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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. ...

Vantage Point: Leaders of the Assemblies of God

By Ken Horn
June 22, 2014

In its 100 years, the Assemblies of God has had 12 general superintendents — men prayerfully chosen to lead the entire Fellowship. Five of them were present at the first General Council in 1914: E.N. Bell, A.P. Collins, J.W. Welch, W.T. Gaston and R.M. Riggs.

I was privileged to be a student of one. Ralph M. Riggs, in his later years, taught at Bethany Bible College in California. I heard him preach and took his Pentecostal Truths class when he was in his 70s. Brother Riggs’ now classic work The Spirit Himself (still available from Gospel Publishing House) was my textbook. He was also a great supporter of the basketball team (on which I played).

Thomas F. Zimmerman was superintendent when I was first credentialed, then ordained. His lengthy tenure lasted well into my second pastorate in Davis, Calif. He was the first superintendent I heard speak at a General Council.

When I arrived at AG headquarters (now known as the National Leadership and Resource Center) in 1997, Thomas E. Trask was superintendent. I was privileged to serve during 11 years of his leadership.

G. Raymond Carlson, who preceded Trask in office, would occasionally come up to the Pentecostal Evangel’s fourth-floor location. I remember Brother Carlson sitting at our conference table reading the baseball box scores in the sports section to check out how his grandnephew, Jason Schmidt, then pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was doing. (Schmidt later became the ace for the San Francisco Giants and we interviewed him for the Evangel.)

I was somewhat intimidated the first time Brother Carlson walked casually into my office, sat down and said, “I have a theological question for you.” This was the first of many such discussions, during which I was always the one who learned.

Our current superintendent, George O. Wood, was serving as general secretary when I moved to Springfield. I was present when he was elected superintendent at the 52nd General Council in August 2007.

Both Dr. Trask and (currently) Dr. Wood have had far-reaching influence through serving as chairmen of the larger World Assemblies of God Fellowship, now more than 66 million strong. (The WAGF convenes in August for the AG’s Centennial Celebration.)

In this issue, we hear from all 12 godly men who have led the Assemblies of God.

Ken Horn

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