Pentecostal World Conference looks toward future cooperation
(July 13, 2001)
Rallying under the theme "Pentecost: Millennium III, Renewing the Vision,"
more than 2,000 people from 46 nations gathered for the triennial Pentecostal
World Conference in Los Angeles May 29-31. Although it marked the 19th
meeting, this is only the second time the conference took place in the
Rejoicing in unity:
Pentecostals from around the world worship at the conference.
Los Angeles, the site of historic spiritual awakenings including the
Azusa Street revival in 1906-09 that touched every part of the globe,
served as a fitting venue for the PWC. Today there are 523 million Pentecostals
and charismatics in the world, 27 percent of all Christians.
Kenneth Ulmer, pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood,
Calif., noted that the conference drew many from different ethnic and
racial traditions who rarely have come together in the past.
"Yet by the power of the Holy Spirit we gather in this place as one,"
Ulmer said. "We serve a God that is bigger than color and denominational
affiliation. So from every tongue and nation we gather to declare His
goodness, mercy and grace."
Thomas E. Trask, general superintendent of the U.S. Assemblies of God
and chairman of the PWC, delivered the keynote opening address. "God
has raised up the Pentecostal church to have an impact on the world,"
Trask said, calling conference participants to seek a new passion for
Pentecost. "It doesnt matter how large our buildings are or how
great our programs are if there isnt power."
Jack Hayford, founding pastor of Church On The Way in Van Nuys, Calif.,
emceed the three evening rallies at the Crenshaw Christian Center FaithDome.
David Yonggi Cho, pastor of the worlds largest congregation
the 760,000-member Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea
also spoke at the event.
Ulmer focused on the theme of divine healing. "Your theology of healing
will always emerge from your theology of God," Ulmer said. "What you
think about healing will at some point reveal what you think about God."
Misael Argenal, pastor of Ministry of the Harvest, San Pedro Sula,
Honduras, spoke at the final evening rally. "God wants visionaries who
have a passion to conquer through the power of the Holy Spirit," said
Argenal, whose church has experienced explosive growth. "We are called
to reach our cities and nations in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
We must do it with strength, power and authority."
Trask, who was elected to a second term as WPC chairman, said it is
up to pastors to make sure their congregants dont lose the fervor.
"We are responsible to lead," Trask said. "Your people will never be
more Pentecostal than you are. If you can go Sunday after Sunday with
barren altars, something is wrong with your passion."
He also said that the mission of the church is far from complete. "May
we not be satisfied with the half-billion Pentecostals worldwide when
there are billions more who have not yet heard the gospel."
The next conference will take place in 2004 in Johannesburg, South