ecumenical trends ,` z - international pentecostal holiness church

Ecumenical Trends PRAYER' ,` z w v z UNITY Volume 37 No. 1 GRAYMOOR ECUMENICAL & INTERRELIGIOUS INSTITUTE January 2008 1908 - 2008 Celebrating 100 Years of Prayer for Christian Unity "Full Communion": A Pentecostal Prayer BY HAROLD D. HUNTER W hen I put together the first interna- tional conference of pentecostal and charismatic scholars at Brighton '91 - after being turned down by the WCC General Superintendent in his Geneva office to join along with Canberra and their theme `Come Holy Spirit' — I devel- oped a model that remains useful to this day. That is, when organizing a confer- ence I always draw from four streams and five continents. The four streams in this paradigm are Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Pentecostal. Obviously this does not account for the whole of Christianity and does not explain many important nuances but it provides a work- ing premise. Despite centuries of fragmentation, Roman Catholics and the Orthodox have managed to keep `internal' divisions of the last century shrouded in thick clouds of mystery. Using the paradigm above, I can say that the division and fragmentation associated with Classical Pentecostalism is no worse than that known to Protestantism. With the rise of conciliar ecumenism in the 20th century, ecclesial bodies that achieve organic unity are held in high esteem. Despite the lack of proper recog- nition, organic unity is also part of the story of Classical Pentecostals. In the USA, among the most representative examples are the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, the Open Bible Churches, the United Pentecostal Church International and the International Pentecostal Church of Christ. This article addresses the question of how some Classical Pentecostal denomi- nations that belong to the Pentecostal World Fellowship compare to the Canberra model of church unity made visible or, to use conciliar language, achieve full com- munion. Special attention will be given to the roll of prayer in a Pentecostal context. Pentecostal Prayer Prayer most common among early 20th century Classical Pentecostal denominations in the USA that belonged to the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF) had much in common with many Christian traditions. The description that follows draws upon selective theo- logical trends from the Pentecostal Movement as a whole and not celebrated epics like the Azusa Street Revival that ran in Los Angeles, California from 1906 to 1909.' Among those common elements is that Pentecostal prayer involved petition. Prayer is the offering up of our desires to God for things agreeable to God's will. Early Pentecostals were known to distin- guish between the necessities of life and things on the periphery. Popular language like "needs" versus "wants" were invoked. So when petitioning a sovereign God, Pentecostals first and foremost prayed about necessities such as the conversion of unbelievers, healing of the body, trans- formation of communities, the resolve to be faithful to their calling, etc. On the one hand, Pentecostals acknowledged the many gifts of God in their lives while not waiting passively for a mysterious inter- vention to resolve all their requests. Despite exceptions from the start, it was mostly a later aberration that insisted that the outcome of an object of prayer depended solely on the "amount" or "strength" of the believer's faith. The ear- liest Pentecostals were persistent in their prayers and would often stay with the ill at their bedside until a resolution was achieved. Testimonies were multiplied about the benefits of frequent prayer. However, the majority knew that no amount of prayer or faith assured a certain outcome. Their definition of faith in this context was often explained by Hebrews 11:6 and James 1:6f. It was evident that humility was a mark of this genuine faith and that authentic prayer must be in accordance with the express will of God. Nowhere is continued on page 2 "Full Communion": A Pentecostal Prayer HAROLD D. HUNTER Collegiality and the Formation of the Apostles' Creed: A Model for Ecumenical Dialogue DANIEL F. STRAMARA, JR. S "Seeing the Church": A Proposal for a Supplementary Ecumenical Strategy O.C. EDWARDS, JR. 10

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Page 1: Ecumenical Trends ,` z - International Pentecostal Holiness Church

Ecumenical TrendsPRAYER'

,` z

wv z


Celebrating 100 Years of Prayer for Christian Unity

"Full Communion": A Pentecostal PrayerBY HAROLD D. HUNTER

When I put together the first interna-tional conference of pentecostal

and charismatic scholars at Brighton '91 -after being turned down by the WCCGeneral Superintendent in his Genevaoffice to join along with Canberra andtheir theme `Come Holy Spirit' — I devel-oped a model that remains useful to thisday. That is, when organizing a confer-ence I always draw from four streams andfive continents. The four streams in thisparadigm are Roman Catholic, Orthodox,Protestant, and Pentecostal. Obviouslythis does not account for the whole ofChristianity and does not explain manyimportant nuances but it provides a work-ing premise.

Despite centuries of fragmentation,Roman Catholics and the Orthodox havemanaged to keep `internal' divisionsof the last century shrouded in thickclouds of mystery. Using the paradigmabove, I can say that the division andfragmentation associated with ClassicalPentecostalism is no worse than thatknown to Protestantism.

With the rise of conciliar ecumenismin the 20th century, ecclesial bodies thatachieve organic unity are held in highesteem. Despite the lack of proper recog-nition, organic unity is also part of thestory of Classical Pentecostals. In theUSA, among the most representativeexamples are the International PentecostalHoliness Church, the Open Bible Churches,the United Pentecostal Church Internationaland the International Pentecostal Churchof Christ.

This article addresses the question ofhow some Classical Pentecostal denomi-nations that belong to the PentecostalWorld Fellowship compare to the Canberramodel of church unity made visible or, touse conciliar language, achieve full com-munion. Special attention will be given tothe roll of prayer in a Pentecostal context.

Pentecostal Prayer

Prayer most common among early20th century Classical Pentecostaldenominations in the USA that belongedto the Pentecostal World Fellowship(PWF) had much in common with manyChristian traditions. The descriptionthat follows draws upon selective theo-logical trends from the PentecostalMovement as a whole and not celebratedepics like the Azusa Street Revival thatran in Los Angeles, California from 1906to 1909.'

Among those common elements isthat Pentecostal prayer involved petition.Prayer is the offering up of our desires toGod for things agreeable to God's will.Early Pentecostals were known to distin-guish between the necessities of life andthings on the periphery. Popular languagelike "needs" versus "wants" were invoked.So when petitioning a sovereign God,Pentecostals first and foremost prayedabout necessities such as the conversionof unbelievers, healing of the body, trans-formation of communities, the resolve tobe faithful to their calling, etc. On the onehand, Pentecostals acknowledged themany gifts of God in their lives while not

waiting passively for a mysterious inter-vention to resolve all their requests.

Despite exceptions from the start, itwas mostly a later aberration that insistedthat the outcome of an object of prayerdepended solely on the "amount" or"strength" of the believer's faith. The ear-liest Pentecostals were persistent in theirprayers and would often stay with the illat their bedside until a resolution wasachieved. Testimonies were multipliedabout the benefits of frequent prayer.However, the majority knew that noamount of prayer or faith assured a certainoutcome. Their definition of faith in thiscontext was often explained by Hebrews11:6 and James 1:6f.

It was evident that humility was amark of this genuine faith and thatauthentic prayer must be in accordancewith the express will of God. Nowhere is

continued on page 2

"Full Communion": A PentecostalPrayerHAROLD D. HUNTER

Collegiality and the Formation of theApostles' Creed: A Model forEcumenical DialogueDANIEL F. STRAMARA, JR. S

"Seeing the Church": A Proposalfor a Supplementary EcumenicalStrategyO.C. EDWARDS, JR. 10

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Visitors exposed to the entire congrega-tion praying vividly out loud seemedchaotic. But there were always parame-ters in place that were grounded in wellknown Bible verses quoted frequentlyfrom pI Ues of Bibles that aged prema-ture l - their much use. Even in this

e individual manner of. not suppressed as a

wore iftitopective worshipper could beside-by-side a der 9e worship-per W hhov$ 01' ^l^^rar

this humility more frequently manifestamongst early Pentecostals than in theirconviction of their unworthiness. Thetheme of unworthiness permeated earlysermons, Sunday school lessons, smallgroup accountability sessions, and exhor-tations to approach the altar completelyaware of one's inability to earn God's favor.

The most central of all petitions is thepetition of entreaty, that God in Christwill be merciful to us and forgive us oursins. This petition is called confession.The model prayer in Matthew 6:12 asksthat we be forgiven our debts, whileMatthew 6:14f refers to "trespasses" andLuke 11:4 says simply "sins." HolinessPentecostals who advocated a sanctifiedlife that freed one of knowingly commit-ting overt sins were keenly aware oftheir many failures and shortcomings.The confusion for those looking in fromthe outside centered on not understanding

F Rjmenicel TrendsEditor James Loughran, SAAssociate Editors Wilfred Tyrrell, SATimothy I. MacDonald, SABusiness Manager Veronica SullivanEditorial OfficeEcumenical Trends475 Riverside Drive, Rm. 1960New York, NY 10115Business and Subscription OfficeGraymoor Ecumenical& Interreligious InstitutePO Box 306, Garrison, NY 10524-0306Manuscripts sent to the editor shouldbe in either WordPerfect or MicrosoftWord. It is preferable to electronicallytransfer submitted texts using the soft-ware above via e-mail to jl eig [email protected] Trends is published eleventimes a year (monthly except August) bythe Graymoor Ecumenical & InterreligiousInstitute. Ecumenical Trends is a memberof the Associated Church Press and theCatholic Press Association, and is listed inthe Catholic Periodical and LiteratureIndex and Religion Index One: Periodicals.Microfilm copies are available fromNational Archive Publishing Company:P.O. Box 998, Ann Arbor, MI 481.06-0998.Subscription Rates are $20.00 per year(U.S.); $22 per year (Canada, Mexico andelsewhere), bulk rates are available uponrequest. Address for Subscriptions:Graymoor Ecumenical & InterreligiousInstitute PO Box 306, Garrison, NY10524-0306 (ISSN 0360 9073) PeriodicalsPostage Paid at Garrison, NY 10524 andadditional Mailing Offices.Website:

the unique doctrine of sin adopted bymost Holiness Pentecostals.

A second major element of Pentecostalprayer has always been praise. This isseen in written prayers, but most noticedin the spontaneous prayers that dominatedmany worship services. This is particularlytrue of the final stage of Pentecostal wor-ship services where seekers came to themourner's bench or "altar" and knelt ordraped themselves over the bench whileencircled by a band of intercessors oftendubbed "prayer warriors" who prayedwith great passion motivated by deepdevotion. These extended sessions some-times went late into the night and otherplanned prayer meetings would last liter-ally all night long. "Travailing at thealtar" was a picturesque phrase that cap-tures scenes repeated countless timesamong Pentecostals.

An obvious link for Pentecostals hasbeen that prayer be inspired by the triuneGod. Yet this held true for written as wellas spontaneous prayers, prayers barelyuttered while sitting on a church pew witheyes wide open or more commonly thosepoured forth while standing or kneelingwith eyes closed with words flowingfreely. But it was the level of intensity ofprayer that made terms like "hunger" and

"thirst" commonplace when depicting theenthusiastic state of a believer's searchfor dynamic spiritual encounters. This wasparticularly true for those Pentecostalswho embraced an imminence orientedeschatology and stages of Holy Spiritfullness. Although not all worshippersindulged, many were moved to animatedbodily responses like dancing, marching,and swaying or as it was originally called"shouting". "Shouting" is not to be con-fused with full throated vocalizations orcrying and laughing aloud although suchthings were not unknown particularly inrevivals and camp meetings.

For those who speak in tongues (e.g.glossolalia), they know that there are spe-cial times when the Holy Spirit groans forus, enables us to pray when we cannotpray on our own, and utters forth ourprayer to the Lord in a heavenly, blessedway. All of these things were thought tobe explained by canonical passages likeRomans 8:26f. While not demeaning thefaithful presence of the Holy Spirit,a premium was placed on surprises ofthe Holy Spirit that elevated one into"heavenly realms".

It is this dimension that some out-siders found unnerving. Visitors exposed

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to the entire congregation praying vividlyout loud seemed chaotic. But therewere always parameters in place thatwere grounded in well known Bibleverses quoted frequently from pages ofBibles that aged prematurely due to theirmuch use. Even in this environment theindividual manner of expression wasnot suppressed as a more introspectiveworshipper could be side-by-side ademonstrative worshipper without onehindering the other.

As it is relevant to the findings of thisstudy, it should be mentioned that somePentecostal bodies were known notto undertake formal business whetherinternal or external without considerableprayer. True to their Pentecostal roots,some would move forward on a givenorder of business only when the prayergave way to Pentecostal manifestations ofspeaking in tongues, interpreting tongues-speech, prophecy, `demonstrations of theSpirit', visions, et al.

international Pentecostal Hu + :^s,Aiurch

In March 2000, a study group of theNCCUSA Faith and Order Commissioncommenced a study of a concept wellknown among conciliar ecumeniststermed as "full communion". Apparentlythere was initially an expectation that thiswould be a rather straightforward process.However, the group quickly learned thatthe term did not have clear application forchurches represented around the table.

Some of the traditions used the term "fullcommunion" but without a commonmeaning. Other traditions did not usesuch a term even if they were committedto the underlying principles associatedwith the term.

Space prohibits a thorough rehearsalof the findings of this commission.Fortunately, a good summary of workaccomplished during the first quadrennialwas published by O.C. Edwards inSpeaking of Unity 1:1(2005). Here thevarious groups studied were classed aseither attempting to follow the Canberramodel or found themselves assertingparadigms not associated with Canberra.The latter group included restorationists,

which is a good starting point to look at aClassical Pentecostal model.

Clearly, Pentecostal bodies thatbelong to the PWF fall into the categoryof those traditions outside the Canberramodel. I would like to compare andcontrast the findings of this study com-mission to the journey of the InternationalPentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC). Tofacilitate this process, aspects of IPHChistory will be treated using the followingcategories: organic union, affiliation,fraternal relations, and common mission.

Organic Un

The IPHC resulted from a merger in1911 between the Fire-Baptized HolinessChurch (FBHC) and the PentecostalHoliness Church (PHC). Both groupsstarted as Holiness bodies in the late 19thcentury. The Tabernacle Pentecostal

Church consolidated with this body fouryears later. The United PentecostalAssociation came in as part of a newlyorganized conference in 1924.

At the initiative of the group knownas the Mutual Confederation Church ledby Rev. A.M. Lopez with 43 congrega-tions in Mexico and Texas, Bishop J.H.King organized these churches into an

annual conference known as the SouthTexas and Mexican Conference when

they met March 2, 1931 in Weslaco,Texas. Bishop King described Rev. A.M.Lopez as a "man of humility, intelligenceand amiability of spirit" and reported thathe "felt more of the glory of God in theMexican churches that I visited than Ihave found anywhere in twenty-twoyears."2

A little noticed part of the 1911 mergeris that when the first motion was putbefore the PHC in 1909, G.B. Cashwellsubmitted an amendment to include thoseFree-Will Baptists who were Pentecostals.The motion passed with the amendment,but apparently the Free-Will Baptists(FWB) voted against becoming part of the1911 merger.' It seems possible thatamong the issues that this would havebrought to the surface was differing viewson tobacco. The FBH were completelyagainst any contact with tobacco whereasthe PFWB history includes members

growing, selling and some even usingtobacco. Prior to his Pentecostal experi-ence, Cashwell was involved in the tobaccobusiness and his mother used snuff all ofher life.'

The 1911 merger is the foundationalevent for IPHC yet the IPHC Archivesand Research Center lacks signi ficantsupporting contemporary documents interms of committee minutes, correspon-dence, published accounts of the process,photos and the like. There is, however,considerable evidence about develop-ments prior to the actual merger. A reviewwill give us a context for how organicunity was achieved and hint at the role ofprayer in the process.

Key factors leading up to the 1911merger of the PHC and FBHC include thefollowing:'

Both groups were Holiness bodieswho adopted the Azusa Street messagelargely through PHC G.B. Cashwell's 1907revival in Dunn, North Carolina. Bothgroups were avid readers of J.M. Pike'sThe Way of Faith and W.J. Seymour's TheApostolic Faith. Both officially codifiedthis belief by changing their doctrinalstatements to include initial-evidenceSpirit baptism. Differences remained bothinside PHC and FBHC and between them,but the leadership viewed the disputes asnot central to the gospel message.

In April 1910, representatives fromthe PHC and FBHC met in Falcon for twodays to tackle the thorny issues and to doso in full view of "spectators". The FBHCdiscipline came under close scrutiny, butafter a day and a half consensus wasachieved. e The official delegates meetingin January 1911 easily adopted the pro-posed new discipline by a vote of 36 to 2.

The form of government adoptedincorporated congregational and presby-terian elements whereas FBH had beenrigidly Episcopal and Crumpler hadexpected strict compliance with hisleadership. Again we see another matterconsidered as having legitimate diverseavenues of actualizing New Testamentteachings and examples.

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The "Basis of Union" in the 1911 B.H. Irwin, the founder of the FBHConstitution and General Rules of the Movement, published Live Coals of FirePentecostal Holiness Church was heavily in the late 19th century, but the paper wasindebted to FBHC documents. The disci- discontinued when he was unceremoni-pline proposed by a joint committeeadopted by the merged church was heavilyindebted to the fundamentals as compiled byA.B. Crumpler at the beginning of the PHC.

The name chosen came from thesmaller group. The fact that a group ofFBH left and formed the Pentecostal Fire-Baptized Holiness Church (PFBHC)illustrates that some of them felt moststrongly that their convictions had beencompromised. Even if the PHC classedthe issues as rules, the PFBHC saw themas doctrinal disputes that compromisedscripture.

J.H. King while General Overseer ofthe FBHC adopted the Azusa St. messageas a result of a revival at his Toccoacongregation led by PHC minister G.B.Cashwell who had personally gone toAzusa St. for his Spirit baptism.

When G.B. Cashwell started hispaper Bridgegroom's Messenger in 1907the corresponding editors were G.F. Taylorand A.H. Butler. A frequent and importantcontributor was J.H. King. This was at atime that the PHC considered Cashwell'smagazine their quasi-official organ.

J.A. Culbreth, a legendary laypersonfor the IPHC, built an Octagon Tabernaclein Falcon, North Carolina. Culbreth startedindependent annual camp meetings inFalcon in 1900 that required huge canvastents. Culbreth also established the FalconHoliness School then an orphanage.

J.H. King was the invited speaker forthe 1907 Falcon Camp Meeting. Kingreturned as speaker for the 1908 FalconCamp Meeting. He then determined tomove to Falcon where he taught at theFalcon Holiness School and took chargeof the orphanage. All this transpired whileKing remained general overseer of theFBHC.

When the FBH were between thepublication of Live Coals of Fire and LiveCoals, they used A.B. Crumpler's HolinessAdvocate. Crumpler was the founder ofthe PHC who left in 1908 when the orga-nization became completely Pentecostal.

ously dismissed from the office of FBHCgeneral overseer in 1900 for conductunbecoming. The FBH Movement startedby Irwin gave birth to the FBHA thenthe FBHC led by J.H. King, the predomi-nantly African-American Fire-BaptizedHoliness Church of God of the Americas,the Pentecostal Fire-Baptized HolinessChurch (PFBHC) and the Fire BaptizedHoliness Church [ 1948 name] centered inIndependence, Kansas.

Obviously King's active role inFalcon developed strong bonds with theleadership of the PHC while ministers andmembers from both bodies did the sameat major events and in their own commu-nities. Both groups had several churchesin the same region.

J.H. King wrote the foreword to G.F.Taylor's Spirit and the Bride that wasreleased in 1908. Taylor became principalof the Falcon Holiness School in 1907.He also is the first recorded pastor of thePHC at Falcon.

The Falcon Publishing Companystarted by J.H. King in 1909 publishedThe Apostolic Evangel edited from thefirst by King and eventually A.E.Robinson. Robinson had published LiveCoals in Royston, Georgia that changedto The Apostolic Evangel in 1907.

Talks about consolidation gainedmomentum in 1910 — especially duringthe Falcon Camp Meeting — and thecommittee to move things forwardincluded G.F. Taylor, F.M. Britton (thenacting General Overseer of the FBHCwhile King was traveling around theworld), and J.A. Culbreth. Those advocat-ing the merger in 1910 included Taylor,S.D. Page, A.H. Butler, A.G. Canada, andC.B. Strickland.

The first general convention met onthe Falcon camp meeting grounds.

This conclusively shows that the coreleadership of both bodies had extensiveexposure to one another. And one cannotdownplay the important role of being ableto bring the two groups together in

worship. This reality would weigh heavilyon the membership at large but also thoseof influence for both the PHC and FBHC.

It is also evident that prayer was anintegral part of the actual merger realizedat Falcon in 1911. The Minutes of the FirstGeneral Convention of the PentecostalHoliness Church mention prayer through-out the proceedings on more than oneoccasion. And these prayers should not betaken as mere formalities to fill out anagenda, but as the opening section of thispaper described, it would be best to seehere impassioned pleas for divine guid-ance. Given what we know of the Falconcamp meeting along with FBHC and PHCrevivals, it would be a mistake to think thatthose designated to facilitate the mergerwould be satisfied with perfunctory prayers.

While the Falcon camp meetingsprovided an important time for the groupsto worship together each year, ampleevidence abounds that these were peoplewho knew how to travail, pray with passion,routinely hold `protracted services', etc.until their human desires and wills werebroken and they were open to the leadingof the Holy Spirit. Specific references toFalcon camp meetings may be found inperiodicals of the time like the HolinessAdvocate 1:7 (7/15/03, p. 3) and theApostolic Evangel 1:1 and 1:18 (2/15/09,p. 8; 11/1/09, p. 8). Just prior to the January31, 1911 merger, A.G. Canada held a revivalattended by many of the major players inthe final outcome. As Joseph Campbellcomments, "The spiritual preparation whichresulted from these services no doubtplayed a large part in bringing about theconsolidation. "7

During the 1960s, a serious discussionabout organic union developed betweenthe IPHC and Church of God (Cleveland).Ajoint committee was appointed in 1959by the churches to study this possibilityand several meetings were held inCleveland, Tennessee and Franklin Springs,Georgia. Talks eventually stalled on thepoint of merging, but relations seemedwarm during the 1960s joint HolinessConventions in Charlotte, North Carolina,Falcon, North Carolina, Doraville, Georgiaand Greensboro, North Carolina.$

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While the Falcon camp meetings providedan important time for the groups toworship together each year, ampleevidence abounds that these were peoplewho knew how to travail, pray withpassion, routinely hold `protractedservices', etc. until their human desiresand wills were broken and they wereopen to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

The formation of the CongregationalHoliness Church (CHC) in 1921 was a directresult of controversy within the IPHC,particularly the Georgia Conference, overthe use of physicians. The original ordealalso surfaced deep-seated questions abouthow denominational polity was to beimplemented. Contrast this to a "JointMeeting of the Study Commissions of theCongregational Holiness Church and thePentecostal Holiness Church" which metMarch 14, 1962, September 26, 1962,April 2, 1963, October 8, 1963 andSeptember 23, 1964. An earnest attemptto breach the gap was underway whenBishop J. Floyd Williams was generalsuperintendent of IPHC and openlysaying that IPHC got it wrong in theoriginal controversy. Boards from theIPHC and CHC met March 11-12, 1980in Franklin Springs, Georgia and adoptedan "Agreement of Affiliation" that quotesJohn 17:21. An "Agreement of Affiliation"was signed October 10, 1980 between theIPHC, the CHC and the Pentecostal Free-Will Baptists (PFWB) as a result of a jointsession of the executive boards of thechurches. When the three executive boardsconvened November 24, 1980 in Falcon,North Carolina, committees for affiliationwere approved. A "Board of Administrationfor Affiliation" taking in all three groupsmet March 16, 1981 then February 2, 1982in Greenville, South Carolina thatproduced an organizational flow chart.Formal papers were prepared in 1983 formoving toward consolidation of PFWBwith the IPHC. Notes from the "Meeting

of Affiliates" which took place March 27,1984 in Franklin Springs, GA showagreement "not to promote the idea of fullamalgamation as such for anytime in thenear future." The general boards of allthree groups met August 24, 1984 andconfirmed affiliation agreements as origi-nally designed. Later that year, CHCrejected the idea of pastoral exchanges.

Executive boards of CHC and IPHCmet August 6, 1988 in Greensboro, NorthCarolina. Bishop Leon Stewart subse-quently invited CHC for a joint meetingof the boards in April, 1989. CHC respondedthat they needed a different date. In 1990CHC notified IPHC that they were work-ing towards consolidation with PFWBand the International Pentecostal Churchof Christ (IPCC). The IPHC-CHC proposalwas rejected by the 1991 CHC generalconference although a joint conferencewas held as late as September 24-26,1997. Unfortunately, no files are availablewhich clarify the status of relationshipbetween the IPHC and CHC duringBishop Underwood's second term (1993-1997). Underwood was no doubt preoccu-pied at the time with the 1994 launchingof the Pentecostal-Charismatic Churchesof North America (PCCNA).

In the late 1990s, the divide wasbridged by a series of meetings with theCHC initiated by Bishop James D.Leggett. The initial hope on the IPHC sideagain was organic union which changedto acceptance of a fraternal relationship.The level of cooperation is indicated

by the 1998 agreement on conferringseconded status to ministers so that onecan keep her/his credentials with onegroup while working with the other. TheIPHC connection with the PFWB goesback one hundred years and the friendshipremains warm these many years primarilyon the IPHC side through the IPHCNorth Carolina Conference. The PFWBand IPHC North Carolina Conferencewere among the sponsors of "Azusa East"held December 31, 2006-January 3, 2007in Falcon, North Carolina.

IPHC USA Affiliations

Not unlike several churches in thenow defunct Pentecostal Fellowship ofNorth America (PFNA), IPHC forgedaffiliations with groups outside NorthAmerica. Principal among them were thePentecostal Methodist Church of Chile,the Pentecostal Church of Chile, and theWesleyan Methodist Church of Brazil.These are worthy of mention becausedocuments from the churches in Chilestipulate liberty in the mode of water bap-tism. However, when the IPHC GeneralExecutive Board (GEB) met March 8,1968, they decided to sever relations withthe Pentecostal Church of Chile. Theircomplaint was that the PentecostalChurch of Chile was a member of theWCC. Concerns were also expressed atthis meeting about the position of thePentecostal Methodist Church of Chile oninfant baptism and initial evidence. Afterreassurances about the initial-evidencedogma, IPHC was reminded that they ini-tially practiced infant baptism. When thisaffiliation was reaffirmed by the IPHCGEB on December 17, 1980 one of thedocuments made specific reference tosprinkling and the baptism of children.The Pentecostal Methodist Church ofChile and the Wesleyan MethodistChurch of Brazil participated in the thirdglobal IPHC conference held February13-16, 2003 in Costa Rica.

Some would argue that the oldestPentecostal Bible school in NorthAmerica is Holmes Bible College inGreenville, South Carolina. Originallyknown as Altamont Bible and MissionaryInstitute, this school traces its start back

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to 1898. The IPHC signed an affiliationagreement with Holmes Bible College onJanuary 22, 2002. This made official arelationship that goes back to the startof the 20th century as this school has pro-vided numerous missionaries and pastorsfor the IPHC.

Meetings •were held at least onMarch 15, 1962, April 3, 1963 thenSeptember 24, 1964 in Franklin Springs,Georgia between designated leaders ofthe IPHC, the Emmanuel Holiness Church,and the Pentecostal Church of Christ(PCC). The Emmanuel Holiness Churchhad opened discussions with the PCC in1958. Ajoint meeting of the PCC generalboard and the IPHC GEB on August 21,1965 in Greensboro, North Carolina dis-cussed the possibility of PCC becoming a`trial conference' in the IPHC. A lengthyproposal about affiliation was presentedby the PCC in the March 21, 1966 jointPCC-IPHC meeting held in London,Ohio. The study commission asked thatan evaluation report be presented to thenext PCC annual conference.

Bishop J.A. Synan made a presenta-tion on the IPHC to the annual conferenceof the PCC which convened August 9-12,1967 in London, Ohio. When the IPHCGEB met August 19, 1968 in Bakersfield,California, J. Floyd Williams reported anegative vote by the PCC of 68 to 62. TheGEB meeting December 3-5, 1968 inFranklin Springs, Georgia affirmed thefollowing written by Bishop J.A. Synanto the PCC on September 6, 1968:

In the meantime, may we say that wehave always cherished the Christianfellowship which we have enjoyedwith the brethren of the PentecostalChurch of Christ; and although mergerdid not develop we shall have no rea-son not to continue enjoying the kindof fellowship and brotherly esteemwhich has prevailed in the past.9

In the meantime, the PCC merged withthe International Pentecostal Assemblies(IPA) in 1976 to become the InternationalPentecostal Church of Christ (IPCC). IPAhas a historical link to the IPHC in theperson of G.B. Cashwell, a PentecostalHoliness minister who went to the AzusaSt. Revival in 1906. One visible sign wasthat the IPA continued publication of apaper known as Bridegroom's Messenger

which was started by Cashwell in 1907.The IPHC and the IPCC continue toenjoy close fellowship as shown by jointefforts at the Beulah Heights Bible Schoolin Atlanta, Georgia.

The IPHC GEB which met March 8,1968 in Franklin Springs, Georgia adoptedthe following:

By motion, the General ExecutiveBoard of the Pentecostal HolinessChurch extends its warm greetingsto the Rev. J.L. Sullivent and othermembers of the General Board ofthe Apostolic Church of God. Wewelcome a closer fellowship betweenthe two churches and the establish-ing of a Study Commission whereour leaders can meet periodicallyand become better acquainted.

At the 1973 IPHC general confer-ence, Bishop J. Floyd Williams reportedthat affiliation negotiations were under-way with the Christ Crusaders ofAmerica, Inc. with Elder Jesse Winley asGeneral Superintendent. This predomi-nantly African-American body withheadquarters in Harlem, New York City,claimed over 5,000 members. BishopWilliams reported preaching at their gen-eral conference and having papers signedby the IPHC GEB.

Now consider the case of the OriginalUnited Holy Church of the World, Inc.Springing from one of America's oldestPentecostal bodies, this predominantlyAfrican-American denomination camein close orbit to the IPHC in the 1970sthen renewed friendships in the early1990s. The first time around, papers ofaffiliation were approved during aprocess that spanned 1977 through 1979.Bishop J. Floyd Williams, IPHC GeneralSuperintendent, said the following to the1981 IPHC general conference:

The basis of our union is that theUnited Holy Church and thePentecostal Holiness Church areone and the same. This reachesfurther than affiliation. This makesus truly one.1°

Bishop J.A. Forbes took part in theIPHC GEB meeting held September 1-2,1982 in Greensboro, North Carolina andwas present for the IPHC GBA meetingheld July 31 –August 1, 1983 in Orlando,Florida, as an affiliate member of the board.

Then there is the story of the FireBaptized Holiness Church of God of theAmericas (FBHCGA). This group cameinto existence in 1908 under the leader-ship of Bishop W.E. Fuller, Sr. Althoughracial prejudice south of the Mason-Dixon line was the context, Bishop Fullerremained a lifelong friend of Bishop J.H.King, one of the IPHC pillars. Relationswith the FBHCGA improved when over-tures were made by Bishop J. FloydWilliams in the 1970s. More extensiveexchanges have been evident in the lastdecade under the leadership of BishopJames D. Leggett and Bishop W.E. Fuller,Jr. Relations were mending with perhapsthe possibility of working toward thefraternal level until the sudden death ofBishop Fuller in October 2007. Yet hopeabounds that the momentum for mutualfellowship will not be lost.

red"Pentecostal Mission

An ecumenical impulse was exhibit-ed in the person of Bishop J.H. King, afoundational figure for IPHC, who partic-ipated in the 1912 unity conference.While in Europe in 1912, King took partin this historic conference run byPentecostal legends such as Thomas B.Barrett, Alexander Boddy, Jonathan Paul,B. Gerrit Polman, and Cecil Polhill. Thiswas part of the early stirrings in Europecut short by World War I that would even-tuate in the 1947 formation of the PWF."More recently, Presiding Bishop JamesLeggett got IPHC to join the ChristianChurches Together (CCT) and plans toattend the Global Forum when it con-venes November 2007 in Kenya.

The IPHC was a founding memberof the Pentecostal Fellowship of NorthAmerica (PFNA) that took shape in 1948.The PFNA and the more racially inclu-sive Pentecostal-Charismatic Churches ofNorth America (PCCNA) gave rise to aprotocol that allows for the transfer ofministers—male and female—from onemember body to another.' It is alsoappropriate to mention that BishopB.E. Underwood, then IPHC GeneralSuperintendent, was critical for the trans-formation of PFNA to PCCNA. The same

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I 'eni ecostal churches that areoi , - joinii t organization

inclined to take cmaus wk" T11gage in

gigue, learn lace ofunderstanding as Cho -t be 1nes " sertrnd the will of God, c,,, lordScriptures, becomes i own.


protocol does not work with the NationalAssociation of Evangelicals (NAB) or theWorld Evangelical Alliance becauseIPHC would not accept a minister who isnot baptized in the Holy Spirit with thesign of initial tongues."

<.i, C lV1

However, it may be possible to lumptogether PFNA, PCCNA, and PWF as man-ifestations of common mission. Here thereare shared Eucharists and mutual recogni-tion of water baptisms among most memberchurches. Also likely is the transfer of minis-ters among PWF churches although noofficial mechanism is in place for such aprocess. 14 Although it is unknown howPFNA-type churches other than IPHCwould respond to infant baptism and sprin-kling by the Pentecostal Methodist Churchof Chile, the breadth of recognition hereseems greater than that known among mag-isterial churches. Another obvious divide inthis area for Pentecostals is that manyOneness Pentecostals still require rebaptismfor candidates coming from PWF-typePentecostals.15

The latitude with the Eucharist andwater baptism has more to do with doctrinalmotifs attached to these `ordinances' thanan implied unity with those who exercisevarious charisms. A clear distinction wouldbe made between receiving anotherPentecostal for `holy communion' overagainst a Roman Catholic Charismaticpriest. There are commonly held beliefsabout scripture and ancient creeds. Thereare said to be no barriers of race and classbut obviously there is no uniformity aboutwomen ministers. Allowable diversityincludes polity as it relates to the use ofbishops, elders, and deacons.

An extension of the shared Pentecostalmission can be seen in the IPHC engage-ment of ecumenical groups like the NorthAmerican Renewal Service Committee(NARSC) and the International CharismaticConsultation on World Evangelism(ICCOWE). NARSC is perhaps bestknown for Kansas City '77 and ICCOWEfor Brighton '91.16 Both bodies bringtogether Roman Catholic, Orthodox,Charismatics, and Pentecostals. VinsonSyrian led NARSC for over 15 years

(1984-2001) and IPHC was always repre-sented on the steering committee. Synanhas long been a member of the ICC/ICCOWE executive and Bishop Leggettis a member of the advisory board. Here,alas, there is no shared Eucharist or mutualrecognition of water baptism. Nor is therean exchange of ministers. It is also worthyof mention that Dr. Vinson Synan was thedriving force behind the 1970 launch ofthe Society for Pentecostal Studies.

Some Reflections

If Kasemann's point is lost in the chat-ter of conciliar ecumenical circles, I still findit an anchor. This is true even though such aposition is in considerable tension with themagisterial traditions that read their brand ofChristianity as normative in the first century.This put me at odds with William Hennwhen I engaged him during the 1999International Roman Catholic — PentecostalDialogue that met in Venice, Italy. Henninsisted that tensions in the `New TestamentChurch' "did not tear the Church apart intodistinct communities which were dividedfrom one another.""

James D.G. Dunn doubtless had itright when he concludes "there was nosingle normative form of Christianity inthe first century."' ft Dunn uses adjectiveslike Jewish, Hellenistic, early Catholicism,enthusiastic and apocalyptic to categorizethe primary forms of earliest Christianity.Dunn is also right to insist that all formsof Christianity function with a canonwithin the canon. Dunn resorts to histypical quips by tying Roman Catholic

ecclesiology to the Pastoral Epistles, the(early) letters of Paul to Protestant theology,Eastern Orthodoxy to Johannine writingsand Pentecostalism to Acts. This reduc-tionist paradigm does have a legitimatepoint, however, which should challengeecumenical deliberations predicated on aview that the Roman Catholics andOrthodox have sole ownership of firstcentury Christianity. Those espousing sucha monolithic view of earliest Christianityoften then wrongly infer that Pentecostalscan never rise above the status of a schis-matic sect.

While Magisterial churches thatbelong to the NCCCUSA and the WCCmay continue to suffer divisions/schisms,many Pentecostal denominations willcontinue to seek renewal, restoration andunity. Consider the biblical narrative ofthe journey on the road to Emmaus as apowerful metaphor for some Pentecostals.For those Pentecostal churches that arenot at the point of joining an organizationlike the WCC, they may be inclinedto take an "Emmaus walk", willing toengage in dialogue, learn and come to aplace of understanding as Christ becomespresent and the will of God, according tothe Scriptures, becomes known.

Due to space limitations some perti-nent details were left out of the main text,however it should be noted that everyundertaking brought to the forefront vari-ous forms of Pentecostal prayer. Prayer -or arguably the lack of prayer — played akey role in successful and sometimes

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unsuccessful unions. Perhaps of theexamples here it is most obvious in theattempt to merge with Church of God(Cleveland) where both groups hosted aseries of joint public worship services.That is where part of the discernmentprocess of the IPHC began to move theirleadership away from consolidation.

This short presentation does notprovide unassailable proof, but seems tosuggest that some Pentecostal bodies areknown to engage in various forms ofuniting including organic unity. And thisstarted years prior to the launch of theWCC and its Canberra statement. Yet thisis not to deny numerous fractions amongPentecostals any more than those visitedamong churches called Protestant. Aquestion mark should also be placedagainst the notion found among somemagisterial traditions that Christianitywas united up until the eleventh centurydivide between East and West. Thus, per-haps Pentecostalism has been rescuedfrom some stereotypes that circulatefreely among conciliar ecumenists whilethe same group may need to revisit one oftheir presuppositions. [S1

(Dr. Harold D. Hunter is the Director of theInternational Pentecostal Holiness Church[IPHC]Archives & Research Center.)


1. For an overview of worship during theAzusa St. Revival, see Cecil M. Robeck, Jr.,Azusa Street Mission and Revival (Nashville,TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2006), chapter 4.Also see Daniel Woods, "Spiritual Hunger `onthe Apostolic Faith Line," The Azusa StreetRevival and Its Legacy, eds. Harold D. Hunterand Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., (Cleveland, TN:Pathway Press, 2006), 93-109. For an illumi-nating narrative of early Pentecostal prayersee Daniel Woods, "The Royal Telephone:Early Pentecostalism in the South and theEnthusiastic Practice of Prayer," in Religion inthe American South, ed. Beth Bartoh Schweigerand Donald G. Mathews (Chapel Hill, NC:The University of North Carolina Press,2004), 125-152.

2. See: J.H. King, "My Visit to the Rio GrandeValley", Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 14:48(April 2, 1931) llf; J.H. King, "My Visit tothe Rio Grande Valley: No. 3", PentecostalHoliness Advocate 14:49 (April 9, 1931) 6f;A.M. Lopez, "Report," Pentecostal HolinessAdvocate 14:50 (April 16, 1931) 6; J.H. King,"The South Texas and Mexican Conference,"Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 15:3 (May14, 1931) 7; Letter from Esteban Lopez,Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 15:16 (Aug 13,

1931) 10; J.A. Killebrew, "Report of SouthTexas and Mexico Conference," PentecostalHoliness Advocate 15:29 (Nov 12, 1931) 5f.

3. W. Eddie Morris, The Vine and Branches(Franklin Springs, GA: Advocate Press, 1981),42, say there are no records of the FWB response.However, email from Vinson Synan (8/28/07)cites a conversation with A.H. Butler sayingthere was an actual vote by the FWB.

4. Doug Beacham, Azusa East: The Life andTimes of G.B. Cashwell (Franklin Springs:LifeSprings, 2007) chapters 7 and 1. In anemail from Beacham on 11/3/06, he conclud-ed that circumstantial evidence suggestsSusan Cashwell remained a Methodist andnever joined a Holiness or Pentecostal group.More insights on the PFWB resulted from aninterview with Bishop James D. Leggett,IPHC General Superintendent, April 7, 2004,in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. PresidingBishop Leggett was formerly pastor of theIPHC church in Falcon, North Carolina andconference superintendent of the IPHC NorthCarolina Conference.

5. Some highlights are nicely summarizedby Terry Trarnel, in "The Merger of thePentecostal Holiness Church and the FireBaptized Holiness Church in 1911", anunpublished paper for Doctor of Ministrydegree submitted to the Assemblies of GodTheological Seminary in April 2006. The stan-dard reference work is Joseph Campbell, ThePentecostal Holiness Church: 1898-1948(Franklin Springs, GA: The Publishing Houseof the Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1951), 52,254ff, 282-284. See also Harold D. Hunter,"The International Pentecostal HolinessChurch" available at

6. Editorial by G.F. Taylor, PentecostalHoliness Advocate 14:5 (May 29, 1930), 8cited by Beacham in Azusa East, p. 196.

7. Campbell, Pentecostal Holiness Church,257. Cf. V. Mayo Bundy, ed., A History-ofFalcon, North Carolina (Charlotte: HerbEaton Historical Publications, 1986), 88-92.

8. A virtual mountain of original documenta-tion confirms details of the last part of thissection and the one that follows. However, thereferences are so long that there is not enoughspace to include them in this article. Therefore,let it simply be noted that all pertinent docu-ments may be found in the IPHC Archives &Research Center. Most come from the files ofvarious IPHC general superintendents.

9. Letter in J.A. Synan Files, IPHC Archives& Research Center. The file containing GBAminutes for August 9-10, 1971 in TulsaOklahoma includes the original proposalregarding PCC taking up a trial affiliation, butthere is no point of discussion recorded aboutthis document.

10. J. Floyd Williams, "The State of theChurch," Minutes of the Nineteenth GeneralConference of the Pentecostal HolinessChurch Convened at Oklahoma City,

Oklahoma, August 6-11, 1981 (FranklinSprings: Advocate Press, 1982), 124.

11. Cf. Peter D. Hocken, "InternationalPentecostal Council", ed. by Stanley M.Burgess and Gary B. Mc Gee, DictionaryPentecostal and Charismatic Movements(Grand Rapids: Regency Reference Church,1988), 466; William T. Purinton, "JosephHillery King's View and Use of Scripture inthe Holiness/Pentecostal Context," Ph.D.Dissertation, Trinity Evangelical DivinitySchool, May 2003, p. 108f.

12. The constitution of the Assemblies of Godstipulates various requirements on the transferof ordained ministers even from a PFNA/PCCNA member body.

13. Interview with Dr. Doug Beacham, AprilI, 2004 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

14. When the PWF was founded in 1947,Scandinavian churches opposed any apparatusthat appeared to threaten the autonomy ofthe local church. Veli-Matti Karkkainen,"Theological and Ecumenical Reflections onthe Document `The Nature and Purpose of theChurch", (pp. 11-13) paper presented to the33rd Annual Meeting of the Society forPentecostal Studies, criticizes this documentfor ignoring Free Churches which hedescribes as having experienced phenomenalgrowth. This paper was published inEcumenical Trends 33:7 (July/August 2004),97-103. Cf. Veli-Matti Karkkainen, AnIntroduction to Ecclesiology (Downer's Grove:Inter Varsity Press, 2002), 59-67. Bishop JamesD. Leggett, General Superintendent of IPHCand now chair of the PWF, has previously saidthat the PWF Advisory Committee has nottalked about an apparatus to transfer ministers.

15. I was chair of the membership committeeof the Society for Pentecostal Studies in 1982when Manual Gaxiola Gaxiola became thefirst Oneness Pentecostal received into thesociety. I then served on the nominating com-mittee that selected Dr. Gaxiola president ofthe society for 1990. I also worked to includeOneness Pentecostals in NARSC, but was notsuccessful.

16. For Brighton '91, see All Together in OnePlace: Theological Papers from the BrightonConference on World Evangelization edited byHarold D. Hunter and Peter D. Hocken(Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993).

17. William Henn, One Faith: Biblical andPatristic Contributions Toward UnderstandingUnity in Faith (New York: Paulist Press, 1995), 80.

18. James D.G. Dunn, Unity-and Diversity inthe New Testament (Philadelphia: WestminsterPress, 1977), 373. Cf. William G. Rusch,Ecumenism: A Movement Toward ChurchUnity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985)chapter 1; The Evangelical-Roman CatholicDialogue on Mission, 1977-1984: a report,ed. by John R.W. Stott and Basil Meeking( Grand Rapids: Michigan, 1986), 19f; AntonHoutepen, "Toward An Ecumenical Vision ofthe Church," One in Christ 3 (1989), 235.