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When and where was the first pentecostal church created?

closed as off-topic by Pieter Geerkens, Mark C. Wallace, Kobunite, Semaphore, Gwen Feb 13 '16 at 22:06

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    What is wrong with the wikipedia page on Pentecostalism? – Mark C. Wallace Feb 11 '16 at 15:26
  • @MarkC.Wallace - Well, I found reading Wikipedia on this subject not quite so straightforward. I don't know why some people are looking to close this, but unless I'm missing something, it is most certainly not trivially answered. – T.E.D. Feb 11 '16 at 15:51
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    There is a huge difference between a question that demonstrates no preliminary research and a question that states that they reviewed the preliminary research and didn't understand it. Based on a 1 minute review of the history section of that page, I came to the same conclusion as you did; the assumption that there was a "first pentecostal church" is unsupportable since there is no reliable test to tell whether a given church is pentecostal. – Mark C. Wallace Feb 11 '16 at 18:23
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    I am going to vote to leave this open. It is (obviously) not trivial to answer, and answerable, after a fashion, as shown by T.E.D. There is nothing at all wrong with leaving it open for other interested individuals to research (I am not one, unfortunately.) – CGCampbell Feb 11 '16 at 20:06
  • @MarkC.Wallace - Not a bad point. Semantema, would it be possible to elaborate a bit on your question? One sentence is great for a title, but a bit terse for a question. – T.E.D. Feb 11 '16 at 22:01
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I found two schools of thought on this.

School 1:

There is not and never has been any official organization overseeing all Pentecostals, and there is not really one single founding church of the movement.

Pentecostalism is a set of beliefs that evolved over time among a lot of independent churches, so there really is no single founder. The earliest Pentecostal churches evolved from what they were into that philosophy, as it evolved itself around the beginning of the 20th Century.

No one person or group founded Pentecostalism. Instead, isolated Christian groups were experiencing charismatic phenomena such as divine healing and speaking in tongues. The holiness movement provided a theological explanation for what was happening to these Christians, and they adapted Wesleyan soteriology to accommodate their new understanding

It looks like some important early churches in the founding of the movement were the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church and the Christian and Missionary Alliance churches. However, neither themselves became Pentecostal.


School 2:

The movement was founded by the Azusa Street Revival, which ran from 1906 to 1915 in Los Angeles. Early on they were drawing huge crowds. For the first couple of years they even put out a newsletter with an international circulation, the title article of the first issue of which was "Pentecost Has Come"

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With all the attention, lots of people from like-minded congregations visited (or just read the newsletters) and took back what they learned there to their own churches.

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    Personally I'm attracted to #2 because it makes things much cleaner. However, I've learned to be extra suspicious of theories I'm attracted to for external reasons. – T.E.D. Feb 11 '16 at 15:49
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    I feel like what I've always heard is more like, school 2 is correct BUT Pentecostalism had forerunners and influences, as school 1 acknowledges. – Mr. Bultitude Feb 11 '16 at 22:23

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