: The Life and Times of Charismatic Evangelist Maria B. Woodworth-Etter (Metuchen, New Jersey and London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1986). Blumhofer, Aimee Semple McPherson (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1993). Scholarship on gender and Fundamentalists may provide some clues to how similar studies on Pentecostals might look: Margaret Lamberts Bendroth, Fundamentalism and Gender, 1875 to the Present (New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1993), Betty A. DeBerg, Ungodly Women: Gender and the First Wave of American Fundamentalism (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990).
40. Sanders "History of Women in the Pentecostal Movement," Cyberjournal for Pentecostal/Charismatic Research [http:\\www.pctii.org\cybertab1.html] 2 (July, 1997): 5.
41. On Populism and women see, Julie Roy Jeffrey, "Women in the Southern Farmers Alliance: A Reconsideration of the Role and Status of Women in the Late Nineteenth-Century South," Feminist Studies 3 (Fall 1975): 72-91. Marion K. Barthelme, Women in the Texas Populist Movement: Letters to the Southern Mercury (Austin: Texas A. & M. University Press, 1997), 3-76. Michael Lewis Goldberg, An Army of Women: Gender and Politics in Gilded Age Kansas (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997). On women in the Pentecostal-Holiness Movements see, Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, "‘Together and in Harness’: Women's Traditions in the Sanctified Church," in Black Women in America: Social Science Perspectives, Micheline R. Malson, Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi, Jean F. O'Barr and Mary Wyer, eds. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990). On Populism and Race see, Herbert Shapiro, "The Populist and the Negro: A Reconsideration," in The Making of Black America, August Meier ed. (NY: Atheneum, 1969), 32. Gerald Gaither, Blacks and the Populist Revolt: Ballots and Bigotry in the "New South" (Tuscaloosa, AL:University of Alabama Press, 1977). On Holiness-Pentecostal movements and race, see, Iain MacRobert, The Black Roots and White Racism of Early Pentecostalism in the U. S. A. Harrell, White Sects and Black Men.
Randall J. Stephens is a doctoral student in History at the University of Florida. Mr. Stephens wishes to express special thanks to Dr. David G. Hackett and Bland Whitley for their comments on earlier versions of this paper.