The modern pentecostal movement is considered by many scholars the most revolutionary phenomenon in the history of Christianity in the 20th century, and perhaps one of the most striking of the whole history of the church. In relatively few decades, the Pentecostal churches gathered a huge amount of people in virtually all continental tes, totaling today, according to calculations by experts, about half a billion adherents around the mun. More than this, Pentecostalism has brought profound changes to the Christian landscape, breaking with a series of patterns that characterized Protestant churches a few centuries ago and proposing often radical reinterpretations of theology, worship, and religious experience . Right now, not many come to realize – inclusion ive many Pentecostal – this vast and influential movement is supple ing a century. Strictly speaking, Pentecostalism as a distinct phenomenon emerged in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.
We will talk about the denomination petenc ostal church of God begun in the eighteenth century, 1884, a Baptist pastor, Ricardo G. Spurling examining the Holy Scriptures, seeking the Lord in prayer, verify the spiritual decay in which the believing people were, felt the need for a spiritual revival, and initially promoted a meeting among the traditional believers of that region. After his explanations of the need of God’s people seek spiritual growth and holiness, only eight people were forward accepting the challenge, with him Richard G. Spurling, John Plemons, Polly Plemons , Barbara Spurling , Margaret Lauftus , Melinda Plemons , John Plemons Junior, and Adeline Lauftus , and his son the Baptist pastor Ricardo Spurling Júnior. On Aug. 19, 1886, in Barney Creek , Monroe County, Tennesee , United States, the movement called ‘Christian Union’ was founded and consolidated, with moderator RG Spurling holding meetings with prayers and tears on the premises of the old and rustic Barney Creek mill , in a movement, proposing to have as a rule of faith and practice only the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christo.
The movement called ‘Christian Union’ was developing, with a conversion of more than 100 people in North Carolina under the direction of Pastor RG Spurling Junior, and there was a need for their development, to change their meetings of the old and rustic Barney mill Creek for a Shearer Schoolhouse School Group, which did not last for long, because the opponents of that movement, despite being traditional believers, will be able to persuade the school owners to expel the fancied brothers . It was there that a lord by the name of Ricardo Kilpatrick , better known as Uncle Dick, donated a plot of land to the group, where they began building a wooden temple, and while they were building they held their meetings at Brother Bryant’s house. On one of the nights, a group of people against that movement set fire to the wooden temple and ran off, but by God’s providence a heavy rain fell that put out the fire. Days later, that temple was dynamited, being destroyed a great part of the same, being patiently reconstructed by the brothers.
Seeing those opponents who could not break the unshakable faith of that group of true Christians, they decided to make a drastic decision. On Sunday, at noon, 106 hooded men marched to the temple of the ‘Christian Union’ and cut down that wooden temple, making a huge pile of wood to make a bonfire. When the Pentecostal brothers arrived, they begged them not to set fire to that wood, but it was in vain. They set fire and kept watch so they would not try to extinguish it. Among the evildoers were religious, deacons, and even ministers of traditional and legalistic churches. Prayer meetings continued at Brother WF Bryant’s house, almost costing him his life, for one day as he was leaving his stable, where he fed his oxen, almost at night, he was shot with several shots of which four they hit him, miraculously escaping. Later, at prayer time, a group of seven men went to Brother Bryant’s house to kill him, when his wife asked them to leave, who left the place sensitized to the woman’s pregnancy status, however, , demanding that they no longer worship in that house.
That group of the ‘Christian Union’, very fearing and confident in the Lord, continued with their meetings in that house and that group of aggressors returned on certain nights, throwing against the walls of that house, breaking glass with stones.One day, while this group of brothers was celebrating a service at Brother Ross Allem’s house , a group of hooded ‘knights at night’ with cartridges, revolvers and knives in their hands interrupted the service when the owner, full of authority of the Holy Spirit, politely confronted those knights and persuaded them to leave them in peace, for they were only praying and seeking to serve God, and that no evil were being done against anyone, even them! The persecutions were many, many, which should not continue to speak, not build.
We now want to show what God has done from that group, in a demonstration that God accomplishes at all costs, even within difficulties, all the things that are in His will to do.Throughout this whole period of persecutions, also full of miracles and blessings from God, by decision of all, the ‘Christian Union’ movement came to be called: ‘Church of Holiness’ for a short period because, through much prayer and study of the word of God. It has been definitively termed ‘CHURCH OF GOD’, according to I Corinthians in chapter 1 verse 2 and II Corinthians chapter 2 verse 1, ‘Church of God’ .
Protestantism flourished in the mountains where the Church of God was born because Catholicism was unknown. Creeds and traditions obscured simple worship and worship of God. Richand G. Spurling decided to defy the deplorable state of his church and to him were united in prayer his son Richand G. Spurling Jr. and Juan Plemons . On Thursday August 19, 1886 there was a meeting in search of renewal convened by Spurling and others, close to Barney and Cocker. Spurling invited those present to form a Christian Union. He proposed that they form the New Testament or the law of Christ as their only rule of faith and practice. Eight people joined the original group.
The name given to this newborn organization was Christian Union. Spurling was established as the leader and moderator of the marriage. Six conquests of the church formed as a result of the second invitation to be a member.
‘If you had chosen a man
If you had elected a minister
If provision was made for the subsequent
The body was dedicated to the Lord
You get a second minister.
What had happened at the Barney Creek meeting house was for them only one step to revitalize Christianity in this mountainous region. Later, the revival was formed elsewhere to cover the world of Christianity. Between the years 1880 and 1926 a total of twenty-five Pentecostal churches were formed. In each case the cause was the pursuit of holiness. Making one, it is obvious that what happened in the Tennessee woods was an ecumenical movement. In the year 1886, after some revivals, the Spurling Jr. and North Carolina groups banded together and were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. One of Spurling’s last actions was to order his son Spurling Jr. as pastor of the young church. In the year 1896, what is now the Church of God, experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. The first step of opposition to the new revival of this time was: the non-communication of established church members. The next step was: violent physical acts of persecution, prisons, expulsion from the school where they worshiped. Richard Kilpatrick donated a plot to build a place of worship. The first attempt to destroy the new church was with fire, dynamite, dismantling. The second attack was with: dynamite, fire, dismantling. The last successful attempt was with: dismantling, fire and dynamite. During the revival in 1896 more than one hundred people were baptized with the Holy Spirit.
Six forms of fanaticism
- controversy and divisions
- doctrinal errors
- confusion and disorder
- weaknesses of holiness and worship, especially in the songs.
- unreasonable emphasis on the emotional aspect, which is part of the rational element in religious experience.
After the persecution, the Christian Union found itself divided and stained by fanaticism.Asceticism began to manifest when the members of the group were called wise in their opinions, worldly in their practices and more demanding than the word of God. The members of the Christian Union obtained court clemency for those who had burned their churches. Asceticism was the result of being more restricted than the word of God. The Christian Union has banned eating meat and what is not forbidden in the Bible. Some fasted to the point of collapsing. The ascetists regarded with contempt the non-spiritual members who held that such rigor and excess were not a Christian life. The three baptisms of fire taught by fanatic teachers: holy dynamite, holy litidite and holy oxidite . Another teaching that came to predominate was the eternal security of the believer, that is, that the Christian is incapable of sinning. One of the things that caused fanaticism was the lack of government in the church.
A new organization was made and the name ‘Christian Union’ was changed to: Holiness Church. AJ Tomlinson joined the new church on June 13, 1903. Bible studies were organized to indoctrinate the church, in which the whole group discussed the Scriptures. AJ Tomlinson was named pastor by Spurling and Bryant. The first General Assembly was held in the year 1906 at the home of JC Murphy. The moderator of the first General Assembly was: AJ Tomlinson . A decision taken at the first General Assembly held today is, ‘We do not consider ourselves to be a legislative or executive group, but only a judicial one.’
From its inception the Church of God emphasized the place of evangelization and Sunday school in its program. The author, Conn , uses I Corinthians 1: 27,28 to describe the humble origin of members of the Holiness Church. The New Testament is our only rule of faith and practice. At the first General Assembly it was decided to observe the communication and washing of the feet of the saints at least once a year. The Holiness Church took the initiative to oppose the use of tobacco. The second General Assembly was held in 1907 in the church of Union Grove. The moderator and secretary of the Second General Assembly was: AJ Tomlinson . In the second General Assembly in 1907 the name of Holiness Church was changed to Church of God.
In the year of 1906 the center of attention of the church changed of Camp Creek to Cleveland. In the year 1907 all the preachers of the Church of God were pastors of several churches. A young man, director of the choir of First Baptist Church, who joined the Church of God was Flavius Lee. In the area of church union and state it was decided that they should obey the laws while they did not conflict with the law of Christ.
At the fourth General Assembly there were twelve congregations represented. The main action of this Assembly was the decision to have a general moderator to serve full time. The first person to hold the position of general moderator was AJ Tomlinson . The first missionary of the Church of God was RM Evans. In the Pleasant Grove revival , when Tomlinson invited those present to become members of the Church of God, they accepted. At the Fifth General Assembly there were 31 churches represented.
At the 1910 Assembly the title of general moderator moved to General Supervisor. The doctrinal statements have never changed. At the Tenth Assembly (1914), AJ Tomlinson was elected Life General Supervisor. The first general offering of missions was collected in the Church of God at the 1911 General Assembly . The first treasurer of the mission fund was F. J. Lee . The first class of ‘Bible Training School’ met in January 1918. AJ Tomlinson was replaced as General Supervisor for usurpation of authority and mismanagement of funds. With the election of FJ Lee to the position of General Supervisor, he has restored confidence in the leadership of the church. The lawsuit of the Church of God against Tomlinson and his followers was prompted by a dispute over the name of the Church of God. The dispute was finally resolved in favor of the Church of God by the Tennessee Supreme Court. At the nineteenth Assembly the first call was made to organize youth work (MJ). In the year 1930 the church of God had 3,269 members in the mission field. In the year of 1936 the organization of the women assisting the church was born. (MF).
The greatest difference found among churches of this same branch, denomination petencostal, is the modernism of the churches created in a more recent period. Thus, some traditional petencostral followers do not support and consider this modernism in the rules an aberration, considering a talk of respect.
The success of this effort to expand its capacity for influence in Brazilian society put it at the forefront of the process of flexibilization and revision of Pentecostalism, with its strategies gradually being assimilated by other ecclesiastical structures. And here prudence is needed: the mimetic effect expresses more the heightening of religious competition and the concern of the leaders of other churches with the strengthening of Universal than an internal unity in the Pentecostal field. In any case, the clash between religious groups seems to have been positive for the creation of new forms of framing the participation of men and women from the popular segments in ecclesial, economic and political spaces.