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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. ...

Born in Revival: The Assemblies of God

Jan. 12, 2014

During this centennial year of the Assemblies of God, the Pentecostal Evangel will be looking to the past as well as the future. From the Fellowship’s earliest years, revival has been a hallmark of individual and congregational experience. Following are a few examples from our archives. Leaders and laypeople alike pray that revival continues to energize Assemblies of God churches, ministries and members.

Jan. 15, 1916
Benton, Ark.

Yesterday was a red-letter day in our Assembly here in Benton, Ark. At the 11 o’clock service, after a short address explaining the nature and purpose of the sacrament, I, assisted by Brother J.N. Orr … administered the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. I have been a Methodist pastor 14 years and have attended many of these services but never in all my past experience have I seen so much of the power of God manifested at a similar service. … The saints came to the altar with loud weeping, commingled with deep rejoicing and the power of the Lord rested upon us all. Praise His dear name. … The dear sisters especially seemed to be united in such bonds of love that all differences seemed to be swept away in a perfect flood of Christian love, and the presence of the Lord was felt all over the place.

We had an exceptionally sweet service on Saturday night, the Holy Spirit manifesting himself in messages and strong weeping. On Sunday the power of the Lord was so strong that during the testimony service we were not able to have any preaching for, after a strong message given in tongues, with interpretation, many came to the altar without even an invitation and prostrated themselves before the Lord, with weeping and supplications. Many, unable to endure the scene, left the house and the power of God’s presence was felt by all.

God has been blessing us ever since.

— A.E. Wilson

Aug. 20, 1921

The Pentecostal church has just concluded a downtown evangelistic campaign in which God came forth in real power. The Grand Theatre had been rented and the services of Brother A.H. Argue, son Watson and daughter Zelma, had been engaged for a period of three weeks, beginning July 10. God signally honored the effort and came forth in a real way in the very first service. The interest increased in a remarkable way, and many testified that they had been definitely healed in answer to the prayer of faith. Some who were deaf testified that God had unstopped their ears. A Roman Catholic sister who was not able to hear any voices or any of the music on the platform was in raptures of joy as she was able to hear the voices and the music. She shouted the praises of the Lord, and her husband who has never been affiliated with any religious organization and who is connected with three lodges said that this just suited him and that he purposed to attend the services of the Pentecostal Church.

A goodly number received the Baptism of the Spirit, speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. Two sisters who received the Spirit on a Sunday afternoon spoke in languages that were understood by some on the platform. One of the sisters spoke in Chinese and the language was understood and translated by Sister Lowther, one of our Pentecostal missionaries home from China, and the other in Kurdish and was understood by an Armenian brother. Numbers of people gave their hearts to Jesus.

— J. Narver Gortner

Feb. 10, 1934
Maywood, Calif.

Our wonderful revival still continues. We are in the 11th week. Every service, except one or two, has been crowned with souls being saved and filled with the Spirit. Many times the Spirit has taken complete charge, and without any preaching souls have come to the altar where God has met them. At other times, conviction was so great that during the message the hungry ones made their way forward. The manifestations of the Spirit have been glorious. Men and women from all traditions in life have been washed in the Blood. Broken homes have been united, and some have had beautiful visions true to the Scriptures. These were sometimes given to babes in Christ who did not know the Word. Ministers from other congregations are coming and, returning to their assemblies, are starting revival fires there.

Marvelous healings have been wrought. One sister was stricken suddenly, and in spite of hours of prayer she slipped away. But the Christian people, in the face of death, still held on to God. In answer to believing prayer just as she was about to enter heaven’s gates, Jesus stopped her and told her she must come back. Then He touched her heart and, as she revived and life again flowed through her body, she arose, healed of many complications from which she had suffered for years. New ones are coming in every night and being saved.

— Arthur W. and Mrs. Erickson, pastors

March 11, 1956
Lapwai, Idaho

The folk at the Nez Perce Indian Reservation are rejoicing over a gracious visitation of God in recent months. Prior to the special meetings conducted by Evangelist Norman E. Erickson and songleader Larry Knopp of Spokane, Wash., prayer meetings and a week of tarrying services were held at which time one received the Holy Spirit and two were healed by the power of God. During the four-week revival a number were saved, some were reclaimed, 26 received the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and at least 18 experienced a refilling of the Spirit of God. There were numerous healings from a wide variety of disorders. A 2-year-old who had swallowed a one-inch screw was remarkably delivered after being rushed to the morning prayer service. A baby who had been declared mentally deficient showed decided improvement after prayer was made in her behalf. Truly the hearts of the people have been stirred by this mighty manifestation of God’s power.

— O.B. Skogstad, pastor

Sept. 26, 1965
Shafter, Calif.

The Assembly of God here experienced revival. In the three-week crusade 30 were saved, 20 filled with the Holy Spirit, and many refilled and healed.

There were many visitors, and crowds were large. Chairs were needed to accommodate them. A backslidden Pentecostal preacher was reclaimed and is now working for God. A Baptist couple (he was choir leader and she was a pianist in the Baptist church) were filled with the Holy Spirit.

The church is rejoicing over all that was accomplished in this revival. Many new families have been added to the church.

— A.B. Farmer, pastor

Aug. 31, 1997
State College, Pa.

State College is experiencing a dramatic and prolonged move of God, accompanied by miracles and healings, and the removal of denominational barriers. [A multidenominational] Pentecost Sunday service saw a Presbyterian woman healed of partial deafness. An Assemblies of God man was healed of seizures that had plagued him for 20 years. Another woman was freed from carpal tunnel syndrome. A surgeon was later reportedly healed of cancer.

“I think Pentecost Sunday was the official beginning of the spiritual awakening here,” says Paul Grabill, pastor of State College Assembly of God. “Nothing is manufactured. It seems like the more obedient we are [to the Holy Spirit], the more God pours out His blessings.”

In December 1996, a layman from Pensacola, Fla., was in State College on vacation and attended the Wednesday night service at the assembly. He shared during the service – and God began to move.

“This dear man was no great speaker,” Grabill says, “but the power of God on him was phenomenal. I’d never seen such an anointing.”

The service lasted five hours.

“It was a breakthrough service,” Grabill says. “Our people looked at this visiting layman and said, ‘That could be me.’”

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