CYBERJOURNAL FOR PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC
"Beniah at the Apostolic Crossroads:
Little Noticed Crosscurrents of B.H. Irwin, Charles
Fox Parham, Frank Sandford, A.J. Tomlinson"
Harold D. Hunter
Director of Archives and Research Center
Investigations into origins of the pneumabaptocentric formula in North American Pentecostalism have rarely pressed hard beyond the documented role of Charles Fox Parham. Walking a path seldom trod, a research project focused on a Bradley County, Tennessee city which disappeared within a decade around the turn of the century turned up more information than the obvious connections to nearby Cleveland, (1) home of the Church of God. In fact, pertinent data raise the question whether initial-evidence Spirit baptism could have been formulated by a group of pre-pentecostals in New England who were perhaps racially integrated and did experience the power of Pentecost. As the plot thickens, the reader will decide if the portrait unveils the links between major players like Parham, Irwin, Sandford and Tomlinson to be symbiotic, dialectical, or happenstance roles. In any event, the starting point is the second half of the nineteenth century.
Writing during the glow of the Azusa St. Revival, V.P. Simmons claimed personal exposure of 42 years to those who spoke in tongues. Published in 1907 by Bridegroom's Messenger and circulated as a tract, Simmons began with Irenaeus and went on to introduce a troop from New England whom he personally observed as they drank from a spiritual baptism and manifested tongues-speech. (2) Variously identified as Gift People or Gift Adventists, they were widely known for their involvement with spectacular charisms. Early pentecostal periodicals reported that tongues-speech was known among them since the latter part of the nineteenth century. Some of their audiences were said to number in the 1,000s (3)
Counted among that number was William Henry Doughty who by 1855 had spoken in tongues while in Maine. Elder Doughty returned to Providence, Rhode Island in 1875 and would assume leadership among those exercising the "gifts of the Spirit." (4) Doughty's mantle was passed on to Elder Robert B. Swan who, reacting to the Azusa St. Revival, wrote a letter saying that the Gift People in Rhode Island had experienced speaking in tongues as far back as 1874-1875. Swan also named others in the region who spoke in tongues before he did. F.B. Lawrence followed Swan's letter with an independent account of a woman who spoke in tongues in New York, perhaps prior to 1874, as a result of contact with the Gift People. (5)
Horace Bushnell related an eyewitness account of a trusted friend who heard tongues-speech in New England during the 1850's. His description, unfortunately void of specific names, prevents a sure comparison. (6)
Stanley H. Froadsham quotes Pastor Swan as claiming to have spoken in tongues in 1875. Swan speaks of great crowds drawn from five states and specifically mentions his wife and Amanda Doughty and an invalid hunchback who was "instantly healed" among those who spoke in tongues during this time. (7)
Simmons said of Swan's group that their self-description
applied after the advent of the Pentecostal Movement was The
Latter Rain. Their activities extended throughout New England
states--especially Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Massachusetts,
Vermont, and Connecticut--with the 1910 Latter Rain Convention
held October 14-16 in Quakertown, Connecticut. (8) Frank Bartleman
frequently referred to joint speaking engagements with R.B. Swan,
specifically recounting a 1907 tour that included a convention in
Providence where he spoke 18 times. (9)
Previously overlooked in related investigations is whether the Doughty family counted among the Gift People overlap with the Doughty who traveled with Frank Sandford. Lawrence attests that Swan's circle included William H. Doughty's daughter-in-law Amanda Doughty and her unnamed husband, an elder in the Providence congregation. (10) V.P. Simmons says that William Doughty had two sons, the oldest named Frank who was ordained. (11) Could the unnamed brother of Frank be Edward Doughty who at the end of the nineteenth century was part of Sandford's entourage? (12) This point merits further investigation. (13)
C.W. Shumway projected tongues-speech as starting among Sandford's followers in 1893. Sandford's Tongues of Fire 8:5 (March 1, 1897) carried a remarkable report on a young missionary to Africa, Jennie Glassey, from her adopted mother, Mrs. Black:
One foreign language after another has been given to her.
She has sung in the Spirit, African tunes, and even written
strange characters which the Holy Ghost taught her as an
Proof positive of the authenticity of this xenolalia and xenographia was seen in the reaction of a sailor named Jack who had been a prisoner of an African tribe. Jack was so amazed at her ability to converse with him in an unidentified dialect that he became a Christian. Frank Sandford interviewed a clergyman from St. Louis who had recently been with the missionary party in England:
He declared there was 'no doubt whatever that the work was
of God,' and added, 'They have now about thirteen different
dialects.' He related how she had heard Africans on the
street talking their native dialects, and understood what
they said. (15)
Tongues of Fire 3:6 (March 15, 1897) and Tongues of Fire 4:7 (April 1, 1898) record Sandford's personal arguments for speaking in tongues. Sandford linked with the Blacks and Jennie Glassey en route to Jerusalem and defended the legitimacy of their claims in Tongues of Fire 4:12 (June 15, 1898). The same verdict was printed in Tongues of Fire 4:14 (July 15, 1898) by W.N. Gleason who kept the missionary band in Jerusalem after Sandford's departure. Gleason believed that the xenolalia extended to Greek, French, Latin, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, while the xenographia was primarily Hebrew and Greek that had been recognized by proper authorities. Tongues of Fire 4:12 (June 15, 1898) cited "The Amherest Daily News" in Nova Scotia as follows: "Miss Glassey, July 8th and 9th 1895, received a wonderful language lesson . . . " The Spirit empowered her to read the Croo language and write the Khoominar language, some of which was verified by a native African who knew dialects from Sierra Leone. In any event, the later repudiation by Sandford of this phenomenon and the movement so centrally known thereby would account for omission of such things in standard Shiloh sources. (16)
Charles Parham's first Apostolic Faith (May 3, 1899) drew from Sandford's tract "The Everlasting Gospel" thereby recounting that Jennie Glassey could "read and write, translate and sing" in missionary tongues (17) The April 1, 1900 edition of Apostolic Faith 2 carried a report about Brother and Sister Hamaker tarrying at Beth-el Healing Home for a "heathen tongue" before they embark on the mission field. (18) The greatest enticement to see Sandford came from ambassadors Edward Doughty and Victor Barton's invasion of Topeka in early 1900. (19)
Citing a personal conversation, Charles Shumway quoted Parham as having first heard tongue speaking when Sandford's students emerged from the school's Prayer Towers during his visit to Shiloh in the summer of 1900. This information viewed in light of the Glassey stories lends weight to the view that Sandford was an important link in the chain of events that produced a glossocentric pneumabaptism. (20) On the other hand, too little is known about B.H. Irwin's influence on Parham. It is documented that Parham met up with Fire-Baptized enthusiasts in Topeka upon arriving in 1898 and encountered Irwin himself at some point before 1901. Mr. & Mrs. John Linhirt, Mary Linhirt, and Noah Hershey were part of Irwin's 1899 traveling party that accompanied him to the second general council of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association (1899). (21) The first two issues of Live Coals of Fire described an 1899 crusade in Moonlight, Kansas hosted by local Fire-Baptized ministers which brought in Irwin, Martin, Porter, and Dull, among others. The initial report covered nearby Abilene. Irwin could have known about tongues-speech through at least Daniel Awrey, but too many gaps exist to detect particular scenarios. (22) Yet to be explored adequately is to what extent Agnes Ozman represents a synthesis of these same influences. Agnes evidenced at least a kinship to Sandford by recounting her time with Dowie, classes at Nyack with Stephen Merritt and an evangelistic excursion into Old Orchard, Maine. This 1890's exposure preceded the rupture between Simpson and Sandford. Menzies argues that Agnes, who affiliated with the Fire-Baptized after Topeka, had Fire-Baptized contact prior to 1900. After her xenolalic pneumabaptism at Bethel Bible College, Agnes was part of a group that started out for Shiloh, but stopped short. (23)
A skeletal version of the Glassey story was offered by Parham in his 1902 sermon "Baptism with the Holy Ghost." (24) Parham cited as an antecedent example "a gentleman and his wife, whose names we have forgotten, received their Pentecost and spoke in the Italian language." A posterior case mentioned was a Baptist in Marshaltown, Iowa, who ended up a Spiritualist.
Sandford's influence on A.J. Tomlinson from at least 1897 can be handily documented. Ralph Gleason, a Sandford surrogate, baptized Tomlinson at Lisbon Falls, Maine on October 30, 1897. (25) A collection of periodicals left behind by Tomlinson included the August 1, 1897 edition of Tongues of Fire 3:15. Tongues of Fire 3:21 (November 1, 1897) seems to identify Tomlinson as a student at Shiloh. (26) Would it have been possible for him to miss the reports on Jennie Glassey, the support of xenolalia given by Sandford or the same by W.N. Gleason in Tongues of Fire 3:8 (April 15, 1897)? Tomlinson's diary recorded a visit to Shiloh in October 1901, where he was baptized for the third time, now by Sandford himself. (27) Meanwhile, the book entitled Spiritual Gifts and Graces by W.B. Godbey was published by God's Revivalist Office in 1895. Housed in the Mount of Blessings in Cincinnati, this was home also for the periodical God's Revivalist and Bible Advocate and God's Bible School. (28) Godbey's reaction to Fire-Baptized concepts was recorded in the inaugural issue of Live Coals of Fire 1:1 (October 6, 1899). (29) Tomlinson attended a 1902 convention in Indianapolis that featured G.D. Watson, a regular contributor to The Way of Faith and God's Revivalist. Watson, who came to have open fellowship with pentecostals, eventually published in Word and Work. (30) Eventually a partner of Watson, Seth Ress hailed from Westfield, Indiana. Not only did he share this location with A.J. Tomlinson, but he was tied to the Thunder Quakers. In the latter part of the 19th century, Seth Rees served as pastor of the Friends' Church in Portsmouth, Rhode Island and preached in Providence, Rhode Island. (31)
It is known that Tomlinson spent time at the Mount of Blessings before 1899 and read all these periodicals. An insert on Alvin York in Tomlinson's The Faithful Standard (1922) said:
Many of the Pentecostal people know the Bible School at
Mount of Blessings. They are sanctified people. Many who
now have the baptism were once connected with the Mount of
Blessings. And about two months ago one of the Church of
God preachers stopped over to talk with the leader at that
place and that leader said to him, 'After all, I think we
all ought to seek the Baptism like you have it.' (32)
This magnifies Godbey's prediction that the gift of tongues was "destined to play a conspicuous part in the evangelization of the heathen world . . . " (33) Godbey recorded this after quoting William Taylor, Methodist bishop of Africa, about missionaries who exhibited xenolalia. (34) Although Godbey later repudiated the pentecostal movement, this opinion was initially shared by various leaders including A.B. Simpson. (35) Compare this to The Rev. Dr. W. H. Lewis, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, who judged that permanent xenolalia was known in the day of apostles. Without specifying the group(s) in view, he published the following comments in 1871:
We cannot but remark how different was this gift of
tongues [permanent xenolalia] from all modern pretences
to the like miracles. Some over-heated enthusiast
professes to be able to speak in divers languages,
enabled so to do by the power of God, but when scholars
versed in all the tongues of a polyglot are summoned,
they can make nothing of the jargon. Or, again, in the
midst of the solemnities of public worship some
individual, after great heaving and agitation of frame,
pours forth in one wild, unearthly screams, never to be
forgotten by those who hear it, a few rapid sentences,
and then sinks down in a state of utter exhaustion,
from which it is a long time ere he can be roused. And
this is called the gift of tongues, like that which the
disciples received on the day of Pentecost! (36)
A similar observation was made by Isaac M. Wise in his 1868 commentary on the "Acts of the Apostles." Wise rejected much that Luke recorded, but made this note in passing:
This mode of expression was called afterwards "glossology,"
and was practiced in the church down to the third century
It was practiced also by many mystics even in our days. (37)
Philip Schaff said the Irvingites made a distinction between xenolalia of Pentecost and glossolalia at Corinth and the latter was part of their experience. In referring to perhaps the 1870's he wrote:
Several years ago I witnessed this phenomenon in an
Irvingite congregation in New York; the words were broken,
ejaculatory and unintelligible, but uttered in abnormal,
startling, impressive sounds, in a state of apparent
unconsciousness and rapture, and without any control over
the tongue, which was seized as it were by a foreign power.
A friend and colleague -- Dr. Briggs -- who witnessed it in
1879 in the principal Irvingite church at London, received
the same impression." (38)
Reports regarding A.J. Tomlinson's contact with Parham and Irwin or Spurling with Shiloh await clarification. (39) Did R.G. Spurling likewise visit Shiloh? The question arises because of Tomlinson's level of contact with both Shiloh and the mobile Spurling from 1896 until 1902. Work as a Bible colporteur explains Tomlinson's east coast travel at this time. Lack of precise dates leave unclear whether Tomlinson was in Shiloh while Parham was there. Another suggestive string is found in that Tomlinson's neighbor in Westfield, Indiana was a Thistlethwaite, the same family name as Parham's wife. A.J. Tomlinson and Sarah Thistlethwaite Parham both had a Quaker background. Abigail Cress, featured prominently in Samson's Foxes (1901-2) was influenced by Irwin's Fire-Baptized Holiness movement, perhaps primarily through her daughter. Tomlinson and J.B. Mitchell themselves solicited and gave reports of their work in the Evangelical Visitor, a Brethren in Christ publication. Cress was a member of this group in Abilene, Kansas. Having been organized perhaps as early as 1896, the Kansas chapter of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association had a ruling elder in place by 1898. Live Coals of Fire 1:3 (October 20, 1899) recorded an ordained minister from Abilene, Mary Lenhort, who visited Beniah. Travel range of the key players alone triggers discussion on whether any visits by Tomlinson to Cress would have brought him closer to Parham or Irwin. (40)
The Evangelical Visitor dated March 1, 1906 published a letter from Tomlinson where he described working with the poor in the mountains. (41) Contrast this venue and its emphasis on the Appalachian poor with Tomlinson by 1909 as corresponding editor of G.B. Cashwell's Bridegroom's Messenger that carried reports of his own pentecostal campaigns. (42) Neither periodical, like A.J. Tomlinson's Samson's Foxes and The Way, reveal an Appalachian group having anticipated the Azusa St. Revival. Renewed corroboration came from Nora Bryant Jones (43) saying firmly that she heard no one speak in tongues before coming to Cleveland. She could rehearse the story about her father which happened before she was born in 1897, but went on to say "no" specifically to the question whether she heard tongues in the mountains from her father, her mother, A.J. Tomlinson, or R.G. Spurling. (44)
This does not rule out personal familiarity with tongues-speech by A.J. Tomlinson. It can be conjectured that his 1896 exposure to Shiloh expanded to at least stories about speaking in tongues. Similarly, Tomlinson's 1897 fellowship with Bryant could have included the same. Tomlinson's remark that he "received the Holy Ghost" on March, 1896, in a journal entry describing a Sandfordian experience on October 30, 1897, encourages the view that no one yet insisted on tongues-speech as the invariable expression of Spirit baptism. (45)
Described by Charles W. Conn as pivotal to Church of God formation, revivals in Cherokee County, North Carolina which may have started in 1896 provoked charismatic phenomena now familiar in pentecostal circles. (46) It is known that the primary evangelists--Martin, Tipton, and McNabb-- came to embrace the message of Irwin's Fire-Baptized Holiness Association. In the series of meetings at the Shearer Schoolhouse, R. Frank Porter entered the picture as a advocate of the FBH message. In view of the imposing number of instances of tongues-speech spread throughout nineteenth century North America, (47) the well-traveled reports of such activities in certain circles and especially the presence of Daniel Awrey at Beniah, Tennessee, raises the question if William Martin, Joe Tipton, and/or Milton McNabb were exposed to at least stories about tongues-speech before the same took place in the Shearer Schoolhouse revivals. (48)
Counting in excess of 100, Last Great Conflict placed the peak participation for tongues-speech as following the conclusion of the initial revival services in the Schearer Schoolhouse. (49) Although more limited in scope, Conflict anticipated somewhat Lawrence's Apostolic Faith often labeled the first pentecostal history. (50) A.J. Tomlinson's verdict was that "Dr. Seamore" [W.J. Seymour] stirred Los Angeles, America and "many parts of the world" with his teaching on initial-evidence-Spirit baptism. (51)
An often overlooked resource related to this discussion is the opening volley by G.B. Cutten. Professor Cutten so persuasively characterized pentecostal phenomena that his marks remain on the movement to this day. Writing in 1908 as a Baptist pastor, Cutten flatly credited Parham with the Apostolic Faith Movement and the initial evidence doctrine. (52) Parham's insistence on permanent xenolalia was a premium version of this formula for popular religionists since it had the dual advantage of tangible miraculous intervention less deadly than handling poisonous snakes and provided a stimulus for missionary expansion. (53) Cutten, who attended a service that highlighted glossolalia, drew heavily on an intriguing 1907 series by S.A. Manwell and P.B. Campbell in The Wesleyan Methodist. (54)
To better understand the Fire-Baptized influence on W.F. Bryant and company, the following expanded comments center on Beniah, Tennessee where a widely publicized breakout of tongues occurred--minus the initial evidence teaching--in 1899-1900. (55) Live Coals of Fire 1:5 (Nov 5, 1899) located Beniah on the Southern Railroad from which one could see the Hiwassee River. Charleston, labeled a "flourishing little village," was calculated to be "two miles above," while Cleveland was "nine miles below." Beniah, apparently booming at the turn of the century, had a postmaster from 1898-1901 only. (56) The sudden closing would be explained by the demise of the school in the face of the dishonorable resignation of B.H. Irwin in early 1900 which was too distant from his 1906 xenolalic Spirit baptism. J.H. King took the reigns of power and moved from Toronto, Ontario, Canada to Royston, Georgia in 1902, but not before the group suffered casualties. (57)
The 1900 census for the 8th Civil District of Bradley County (58) revealed a large number of clergy, several non-Tennesseans, and some non-Americans in Beniah. Daniel Awrey's wife, Ella, of seven years came from Norway, while Awrey's uncle in his house, George Curry (age 76), was a native Tennessean. While in Beniah, B.H. Irwin (59) ignited an unnamed Swiss woman from Boston. William Martin, born in Tennessee, had a home here as well as Thomas McNabb, (60) formerly of North Carolina, listed as a clergyman. Hollie Pulliam from Mississippi, whose occupation was evangelist, joined census clergy listings of Benjamin Stanford and William W. Newberg. (61) Mrs. Pulliam and Mrs. Newberg (from Virginia) were identified in Coals (1900) as ordained with the Fire-Baptized Holiness Association. The Beniah household of N. Lawson listed Dollie Currie Lawson as wife. Marked in Coals as ordained by the Fire-Baptized, Dollie gave a portion of the Currie land to the ill-fated School of the Prophets. The census taken in 1900 put Aaron Bryant in Beniah, while early Coals (1899) listed Mary G. Bryant (Marion, SC) as ordained by the Fire-Baptized. Aaron Bryant, who was related to W.F. Bryant, ended up near the first Church of God general assembly house in western North Carolina. (62) A letter from Stewart Irwin in Coals 1:16 (April 6, 1900) drew attention to Beniah, Birchwood and "Bryant's school house." Coals (Nov 3, 1899) linked Frank Porter and John E. Dull to Beniah with plans to serve as missionaries in Africa and Cuba respectively.
Other residents of Beniah came from the following additional states: Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, and Massachusetts. North Carolina and Georgia were mentioned with the greatest frequency. When parents of residents are added, Maryland, New York, and Vermont were also represented at Beniah. This trans-local flavor clearly demonstrated the unique character of this short-lived community of whom Irwin had said "no finer spot in America" could be located to establish a "Fire-Baptized education institution." (63) Additional data came from the 1900 census for Birchwood, Tennessee. Here in the household of Richard DeFriese was his single daughter Emma, aged 27, listed as a teacher. Sister Emma DeFriese, described by Irwin in Coals 1:10 (Jan 12, 1900) as having the "definite experiences of the fire and the dynamite," served as principal of the school which was operating when Irwin made a personal visit to Beniah. Garland DeFriese, a neighbor and relative of Emma, would achieve infamy in 1918 when bitten by a rattlesnake in a religious service. (64) Garland's story undoubtedly is a result of the 1918 visit to Birchwood by George Hensley. Remarkably, reports of snake handling in Birchwood extend to the 1990s. (65) Two houses away from the DeFriese residence the Rutherford household kept four teachers in addition to preachers. Magie Rutherford, wife of head of the house Robert, indicated that her parents were from Ireland. This was something of an upscale neighborhood as shown by the inclusion of the superintendent of schools along with physicians. (66)
Daniel Awrey wrote in the Coals 1:10 (Jan 12, 1900) about a revival in Birchwood "five years earlier." Here also is a letter from Emma DeFriese congratulating "Brother Tipton" (67) for his active role in a (1900) Birchwood revival. (68)
Irwin's first issue of Coals 1:1 (October 6, 1899) featured an educational enterprise known as School of the Prophets in Beniah. Daniel Awrey, Ruling Elder of Tennessee's Fire-Baptized Holiness Association, was living in Beniah, Tennessee. Awrey, a missionary, preacher and teacher from Canada, first spoke in tongues on January 1, 1890 while in Delaware, Ohio. Nine years later, his wife and about a dozen others in Beniah, Tennessee spoke in tongues. (69) It is known that Awrey, in Tennessee by 1894, was in Beniah by 1896, but presently unknown when Awrey and William B. Martin or his colleagues first met. J.H. King said Tennessee was not formally organized in 1895 but had "a few adherents." Vinson Synan makes the unproven claim that William Martin, Joe Tipton, and Milton McNabb, three evangelists prominent in the 1896 Schearer School House revival, were active in the Tennessee Fire-Baptized Holiness Association by 1896. (70)
Sarah A. Smith, rightly identified by Lawrence (71) as part of The Fire-Baptized Association prior to 1900, tentatively related an "outbreak" of tongues shared in Tennessee and North Carolina "in the neighborhood of 1900" and then specifically mentioned Tomlinson and Lemons as perhaps being then Spirit baptized. After this, Sarah had worked in Egypt with well-known Church of God turned Assemblies of God missionary Lillian Trasher. Writing from memory after being out of the country long after the event means her recollection must surrender to explicit written documents--some by her own hand, another in Lawrence and so on-- that are contrary on details. It could be pressing too hard to shape her reminiscing as encompassing both the 1896 revival in Cherokee County, N.C. and the 1899 excitement in Beniah, TN. Lemons squarely placed his Spirit baptism with tongues at Union Grove subsequent to the 1907 trip to Birmingham with Tomlinson. (72) However, since it is known that Lemons was connected to Tomlinson by 1900, this account may hint at Tomlinson's knowledge of Beniah.
B.H. Irwin, who initiated statewide Fire-Baptized organizations in 1896, reported his busy schedule in The Way of Faith, printed by J.W. Pike of Columbia, South Carolina. As a subscriber, A.J. Tomlinson would have been kept current of the ministries of John Alexander Dowie and B.H. Irwin. (73) It is hardly coincidental that in 1906 Tomlinson described his role at the first Church of God general assembly as "ruling Elder," the term used formally by Irwin since at least 1898, then preached in the 1907 assembly on "The Baptism with the Holy Ghost and Fire." Was it not Fire-Baptized influence that prompted Tomlinson to prohibit pork while (1900) in Culberson, North Carolina? (74) The Way 1:6 (June 1904) included an article by R.F. Porter on sanctification as a "second work." This is the same Frank Porter tied to Beniah who served as Ruling Elder for the Fire-Baptized in Tennessee while Daniel Awrey was away preaching. (75) Another certain link was M.S. Lemons. Lemons had two letters printed in Coals, (76) which would be close to the time he hooked up with Tomlinson. Lemons late in life still attributed the 1902 Church of God organizational plunge to both R.G. Spurling and Frank Porter. (77) W.F. Bryant said his personal ordination came at the hands of Spurling and Porter. (78)
A possible context to evaluate Sarah Smith's remarks may come from reports like that by Daniel Awrey in Coals 1:10 (Jan 12, 1900), relating a revival in Dare, TN. Awrey mentioned Sarah who published her own report giving Beniah as her location. Awrey noted also Birchwood, which was spearheaded by Newberg. Coals 1:11 (Jan 26, 1900) put Newberg and Awrey in Lee's Switch, TN. The same were coupled, so Coals 1:13 (Feb 23, 1900) and Coals 1:16 (April 6, 1900), in Let, TN some forty miles from Beniah. Coals 1:17 (April 20, 1900) added William B. Martin to the team in Pikeville, TN. The same issue carried a report by T.S. Humble on Lee's Chapel, some five miles below Pikeville, with Awrey, Newberg, and Martin. Sarah Smith covered Epperson, TN in Coals 1:19 (May 18, 1900). This issue covered Sister Martin going from Union Grove to Beniah then on to Dare, TN. Sarah Smith's comments on Union Grove were run in Coals 1:8 (Dec 15, 1899). (79) R.G. Spurling organized the Piney, TN church during the late 1890's when the family lived in Polk County, TN. Polk County, TN sits between Bradley County, TN and Cherokee County, NC. (80)
Since conceivably at least Martin or Tipton or perhaps even McNabb could have brought tongues narratives to Cherokee County in 1896, it may punctuate W.F. Bryant's remark that Billy Martin got the "blessing" before he did. Bryant added, "Billy Martin of Coker Creek, Tennessee, a Methodist preacher came in there preaching entire Sanctification and the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and talking in tongues." (81) M.S. Lemons recounted this period as the time that Billy Martin, Joe Tipton and Frank Stephenson spoke in tongues. (82) Letters from Martin in Coals (1899-1900) took the party line on Fire-Baptized Spirit baptism. Martin, like several others in his ranks, was most likely to celebrate jumping, the jerks, shouting, and especially the dance. B.H. Irwin gave a succinct catalog of signs of the fire at Beniah: screaming, shouting, dancing, laughing, leaping, the jerks, hot chills, and falling prostrate. (83)
The version of this era recounted in The Faithful Standard (1922) explained that Martin, McNabb and Tipton entered a new phase of spirituality in May 1895. When an unofficial review board from the Methodist church visited William Martin, " . . . the unseen Spirit would take hold of his body before them. They would look on him in wonder and say, 'Oh, I am so sorry for him, he seems to be suffering so.'" The anonymous commentators added: "They claimed to have the Holy Ghost but they had not yet spoken in tongues." (84) W.F. Bryant stated that after the revival his family was dismissed from a Baptist church because they claimed to "live a life above sin and being baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire." (85) In total, 26 were turned out of the church. The result:
The power of God began falling upon us all the more and 'we
all spake with tongues and magnified God.' These prayer
meetings continued for three years. (86)
Given the dynamics of the Fire-Baptized formula and the wide range of publicity attached to tongues-speech in New England, it remains possible that an intersection of two such things provide part of the explanation for the 1896 happenings in western North Carolina. Among sources not properly explored is the general influence of African American religiosity and particular African American leaders in this area. (87) One can readily explain outbursts of tongues-speech in light of Fire-Baptized pneumatic expectations. Add to this the matter of ample precedents known to this region through esteemed publications and trusted interpreters along with the presence of Daniel Awrey, and it seems little further explanation is needed. That only after Azusa St. these happenings took on peculiar significance is again completely in line with what is known of the Fire-Baptized doctrinal milieu and ethos. So it would seem that especially the Fire-Baptized element was revealed in these reflections by B.F. Lawrence:
While it is true that the most of those who received the
baptism prior to 1900 did not regard tongues as the
invariable accompaniment of the baptism in the Spirit,
those who received in South Carolina and Tennessee did
so regard them, at least to the extent that when they first
heard one speak in another tongue they did what Peter did
at Cesarea, viz. believed that the Gift of the Holy Spirit
had been given to them as to the disciples at the
The classical pentecostal formula central to North American denominations excluded the possibility that these adherents allowed, namely that one could claim a baptism of the Spirit without having spoken in tongues. This story is echoed often in the early days of pentecostalism and specifically in this region. For example, G.B. Cashwell published the following in The Holiness Advocate 7:4 (June 1, 1907) after speaking in tongues at the Azusa St. Revival:
I had the witness of the Holy Ghost long before I ever had
this . . . I was taught that the witness I had was the
Pentecostal witness, and I preached it for eight years, but
did not have the witness to the Pentecostal baptism, for
they spoke in tongues on the day of Pentecost, all of them.
Cashwell, called the "Apostle of Pentecost to the South" by Vinson Synan, brought his message to Cleveland, TN in January 1908. It was at this juncture that A.J. Tomlinson claimed to have spoken ten different languages. (89) The installment on pentecostal history in The Faithful Standard (1922) which covered the 1896 revival, opened with these observations:...the first outpouring of Pentecost in Topeka, Kansas in
1. For starters, consider Mrs. Nancy Vernell Brown/Johns/ Lawson from Cleveland in Live Coals of Fire 1:18 (May 4, 1900) 6f.
2. V.P. Simmons, "History of Tongues," Bridegroom's Messenger 1:3 (December 1907) 2; idem, Bridegroom's Messenger 34 (March 15, 1902) 2; idem, Bridegroom's Messenger 46 (September 15, 1909) 2. Simmons, while exempting Schaff and Bushnell, appropriately entitled one entry "Historians Dodging Tongues," Bridegroom's Messenger 39 (June 1, 1909) 2. Simmon's original tract was kept in print by the Church of God of Prophecy through the 1990s.
3. The Apostolic Faith [Los Angeles] 1:4 (1906) 3; V.P. Simmons, "History of Tongues," Bridegroom's Messenger 1:3 (December 1907) 2; Bridegroom's Messenger 34 (March 15, 1909) 2; Bridegroom's Messenger 46 (September 15, 1909) 2; B. F. Lawrence, The Apostolic Faith Restored (St. Louis: Gospel Publishing House, 1916) 39-43; Charles Shumway, "A Critical History of Glossolalia," unpublished 1919 Ph.D. dissertation, Boston University, 109; The Apostolic Faith [Baxter Springs] 2:6 (June 1926) 1-7. This story was quickly picked up by secondary sources. cf. Stanley Frodsham, With Signs Following (Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1946) 10; Carl Brumback, Suddenly...From Heaven (Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1961) 12f; Bernard L. Bresson, Studies in Ecstasy (New York: Vintage Press, 1966) 109f; W.H. Turner, Pentecost and Tongues (Franklin Springs: Advocate Press, 1968) 95f; Robert Mapes Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979) 26; Cyril Williams, Tongues of the Spirit (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1981) 49.
4. V.P. Simmons in Bridegroom's Messenger 24 (March 15, 1909) 2. cf. Brumback, Suddenly, 13. V.P. Simmons, "Forbid Not To Speak With Tongues," Bridegroom's Messenger 3:51 (Dec 1, 1909) 3, refers to a Rhode Island camp meeting run by Elder W.H. Doughty "many years ago" that featured "much talking in tongues."
5. The letter, reproduced in Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 38ff, concluded:
A large number have [already] received their baptism and
fillings, and on April 9, 1906, when the Holy Spirit fell at
Los Angeles, we were holding a convention on the same day
and God's blessing was present, one assembly was on the
Pacific coast and the other on the Atlantic coast.
Swan's letter continued by naming the following persons as having spoken in tongues prior to 1874-5: Wm. H. Doughty (Maine), Zina Ford (NH), Wm. Hawkes (Mass), Eliza Libby (Mass), Rose Jenkins (Vermont), Rose Childs (Conn). This chapter is reproduced in B.F. Lawrence, "A History of the Present Day Latter Rain Outpouring of the Holy Spirit known as the Apostolic or Pentecostal Movement: Apostolic Faith Restored: Article IV. - The Work of the Spirit in Rhode Island," The Weekly Evangel (January 22, 1916), 4f. cf. Morton Kelsey, Tongue Speaking (New York: Doubleday, 1968) 60.
6. Horace Bushnell, Nature and the Supernatural (New York: Scribner's, 1859) 486f.
7. Stanley H. Frodsham, With Signs Following (Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1946) 10f.
8. V.P. Simmons in The Bridegroom's Messenger 34 (March 15, 1909) 2; Word and Work 32:11 (November, 1910) 338f; Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 39. It was specifically noted that the group in Rhode Island included West Indians. Editor of Word and Work in the 1930's, a recipient of the Juris Doctorus Degree from Harvard University, and eventually prominent in the Assemblies of God, Fred T. Corum in The Sparkling Fountain (Windsor: Corum & Associates, Inc., 1989) described Word and Work, started by Samuel G. Otis in 1878, as "the oldest international, full-gospel magazine." cf. Wayne Warner, "Publications," DPCM, 743.
9. Frank Bartleman, How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles (Los Angeles: 1925, second edition) 126, 101, 105f. Bartleman also rcounts a trip with Daniel Awrey to India reported in The Way of Faith. See: Frank Bartleman, Azusa Street: The Roots of Modern-day Pentecost (Plainfield: Logos, 1980) 147.
10. Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 39.
11. V.P. Simmons in Bridegroom's Messenger 34 (March 15, 1909) 2.
12. See: Tongues of Fire 4:21 (Nov 1, 1898) 168; Frank S. Murray, The Sublimity of Faith (Amherst: Kingdom Press, 1981) 232,247; William Hiss, "Shiloh, Frank W. Sandford, and the Kingdom," unpublished 1978 Ph.D. dissertation, Tufts University, 247; James R. Goff, Jr., Fields With Unto Harvest (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1988) 57. Murray counts Edward Doughty among "the seventy."
13. Edward and his wife Amanda moved to a remote island near Portland, Maine. This according to a telephone call talking directly with Donna Doughty (2-3-93). Shirley Nelson provided (11-12-92) a familial connection that seemed to have put this piece of the puzzle in place. A letter (1/18/2011) from Robert Forrest Doughty in Redmond, Washington, says Frank did not have a brother named Edward. The same is supported in detailed family trees printed in The Scoop on the Doughty Ice Cream Company, privately published in 2000 by Robert Forrest Doughty.
14. Mrs. Black [p. 38] used 1 Corinthians 14:22 for scriptural justification. Later reports by Miss Glassey, Mrs. Black and Mr. W.J. Black take up a lot of space in Sandford's periodical, the following among them: Tongues of Fire 3:7 (April 1, 1897) 54f; Tongues of Fire 3:1 (June 1, 1897) 88f; Tongues of Fire 3:12 (June 15, 1897) 97f. Typical of this time, Sandford gave space in Tongues of Fire 3:6 (March 15, 1897) to contemporary implementation of the whole of Mark 16 signs including nullifying deadly poison and snakes.
15. Appraisals of this account will be influenced by the insistence that Miss Glassey also had 13 to 15 teeth miraculously restored. cf. Charles Shumway, "A Study of the 'Gift of Tongues'," A.B. 1914 thesis, Southern California, 158; Hiss, "Sandford," 163; James Goff, Fields, 73; idem, "The Theology of Charles Fox Parham," Initial Evidence, ed. by Gary B. McGee (Peabody: Hendrickson Press, 1991) 64; Gary McGee, "Power from On High: A Historical Perspective on the Radical Strategy in Missions," Part 1 Assemblies of God Heritage 12:4 (Winter 1995-96) 21f. See review of Shirley Nelson's Fair, Clear and Terrible by David Bundy in EPTA Bulletin 8:4 (1989) 188. Frank S. Murray, Sublimity of Faith, 180f, related the 1898 Jerusalem visit of Miss Glassey and her adopted parents, The Blacks, with Sandford and Gleason. Shumway, "Tongues," 43f, used the Evangel Messenger (December 23, 1908) to tell the story of Miss Mable Collins "with Lillie Thomas, ten other women, a Mr. McElroy and four other men, all members of Frank Sandford's 'Holy Ghost and Us' congregation at Shiloh." Thinking they had several Indian languages, the group set out for India. After an "appalling failure," Miss Collins, "who was the only one to return," decided "the whole affair was prompted" by "Satanic influence."
16. Edith Blumhofer, The Assemblies of God (Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1989) 1:80.
17. So Goff, Fields, 73,198n26 and idem, "Parham," 64, 71n25. Goff identifies the sources as a St. Louis holiness periodical named The Everlasting Gospel.
18. cf. Charles Fox Parham, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (By the Author,  n.d.) 29; Goff, "Parham," 64, 71n26 and Fields, 73, 199n28. Page 7 of the periodical is noted.
19. Murray, Sublimity, 232; Goff, Fields, 57.
20. Shumway, "Glossolalia," 111, depicted Parham as conceiving of his theological scheme at Shiloh. See: Shumway, "Tongues," 165; Goff, Fields, 73ff; Sarah E. Parham, The Life of Charles F. Parham (Birmingham: Commercial Printing,  1977) 48.
21. J.H. King, "History of Pentecostal Holiness Church," (1946) 5-12, 21. See the series by G.F. Taylor in The Pentecostal Holiness Advocate (March-April, 1921). Also: Coals 1:6 (Nov 10, 1899) 8; Coals 1:9 (Dec 29, 1899) 2. Probably not connected is the reference to Mr. & Mrs. Tuttle of Lawrence, Kansas in Parham, 25f, and Mrs. Victoria Tuttle, the ruling elder of the Pennsylvania Fire-Baptized.
22. "A Sermon by Chas. F. Parham," The Apostolic Faith 31 (April 1925) 3; Goff, Fields, 54f; idem, "Parham," 62; Synan, Pentecostal, 68; Synan, Old-Time Power, 92.
23. Agnes Ozman, What God Hath Wrought (Chicago: Herald Publishing Co., n.d.) 22f; William Menzies, "Fire-Baptized Holiness Movement," Dictionary of Christianity in America (Downer's Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1991) 440; Edith Blumhofer, Restoring The Faith (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993) 48-53. "History of [Pentecostal] Movement," The Apostolic Faith 2:2 (Oct 1908) Houston, Texas, p. 2, adds that at her Spirit baptism on January 1, 1901 she did not think tongues was the only evidence of Spirit baptism. Joseph Campbell, The Pentecostal Holiness Church: 1898-1948 (Franklin Springs, Georgia: Publishing House of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1951) 208-214, notes that Agnes Ozman LeBerge and her husband became active members of the Fire Baptized Holiness Church, she serving as "pastor and evangelist."
Daniel Awrey's 7,100 mile trip reported in Coals 1:7 (Dec 1, 1899) 5, noted twice hearing Dr. Dowie in Chicago. Chronicling travels in 1907, Frank Bartleman's How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles (1925) 106, told of a stop in Old Orchard, Maine. This annual Christian and Missionary Alliance camp meeting was said to be opposed to "Pentecost," yet several left the camp to hear Bartleman. cf. Michael Thomas Girolimon, "A Real Crisis of Blessing: Part 1," Paraclete 27:1 (Winter, 1992) 21; Blumhofer, Restoring, 48; James E. Peters, Prevailing Westerlies (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 1988) 19f.
24. "Baptism with the Holy Ghost" by Charles F. Parham in W.F. Carothers, The Baptism with the Holy Ghost and the Speaking in Tongues (n.p., 1907) 9.
25. W.N. Gleanson reported the following in Tongues of Fire 3:18 (September 15, 1897) 151, under the heading "Baptisms":
There have been eight of these services, one taking place
every Sunday since August 1st, thirty-eight in all having
followed their Lord into the water. New converts,
Methodists, Presbyterians, Friends and Congregationalists
have alike been buried in the Androscoggin.
26. Under the heading "Bible School Notes," Tongues of Fire 3:21 (November 1, 1897) p. 172, one student is described as "an evangelist from Indiana who has just arrived from work in Tennessee and No. Carolina."
27. A.J. Tomlinson, "Journal of Happenings," 1:62. See: Harold D. Hunter, "A.J. Tomlinson," DPCM, 847; Murray, Sublimity, 288f, 166 et al; Shirley Nelson, Fair, Clear, And Terrible: The Story of Shiloh (Latham: British American Publishing, 1989) 162; Wade H. Phillips, "The Corruption of the Noble Vine," unpublished 1990 manuscript, 91; Homer Tomlinson, Diary 3:13,31. Tomlinson's baptism by Stephen Merritt may also reveal Sandford's influence. Wade Phillips, "Noble Vine," 43n53, claims that Tomlinson was baptized yet again, now by a Church of God minister, T.L. McLain on August 13, 1913. Sandford's baptism of 218 persons in the Androscoggin River was an initiation into "The Church of the Living God."
28. Samuel G. Otis, founding editor of Word and Work, hosted an 1890 Massachusetts camp meeting featuring Seth and Bryon Ress from the Office of God's Revivalist. So Lily E. Corum, "The Christian Worker's Union," Word and Work [Souvenir Issue] 3:5 (May 1989) 2. Beulah Christian 4:8 (August 1895) 3, carried a report on Godbey's book.
29. Godbey was quoted as an authority in his field in no fewer than five issues of Coals.
30. In the year 1895 alone, Watson had articles on virtually every front page of The Way of Faith. Yet he continued to be published here as late as November, 1931. See Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 85; Phillips, "Noble Vine," 151n223.
31. Beulah Items 4:7 (July 1891) 4.
32. "History of Pentecost," The Faithful Standard 1:4 (July 1922) 9.
33. W.B. Godbey, Spiritual Gifts and Graces (Hobesound: H.S.B.C. Press,  1975) 43. cf. Cecil M. Robeck, "William J. Seymour and 'the Bible Evidence,'" Initial Evidence, 93n38. A collection of A.J. Tomlinson's personal papers included God's Revivalist and Bible Advocate 16:4 (January 28, 1904) which listed Mrs. M.W. Knapp and two other women as editors of the magazine and trustees of the school. The masthead read: Pentecostal, Missionary, Holiness, Unsectarian. Pertinent comments on Mr. M.W. Knapp are found in Donald W. Dayton, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1987) 91, 166, 174f.
34. Godbey, Spiritual Gifts, 42f, 25. Godbey called Taylor "perhaps the brightest and most spiritual Christian in the world."
35. Girolimon, "Crisis of Blessing," 22-24; Charles W. Nienkirchen, A.B. Simpson and the Pentecostal Movement (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1992) 75. The early Simpson verdict, later overturned, was quoted by Frank Bartleman in his 1925 How Pentecost Came to Los Angeles, 65. After the advent of the Pentecostal Movement Godbey released Satantic Tongue Movement (Zarapath, New Jersey: Pillar of Fire, 1918). G.F. Taylor, The Spirit and the Bride (Falcon, NC: by the author, 1907) 52, says that Godbey found pentecostal claims--including those from the Azusa St. Revival---to xenolalia to be flawed.
36. W.H. Lewis, Sermons For the Christian Year (London: R.D. Dickinson, 1871) 272. Was this sentiment sufficiently widespread to account for the multitude of stories like that of Clara Fisher? Clara, wife of Elmer Fisher who first spoke in tongues during the 1906 revival at Joseph Smale's First New Testament Church, claimed to have been baptized in the Spirit with xenolalia in 1884. Interview of Harold Fisher, December 29, 1992, by Harold D. Hunter. Harold Fisher, son of Clara, is also uncle to Stanley Horton who wrote "The Pentecostal Explosion at the Azusa Street Mission," Assemblies of God Heritage 2:3 (Fall 1982) 2f.
37. Isaac M. Wise, The Origin of Christianity (Cincinnati: Block & Co., Publishers, 1868) 58. Swiss theologian Frederic L. Godet interacted with various understandings of tongue-speech in his 1866 Commentary on the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Zondervan,  1957) 2:319f.
He was not satisfied with scholarly opinions, but was positive about the early Irvingites. In that context he made this judgment about tongues-speech:
. . . it is the spirit of the glossolalete himself, who
is carried away in ecstasy . . . he speaks mysteries . .
I can only therefore regard the gift of tongues as the
expression in a language spontaneously created by the
Holy Spirit, of the new views and of the profound and
lively emotions of the human soul set free . . .
J.E. Worsfold, A History of the Charismatic Movements in New Zealand (West Yorkshire: Puritan Press Ltd., 1974) 19f, notes this and draws attention to the work of E.H. Plumtree.
38. Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (AP&A ) 1:1:115; Phillip Schaff, "The Pentecostal and the Corinthian Glossolalia" recorded in summary form within the Proceedings of the First Meeting of the Society, New York, June 4, 1880 in Journal of Biblical Literature 51 (1930) xxvii-xxxii. See: Columba Graham Flegg, 'Gathered Under Apostles': A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992) 30; Larry Christenson, A Message to the Charismatic Movement (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1972) 32ff; William S. Merricks, Edward Irving (East Peoria: Scribe's Chamber Publications, 1983) 172; Gordon Atter, The Third Force (Peterborough: College Press, 1970) 35; John T. Nichol, The Pentecostals (Plainfield: Logos, 1966) 24; Worsfold, Charismatic, 56,64; Stephen C. Neal, Interpretation of the New Testament, 1861-1961, 123; Abraham Kuyper, The Worth of the Holy Spirit (New York: Funk and Wagnells Co., 1900) 85-87.
39. See: Wade H. Phillips, "Quakerism and Frank W. Sandford: Major Influences that Transformed A.J. Tomlinson and the Church of God," Decades of Expectancy: 1891-1900, 1991-2000, ed. by William Faupel (Lakeland: Society For Pentecostal Studies, November 7-9, 1991) 1; idem, "Noble Vine," 148n211.
40. Coals 1:1 (p.8) described Michigan Ruling Elder Mattie Ritter, originally from the Mennonite Brethren church in Illinois, as influenced by reading about Irwin in The Way of Faith. The Evening Light and Church of God Evangel 1:10 (July 15, 1910), p. 7, printed a letter from Abbie Cress expressing a desire to join the true Church.
41. Evangelical Visitor (March 1, 1906) 15.
42. Bridegroom's Messenger 34 (March 15, 1909) 2; Bridegroom's Messenger 46 (September 15, 1909) 2.
43. This impromptu interview was conducted 10-5-92 by Hal Bernard Dixon and Harold D. Hunter with Betty Benefield as recording secretary. "Aunt Nora" was most certain that tongues-speech was commonplace only after the Cleveland congregation had erected a building (1907) and more particularly after the 1908 revival. The same scenario is played out in an undated interview of Nora's mother, Nettie, and sister Ella. See Dixon Pentecostal Research Center, Church of God Document 8A. Ella Bryant Robinson was quite emphatic on this matter (p.4).
44. Deborah Vansau McCauley, "Appalachian Mountain Religion," Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1990 (p.335) quotes Bryant as saying Spurling's 1886 church "went dead." Dr. McCauley (pp.346-8) also cites Joe Abbott, The Forgotten Church (n.p., 1962) 38, to say a glut of holiness churches look back to the Spurlings' 1886 declaration as their origin. Dr. McCauley's manuscript was released in 1995 by the University of Chicago under the title Appalachian Mountain Religion: A History. Abbott's work is often based on third generation oral tradition from independent Holiness Pentecostals. Although some his references are worthy of investigation, Abbott (pp. 24, 28) marks 1886 and Mrs. Fannie White as the first to "receive the Holy Ghost" in "our day." Meanwhile, original church registers from 1857 and 1875 uncovered in May, 1993, by Wade Phillips, lend support to the view that Spurling was a Landmark Baptist. Cf. Mickey Crews, The Church of God: A Social History (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990) 7.
45. Tomlinson, Diary 3:13. Gaps in extant records disallow a clear distinction between possible Holiness and Fire-Baptized nuances of this key phrase. In the presence of Von Bullen, I once saw the A.J. Tomlinson's journal cited in this reference. However, without checking these now misplaced originals it is not possible to verify the contents of this entry as published by Homer. Tomlinson's Last Great Conflict (p. 210) made clear that he was more "full awakened" about pentecostal phenomena in January, 1907 and actualized this in his own life one year later. M.S. Lemons echoed this sentiment (pp. 12f, 15f) in the 1949 joint interview of Bryant and Lemons by H.L. Chesser. Unfortunately, the typed text of this interview wrongly put (p.12) the Birmingham trip as 1900. See Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 94.
46. Charles W. Conn, Our First 100 Years: 1886-1986 (Cleveland: Pathway Press, 1986) 17, goes on to ascribe importance to the event because it "prepared the way for the universal outpouring that followed ten years later." This is a welcome appraisal in light of an earlier judgment often bound up in the North American church's self-perception, namely [Charles W. Conn, Like A Mighty Army (Cleveland: Pathway Press, 1977) 25]: "... this was the first general outpouring that would continue unabated until it encompassed the Christian world." Cf. Charles W. Conn, Like A Mighty Army: A History of the Church of God: Definitive Edition, 1886-1995 (Cleveland: Pathway Press, 1996) 29-31. The re-evaluation process can be followed in Charles W. Conn, Cradle of Pentecost (Cleveland: Pathway, 1981) 17, "If it was not the beginning of the modern Pentecostal Awakening, it was certainly the greatest prelude to it." Then "Church of God" by Charles W. Conn in Encyclopedia of Religion in the South, ed. by Samuel S. Hill (Macon: Mercer University Press, 1984) 160, calls this an "extraordinary event" "without precedent in the region." On the other hand, Conn's entry in the same volume on "A.J. Tomlinson," repeats the older view espoused in Army. Conn's piece on the revival in DPCM, 161, says the group "formulated no doctrine about it. They simply thanked God for the 'blessing' ..." He opens the article by calling this "one of the earliest known outpourings of the Holy Spirit in America" in contrast to the closing statement that the "universal outpouring would begin ten years later, 1906, in far away California." cf. E.L. Simmons, History of the Church of God (Cleveland: Church of God Publishing House, 1938) 11f; Crews, The Church of God, 10.
The official Church of God position seems entrenched in the earlier Conn view. During the 1995 Pentecostal World Conference in Jerusalem, Church of God started a celebration of their 100 years of pentecostal revival. This was to have culminated in the 1996 General Assembly of the Church of God. Meanwhile, this viewpoint continued to play a factor in the view expressed in the 1990's Church of God web page (http://www.mindspring.com/~cog/cog.html) which originally trumpeted "America's Oldest Pentecostal Church" then replaced with the equally loud "America's First Pentecostal Church."
Contrast this to the 2001 celebration in Los Angles of the birth of Pentecostism hosted by the Pentecostal World Conference, noting the planning began while the PWC was led by Dr. Ray H. Hughes of the Church of God. The Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA) signed on as partners and the North American Renewal Service Committee (NARSC) endorsed the event as an effort to celebrate all the offspring of the pentecostal revival.
47. Assemblies of God Heritage has analyzed several such examples like that of W. Jethro Walthall. See Glenn Gohr, "William Jethro Walthall and the Holiness Baptist Churches of Southwestern Arkansas," Assemblies of God Heritage 12:3 (Fall 1992) 19f. Also: Mary Woodworth Etter, Signs and Wonders God Wrought in the Ministry for Forty Years (Indianapolis, 1916) 117; Wayne E. Warner, The Woman Evangelist (Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1986) 70n33; Brumback, Suddenly, 13; Kendrick, Promise, 35; Frodsham, Signs, 11-17; Cyril Williams, Tongues, 50; Bresson, Ecstasy, 109; Worsfold, Charismatic, 82; Lewi Pethrus, A Spiritual Memoir (Plainfield: Logos, 1973) 20; Aimee Semple McPherson, Lost and Restored as cited by Robert Cornwall, "Primitivism and the Redefinition of Dispensationalism in the Theology of Aimee Semple McPherson," Pneuma 14:1 (Spring 1992) 37; A.M. Kiergan, Historical Sketches of the Revival of True Holiness and Local Church Polity from 1865-1916 (Fort Scott: Church Advocate and Good Way, 1971) 31; Davidson, Rock 1:298; C.E. Jones, "Tongues-Speaking and The Wesleyan-Holiness Question for Assurance of Sanctification," Wesleyan Theological Journal 22:2 (Fall 1989) 120.
48. "History of Pentecost," The Faithful Standard 1:6 (September 1922) 6, noted William Hamby as the fourth evangelist. Also Nettie Bryant, Interview p. 2, and W.F. Bryant, Interview, p. 2. R.G. Spurling married Barbara Hamby in 1876. So McCauley, "Appalachian Mountain Religion," 360. Also see Wade H. Phillips, "W.F. Bryant: From Bootlegger to Holiness Leader," Church of God History and Heritage (Summer/Fall 2002), p. 13n18; Daniel Woods, "Daniel Awrey, the Fire-Baptized Movement, and the Origins of the Church of God: Toward a Chronology of Confluence and Influence," paper presented May 24, 2003 to the Church of God Movements Historical Society.
49. A.J. Tomlinson, Last Great Conflict (Cleveland: Walter Rogers, 1913) 189f. See: "The Story of Pentecost," Faithful Standard 1:6 (September, 1922) 6f; Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 45f. cf. Conn, Army (1977) 25f; idem, Cradle of Pentecost, 17; idem, Images Of A People (Cleveland: Pathway, 1986) 23; C.T. Davidson, Upon This Rock (Cleveland: White Wing Publishing House, 1973) 1:296f. There is little reason to accept Homer A. Tomlinson's claim [Diary of A.J. Tomlinson (New York: Church of God, World Headquarters, 1949) 1:30] that A.J. Tomlinson witnessed the events of 1896 or that "Several members of the church at Cleveland had received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, as far back as 1892, and were present at this service (January 13, 1908)."
50. Grant Wacker, "Bibliography and Historiography of Pentecostalism (US)," DPCM, 69, rightly points out that no published work preceded Lawrence's attempt in terms of its agendum. On the other hand, Wacker's often repeated thesis formulated in "Playing For Keeps: The Primivitist Impulse in Early Pentecostalism," The American Quest for the Primitive Church, ed. by Richard T. Hughes (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1988) 200f, has to be modified when it is remembered that A.J. Tomlinson embodied the juxtaposition of restorianism and historical realism. Tomlinson not only read early church fathers and Eusebius, he wrote his own history and that of the early Church of God assemblies. The six-part, unsigned history of Pentecostalism in The Faithful Standard (1922) evidenced a role by A.J. Tomlinson. This series taken together constituted one of the more significant contributions to the subject at that time and predated by three years Frank Bartleman's publication on Azusa St.
51. The priority of Topeka and especially Azusa St. was central to the series on pentecostal history in The Faithful Standard (1922). "History of Pentecost," The Faithful Standard 1:5 (Aug 1922) 6f, acknowledged a letter from Agnes Ozman LaBerge who was cast as the "first to receive it in the general outpouring." Similarly, the opening issues of The Evening Light and Church of God Evangel (March 1 and March 15, 1910). Homer Tomlinson conceded as much in his Great Vision of the Church of God, 3,5. This was certainly the case in his uncluttered Amazing Fulfillments of Prophecy (Cleveland: White Wing Publishing House, 1934) 125f. The same can be said of an important document entitled The Book of Doctrines (Cleveland: Church of God Publishing House, 1922) 46ff, which gave clear evidence of Homer's fingerprints. cf. Homer A. Tomlinson, Mountain of the Lord's House (New York: Churches of God of Greater New York, Inc., 1941) 10. Also see Harold D. Hunter, "Spirit-Baptism and the 1896 Revival in Cherokee County, North Carolina," Pneuma 5:2 (Fall 1983) 1-17, for a host of relevant data like A.J. Tomlinson's 1908 xenolalia and 1909 legal dispute over initial evidence.
52. No documentation from the whole history of Christendom has surfaced which unseats Parham from this dubious honor. See: Harold D. Hunter, Spirit Baptism: A Pentecostal Alternative (Lanham: University Press of America, 1983) chps. 1,5,6; Flegg, 'Gathered Under Apostles', 5, 197; Stanley M. Burgess, "Evidences of the Spirit: The Medieval and Modern Western Churches," Initial Evidence, 20-40. Contra: David W. Dorries, "Edward Irving and the 'Standing Sign' of Spirit Baptism," Initial Evidence, 49, 53.
53. In the face of mounting evidence--especially horror stories of those who launched out to mission fields--the pentecostal mainstream quickly abandoned the concept of initiatory tongues being permanent xenolalia. Parham, however, retained this belief until the end of his life, as have his ecclesiastical heirs. Article 7 of the By-Laws of the Apostolic Faith Bible College, Inc., as published in Apostolic Faith Report 38:4-6 (April-June 1992) 12, lists Spirit baptism as "evidenced by the speaking in other languages." Blumhofer, Restoring, 52, claims that Parham was originally most intrigued about the role of tongues in the sealing of the 144,000 member Bride. Matthew D. Lassiter, "'The Last Great Conflict is On': The Early Pentecostal Movement in the Southeast," [http://www.virginia/edu/~history/southcon.95/Lassiter.html] December 1995, cites G.B. Cashwell as deciding that initial-evidence tongues were glossolalic, while the gift of tongues were xenolalic thereby "articulating the previously underexamined distinction between the manifestation and the gift of tongues."
54. G.B. Cutten, The Psychological Phenomena of Christianity (New York: Scribner's, 1908) 57. His most quoted work used freely by detractors of pentecostalism is Speaking With Tongues (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1927). Had later works kept pace with the quality of Manwell and Campbell, pentecostal history might have a different chapter. Cutten's much quoted emphasis in Tongues on cryptomnesia led to the perception that he invented this association. In reality, T.B. Barratt considered such a phenomenon as early as 1909. See T.B. Barratt, "German Conference," Confidence 2 (February 1909) 36.
55. Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 45, said flatly that Awrey did not teach initial evidence in 1899 Beniah. This shows that whatever the precise relation of Beniah to R.G. Spurling and W.F. Bryant, this distinctive pentecostal dogma was absent.
56. "Record of Appointment of Postmaster: 1832-September 30, 1971," The National Archives (Washington, D.C.: National Archives Microfilm Publications #M841, 1973) Roll 118 of Anderson-Grainger Counties, Tennessee.
57. The precise nature of Irwin's indiscretion is not often repeated, but C.E. Jones, "Benjamin Hardin Irwin," Dictionary of Christianity in America, 583, passes on the 1900 announcement by H.C. Morrison in his Pentecostal Herald that Irwin had been seen on an Omaha street drunk and smoking a cigar. This was followed by divorce and a marriage to a young woman. J.H. King, "Pentecostal Holiness Church," 23, lamented that an alluring woman had tempted Irwin. King wrote in 1921, "History of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church: Chapter III," Pentecostal Holiness Advocate 4:49 (April 7, 1921) 10, that Irwin gave evidence of "an apostate condition of heart" in 1899 and that in the spring of 1900 he was "guilty of open and gross sins." Evidence about a pentecostal episode in Irwin's life is found in The Apostolic Faith 1:6 (February-March, 1907) 1, and The Apostolic Faith (February 1911) 4, edited by E.N. Bell along with a letter from Irwin to Barrett republished by David Bundy in "Spiritual Advice to a Seeker: Letters to T.B. Barratt from Azusa St, 1906," Pneuma 14:2 (Fall, 1992) 160, 167f. See Craig Fankhauser, "The Heritage of Faith," Master's Thesis, Pittsburg State University (July 1983) (www.deadseascrollsbibleprophecy.com/title_page.html) for information about the death of Mrs. Anna M. Stewart Irwin in 1919. When trying to purge the Pentecostal Holiness Church of "Irwinism," King, "Unity," Pentecostal Holiness Advocate (August 3, 1922) 5f, said of Irwin:
His life for many years alternated between the pulpit and
the harlots house. He would go from the pulpit to wallow
with harlots the rest of the night. During this time he
was preaching fiercely against wearing neckties, eating
pork, and drinking coffee.
This last reference was located by Dan Woods.
58. Copy secured (10-17-92) from Cleveland Public Library, History Branch, by director Faye Taylor.
59. Coals 1:4 (Oct 27, 1899) 1.
60. Milton McNabb was related to W.F. Bryant. Interview of Bryant and Lemons by Chesser, p. 2; Nora Bryant Jones (2-17-93).
61. Coals carried numerous stories about Newberg's ministry.
62. So Nora Bryant Jones (2-17-93). No such information is available about Mary G. Bryant.
63. Irwin's travel narrative in editorial of Coals 1:5 (November 3, 1899). Coals recorded a range of activities including a list of visitors like Dr. McElroy (1:6, p.3) and perhaps J.H. King (1:4, p.6).
64. This is found in the 1900 Census of James County, Third Civil District as provided (19-20-92) by Faye Taylor, Director of History Branch, Cleveland Public Library. Mrs. Taylor points out that Beniah was accessible to Birchwood by ferry, a main highway, and the railroad. The Cleveland Daily Banner (January 30, 1968) 2, included an obituary on Emma. The 1900 Census of the 3rd Civil District showed that Garland DeFriese, born 1898, lived in the home of his parents William and Mary. See: Weston LaBarre, "The Snake Handling Cult of the American Southeast," Explorations in Cultural Anthropology, ed. by Ward H. Goodenough (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964) 309; Richard Crayne, Pentecostal Handbook (Morristown: by the author, 1989) 109.
65. See David L. Kimbrough, Taking Up Serpents (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1995) xiii, 131, 196n15.
66. Evidence, once again, of overstatement by Robert Mapes Anderson, Vision of the Disinherited (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979). Lassiter, "The Early Pentecostal Movement in the Southeast," n8, counters Anderson with Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992) 407 and Braine Turley's demographic data in "A Wheel Within a Wheel: Southern Methodism and the Georgia Holiness Association," Georgia Historical Quarterly 75 (Summer 1991) 295-300. Cf. Crews, The Church of God, 6. Lassiter [p. 24] postulates that a "substantial segment" of the Pentecostal Holiness readership were literate and "perhaps somewhat educated" evidenced by the prominent role played by periodicals and the frequent testimonial and theological contributions of laypeople. Again challenging Anderson, Lassiter points out that Taylor's coeditor of the Holiness Advocate was T.M. Lee, a lawyer, former Episcopal and Mason, and a "member of one of the best families in the state." G.F. Taylor attended the University of North Carolina while A.H. Butler and J.H. King received college and seminary educations respectively. Reminding Anderson that many Pentecostal Holiness ministers and laypeople had been affiliated with the Methodist church, Lassiter concludes:
Although Pentecostalism did make substantial inroads among
the socially and economically disadvantaged, the movement
nevertheless attracted only a small percentage of the people
who fell into these categories.
Also see Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (New York: Oxford, 1992) 408, who shows that pentecostals did not come from the "backwaters" of the South "but in the very places that had experienced the greatest change over the preceding fifty years."
67. It is not known if this was Joe Tipton who was part of the Schearer School House revival. A Joe Tipton fitting the description of the man in question was murdered in 1921 by a drunk husband who was abusing his wife. The wife fled to her neighbors, The Tiptons, and when Joe Tipton later opened the door, the drunk husband unloaded his shotgun. This recorded in newspapers from Cleveland and Polk County as quoted by Faye Taylor (10-20-92). This location generates speculation as to whether at least this Joe Tipton was related to Thomas Tipton in Beniah.
68. Writing January 4, 1951 to W.R. Steelberg, Mrs. C.E. Grass(?) claimed to have been living in Birchwood, TN when tongues broke out in late 1900. She said the trigger was a letter from Cherokee County, North Carolina. Various issues of Coals in 1900 reveal revival outpourings in Birchwood with credit always given to the Fire-Baptized network.
69. Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 44f; Joseph H. King, Yet Speaketh (Franklin Springs, Georgia: Publishing House of the Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1949) 98; Brumback, Suddenly, 13; Joseph E. Campbell, The Pentecostal Holiness Church, 208; Frodsham, Signs, 15; Atter, Third Force, 19; Fellowship from Solid Rock (Spring, 1984) 1. Brumback (p.14n10) quoted a 1910 document entitled Telling the Lord's Secrets. This small tract by Awrey adds no historical data of interest. Probably also unrelated is the account written in 1908, where Martha Lewis affirmed having first spoken in tongues on April 11, 1898 in Canada. Martha J. Lewis, "Eleven Years in the Experience," The Upper Room 1:4 (September 1909) 1,2. Ethel E. Goss' The Winds of God (Southfield, Michigan: Ruth Goss Nortje', 1977) gave high marks to Daniel Awrey:
Daniel Awrey was a world-famous Bible teacher, missionary
He was a man of cultivation and charm, but in his trips
around the world, he used little of the abundant offerings
he received for himself. In order to save and give to
others, he bought steerage tickets and arranged to forego
hotels by sitting up in trains at night. By living
austerely, with much fasting, he was able to send
thousands of dollars through the years to missionaries who
were suffering privations in the field.
70. King, "Pentecostal Holiness," 10; Vinson Synan, The Old-Time Power (Franklin Springs: Advocate Press, 1973) 91n21. cf. Campbell, Pentecostal Holiness, 198; A.D. Beacham, Jr., A Brief History of the Pentecostal Holiness Church (Franklin Springs: Advocate Press, 1983) 44.
71. Lawrence, The Apostolic Faith Restored, 45.
72. Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 94 and Chesser interview of Bryant and Lemons, p. 13.
73. The Way of Faith (April 15, 1896) 4, carried an advertisement for Irwin's Baptism of Fire. Way of Faith (October 20, 1897) 2-7, is used by Synan, Old-Time Power, 92n24, to remark that the periodical carried "vivid reports of Irwin's revivals." Coals at least twice printed references to the Way of Faith. See S.D. Page, The Way of Faith (March 1897) quoted by Dillard L. Wood and William H. Preskitt, Jr., Baptized With Fire: A History of the Pentecostal Fire-Baptized Holiness Church (Franklin Springs: Advocate Press, 1982) 15. cf. Phillips, "Transformed A.J. Tomlinson," 34n30.
74. A.J. Tomlinson, "Journal of Happenings," (1-30-06) 1:92; Samson's Foxes 1:1 (January 1901) 4. Tomlinson would not, however, be able to identify with the segment of the Fire-Baptized that prohibited neck-ties. B.H. Irwin had himself coronated as "General Overseer" "for life" in the pivotal 1898 meeting. Although Irwin was not alone in such maneuvering, this may relate to another part of what became A.J. Tomlinson's persona. See Harold D. Hunter, "A.J. Tomlinson," 846-8; idem, "A.J. Tomlinson," Dictionary of Christianity in America, 1178f; idem, "Churches of God," New 20th-Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, ed. by J.D. Douglas (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991, second edition) 194-196.
75. Coals reported several common efforts of William M. Martin, Frank R. Porter and Stewart T. Irwin.
76. Coals 1:9 (Dec 29, 1899) 8, mistakenly printed M."L." Lemons from Luskville. He was correctly identified in Coals 1:13 (Feb 23, 1900) 8. Mattie Carver from Luskville had correspondence published in Coals 1:10 (Jan 12, 1900). Page 7 of the same issue carried a letter by Rilla Alexander from Charleston, TN which said Grandpa Murphy got "the dance." The first Church of God general assembly was held (1906) in the home of J.C. Murphy, nearby in North Carolina. Murphy's home is owned by the Church of God of Prophecy.
77. M.S. Lemons' unpublished "A History of the Church of God" (circa 1937) chapter 1, pp. 4f, 10. Also Lemons interview by Chesser, p. 17f. Lemons said (p.19) that Porter introduced the Camp Creek group to him around 1900. Lemons himself did not join until 1903 and would eventually find himself out of the mainstream.
78. Bryant interview by Chesser, p. 18.
79. During the Chesser interview, Bryant and Lemons both spoke about Union Grove.
80. McCauley, "Mountain Appalachian Religion," 365, quoting G.P. Spurling, son of R.G. Spurling. Cherokee County is the beginning of the infamous "Trail of Tears." The forced eviction of Native Americans from this region early in the 19th century made cheap land readily available which was clearly the attraction for W.F. Bryant's family.
81. Chesser interview of Bryant and Lemons, p. 2.
82. Chesser interview of Bryant and Lemons, p. 16. The interview of Nettie Bryant (p.4) put her husband, Billy Martin and Milton NcNabb together as having "the Holy Ghost in North Carolina."
83. Coals 1:4 (Oct 27, 1899) 1. Irwin's comments on tongues are found in Coals 1:20 (June 1, 1900) 3. cf. Vinson Synan, The Holiness-Pentecostal Movement in the United States (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971) 65n21, 68; Synan, The Old-Time Power, 92.
84. "History of Pentecost," Faithful Standard 1:6 (September 1922) 6. Homer Tomlinson is the likely compiler of this series. Age 72 when interviewed by Chesser, Bryant said (p.3) about this period: "...I thought I had the Holy Ghost, but I didn't have it all then..."
85. Ibid. Emphasis mine. Also Bryant in Chesser interview, 1-3.
86. Ibid. This, in turn, fuels further speculation about the publicized 1899 outbreak of tongues in Beniah.
87. Live Coals of Fire seemed never to stray from paying some attention to African Americans. Listed in all issues were two such ruling elders and various ordained ministers. A number of stories highlight their specific contributions which, more often than not, were in the Southeast. See: Coals 1:1 (Oct 6, 1899) 8; Coals 1:4 (Oct 27, 1899) 1; Coals 1:5 (Nov 3, 1899) 1; Coals 1:6 (Nov 10, 1899) 1; Coals 1:7 (Dec 1, 1899) 2; Coals 1:10 (Jan 12, 1900) 3; Coals 1:11 (Jan 26, 1900) 1; Coals 1:15 (March 23, 1900) 7; Coals 1:16 (April 6, 1900) 3; Coals 1:20 (June 1, 1900) 5,8; Coals 1:21 (June 15, 1900) 4. In Live Coals 3:9 (January 11, 1905) 3, W.E. Fuller wrote about trying to reach "his people" in Mississippi and of land promised by a white friend in Tocca, Georgia providing he would open a school on the property. cf. Discipline of the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas (n.p., 1978). Not to be missed is the Irwin elder W.H. Fulford who helped organize the United Holy Church of America. On a related front, contrast the favorable use of Crew's The Church of God at the March 8-10, 1995 conference on Racism and Reconciliation run by the Church of God Black Minister's Association to the findings in Joseph E. Jackson, Reclaiming Our Heritage (Cleveland: Church of God Black Ministries, 1993).
88. Lawrence, Apostolic Faith Restored, 47. Emphasis mine. A parallel observation is made by Michael T. Girolimon, "A Real Crisis of Blessing: Part II," Paraclete (Spring 1993) 1:
The experience of the baptism of the Spirit was commonly known among Higher Life Adherents, though no one proposed a uniform initial evidence doctrine until Charles F. Parham of
Topeka asserted tongues as the sign in 1901. Those who had
previously claimed the Baptism, as many within the Alliance
ranks had, found their theology and experience being
questioned by the Pentecostals.
Consult also Cecil M. Robeck, "Pentecostal Origins in Global Perspective," All Together In One Place, ed. by Peter D. Hocken and Harold D. Hunter (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993) 170.
89. Tomlinson, "Journal of Happenings," (Jan 13, 1908) 1:29-33 and Last Great Conflict, 214. cf. Robeck, "Pentecostal Origins," 171.
90. "History of Pentecost," The Faithful Standard 1:6 (Sept 1922) 5. Also see "History of Pentecost," The Faithful Standard 1:7 (October 1922) 9.
Last revised on 08/21/2012 (9/2012)