One hundred years ago, 300 people gathered in Hot Springs, Ark., drawn by what must have seemed an overwhelming vision: to bring organization and structure to a growing, fiery Pentecostal revival. Church history now recognizes these godly men and women as the first general council of the Assemblies of God, which has become one of the largest Christian movements in the world.
On April 10, 2014, another group of 300 made their way to Hot Springs—this time, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the AG at the site of its origin—and I was honored to be among them. You see, the AG was where I found a home after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. Today, as a minister, I think of the AG as a great old house, with the kind of impressive structure I’m privileged to continue building upon. To be able to gather with current leaders I admire and pay tribute to those who laid its foundation was a holy and humbling experience.
This symbolic Centennial Celebration was sponsored by the AG Trust, which provides support for church plants and special initiatives of the denomination. Though the stage is bigger and the lights are brighter than they were in 1914, I imagine our agenda probably didn’t vary too much from that of the AG’s founding fathers and mothers. There were nostalgic “camp meeting” style sessions, extended times at the altar, prayers for the sick, and lively Southern Gospel songs led by The Goodman Revival. Speakers like Alton Garrison (Assistant General Superintendent of the AG), Wilfredo de Jesus (Senior Pastor of New Life Covenant Church, Chicago), and Greg Mundis (Executive Director of AG World Missions) discussed the denomination’s rich roots, and the crowning moment was the recreation of a historic photo of the original 300. I’ll never forget what it was like to stand there, at the very spot where my own spiritual heritage originated.
But as Dr. George O. Wood (General Superintendent of the AG) emphasized, it was more than “a feel-good look back at our past.” As he put it, “We’re also looking ahead to what the Holy Spirit has for us for the next 100 years.”
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SOURCE: Charisma News