The Houston Connection
Mr. and Mrs. Walter Oyler, of Orchard, Texas, attended the meeting in Galena, Kansas (1903) and both of them received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. They also attended the meeting held in Joplin, Missouri in the fall of 1904, where they met a Mrs. Hall. On March 21, 1905 she accompanied them back to Orchard, Texas. They told the people of Orchard, of the "full gospel" which had meant so much to them for both soul and body. They prayed that the Lord would send Brother Parham there for a meeting, and God answered prayer.
Brother Parham arrived in Orchard and stayed at the the home of H.H. Aylor. His first sermon in Orchard, Texas was on Easter Sunday, 1905. This was the birthplace of the Apostolic Faith Movement in Texas. So many were healed, saved and baptized with the Holy Ghost that there seemed to be scarcely one left to plead the cause of the evil one. The whole community had been transformed, restitution had been made, lives had been changed and led into the deeper things of God.
On May 20, 1905 Brother Parham returned to Baxter Springs, Kansas, to fill some appointments he had planned. On July 2nd a farewell meeting was held in Galena, Kansas. Brother Parham, with a company of fifteen (15) faithful soldiers, returned once more to the southland. They arrived at Orchard, Texas on July 4, 1905. On July 10, 1905, Brother Parham, now with twenty-five workers including those who joined the company from Texas, began the revival meeting to lay seize to the city of Houston in the name of the Lord. Bryan Hall had been secured for the meeting which cost $50.00.
Bryan Hall, Houston, Texas (1905)
The town of Brunner became one continous flame of revival power. A large tabernacle was erected where throngs of hungry people came to be healed and filled with the Holy Ghost. Meetings were also held in Richmond, Katy, Alvin, Angelton, Needleville, Crosby and many other places. The power of God was present to save, sanctify, heal and baptize with the Holy Ghost.
Brunner Tabernacle, Houston, Texas (1905-06)
Apostolic Faith Church, Katy, Texas (1905)
After having returned again to Baxter Springs, for commitments, on Monday, October 16, 1905 Brother Parham and about twenty workers said goodbye, leaving the depot at Columbus, Kansas around 1:00 a.m. Wednesday morning, about 8:30 a.m. they arrived at Orchard, and were warmly welcomed by God's children. They remained there till October 21, holdeing services day and night, and showers of blessings refreshed hungry souls. On Saturday, October 21, 1905 they left Orchard enroute for Houston. They had to lay over at Alvin for about five hours. Two street meetings were held, one in the morning and one after lunch. The people of Alvin were so pleased that as the group was getting ready to leave, several citizens went to Brother Parham and requested him to return and hold some meetings in their town. The first building used as an Apostolic Faith Church in Alvin, Texas was a warehouse seen in the picture below.
Apostolic Faith Church, Alvin, Texas (1905)
Under the leading of the Holy Ghost, Brother Parham considered making Houston the new headquarters for the Apostolic Faith Movement and to conduct a Bible School. Scores of persons, married and single, were consecrating their lives to God and volunteering for His service without money and without price to preach this gospel, but felt the need of Bible teaching. So, Brother Parham consented to spend the winter in Houston, not only to engage in training students but to firmly establish this great growing work in Texas. In a few days, $100.00 was given for the rent of a large residence which was conpletely furnished.
The Apostolic Faith Headquarters and Bible School, Houston, Texas (1906)
This announcement was made in the daily paper: "A reception will be tendered for Brother and Sister Charles F. Parham at their home, 503 Rusk, tonight. Brother Parham conducted a revival at Bryan Hall last summer and has decided to make Houston the headquarters for the Apostolic work in Texas, and will personally superintend the work for a time until it can be left in other hands. During the winter and spring months, a Bible Training School will be located here under his instruction." Those who came to the school earnestly seeking to know more of God, were greatly helped and went out from the school better prepared to preach and teach the word of God.