Who's Who in Pentecost > Carothers, Warren Faye


Warren Faye Carothers

(1872 - 1953)

Faye Carothers came to Houston, Texas in 1893 from Giddings, Texas, to study law and was admitted to the bar in April 1894. He was licensed as a 'local preacher' in the Methodist church in 1899. In 1902 he was involved in starting a small Holiness mission known as "Christian Witness."

That same year a water-well driller, M.E. Layne, moved to Houston from South Dakota. He became quite successful in manufacturing both water and oil drilling equipment. He had three sons near the same age as Howard goss who fondly emembers staying in their home. Mrs. Layne became like a mother to many of the young workers.

During the summer convention, 1908, the Bartleman family from California were guests in the Layne home when Bartleman came down with a very severe case of mumps. He was lovingly cared for by the family. In turn he prayed specifically that none of the host family woud get the disease. The payer was answered. Interstingly, in later years the Laybe family continued to be supporters of gospel work, including Evangelistic Temple mentioned below.

Through the generosity of the Layne family of suburban Brunner, land was provided at Eli and Patterson Streets for the erection of a wooden tabernacle. The construction of this building started in 1903, was underway in the summer of 1905 while the Parham meetings were being conducted in the downtown Bryan Hall. The name of the church was changed to "Brunner Tabernacle" although the newspaper still called it "Christian Witness Tabernacle" in July 1906. Carothers remained as pastor until 1914.

In 1917, under the leadership of "Dad" Richey, and his son, Raymond T., (1893-1968), a new building was erected and the name changed to "West End Gospel Tabernacle." The Richeys left in 1927 to start the dowtown "Evangelistic Temple". This later work has been led in recent years by such luminaries as Austin Wilkerson, under whose leadership it sometimes rivaled the world famous Houston Second Baptist; Reginald Klimionok, from Australia; and currently Tom Moffett, recently from ORU. The West End work was relocated and became the First Assembly of God in 1939.

The Pentecostal-Charismatic Movement is represented in Houston by numerous very large churhe's, and of course by a multitude of smaller ones. The leading Charismatic Church is Lakewood Church, founded by John Osteen (1921-1999) and today served by his son Joel. Black megachurches include Abundant Life Cathedral, where Ed Montgomery is pastor, and St. Agnes Baptist Church of the million dollar regular weekly offerings. An exciting example of the Hispanic churches is Centro cristiano led by Gerardo Cardenas.

During the Orchard meetings, April and May, 1905, a lady member of the Brunner church, Mrs. John C. Calhoun, visited the revival, received the Baptism, and returned to tell her pastor, Carothers, about the remarkable events taking place. When Parham came to Houston, Carothers and many members of his congregation were not only curious, but hungry for a deeper work of god. A teenage boy from the Brunner church was the first to receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in Houston.

By October the fellowship between Parham and Carothers had increased to the point that when the second group of workers came from Kansas, the convocation held to welcome them was the Brunner Tabernacle. This became the first Pentecostal church in Texas.

Carothers soon became Parham's "right-hand man" and was appointed field director in 1906. Although these terms were not used very specifically, it seems that Carothers was considered national director and Goss was considered field director of Texas, (Tuthill was Missouri director: Lillian Thistlethwaite was national secretary). In the summer of 1907, Goss and Carothers resigned under pressure from those who accused them of attempting to take leadership of the movement. At the 1907 summer camp meeting, A.G. Canada was appointed field director. but so far as we can determine, no further reference is ever made to these positions.

At the second Apostolic Faith stste encampment, in August, 1906, at Brunner, Carothers was in charge of the program. This event included intensive training sessions that concluded with the ordination of workers who were then assigned to teams for different missions.

As the years passed, Carothers became more active in legal practice and was appointed "United States Commissioner Judge" and went on to found the Houston Realty Board. he had turned his attention to business in 1908, becoming manager o the Houston Abstract Company, and by 1923 he had established a law partnership.

In the meantime however he continued to be interested in many aspects of the Pentecostal movement. He was one of the executive presbyery at the founding of the Assembly of God in 1914. At the 1921 General Council, he led in the passage of a resolution on "World-wide Cooperation." He was appointed to the committee to encourage an ecumenical union of Pentecostal believers. When nothing came of their work, he withdrew from the A/G, but convened unity conferences in various cities from 1922. Carothers edited The Herald of the Church. However by 1934, it had ceased publication. His work resulted in the 1937 action of the A/G to call for a world conference, which actually convened for the first time in London in 1940.

During the following years he seemed to drift in and out of church relationships, sometimes attending the Methodist church and at other times Apostolic Faith churches. He personally brought a large telescope to Houston, which eventually led to the Houston Planatarium. In his latter years he considered his most important work to be a translation of the New Testament, which unfortunately was never published.

Pauline Parham remembered his occasional visits to the church she pastored during the 1940's. Most often he sat quietly in the back of the church with an occasional visit to the altar.

Warren Faye Carothers died February 12, 1953 at the age of 81.

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