Pentecostal Heritage Center
When the Pentecostal movement began
early in the 20th century, the humble participants could have never
foreseen that the history they were making would one day be cataloged
and portrayed in an archives and museum in Springfield, Mo. And they
could have never imagined that their stories would be accessible worldwide
via an Internet site.
Unofficial historians collected
information during the early years of the past century, but it was not
until the 1970s that the Assemblies of God began systematically archiving
its history. The result was the opening of the Assemblies of God Archives.
Nearly a quarter of a century later,
that small facility has grown to a 7,800-square-foot complex: archives,
research center, professionally designed interactive museum, offices
and fireproof vault.
The rapidly growing collection of
non-circulating research materials is available to the public. The holdings
focus on the history of the Assemblies of God, but they also include
materials of the Pentecostal, charismatic and evangelical traditions.
A separate audiovisual room gives visitors access to videos, movies
and slides; audio equipment is also available for listening to oral
histories and sermons.
A professional museum company combined
state-of-the-art technology with fascinating artifacts, to create the
Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center inspiring thousands of visitors
during the first two years of operation.
With new digital technology come
more efficient ways to store and access videos, periodicals, photographs
and other important historical materials that help tell the story of
the Pentecostal movement. A century of inspiring history is on the the
Internet. Researchers can view, for example, the Pentecostal Evangel
all the way back to 1913. Utilizing the same digital technology, historical
periodicals and oral history are compressed on CDs. Making the researchers
task easier is the quick responding word-searching feature.
The Flower Pentecostal Heritage
Center has come a long way since 1977. The story remains the same, but
the technology used in displaying, storing and searching for the history
is truly high tech. And the welcome mat is always out whether
its on your computer or in the control center in Springfield.