Who's Who in Pentecost > Goss, Millicent E. McClendon

9 Oct 2016

Millicent E. McClendon

The person described in the press as the brightest jewel of the Apostolic Faith movement was  "bonnie, freckled-faced, and slender, Scottish lassie, "Millicent McClendon (1883-1910), a girl from Alvin, Texas. It was said that since she had been brought up only a few miles from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, cold weather was very difficult for her.

Millicent had apparently already been exposed to "tongue-speaking" and other gifts of the spirit at Frank Sanford's (1862-1948) "The Holy Spirit and Us" school at Shiloh, Maine. It is probable that she is the one Goss tells about who received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit some six months before she met any of the Apostolic Faith people. Likely she firat herd about the Apostolic Faith movement when the "second group" of workers, on their way to Huston, October, 1905, decided to hold a street meeting while they were waiting to change trains in her hometown of Alvin. Her future husband, Howard Goss was in the group.

Whether Goss actually met Millicent during tht firt brief encounter at Alvin, he joined the workers returning to hold meetings in Alvin. The tem ws led by Oscar Jones, a Baptist preacher, and his wife who had just come from Kansas. Soon Goss was referring to Millicent as "one of our most promising young lady evangelists".

Their assocition soon led to romance and they married February 24, 1907 in Alvin.

The year before, at the close of the Houston Bible School, in the spring of 1906, she had become a full time evngelist, "and God mightly used her as an evangelist, her special gift. In the summer of 1907 she conducted a tent meetin in Austin, and some 200 were filled with the Holy Spirit. It was during this meeting that the Texas Rangers, from their Headquarters down the street, came over and enforced order.

Being slight of frame, it is probably not surprising that her favorite sermon was about the meeting of David and Goliath, gaining for her the nickname, "Little David". Although Howard Goss was responsible for starting the church in Alvin, none of the available records indicate that Millicent ever preached in her hometown.

She was among the most level headed of the young people. During one of her revivals, some of the team received a "revelation" tht anyone who ate pork would die, which she blithely ignored, she ate the pork, preached with great anointing and a mighty revival broke out in the town, which continued for four months."

Aftr thir work in Texas, the Gosses went on to Arkansas where Millicent was responsible for founding what, for some time, was the largest Pentecostal church in the nation, at Malvern, Arkansas.

In 1910 a child was born, whom they named Gloria. A few days later Millicent died of wht was then called blood poisoning. She was returned to Alvin for the funeral in her parent's home and burial in the local cemetery. Gloria was raised by her grandparents and she grew up and later married in Alvin.

There must have been an earlier child. J.L. Hall reports that in eamining the journals of Howard Goss, now in the possession of the UPCI, there are two entries that are revealing. One has to do with Goss who, while musing in perplexity as to why his wife died, remarks that "this childbirth was much easier than the first." After the funeral he remained a few days in Alvin and one entry for that period reds to the effect that "this afternoon I went out to the baby's grave." There is a small white grave marker in the Alvin Cemetery that reds "Baby Goss, October 25 to 27, 1909."

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