Pentecostal history is marked by contradictions. The movement started in Azusa Street,
Los Angeles, as a non-racial experience amidst the fierce American racism of the beginning
of the century. However, J. Deotis Roberts says racism in Pentecostalism is historical,(1) since the movement soon disbanded their non-racialism.
This dialectical experience makes Pentecostal history as slippery as a fish.
Non-racialists would want to argue that the Azusa experience was a real visitation from
God and the later segregation of the movement was a compromise with the world and a
deviation from Pentecostal belief and practice. On the other hand segregationists and hard
core propagators of apartheid can use the second wave of the movement as evidence that
non-racialism is unworkable idealism.
I have no intention to weigh the evidence for or against the "Azusa Street
experience". I am taking sides for the non-racialist standard of Azusa Street. I
believe that it was a sign of the new things that God is doing in the last days, an
expression of the kingdom of God on earth and a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
I believe with South African exile poet Breyten Breytenbach that objectivity is the
impossible dream of "five minutes for the Jews and five minutes for Hitler(2)". But like Breytenbach I have no illusions about
those with whom I am taking a stand. Breytenbach calls his side (the liberation movements
in South Africa) "leaderless, uncapable, blind, without imagination, arrogant and
In the short time since the independence of Namibia and the formation of a so-called
non-racial Pentecostal church, the Apostolic Faith Mission of Namibia, I have discovered
that many people who struggled with me for a non-racial church and for the dismantling of
apartheid, have no passion for the Azusa Street dream.(4)
The years of apartheid gave them a desire to control the church. The so-called non-racial
church that rose out of the ashes of apartheid, is not even a shadow of Azusa Street. The
church has a very unstable and shaky single structure. But there is no sign of the spirit
of unity that marked the outpouring of the Spirit in Azusa Street. Whites are clinging to
"their churches", many of them still bitter because they lost political control
in Namibia and bitter because their black brothers rejected white leadership at the first
workers council(5). Blacks filled with the euphoria of
independence and power, see no need to work towards real unity.(6)
This article is a plea to disillusioned white Pentecostals in Namibia, conservatives,
racists, verkramptes, liberals and verligtes alike. Let us look at the history of our
church, but let us look through the eyes of our black brothers and sisters. Perhaps we
will understand something of the pains that they have experienced through the years. Only
if we understand our history and come to an experience of a corporate acceptance of our
guilt, we will be able to cross the borders to our black brothers and sisters.
But it is also a plea to my black Pentecostal brothers and sisters. Don't be blinded by
the euphoria of nationalism and victory. Don't follow the destructive path of white
Pentecostals. The power plays of this world will never advance the kingdom of God. Let the
destructive path of the AFM be a lesson from history. Good intentions can never right the
wrongs of ideology. The church of Jesus Christ is no place for ideological power
struggles. It is a place where we can find one another at the foot of the cross through
the power of the Holy Spirit.
With my Pentecostal brothers and sisters, black and white alike, in South Africa, the
land of my birth, I share the hope that you will learn from your long and our short
history how the church of Jesus Christ should not operate. May the dream of William
Seymour, the dream one church for all God's faithful, ruled by one Spirit under one
apostolic leadership, be realized in South Africa!
Nkosi Sikilel Afrika!
THE AFM AND THE POLICY OF APARTHEID
The Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit in South Africa was no different from the
outpouring in the United States. Racism in the Pentecostal movement in South Africa is not
restricted to the apartheid era (i.e. after 1948 when the National Party gained power and
introduced political apartheid). Only six months after the initial outpouring of the Holy
Spirit in 1908, the executive council of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) decided
"that the baptism of natives shall in future take place after the baptism of white
people"(7). A few months later it was decided to
separate the baptism of white and black people completely.(8)
From then onwards the AFM, the biggest and oldest Pentecostal movement in South Africa,
moved towards separate congregations for white and black.
Before considering the way in which the AFM reacted to the policy of apartheid, it is
necessary to establish if the church played any role whatsoever in the formation of
John Lake's position on racial issues is somewhat dubious. He is both praised as the
proclaimer of a non-racial historical Pentecostal gospel(9),
and the father of segregation policy in South Africa.(10)
There seems to be an amount of truth in both views. Gordon Lindsay wrote a book on the
life of John Lake, based on interviews with the latter. According to one of these oral
traditions, Lake was the brain behind the segregation laws of the Union of South Africa.
Lake gained influence with the prime minister, genl. Louis Botha, after he had assisted
him during a national crisis. General Botha later invited Lake to address the parliament
on the racial issue.
I outlined a native policy and submitted it to the Government. On receipt of this I was
invited to come to Cape Town and address the Parliament on this issue. I did so -
something remarkable for an American in a foreign country. I framed the policy in harmony
with our American policy involving the Indian tribes, having as an example the mistakes of
the United States and other nations in regard to their handling of the native nations.
This policy, as outlined by me was practically adopted by the Boer party in toto.(11)
De Wet concludes from this that Lake was a proponent of racial segregation(12). However, a more balanced view would be that Lake
supported political segregation, but not necessarily church segregation. There is ample
evidence that Lake did not conduct segregated meetings. He started his ministry in
Johannesburg in a black Zionist church in Doornfontein. At Lake's second meeting, the
first whites already attended.(13) When Elias Letwaba, the
well-known black Pentecostal leader, attended the Bree Street Tabernacle, a predominant
white church, for the first time, Lake defended him against racist white attendants, even
kissing Letwaba in front of the whole congregation. Lake immediately invited Letwaba to
join him on a mission to Bloemfontein, a conservative white city in South Africa.(14)
Lake was paternalistic, and possibly even a proponent of political segregation, but he
was not a racist. In one of his early letters to the Upper Room Mission in Los Angeles,
Lake complained that the Afrikaner has, like the Southerner, a strong prejudice against
blacks, but added that God is changing the hearts of many white workers and caused them
"to love the natives".(15)
It is very important to make a clear distinction between racial segregation and
apartheid. Without trying to justify segregation as a policy, there is no evidence that
the early governments of the Union of South Africa saw segregation as an all-embracing
ideology of separation. Although many discriminatory laws were implemented during the
segregation years in South Africa, amongst them the hated Natives Lands Act of 1913, which
restricted black farmers to certain scheduled areas, the segregation policies never
intended to separate blacks and whites in the way that the later ideology of apartheid
One has to agree with De Wet that "never in his wildest dreams would Lake have
foreseen that the practical arrangement he advocated would change into the rigid apartheid
ideology".(16) But unfortunately this typical Western
paternalism, very popular even amongst early Pentecostal missionaries,(17)
laid the foundation for the AFM to plug into many apartheid laws when it was implemented
CHURCH POLICY OF THE AFM
The decision to separate the children of God at the waters of baptism was like a light
sea breeze that soon became a hurricane. Long before the National Party gained power and
implemented it's policy of apartheid or separate development, the AFM, like the Dutch
Reformed Church, had separate congregations and later separate churches for the different
races (although the AFM never called it ethnic churches but ethnic sections of one
At first sight it might be possible to presume that the AFM, like the Dutch Reformed
Church, played a prominent role in the formation of apartheid. However, the facts points
in another direction.
THE AFM BEFORE 1948
De Wet makes the following comment on the racial attitudes of the Pentecostal pioneers
of South Africa:
Driven by their feelings of white supremacy, the early white leaders followed closely a
policy of paternalism.(18)
He goes on to show that there were no blacks amongst the first appointed elders (blacks
were later appointed as elders in the Native work), only a white could be appointed a
superintendent of the so-called "native work", the Native Council that governed
the "Native work" from 1910 consisted of three white leaders and three black
leaders and the white church was called the mother church, despite the fact that the
Pentecostal revival actually started in a black church. De Wet points out in mitigation of
the racial attitudes of the pioneers, that many of these paternalistic actions were taken
to meet the expectations of the government. Black churches were only recognized by the
state if they were under white control.(19)
The AFM laid the foundation for racism in the church when they decided to separate the
baptism of blacks and whites. I. Burger, historian of the AFM and presently president of
the "single section" (formerly known as the white section), sees a
socio-political reason for this decision:
..during the first few months White and non-White (sic) were even baptised together.at
the end of 1908 some Afrikaans speaking brothers came on the executive council. The fact
that they understood the history and the nature of the racial feelings in South Africa
better, possibly contributed to the gradual separation of the races.(20)
However, whenever an ideological decision is made in the church, it is very difficult
to control its progress. Neither the pioneers nor Burger tried to give a theological
reason for the separation or even question its validity. It is possibly correct to
conclude that the pioneers deviated from non-racialism because of white racist pressure
rather than theological conviction.
The decisions of 1908 to separate the baptism of blacks and whites took its cause and
at an executive council meeting of 1917 it was decided that "White, Coloured and
Native peoples have their separate places of worshipFurther that in the case of certain
worthy coloured families attending at the Central Tabernacle the matter be left in the
hands of the Spiritual Committee".(21) The term
worthy coloured families are not defined. At the same meeting it was also decided
"that we do not teach or encourage social equality between Whites and Natives".(22)
Examples of this paternalistic and sometimes blatant racism of the AFM pioneers can be
multiplied. Even a man with the stature of David du Plessis contributed to the growing
alienation between blacks and whites by making the different "sections"
autonomous and gave them their own separate constitutions in the thirties.(23)
However, there is also ample evidence that the AFM was initially against ideological
apartheid and even took an open stand against political racism and an over-emphasis on
Afrikaner-Nationalism, cornerstones of ideological apartheid. David du Plessis states that
when he implemented segregation in the church, he never expected that segregation would
grow into hard apartheid.(24)
Although politics was not high on the agenda between 1920 and 1948, the political
sentiments in the church favored the more liberal ruling United Party to the right wing
National Party. When GR Wessels, who later became vice-president and Nationalist senator,
was elected on the executive council in 1927, he was the only pro-Nationalist on the
council.(25) Burger points out that the tension between
AFM and the three Afrikaans Reformed churches was not without political overtones.(26) The Dutch Reformed Church and the other two smaller
Reformed churches, were very closely linked to the ideals and aspirations of the Afrikaner
and therefore also to the National Party. This approach was unacceptable to the AFM with
its strong English constituency, American history and its apolitical stance. It resulted
in tension between the "political right wing churches" and the
"apolitical", but more politically liberal AFM.
PL le Roux, who succeeded Lake as president in November 1913 and remained in that
capacity until April 1943, fought a long battle against Afrikaner-Nationalism, Nazism and
other right wing movements, in the columns of The Comforter/Die Trooster,
official publication of the church.
Shortly after the centenary festivals of the Afrikaner occupation of the northern parts
of southern Africa, the so-called Ox Wagon Trek Centenary, Le Roux wrote an article in
which he compared the rising Afrikaner-Nationalism and white racism with Fascism and
Nazism, which he called "the spirit of the time".(27)
Possibly a reference to the spirit of the anti-christ. Le Roux rejected the hero worship
of the festivals and pointed out that God received no honor. On the contrary the
remembrance of white military victories and white occupation of the land, caused racism
and anti-Semitism, which is not of God, but the spirit of the time and the anti-christ.(28) He even hinted that the former Dutch Reformed minister
and the prominent leader in the National Party, who became the prime minister in 1948, Dr.
D.F. Malan, was the false prophet of Revelation 13.
The enemy knows that in our country he has to deal with a religious nation and he
proves his cunning by using former ministers, who are still using their religious titles,
but advancing (anti-semitism and nationalism). Is it not remarkable that the anti-christ
uses people with a religious background? However, he will only use it (religion) to
achieve his Satanic end. We read that the first beast (dictator) will destroy the second
beast (head of a worldly church) after the latter has made a statue for him and when the
people will worship him.(29) (translation NH)
The influence of Le Roux and like-minded pioneers prevented the AFM in its early years
from accepting ideological white racism, anti-Semitism and the theology of the Afrikaner
as an elected nation. However, their paternalism and reluctance to take an explicit stand
against racism, laid the foundation for later ideological influence upon the AFM.
THE AFM AFTER 1948
The change in the political attitude of the AFM coincided, and was strongly influenced
by the rise of a group of young pastors, commonly known as the New Order. Their main
objective was to rid the AFM of its sectarian image and to make the church more acceptable
for the Afrikaner community. Although the AFM still had a strong English speaking
contingent, the New Order concentrated mainly on the Afrikaners. The New Order wanted to
change the church on two fronts: they wanted to bring the liturgy and worship of the
church more in line with Reformed liturgy, and they wanted to link the church closely to
One of the first victories of the New Order was on the cultural front when the workers
council decided in 1946 to celebrate the Day of Covenant with Christmas and Good Friday as
a day of thanks and a Sabbath.(31) The Day of the Covenant
was an important symbol of the rising Afrikaner-Nationalism. It celebrates a victory of a
small band of Afrikaner settlers in Natal over a mighty Zulu army, as an act of God.
Because of its nationalistic and political undertones, the AFM never celebrated it before
Two years later the workers council decided to encourage members to participate in the
election of school committees.(32) Later assembly boards
were encouraged to affiliate with Afrikaner cultural bodies.(33)
During the fifties, the AFM, like many other international Pentecostal bodies, also
forsake pacifism in practice, although it was never scrapped or repelled from the old
minutes.(34) In many of the assemblies where New Order
pastors ministered, the liturgy also underwent radical changes.(35)
The election of GR Wessels as a Nationalist senator in 1955, gave the good intentions
of the "New Order" a fatal blow. His election was both politically and
spiritually controversial. The National Party gained power in 1948 with the election
promise to implement "apartheid". One of their first aims was to remove the
so-called coloureds(36) from the common voter's roll. The
removal could only be done by changing the constitution of the Union of South Africa and
to change the specific article, a two-thirds majority was needed in a joint sitting of
both Houses of Parliament. After several unsuccessful attempts to change the constitution,
the National Party decided to extend the senate to give them the necessary majority. GR
Wessels was one of the new appointed senators.(37) By
allowing their vice-president to become a senator in this controversial senate, the AFM
actively became a partner in the process of taking away the political rights of the
coloured community, many of them members of the AFM and other Pentecostal churches.
From a spiritual perspective it was also an extraordinary decision by the AFM to allow
a pastor to become a politician while keeping his pastoral credentials and staying on as
vice-president. This led to tension in the AFM and eventually to the breakaway of a
substantial part of the church, who formed the Pentecostal Protestant Church.(38)
The heartbroken stories of the influence of apartheid on the people come from the
assemblies. In the early fifties the general secretary sent a circular to all assemblies,
both white and so-called coloured, asking them to see to it that white members worshiping
in so-called coloured assemblies should be encouraged to join white assemblies, since
joint worship were not the policy of the government (it was the time of the implementation
of the Group Areas Act and the hated Separate Amenities Act) and neither socially
The letter was met with considerable resistance from some of the white workers in
so-called coloured assemblies. A white sister pastoring a so-called coloured church with
her husband, raised the issue at a district council meeting in the Western Cape and said
she would never resign from her church.(40)
After a while most of the whites left (a few full time workers being the exceptions).
The spirit of the letter soon got its own momentum and coloured believers worshiping in
white congregations became the target. Goodwood, today one of the biggest assemblies in
the so-called single or white section, is a good example of how apartheid was enforced in
At a special church board meeting on Friday July, 20, 1956, the colour issue was
recorded for the first time in the minutes.(41) A
so-called coloured sister wrote a letter requesting an audience with the church board. She
felt that she was pushed aside by the assembly because of her colour.
it was decided that we notify sister Willemse officially that she is no longer a member
of this assembly, and as far as the colour issue is concerned, it was she who raised the
idea, which was never mentioned by the pastor or the church board.(42)
It must be mentioned that pastor JA Wort, presently a senior executive member of the
AFM of S.A., single section, who was present as an elder at the meeting, told me that he
remembers the case and that the sister's colour did not play a role in their decision. At
that time, he points out, there were several other so-called coloured families in the
assembly.(43) I have no reason to reject Wort's version of
the meeting. It was nevertheless the first recorded action against a so-called coloured
and the decision undoubtedly set the pace for further action.
On Sept. 7, 1956 it was decided to seek the face of the Lord for guidance on the colour
issue.(44) The minutes does not tell us what the result of
their seeking God's face was, but at the board meeting of Feb. 10, 1958, a brother was
instructed to "find out if brother W. van Blerk was white or not" and two other
brothers were appointed "to tell him that his children are no longer welcome in the
Sunday School".(45) Brother van Blerk was at one time
vice-chairman of the church board.(46)
The pastor during these dramatic changes was a former policeman, PN Visser. He built
the small assembly into a big, vibrant Pentecostal work, but he also advertised his
meetings in the papers "for whites only". Some of the members of those day
believe that it was his apartheid policies that filled the church, (47)
while others believe that the growth was the result of Visser's evangelistic ability.(48)
This pattern was followed in several other assemblies. To my knowledge, Potchefstroom(49) and Oudtshoorn(50) were
among the assemblies who soon followed the example of Goodwood.
Du Plessis and the probably most of the New Order were undoubtedly sincere in their
idealism to make the AFM more acceptable to society. However, they were not mere
opportunists. It is clear that at least some of them fiercely believed in the apartheid
ideology. GR Wessels published a magazine during the fifties in which he attempted to
influence Christians to participate in politics. This magazine propagated apartheid in its
The attempts of the New Order were not without success. The AFM was invited to conduct
short devotions on the radio, the church gained a good image in the white society and it
built good relations with the government.
But the price was very high. Du Plessis laments the close relations that developed
between the church and the National Party, which he feels is paralyzing the church today.(52) He has confessed his own participation in this process
at several occasions.(53)
Although GR Wessels resigned as vice-president in 1969 and since then pastors were not
allowed to participate in party politics, the bond between the AFM and the National Party
remained strong, though more informal.
Since 1974 the executive council of the single or white section are trying to unify the
former ethnic sections, but the attempts have always failed in the white workers councils,
where many laymen and several pastors cannot rid themselves from the unpentecostal
ideology(54) proclaimed to them in the fifties. One of my
church board members told me that as a boy in the fifties his pastor told him apartheid
was in the Bible, later he was told it is not in the Bible, but God is completely
satisfied with it. But he was unable to cross the border I expected from him - to see
apartheid as sin.(55)
In black South Africa the AFM has lost tremendous credibility over the years. It was
only when the black churches stood up against church and political apartheid in the late
seventies that it regained credibility. The fact that the three ethnic sections for
Africans, so-called coloureds and Indians unified in 1990 to form a non-racial church,
known as the composite section, gave the church a lot of momentum.
Throughout the years of Verwoerdian apartheid, the AFM never raised its voice against
the crude oppression of the vast majority of the people. The forced removals of 3,5
million people, the banning of hundreds, if not thousands, without a chance to defend
themselves, the detentions of thousands without trial and the vulgar implementation of the
dehumanizing Mixed Marriages Act and art. 16 of the Immorality Act, never even raised an
eyebrow amongst white Pentecostals. On the contrary, there are, as we have seen,
indications that the white section of the AFM actively supported the system.
The executive council even encourage assemblies to join one of the academic thought
tanks of apartheid, the South African Bureau of Racial Affairs (SABRA) and Justus du
Plessis, representative of the AFM at SABRA, raised an alarm on behalf of the church after
two Afrikaner liberals, Nic Olivier and Japie Basson, had been elected on the board.(56) In reply the secretary of SABRA thanked the AFM for its
strong support of the "recognition and elaboration of the principle of separate
development of the different nations in South Africa". (translation NH)(57)
The clearest sign of the church's insensitive political approach of those years is to
be found in the new constitution of 1961, which stated that members are white baptized
members, while the church also has "non-white (sic), that is Indian, coloured and
It was only when the era of reform started in South Africa that the AFM took a second
look at itself.
THE AFM AND THE PROCESS OF REFORM
It is generally accepted that the Afrikaans-speaking churches in South Africa only
changed their racial attitudes after the National Party had decided to follow the path of
reform. However, the situation is much more complicated. Reform in the AFM started in 1974
when the AFM office bearers met the executive council of the so-called coloured church in
Bloemfontein. At that historical meeting both parties decided that a united church is the
only option for the future.(59) The Erica Theron
Commission that was appointed by the government to investigate the social and political
future of the so-called coloured people, only brought out their report in the second half
of 1976, while the white workers council of the AFM decided already in March 1976 in
principle to become one with the so-called coloured church.(60)
In the following years there was always a close link between the reform of the
government and the reform agenda of the AFM. When prime minister Vorster decided to
include the Indians in his reform program, the AFM did not hesitate to follow. Between
1977 and 1985 the white section and several joint commissions made several unity proposals
closely related to the tricameral ideas of government,(61)
which were constantly rejected by the so-called coloured workers council.(62)
However, the AFM decided long before the government (in 1986) that blacks must form an
integral part of any future solution.
It seems closer to the truth to accept that the reform process played an important role
in the development of a racial policy in the AFM, but that the AFM, possibly also other
churches, were sometimes moving faster than the government, i.e. there were
One of the positive aspects of the years of reform was that the AFM white section
officially recognized blacks, coloureds and Indians as members.(63)
The full implications of this decision have never been tested, but it possibly means that
all the sections should have an equal share in the legal personality which were
administered by the white section until the implementation of the new constitution of
1991.(64) In 1983 the white section also decided to open
its membership to all races.(65)
The first meaningful movement towards structural unity took place in 1986 when all the
sections of the AFM accepted a Declaration of Intent in which the church clearly rejected
The AFM of S.A. affirms its acceptance of the Biblical principles of unity;
The AFM of S.A. rejects a system of apartheid based on racial discrimination as a principle in the Kingdom of God and the structures of the church;
The AFM of S.A. accepts the principle that the church should function as a single
structure, based on the mentioned principles;
The AFM of S.A. agrees that worship and membership of the church should be based on
spontaneous grouping of believers. (66)
In Sept. 1990 the three black sections (coloured, African and Indian) gave expression
to the declaration by merging. The unity is still very artificial since all the former
sections of the composite section still function, though with limited powers, while
presbiterium consisting of the office bearers of each church, is responsible for the joint
administration of the composite section. In April 1991 the workers council of the white or
single section accepted a new constitution, allowing corporate administration of the legal
personality by the single and composite sections. It also reaffirmed its intention to
create a single structure for the whole church.
With the help of the political reform of Pres. FW de Klerk the AFM will possibly rid
itself of the church structures closely related to the political ideology of apartheid.
But I predict that it will take many years to change the hearts of its members, both the
whites with their superiority complex, still poisoned by the ideology of apartheid, and
the blacks, whose pain of many years have often turned into hatred(67)
and other ideological alliances at worst, or to a desire to gain power in the church after
all their years of powerlessness.(68)
"BLOOD ON OUR HANDS, HOPE FOR THE FUTURE"
The almost tragic history of the single section of the AFM of S.A. serves as a warning
for any Pentecostal church where people are flirting with ideology, no matter how good
their intentions may be. This includes churches where support for liberation movements
(many times not without good reasons), are once again paralyzing the prophetic witness of
the church.(69) The saying "he who rides a tiger
can't get off" is applicable here. Anyone toying with ideological forces, are selling
out the church and its values. This is equally true of white Afrikaners trying to improve
their image or black oppressed Pentecostals with a burning desire to liberate the
oppressed and deliver the poor, plugging into a theology using Marxist analysis.(70)
However, this is not a good time for white South Africans to point to the growing
ideological actions of our black brothers and sisters. We can only earn the right to play
a positive and critical role in the future of a non-racial southern Africa if we are
willing to walk the path of repentance, the acceptance of our corporate guilt in creating
this monster, not hiding behind our good intentions. The road will be painful (we are
already experiencing it in Namibia). Only when white Pentecostals will be prepared to
cross the borders to their black brothers and sisters, not matter how big the risks may
be, we shall be able to find our future in God and forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
EPILOGUE: THE INTERNATIONAL PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT AND APARTHEID
The international Pentecostal movement cannot escape co-responsibility the tragedies of
the South African Pentecostals. Their reluctance to get involved in the affairs of the big
Pentecostal churches, their inability to understand that an insult to the dignity of a
human being anywhere is an insult to the dignity of all human beings everywhere, and at
worst, their support of apartheid both in their own churches and in South Africa, had an
influence on the conduct of South African Pentecostal churches. Perhaps the AFM and other
traditional Pentecostal churches would have taken a second look at their involvement had
there been at least some form of resistance from the international community.
Those international Pentecostals and charismatics who were prepared to speak out
against apartheid were always a very small minority, almost non-existent. Hollenweger once
called the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM) the most reactionary Pentecostal
movement in the world,(71) while Bryn Jones, British
church leader, recently said the AFM is doing evangelistic work for the Muslims in South
Africa because of it's racial division.(72)
It is not surprising that international charismatics are somewhat embarrassed by
Spirit-filled South Africans who support apartheid in one way or the other. What is
surprising, is the fact that South African Pentecostals have escaped the international
isolation of the other South African churches with a strong Afrikaner contingent.
The other so-called white South African denominations came under fierce attacks from
their related international denominations for their support of apartheid. The Dutch
Reformed Church (DRC) is a good example of continued isolation over the last fifty years.
In 1941 the DRC left the Christian Council of South Africa and in 1960, after the
Cottesloe conference,(73) the DRC left the World Council
of Churches. In 1978 the relationship between the DRC and the Reformed Church of the
Netherlands was terminated, in 1982 both the Schweiz Reformierte Kirche and the
Reformierten Bund of Germany cut their ties with the DRC. The biggest blow to their
international ecumenical relations came when the World Alliance of Reformed Churches
(WARC) declared a status confessionis(74) on apartheid and
suspended the membership of DRC in 1982. Two years later the Reformed Ecumenical Synod
(RES), followed in the footsteps of the WARC by declaring a status confessionis on
apartheid and gave the DRC two years to get its house in order.
The AFM never had these pressures from the international world. On the contrary, in
1955 GR Wessles, vice-president of the AFM of S.A., was one of the key speakers at the
International Pentecostal Conference in Stockholm.(75)
However, in the same year pastor Wessels was also elected as a National Party member of
the extended senate on the South African Parliament with the blessing of the AFM.
The international Pentecostal community, however remained silent. According to
Hollenweger there were some delegates in Stockholm who were disturbed by Wessels'
involvement in politics, but the issue was never raised in the open sessions because
"we did not want to quench the Spirit".(76)
At the height of the State of Security in the last few months of the PW Botha
government in 1988, while the international community were fighting apartheid, the
prominent American charismatic leader from CBN Network, Pat Robertson visited South Africa
and told the nation on the TV that he is impressed by reform program of the South African
Throughout the years of sport, political, economical, religious and cultural isolation,
which crippled the whole South African society, the traditional Pentecostal churches
maintained good relationships with the international Pentecostal community. (78) Simultaneously, almost all the other streams of the
Christian churches either cut ties with their South African counterpart, or placed them
under pressure to distance themselves from the policies of apartheid.
Finally, I want to make a few observations about the reasons for the international
Pentecostals not crossing the borders.
THE PENTECOSTAL IMAGE
Pentecostals are not known for their social involvement, at least not in the first
world. If one speaks of the Pentecostal movement, one thinks of their zeal for evangelism,
their enthusiasm and their emphasis on the baptism in the Spirit with the initial evidence
of speaking in tongues.
First world Pentecostals often tend to be conservative, both in their theology and
their politics. In the United States the Pentecostals form the backbone of the so-called
Religious Right and in South Africa the right wing religious movement Church Alliance of
South Africa (CASA) was founded mainly by Pentecostals.
Tinney blames white Pentecostalism for the bad image of the movement.(79)
According to him certain "tongue-speaking" denominations that have had more
access to wealth and the mass media gave the movement an exclusivist, narrow theological,
racial and cultural image.
Tinney touches a sensitive nerve in Pentecostalism. Firstly, he maintains that the
wealthy Western Pentecostal movement is not "Pentecostal" in the historical
sense of the word, but merely a "tongues movement". Secondly, Tinney denies the
predominant white Pentecostal movement of the USA and Western Europe the right to call
themselves the Pentecostal movement or the authentic representatives of it. Leonard Lovett
blames the white Pentecostal historians for neglecting and ignoring the role blacks played
in the early history of the movement.
It is unfortunate that the blatant omission of Seymour by some classical Pentecostal
historians is so obvious and becomes a form of judgement on our ethnic and racial pride.(80)
It is clear that even in the Western World there are two clearly distinguishable
Pentecostal traditions, a prosperous white tradition, which is often seen and heard
because of it's access to the mass media, and a black tradition, which is much more in the
background. Generally speaking, the black tradition is much more critical of the status
quo and does not have the same high rightist profile. MacRobert discerns another major
difference between the black and the white Pentecostal traditions.
Element in the religion of Seymour, or other black Americans... cannot be fully
understood without some consideration of their African origins and the conditions of
slavery under wich a black understanding of Christianity was formed.(81)
Pentecostalism, the religion of William Seymour, emerged out of this "context of
the brokeness" of black existence. However, mainline Pentecostalism, especially in
the United States, have given the movement an image completely opposite to the original
haven of the poor and oppressed.
The "visible" Pentecostal church has developed a middle class image and
middle class values. Although there are also Pentecostals who do not have a conservative,
middle class image, they often exist on the fringes of society, alienated from the power
structures of society and without the channels and resources to make their position known.
Gerloff makes an interesting observation regarding West Indian Pentecostals in Britain:
Similar to South Africa where a white majority dominates a Black majority of comparable
size, and where indigenous churches have been long ignored and then considered Christian
non-entities, religious discrimination has been added to racial prejudice.(82)
The sympathizers of the oppressed in South Africa have always been in the Pentecostal
movement, but never "visible" enough to be heard in the international
Pentecostal conferences and church councils. The majority of black Pentecostals felt no
less oppressed amongst the white middle class Pentecostal movement of America, Europe and
Britain than the black Pentecostals of South Africa.
The growing Third World Pentecostal Movement might have been an instrument of
solidarity, but even today they are not completely liberated from the bondages of
religious oppression in their own countries. Gerloff points out that young radical
theologians in the Carribean are often completely unaware of the existence of the vibrant
Pentecostal movement,(83) while the Jamaica Council of
Churches did not even know anything about the major Pentecostal movements, let alone
having fellowship with them.(84)
THE SINS OF PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT
"People living in glass houses should not throw stones", is an old Afrikaans
expression, quite applicable to the international Pentecostal movement. Tinney argues that
Pentecostals define themselves in exclusivistic racial and cultural terms,(85)
while MacRobert accuses Pentecostalism of being historically and institutionally racist.(86)
One of the most striking elements of the Pentecostal revival was the fact that black
and white worshiped together in one assembly amidst segregated America. Alexander Boddy
wrote of this experience:
It was something very extraordinary, that white pastors from the south was prepared to
go to Los Angeles to the Negroes to have fellowship with them and to receive through their
prayers and intercessions the blessing of the Spirit. And it was still more wonderful that
these white pastors went back to the South and reported to the members of their
congregations that they had been together with Negroes, that they had prayed in one Spirit
and received the same blessing as they.(87)
Frank Bartleman, one of the early associates of the Asuza Street Revival, states that
"the color line has been washed away in the blood".(88)
Hollenweger sees this racial breakthrough as the most important aspect of the Pentecostal
According to MacRobert the experience of slavery and oppression was not only part of
the context of Seymour and the early black Pentecostals, but an integral part of their
religion. The slaves, stripped of their culture, social bonds and roots, separated from
their homelands and their family ties destroyed, had only one sphere of life where they
could really be themselves: their religion. Although the Pentecostal movement was born
some forty years after the abolition of slavery, the devastating effects of the system was
still felt by the children of former slaves. Slaves were free, but definitely not equal to
their former masters.
Black people rejected European distortion of Christianity which generally supported
slavery and segregation, and took up a Christian faith with which they could identify
through their sufferings and their desire for human dignity and freedom.(90)
The white Pentecostals were often in no better position than the sons and daughters of
former slaves. Anderson points out that the early Pentecostal movement drew its following
almost exclusively from the working class and impoverished, unemployed of urban America.
Vast differences in race, national origin, language, religion, created physical
distance between these urban dwellers. Yet, they share at least some things in common...
most lived in similar social circumstances and were to some degree excluded from full
admittance into the mainstream of middle-class urban society.(91)
William Seymour, pastor of the Azusa Street Mission, the birthplace of the modern
movement, saw the non-racial spirit of the early years and the unity of the body of Christ
as the outstanding sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit.(92)
Unfortunately, the white Pentecostals in the United States could not resist the power
of severe racism.(93) Between 1906 and 1911 all the white
Pentecostal leaders left Seymour.(94)
Their rationalisations for doing so varied as did the time of their leaving, but
ultimately the whites split away from Seymour and their black religious origins, and
Seymour's dream of equality and interracial fellowship was left in tatters.(95)
The non-racial Spirit was never recaptured in the Pentecostal movement. When the
Assemblies of God was formed at a camp meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas, only one black
minister, GT Haywood, turned up.(96) After 1914 the Church
of God in Christ became the spiritual home for most of the black Pentecostals in the
United States, while the Assemblies of God was an almost exclusive white movement.
MacRobert points out that all the major Pentecostal churches in the United States were
either racially exclusive or the black works were placed in a separate section under white
control.(97) The Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) only
abolished its separate "coloured assembly" in 1966.(98)
Even in Britain with its open society and fierce anti-racist laws, the tendency in the
Pentecostal movement has always been towards racially exclusivist churches. Gerloff points
out that after their migration to Britain, most West Indians have tended to form their own
groups, mainly Pentecostal, Holiness or Sabbatarian movements, rather than joining British
In a recent edition of Wort und Geist, publication several German and Swiss
Pentecostal movements, two articles were published on South Africa, one being an interview
with Dr. Isak Burger, president of the AFM, single section, the other an article by a
German missionary, Armin Reichenbach.(100)
A sub-heading of the interview creates the impression that the article wants to set the
"false" international record of South Africa straight: "Was nie in der
Presse steht" - What the press does not say. However the article does not touch the
subject of the international press campaign against South Africa - apartheid. Neither does
the interviewer take the well-known issue of church apartheid up with Dr. Burger. The
logical conclusion that any uninformed reader would make by comparing the sub-heading with
the content, is that the interviewer is telling us in a land with such beautiful
Pentecostals, the press reports must be wrong or even a fake.
The second article is even worse. Apartheid is openly defended. The author states that
the reason for the polemic around South Africa lies in the country's strategic importance,
that apartheid exists all over the world and that it is unavoidable. He says it is a
political lie that whites in South Africa oppress blacks. The whites, he says, are much
further developed than the blacks and communism (for him obviously the only alternative to
apartheid) will bring famine over the country. He also states that most of the violence in
the country is black-on-black violence and if a black government would take over, a civil
war will break out between the black tribes.
Most of these statements are debatable, while some of them are the typical racist
jargon of the far right in South Africa. Articles like that does not help the oppressed
black Pentecostals, neither does it help progressive church leaders like Isak Burger who
is doing his best to lead his church out of the isolated ruins of apartheid into a
Pentecostal experience of unity. But it does say something of racial attitudes still
persistent amongst European Pentecostals.
Racism played (and is still playing) a role not only in South Africa, but virtually in
all Pentecostal churches all over the world. The fact that the big role players at the
International Pentecostal Conference and its organizers were often part of predominant
segregated churches, made it very difficult to raise a voice against apartheid, while
maintaining racist practices.
THE LOW PROFILE OF THE BLACK PENTECOSTALS
As we have already seen, black Pentecostals did not have the same exposure to the
international world - and to a great extent still do not have access to the International
Pentecostal Conference and other international platforms.
Frank Chikane, member of the Committee for Dogmatics, Ethics and Liturgy of the
composite section and Japie Lapoorta, vice-president of the composite section, were the
first black leaders who gained an international audience to state their case.
But it is also true that meaningful criticism against church apartheid in the AFM
emerged only in the late seventies amongst that so-called coloured section. In the fifties
the coloured section even supported GR Wessels move to become a Nationalist senator -
despite the fact that it costed them their vote.(101)
There was also protest from a so-called coloured pastor when it became known that a
colleague had baptised a white lady.(102) This does not
mean that there was no protest against church apartheid. As far back as 1955 there were
voices asking for a coloured overseer to replace the white missionary,(103)
but these requests were strongly opposed in the district council and always rejected by
the white workers council.
It is only since the formation of the composite section in 1990 that all the black members of the AFM are condemning apartheid with one voice. It is only in the last ten years - in the case of the African section, only the last six or seven years - that young progressive leaders replaced the older leaders who were very loyal to the white section.(104)
The conservative black leaders made it very difficult for the international community
to take up their cause while they were not interested in it.
There are possibly many more reasons why European and other international Pentecostals
turned a blind eye to apartheid. Some reasons might be good, others mere excuses for our
lack of concern. It is not my intention to go into all the reasons. This is just a small
epilogue "lest anyone should boast!" We all stand guilty before God: the
liberals and conservatives, Africans and Europeans, whites and even blacks. May the Holy
Spirit guide the Pentecostal movement through repentance and confession to cross the
racial borders once again! May the Spirit of Azusa Street be revived amongst us! And may
the colour line (and also the cultural and ideological lines) be washed away in the blood!
PS. Thank God for those who cared enough not to mind their own business, but to make
apartheid their business, amongst them charismatic leader Bryn Jones and Walter
Hollenweger, member of the Reformed Church, but from our ranks and at heart a Pentecostal.
His writings play a major role in the thinking of progressive Pentecostals in southern
Africa, as is evident from The Relevant Pentecostal Witness.
1. J. Deotis Roberts, BLACK THEOLOGY IN DIALOGUE, (The Westminister Press, Philadelphia, 1987), p. 59.
2. B. Breytenbach, SKUINSKYK, in Die Suid-Afrikaan, No. 33 (DSA Publications, Cape Town, July/July 1991), p.3.
4. The Apostolic Faith Mission of Namibia was founded on January, 19, 1991. It was actually a unification of three sections, the so-called black, white and coloured sections, formerly linked with similar sections in South Africa.
5. P. Dunaiski, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Windhoek, March 1991. The white delegates were especially disturbed by the results of the elections. Despite the presence of adequate white leadership, no white was elected in one of the key positions of president, vice-president or secretary. Both the vice-president and the secretary are assistant pastors in their assemblies. In a private conversation, Dunaisky, a pastor in the AFM, but also a prominent member of SWAPO, the ruling party in Namibia, told me that the election was a compromise between the non-racialists and a strong Pan Africanist group who wanted to keep whites out of the executive council completely. As a compromise they decided to keep whites from the three important positions, but elect a white minister as treasurer and allow one more white on the executive council.
6. F. Lawrence, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Windhoek, January 25, 1991. Freddie Lawrence is a pastor-cum-civil servant. When I shared the discomfort of the whites about the election with him, his comment was that the whites were in power long enough and they must accept that they have lost it forever. "The whites will get no sympathy from us," was his final words.
7. I. Burger, GELOOFSGESKIEDENIS VAN DIE APOSTOLIESE GELOOFSENDING VAN SUID-AFRIKA. 1908-1958, (Gospel Publishers, Johannesburg, 1987), p. 175.
9. W. Burton, WHEN GOD MAKES A PASTOR, (Victory Press, London, 1934), p. 30 ff.
10. I. Burger, op. Cit., p. 151.
11. G. Lindsay, JOHN LAKE - APOSTLE TO AFRICA, (Christ for the Nations, Dallas, 1981), pp. 35-36. Lake's speech could not be traced in the minutes of parliament. It is possible that Lake addressed a select committee. See B. Sundkler, ZULU ZION, (Oxford University Press, London, 1976), p. 54.
12. C. de Wet, THE APOSTOLIC FAITH MISSION IN AFRICA: 1908-1980. A CASE STUDY IN CHURCH GROWTH IN A SEGREGATED SOCIETY, (Unpublished PH.D. dissertation, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, 1989), p. 158 f.
13. I. Burger, op. cit., p. 167.
14. W. Burton, op. cit., p. 52 ff.
15. Quoted in I. Burger, op. cit., p. 422 ff.
16. C. de Wet, op. Cit., p. 160.
17. See W. Burton, op. cit., p. 1 ff.
18. C. de Wet, op. cit., p. 161.
19. ibid., p. 162 - 163.
20. I. Burger, op. cit., p. 176.
21. MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL OF THE AFM OF S.A., July 7, 1917, (AFM Archives, Lyndhurst), pp. 35 - 35.
23. D. du Plessis and B. Slosser, A MAN CALLED MR. PENTECOST, (Logos Int., Plainfield, New Jersey, 1977), p. 112.
25. Personal interview between Burger and Wessels, quoted in I. Burger, op. cit., p. 325.
27. P. le Roux, DIE GEES VAN DIE TYD EN DIE GEES VAN GOD, in Trooster, (Bethlehem, South Africa, Feb. 1939), pp. 6-7.
28. ibid., p. 7.
29. ibid., p. 7.
30. See my article AGS QUO VADIS? In N. Horn and J. Louw, EEN KUDDE : EEN HERDER, (Ekklesia Publishers, Kuilsriver, 1987), pp. 75-85 for more detail on the ideals of the New Order. See also an article based on a conversation with JT du Plessis, younger brother of David du Plessis and a leading figure in the New Order: J. Theron, DIE INVLOED VAN DIE NEDERDUITSE GEREFORMEERDE KERK OP LIGURGIESE VERWIKKELINGE BINNE DIE APOSTOLIESE GELOOFSENDING VAN SUID-AFRIKA: DIE ROL VAN PAST JT DU PLESSIS, in Ned. Geref Teologiese Tydskrif, Vol. XXX, no. 3, July 3, 1989, pp. 301-311.
31. M. van der Spuy, DIE SPANNING TUSSEN VRYHEID EN FORMALISERING TEN OPSIGET VAN DIE LITURGIESE VERSKUIWINGE BINNE DIE APOSTOLIESE GELOOF SENDING VAN SUID-AFRIKA, (Unpublished MA thesis, University of South Africa, Pretoria, 1985), p. 155.
33. ibid., p. 156.
34. ibid., p. 156. See also I. Burger, op. cit., p. 310.
35. I took over the assembly of Krugersdorp Central from David and JT du Plessis' youngest brother, Eneas. Before me, JT du Plessis and his brother served in the assembly for more than thirty years. Members of the assembly often told me that no one clapped hands there for more than twenty years.
36. Under the race classification laws a distinction was made between blacks and so-called coloureds. People who were neither black nor white nor Asian were classified as "coloureds". It included amongst others Malaysian descendants and descendants from relationships and marriages between black and white.
37. I have dealt with this issue in more detail in an article, QUA VADIS AGS?, in op. cit., pp. 75-85.
38. See I. Burger, op., cit., pp. 324 ff.
39. A. Schoeman, CIRCULAR FROM THE GENERAL SECRETARY, (AFM Archives, Kuilsriver, date unreadable, probably between 1954 and 1955).
40. MINUTES OF THE WESTERN PENINSULA COLOURED DISTRICT COUNCIL, (AFM Archives Kuilsriver, date and page no. Unreadable, possible in 1954-55).
41. MINUTES OF THE AFM OF S.A., GOODWOOD, July 20, 1956, (AFM Archives, Lyndhurst), p. 75.
43. J. Wort, PERSONAL TELEPHONE CONVERSATION, Windhoek/Kempton Park, May 31, 1991.
44. Op. cit.
45. ibid., p. 144.
46. J. Wort, op. cit.
47. K. du Toit, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Windhoek, Sept. 1989.
48. JA Wort, op. cit. Wort points out that the growth started while there were still several coloured families in the assembly. He is convinced that the growth would have occurred even if the so-called coloureds did not leave the assembly.
49. U. Bezuidenhout, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Krugersdorp, 1987.
50. V. Isaacs, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Uitenhage, 1984.
51. G. Wessels, DIE BYBEL EN APARTHEID, in Die Ou Paaie, Jan.-March 1957, p. unknown. In this article he proclaimed separate races as an ordinance of God and defended the Mixed Marriages Acts as a Christian defense of civilization.
52. J. Theron, op. cit., p. 308.
53. See my article QUA VADIS AGS?, op. cit., pp. 75-85 for examples.
54. I have elaborated on all the dogmatic deviations from Pentecostal theology the AFM indulged in during the apartheid era, in my unpublished paper, A REFUTATION OF THE THEOLOGY OF APARTHEID, delivered at the International Missionary Conference of the AFM, Lyndhurst, Oct. 1985. The paper was distributed amongst the participants by the missionary dept., together with my other paper, THE PAINS OF APARTHEID, under the title A TIME FOR REPENTANCE, but it was never officially printed.
55. L. Basson, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Windhoek, November 6, 1989.
56. J. du Plessis, LETTER TO SABRA, Aug. 1965, (AFM Archives, Lyndhurst).
57. G. van Niekerk, LETTER TO JT DU PLESSIS, Aug. 25, 1965, (AFM Archives, Lyndhurst).
58. PRIVATE LAW NO. 24 of 1961, articles 1 and 2 of the statutes.
59. J. Louw, PERSONAL NOTES, Nov. 14-15, 1977 (now in possession of the author, Windhoek, p.1)
60. J. du Plessis, LETTER TO THE SECRETARY, AFM OF S.A. COLOURED CHURCH, undated, possibly March/April, 1976. (Copy in possession of author.)
61. The Tricameral Parliament of South Africa consists of three separate houses for whites, so-called coloureds and Indians, each being represented proportionally. However, the majority party in the white house remains intact since the different houses votes separately, even during joint sessions. No provisions are made for black (African) participation.
62. See J. Louw, VERHOUDINGE: BLANK EN KLEURLINGE. 'N OORSIG?????????????? - as for some of these proposals.
63. CIRCULATED MINUTES OF THE WORKERS COUNCIL OF THE AFM OF S.A., 7-11 of April 1981, p.10.
64. G. Visagie and A. Visser, EX PARTE JOINT UNITY COMMISSION. Legal opinion on Private Act no. 4 of 1961 as amended by Act no. 4 of 1970, (Copy in possession of author).
65. See my article HET DIE AGS IN 1983 DIE STEM VAN GOD GEHOOR?, in N. Horn and J. Louw, op. cit., pp. 35-52 for an emotional description of this workers council.
66. CIRCULATED MINUTES OF THE SEVENTY SEVENTH WORKERS COUNCIL OF THE AFM OF S.A, at Lyndhurst, March 1986, pp. 6-7.
67. See the book by C. Loodewyk, LOVE IN A HATE SITUATION, (Christian Publishing Services, Tulsa, Oklahoma 1987) for a description of such an experience.
68. This was my experience in Namibia where the first workers council (Jan. 1991) of the united AFM of Namibia was marked by a strong rejection of white leadership. Although one has no problem to understand this reaction from a sociological perspective, it does not contribute to reconciliation on the normalization of the church.
69. F. Joseph, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Windhoek, Sept. 1990. Past. Joseph, presently president of the AFM of Namibia, had a very close relationship with SWAPO during the years when the party was not allowed in Namibia. He saw it as his Christian duty to take up the just cause of SWAPO and to speak on their behalf while they were forbidden to speak for themselves. However, when the atrocities of the SWAPO detentions came to the light, he refused to criticize it. Unlike the Council of Churches of Namibia, he defended the appointment of Simon Hawala, who was in charge of the SWAPO camps, as head of the Namibian army.
70. It is common knowledge that Pentecostals played a prominent role in the writing of the Kairos Document. F. Chikane, PERSONAL LETTER, (Johannesburg, May 1990). See the ICT on behalf of the Kairos theologians, THE KAIROS DOCUMENT. THE CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH. A THEOLOGICAL COMMENT ON THE POLITICAL CRISIS IN SOUTH AFRICA, revised edition, (Skotaville Publishers, Johannesburg, 1986), pp. 17 f.
71. He used these words in presenting a paper, PRIORITIES IN PENTECOSTAL RESEARCH, at the Conference on Pentecostal and Charismatic Research in Europe, in Utrecht, June 1989. All the papers were later published by J. Jongeneel (ed.), EXPERIENCES OF THE SPIRIT (Peter Lang, Frankfurt 1991), pp. 7-22. This specific quote was omitted from the published paper.
72. During a leadership conference of the AFM of Namibia, Okahandja, Namibia, 17-18 January 1991.
73. The Cottesloe conference was convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1960 shortly after the tragic clash between the police and black protesters who gathered in Sharpeville to burn their "pass books" in protest against race laws, especially the Influx Control Laws, that forced blacks to wear an identification book (pass) at all times. Twenty nine protesters were killed and many more wounded. The conference consisted of delegates from the English speaking member churches of the WCC, the Transvaal and Cape Synods of the DRC, delegates from the ultra conservative Hervormde Kerk. Surprisingly, the conference rejected and condemned many of the apartheid laws and regulations. For the full story see A. Luckhoff, COTTESLOE (Tafelberg, Cape Town, 1975).
74. Literally, the expression means a "state of confession". I have dealt with the meaning, theological history and significance of the phrase in my unpublished MA-thesis, "N VERGELYKENDE STUDIE VAN DIE BARMENVERKLARING EN DIE KONSEPBELYDENIS VAN DIE N.G. SENDINGKERK (University of Port Elizabeth, 1984), p. 117 f.
75. THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOT A GOAL BUT A GATEWAY, Quoted in H. Lederle, TREASURES OLD AND NEW, (Hendricksen Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts 1988), p. 29.
76. A comment he made on my paper, THE EXPERIENCE OF THE SPIRIT IN APARTHEID: THE POSSIBILITIES OF THE REDISCOVERY OF THE BLACK ROOTS OF PENTECOSTALISM FOR SOUTH AFRICAN THEOLOGY, Printed in J. Jongeneel, op. cit., 117-139, at the European Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Conference in Utrecht, 1989.
77. South African Broadcasting Corporation, News, October 1988.
78. This is not a plea for sanctions of any kind. On the contrary, my position has always been that in the long run, sanctions will not only destroy apartheid, but also the country. Namibia is still suffering under sanctions fifteen months after independence. I am merely making the point that despite strong international pressure, the Pentecostals did not open their mouths.
79. J. Tinney, EXCLUSIVIST TENDENCIES IN PENTECOSTAL SELF-DEFINITION: A CRITIQUE FROM BLACK THEOLOGY, Journal of Religious Thought 86/1, 1979, 32-45.
80. L. Lovett, BLACK ORIGINS OF THE PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT, in V. Synan, (ed.), ASPECTS PENTECOSTAL-CHARISMATIC ORIGINS, (Plainfield, New York, Logos International, 1975), pp. 123-145.
81. I. MacRobert, THE BLACK ROOTS AND WHITE RACISM OF EARLY PENTECOSTALISM IN THE USA, (new York: St Martin's Press Inc. 1988), p.9.
82. R. Gerloff, HOPE OF REDEMPTION: THE RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL AND SOCIO-POLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF ONENESS (APOSTOLIC) PENTECOSTALISM IN JAMAICA, in J. Jongeneel, (ed.) op. cit., (pp. 141-174), p.154.
83. ibid., p. 150.
84. ibid., p. 153.
85. J. Tinney, op. cit., pp. 32-33.
86. I. MacRobert, op. cit., pp.59-60.
87. Quoted in W. Hollenweger, THE PENTECOSTALS, (Augsburg Publishing House, Minnesota 1977) p. 24.
88. F. Bartleman, AZUSA STREET. THE ROOTS OF MODERN-DAY PENTECOST, (Logos International, Plainfield, 1980), p. 24.
89. W. Hollenweger, op. cit., p. 24.
90. I. MacRobert, op. cit., p. 29.
91. R. Anderson, VISION OF THE DISINHERITED, (Oxford University Press, New York, 1979), p. 122.
92. D. Nelson, FOR SUCH A TIME IS THIS. THE STORY OF BISHOP WILLIAM J. SEYMOUR AND THE AZUSA STREET REVIVAL. A SEARCH FOR PENTECOSTAL/CHARISMATIC ROOTS, (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Birmingham, Birmingham 1981), p. 202.
93. See D. Nelson, op.cit., pp. 29 ff. For a sketch of the racial and socio-political context of William Seymour and Azusa Street.
94. For a detailed version of all the splits, see D. Nelson, op. cit., pp. 208 ff.
95. I. MacRobert, op. cit., p. 64.
96. L. Jones, THE BLACK PENTECOSTALS, in M. Hamilton (ed.), THE CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, Michigan 1975), p. 148
97. I. MacRobert, op. cit., pp. 64-67.
98. ibid., 121.
99. R. Gerloff, op. cit., p. 147.
100. Wort und Geist, No. 10, Oct. 1989
E. Studer, WAS NIE IN DER PRESSE STEHT: STARKE GEISTLICHES WACHSTUM IN SUDAFRIKA. EIN BEISPIEL: IE PFINGSTBWEGUNG p. 4-5; A. Reichenbach, SUDAFRIKA-EIN STRATEGISCH WICHTIGES LAND, p. 6.
101. MINUTES OF THE WEST PENINSULA COLOURED DISTRICT COUNCIL OF THE AFM OF S.A., May 18, 1957, (AFM Archives, Kuilsriver), p. 124.
102. ibid., p. 133.
103. ibid., p. 50 ff.
104. V. Pieterse, PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Johannesburg, May 23, 1991. According to Vivian Pieterse, for a long time vice-president of the black section of the AFM (he is a missionary), the well-known black leader, Richard Ngidi, often told young ordinants that the AFM believes in white leadership and if they don't accept it, they should leave the church.
C. Collins. PERSONAL CONVERSATION, Cape Town, August 18, 1989. Chris Collins, in life for many years member of the executive council of the so-called coloured section, told me shortly before his death that over the years he was prepared to endure the pains of apartheid in silence rather than to come in confrontation with the white section. He believed the Lord expected it from him and the so-called coloured section to "demonstrate the Spirit of Christ" to the white section. His biggest fear was that the black sections would alienate themselves from the white section.