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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Connections: David Flower
July 14, 2013

A Ministering Family

David Flower has been a pastor and has served as superintendent of the Southern New England District of the Assemblies of God. He is the youngest child of J. Roswell Flower and Alice Reynolds Flower, founders of the
Pentecostal Evangel. He visited recently with Evangel Editor Ken Horn.

evangel: How were you called to ministry?

DAVID FLOWER: Ministry was never forced on any of us children. We just moved into it because God had His hand upon us. Of course the influence of a mother and father, with their vision and their burden, did pay off a good deal on what we were going to do with our lives. At first, being the sixth of six children, I thought I would go in another direction. That didn’t last very long, because one night in a tent meeting right here in Springfield, Mo., the Lord called me. I had to say yes.

evangel: Where did you minister?

FLOWER: I pioneered a church in Olean, N.Y., then took a second pastorate in Augusta, Maine, the capital city. While there I served as the secretary of the old New England District.

My wife and I were then called to Springfield, Mass., for almost 12 years and I then became superintendent of the Southern New England District. After 10 years in that position, I was called  to Bethel Temple in Dayton, Ohio, one of the older churches in our Fellowship. I was there for 22 years; and from there I came back home to Springfield to retire — but I stay very active.

evangel: Every day when I come into the offices of the Pentecostal Evangel, I can look straight down the hall and see the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. What a blessing it is to the Assemblies of God. It is probably the premiere Pentecostal archives in the world, and it bears the name of your family. How does that feel?

FLOWER: It is humbling, but we are very grateful for it because there probably was no one else who had the pulse beat of the Assemblies of God like Dad did.

evangel: Your father, J. Roswell Flower, was the first secretary-treasurer of the Assemblies of God, and your mother was very significant as a writer and communicator. Your oldest brother, Joseph R. Flower, was also secretary-treasurer of the Assemblies of God for many years. This year, one year before the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies, is the 100th anniversary of the Pentecostal Evangel. It was formed in 1913 by your parents. You were born 12 years after the magazine was founded. Growing up, what do you remember about the magazine and your parents’ involvement?

FLOWER: Dad, of course, was in on the foundation of many of the other areas of the Assemblies of God. The two of them were gifted in expressing themselves intelligently in writing as well as in speaking.

Mother had a writing ministry as well as a speaking ministry. It was important to lay a foundation of a worthy Evangel, writing of the early activities of the Assemblies of God and of the Pentecostal Movement that was brand new in America and around the world.

I might add an interesting side note. At the first gathering in Hot Springs, Ark., when the AG was formed, Mother was not there. She was back home in Ohio at the time. When decisions were made, a phone call was made to her, she contacted the printer, printed up the information, put it on a train and got it down to Hot Springs in time for the first printing of their major activities and decisions that were made.

The Flower family was definitely Christian and Bible-oriented in its life and its practice. Part of Mother’s ministry was to the home. She wrote a book on the home, Building Your House Well. There was not one single day I can remember that we as a family did not have family altar — prayer and the Word. I attribute my salvation, my calling into ministry, to the home.

There were some folks who weren’t too happy about some of Dad’s decisions, but I never knew that until afterwards. They never talked about problems. The home was always positive. Christ was exalted, and people were lifted up.

I was saved — born again — as a child. I received the Baptism in a tent meeting in a revival service, but the home was vital and they practiced what they preached. They lived it, I saw it, and there were no inconsistencies. They were human; they weren’t angels. But they were godly parents who lived a consistent life.

There were some “no’s” back then. You knew there were some things we were not to get involved in. The standard led us all into the ministry, and for that we are very thankful. I learned to pray in the home. I learned to read the Bible in the home. I learned to be faithful to the church.

evangel: How did your parents keep it all together with six kids and such a busy schedule?

FLOWER: Mother had friends. She was called Mother Flower by hundreds of people. There were people who volunteered to help. There were various areas in which we were assisted by friends who had been ministered to by Mother and Dad, and they wanted to do something to express their gratitude. Mother and Dad were also very thoughtful of people in need. There were at least three different individuals — two women and one young man — whom they raised. They were considered part of the family.

evangel: Could you talk about your experience with the missionaries of the Assemblies of God?

FLOWER: We always had a missionary visiting us. I got the burden for missions in the home from Dad and Mother. Then Dad had several overseas trips — Mother did too, but not as frequently as Dad did — to minister to the missionaries. Missionaries are a class all their own. They are human, they have their problems, challenges, weaknesses, but they’re a class all their own and we respect them.

evangel: Can you believe it’s been almost 100 years since your parents began this magazine?

FLOWER: It’s hard to believe that. Mother was over 100 years old when she died. I believe God raised them up in the beginning to meet a challenge. They helped provide a stabilizing factor in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


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