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Latter Rain Pentecostals

Latter Rain Pentecostals

AEGA (Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies) International

Apostolic Christian Churches, International

Assemblies of God International Fellowship (Independent/Not Affiliated)

Association of Faith Churches and Ministries (AFCM)

Bible Teachers International (BTI)

Bible Way Association

Body of Christ Movement

Bold Bible Living

Called to All Nations Ministries, Inc.

Christian International Ministries Network

Covenant Connections International

DOVE Christian Fellowship International (DFCI)

Endtime Body-Christian Ministries, Inc.

Every Nation

Faith Christian Fellowship International

Federation of Ministers and Churches International

Fellowship of Christians

Fellowship of Vineyard Harvester Churches in the United States

Foundations of the Apostles and Prophets: School of Ministry and Local Assemblies International

Fresh Fire Ministries

General Assembly Churches

Global Cause Network

Global Ministry Resource Network

Go Tell It Ministry Worldwide Network of Churches (GTIMWNC)

International Ministries of Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Together (IMPACT)

Independent Churches of the Latter-Rain Revival

International Apostolic Ministries (IAM)

International Coalition of Apostles

International Evangelical Church (IEC)

International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association

International Fellowship of Ministries

Life Links International Fellowship of Churches

The Living Word Fellowship

Ministers Fellowship International (MFI)

Miracles Ministries Fellowship (MMF)

MorningStar Ministries

Network of Kingdom Churches

New Covenant Churches of Maryland

New Covenant Ministries International

Newfrontiers

Pentecostal Faith Assemblies

Reformers Ministries International (RMI)

Resurrection Church and Ministries (RCM)

Revival Fellowship International

SHEM Ministries International

Sovereign Grace Ministries

United Gospel Fellowship Covenant Ministries

Vision International Ministerial Association

Vision of Hope Christian Fellowship

Word of Faith International Christian Centers

World Breakthrough Network

World Changers Church International

World Ministry Fellowship

AEGA (Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies) International

2149 Hwy. 139, Monroe, LA 71203

AEGA (Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies) Ministries International is a Pentecostal/charismatic fellowship of ministers and churches founded in 1976 in Monroe, Louisiana, by Dr. Henry A. Harbuck, originally as Christian Ministries. In 1988 the corporation was reorganized and the present name assumed. The AEGA sees itself primarily as a ministry to ministers; it credentials qualified ministers who accept its statement of belief and charters otherwise independent congregations. It provides a variety of traditionally “denominational” services, such as Bible college education, for its affiliated ministers and congregations.

The church has centrist Pentecostal beliefs, which emphasize the authority of the inerrant Bible, the Trinity, and salvation in Christ by repentance and faith. The church is seen as an agency for evangelizing the world, a place for fellowship and worship, and an instrument through which God is building a body of saints perfect in the image of His Son. Two ordinances are recognized: baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. Each member should seek and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit as evidenced by his or her speaking in tongues. The AEGA is organized according to the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4:11. Women are accepted into the ordained ministry. The AEGA also affirms the premillennial Second Coming of Christ and the resurrection of the dead.

The AEGA is led by its founder, who also serves as the general overseer and president. He is assisted by a board of bishops and the general executive presbytery. Congregations chartered by the organization must accept its regulation and receive their tax-exempt status through the AEGA corporate exemption. Independent congregations, not chartered by the AEGA, may affiliate but are not covered by the exemption. The association is divided into eight areas, with a coordinator in each.

Members are expected to remain free of involvement in secret societies or occultist organizations and to renounce racism and allow it no place in the fellowship. While they are expected to uphold standards of holiness, members are admonished to refrain from legalism having to do with strictures on minor matters.

The association has extended its outreach through its National Youth Ministries and its extensive foreign missions program, Compassion World Outreach. The association meets annually for an international conference.

Membership

In 2001 the association reported approximately 2,000 members served by 500 ministers in the United States and approximately 400,000 members and an additional 1,000 ministers in 50 countries throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. There were 175 chartered congregations and 50 affiliated independent congregations in the United States.

Educational Facilities

Evangel Christian University of America.

Omega Bible Institute and Seminary, Louisiana.

Periodicals

The Grapevine. • The Omegan. • The Banner. • The Informer.

Sources

Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies. www.aega.org.

Apostolic Christian Churches, International

Current address could not be obtained for this edition.

The Apostolic Christian Churches, International, was founded in the 1980s as the Gloryland Fellowship of Churches and Ministers, International. The present name was adopted in 1988. It is a charismatic church that emphasizes the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4:11, and thus employs a hierarchical structure consisting of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Gloryland Bible College, Florence, South Carolina.

Assemblies of God International Fellowship (Independent/Not Affiliated)

PO Box 22410, San Diego, CA 92192-2410

The Assemblies of God International Fellowship (Independent/Not Affiliated) emerged in 1986 when the Independent Assemblies of God, International voted to dissolve its old corporation and reorganize under its present name. The Assemblies of God International Fellowship traces its origin to the early days of the Pentecostal revival and to Pentecostalism’s spread among Scandinavian believers during the second decade of the twentieth century. As early as 1911 Pastor B. M. Johnson founded the Lakeview Gospel Church in Chicago. A. A. Holmgren, a Baptist minister, was affected by the movement in Chicago and began Sanningens Vittne, which became the voice of the independent assemblies of Scandinavian Pentecostals.

An extreme congregationalism dominated the attitude of the early Scandinavian Pentecostal leaders and most stayed separate from the General Council of the Assemblies of God, which formed in 1914. However, associates slowly began to form, the first being the Scandinavian Assemblies of God in the United States, Canada, and Other Lands in 1918. A second association of independent congregations was formed in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1922. Pastor Johnson in Chicago took the lead in forming a third group, the Independent Assemblies of God. These three groups united in 1935 as the Independent Assemblies of God. The group began the slow process of Americanizing and moving beyond any ethnic exclusivity.

In 1947–1948, a division emerged in the Independent Assemblies of God over participation in the “Latter Rain” Movement, a revival that swept western Canada and became known in some phases for its extreme doctrines and practices. The words Latter Rain refer to the end of this order of things, when God will pour out his Spirit upon all people. One group accepted the revival as the present movement of God, as God’s deliverance promised in the Bible. This group, under the leadership of W. A. Rasmussen, became the Independent Assemblies of God International, now the Assemblies of God International Fellowship.

Membership

Not reported. The Fellowship’s Web site in 2008 listed 25 congregations in the United States. Because Gunnar Wingren, one of the outstanding pioneers of the Assemblies of God International Fellowship, undertook extensive missionary work in Brazil, the Fellowship today has no less than 14,500,000 Brazilian members in thousands of congregations.

Periodicals

The Mantle.

Sources

Assemblies of God International Fellowship. www.agifellowship.org.

Rasmussen, A. W. The Last Chapter. Monroeville, PA: Whitaker House, 1973.

Association of Faith Churches and Ministries (AFCM)

PO Box 1918, Willmar, MN 56201

Alternate Address

PO Box 471407, Tulsa, OK 74147.

The Association of Faith Churches and Ministries (AFCM) was founded in 1978 by Jim Kaseman, a graduate of the 1975 class of Rhema Bible Training Center, the Tulsa, Oklahoma, school founded by televangelist Kenneth Hagin. Kaseman afterward became pastor of a church in Minnesota and worked to found other congregations in Minnesota and neighboring states. These congregations all preached the faith message, the theological variant on traditional Pentecostalism that affirmed a law of confession, based in part on Mark 11:23 where Jesus says, “whosoever … shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” The faith message affirms that believers can have anything they “say” as long as they do not doubt in their heart (spirit) but believe and “confess it with their mouth.” This belief has often been characterized as the “name it, claim it” doctrine.

Kaseman founded Jim Kaseman Ministries in 1976 as a vehicle for further spreading of the “faith message.” Beginning in 1982, it assumed the task of translating, publishing, and distributing Hagin’s books in the Middle East and Russia. By 2002 it had published more than 4 million copies of his books in languages such as Russian, Finnish, Estonian, Hebrew, and Arabic.

AFCM has its origin at a 1977 alumni meeting of the Rhema School. John Osteen, another televangelist, asked for those who felt God calling them to start a world ministry to identify themselves. Kaseman and his wife Kathleen responded. A year later they created AFCM to promote fellowship among ministers who shared the “faith message.” It has developed into a worldwide movement of churches, pastors, traveling ministers, and missionaries, dedicated to bringing the “Word of Faith” to people internationally. Under its auspices a number of congregations have been established, ministers licensed and ordained, and books distributed. It also administers programs for distributing humanitarian aid to countries in need. In addition, the AFCM sponsors One World Missions designed to facilitate churches partnering with other churches around the world in the work of evangelism.

Membership

Not reported. Churches are located across the United States. They are divided into 13 districts. There are also district directors to serve churches in Australia, the French-speaking countries, the German-speaking countries, the Caribbean, and Russia.

Educational Facilities

AFCM International Training Center, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Periodicals

AFCM Family Update.

Sources

Association of Faith Churches and Ministries. www.afcminternational.org.

Bible Teachers International (BTI)

The Mary Banks Global Training Center, 2005 Johns Ave., Leesburg, FL 34748

Bible Teachers International (BTI) is a conservative Evangelical charismatic apostolic ministry founded by Apostle Mary Banks, an African-American minister. The ministry is an association of churches and Bible schools dedicated to the building of leaders for the church worldwide. BTI centers offer a set of Bible-based courses that lead to licensing and/or ordination by BTI and opportunities to serve in a variety of ministries. Ordination by the laying on of hands is available to those who complete the ministerial course and are agreeable to submitting to the spiritual authority of the BTI leadership. Ordination services are normally held at the various BTI conferences.

BTI’s statement of faith affirms the Trinity and salvation by Christ. BTI teaches that there is a kingdom of darkness (sin, destruction, and death) and a glorious kingdom of light (salvation, life, truth, and deliverance). Jesus appeared on earth to destroy the works of Satan and transform men from the kingdom of darkness and death into the kingdom of life, light, and truth. As head of the church, Jesus Christ is preparing it to be presented as a glorious, holy, and sinless body at the end-time.

BTI sponsors annually a World Conference, a School of the Prophets, and periodic Gatherings of the Sons for instruction, direction, and immediate callings from the Holy Ghost. There are also various regional events as deemed necessary.

Membership

Not reported. BTI has six centers in Florida, four in Georgia, and one each in Louisiana and Mississippi. Outside the United States, there are centers in the Bahamas, Canada, and Jamaica.

Sources

Bible Teachers International. www.bibleteachers.com.

Bible Way Association

PO Box 370, Doniphan, MO 63935

The Bible Way Association was founded in 1958 by Leslie and Pauline Buckner, two Pentecostal believers. Leslie Buckner serves as the organization’s president. The Association was originally known as the Community Fellowship Pentecost Church, and was based in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1959 Community Fellowship Pentecost Church became an unincorporated association of ministers and churches under the name Community Fellowship Pentecost Ministers and Churches Association. It was incorporated in 1960. In 1965 its headquarters moved from St. Louis to Ripley County, Missouri. In 1974 the association adopted its current name.

The church is Pentecostal in nature. It accepts the Bible as the Word of God, the Trinity, and salvation in Christ. It believes in the baptism of the Holy Spirit and sanctification as a definite but gradual work of God in the believer. Baptism is by immersion. The ministry is organized according to Ephesians 4:11, into apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. The church advocates divine healing and tithing.

The church sponsors a camp meeting grounds in Dolphin, Missouri. It publishes a set of booklets and course materials that orient members to its beliefs and prepare ministers for licensing and ordination. The Voice of Truth World Outreach Ministries is a division of the Bible Way Association that focuses on evangelism and outreach through radio, teaching, and printed literature.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Messenger.

Sources

Bible Way Association. www.biblewayassociation.com.

The Voice of Truth World Outreach Ministries. www.thevoiceoftruth.com.

Body of Christ Movement

c/o Immanuel’s Church, 16819 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD 20905

Along with the neo-Pentecostal movement of the 1960s, there developed what can be termed the Body of Christ movement, focused in the ministry of Charles P. Schmitt and Dorothy E. Schmitt of the Fellowship of Christian Believers in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The basic idea is that God has moved among his people in each generation and has poured out his Spirit upon them in a vital manner. In the eighteenth century, this outpouring occurred through the Wesleyan revival, and in the early twentieth century, through the Pentecostal revival. In the late 1940s, the “Latter Rain” movement swept Canada. According to Schmitt, the outpouring on the present generation is the most momentous of all because this is the last generation and in it shall be manifest the full intent of God (I Cor. 4:1).

Initiation into the “mysteries” is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The central mystery of the church as the Body of Christ is that God is preparing a glorious church for himself. God is pouring out his Spirit in every denomination to bring forth the bride of Jesus Christ in this hour. The church as the Body of Christ is the very fullness of Jesus, who fills everything, everywhere with himself.

Doctrine, beyond the core of Pentecostal and Protestant affirmation, is not emphasized. The true basis of fellowship is in God and Jesus Christ. The Body of Christ Movement is organized on a family model, under the care of the responsible brethren (elders) and the ones possessed of spiritual gifts (I Cor. 12:11–14).

The Body of Christ Movement originated in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Fellowship Press was established and it has issued numerous pamphlets on a wide variety of topics. The Schmitts began a tape ministry and a literature ministry, “Foundational Teachings.” From Grand Rapids, ministers were sent out to cities across the United States. Centers were rapidly established. In the early 1980s, the Schmitts moved to Silver Springs, Maryland, near Washington, D.C., where a strong following had developed under the name of Immanuel’s Church. Camp Dominion in rural northern Minnesota was the scene of national gatherings during the summer until recently. Affiliated ministers and congregations are organized into the “Fellowship of Churches and Ministers.” The fellowship assists with the education and ordination of ministers, and provides opportunities for gatherings and future nurturing.

Membership

In 2008 over 4,000 were in regular attendance at Immanuel’s Church.

Periodicals

Foundational Teachings.

Sources

Immanuel’s Church. www.immanuels.org.

Bold Bible Living

International Headquarters, PO Box 75120, White Rock, BC, Canada V4B 5L3

Alternate Address

American Headquarters: PO Box 2, Blaine, Washington 98231.

The Bold Living Society is the organization facilitating the worldwide ministry of evangelist and missionary Don Gossett. Gossett had been the editor of Faith Digest, the magazine of the T. L. Osborn Evangelistic Association. While editor, Gossett was also an evangelist who toured North America, holding evangelistic campaigns and working as a radio minister. During the 1950s, his desire to become a full-time radio evangelist grew, and in 1961 he moved to British Columbia and organized the Bold Living Society.

During the 1950s Gossett became a devoted student of the writings of the late E. W. Kenyon (1867–1948), an early radio evangelist on the West Coast and founder of the New Covenant Baptist Church in Seattle. After his death, Kenyon’s daughter continued to publish his books through the Kenyon Gospel Publishing Society in Fullerton, California. Gossett obtained a copy of Kenyon’s The Wonderful Name of Jesus in 1952 and eventually obtained an entire set of his writings. Kenyon emphasized the power of the Word—the Bible—and the power of confessing that Word as a means of exercising faith and bringing God’s promises into visible reality.

Gossett emerged in the 1970s as a major exponent of what has been termed the “positive confession” perspective, a popular emphasis within the larger Pentecostal community. He maintains the Bible is the Word of God, and that people need to affirm the Bible’s truth. It is through the confession of the believers’lips that Jesus gives life and love. Gossett applies biblical promises for physical healing and contends God will supply people’s every need. Confession of negative states traps individuals in sickness and poverty.

Gossett’s radio work began in Canada and reached out to the United States. In 1964 he began broadcasting from stations in Puerto Rico and Monte Carlo, and soon a second office was opened in Blaine, Washington. As the audience grew, he wrote and published School of Praise, a home Bible study course, and numerous books and booklets. Besides the two congregations in British Columbia that are affiliated with the society, Gossett has a worldwide ministry that takes him on evangelistic campaigns around the world; his radio show is aired in over 100 countries.

Membership

There are two congregations with an approximate membership of 100, both in British Columbia. There are affiliated churches in Barbados. In 1988 there were 4,000 partners who support the ministry scattered across the United States and 3,000 others in Canada and the West Indies.

Sources

Don Gossett Ministries/Bold Bible Missions. www.dongossett.com.

Gossett, Don. There’s Dynamite in Praise. Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1974.

———. What You Say Is What You Get. Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1976.

———. I’m Sold on Being Bold. Springdale, PA: Whitaker House, 1979.

Gossett, Don, and E. W. Kenyon. The Power of the Positive Confession of God’s Word. Cloverdale, BC, Canada: Don Gossett, 1981.

Kenyon, E. W. In His Presence. Seattle, WA: Kenyon’s Gospel Publishing Society, 1969.

Called to All Nations Ministries, Inc.

790 E Pine Log Rd., Aiken, SC 29803

Called to All Nations Ministries is an international network of individuals, ministers, ministries, and churches aligned in a mission of world evangelism. It describes itself as multifaceted in ministry, international in impact, transdenominational in background, and multicultural in composition. It was founded by Rev. Ray Popham, an independent Pentecostal evangelist who in 2008 served as the president and apostolic overseer of Called to All Nations, as well as president of Life Vine International, senior pastor of Oasis Church International, and founder of World Ministry Training Institute. He operates under what he sees as a divine mandate to take the Gospel to every nation on the earth. Popham had received a call to the ministry in 1985 when he was 22. After two years of training he launched his ministry. The ministry is designed to bring together ministers and local congregations to create resources to undergird a ministry that will empower leaders and believers worldwide. Called to All Nations has created a variety of structures to channel its ministry, including a World Prayer Network, the International Ministerial Fellowship, the World Ministry Training Institute, World Missions Outreach through Millennial Missions 2000, and Vision America.

The work of called to All Nations is guided by the founder/president and a board of directors comprising ministers licensed and ordained by the ministries. In 2008 board members included Lamont Freeman, Teresa Popham, Helen Winters, Larry Christy, and Belinda Forrest. The International Ministerial Fellowship provides ministerial credentials, personal advice, pastoral care, fellowship, and continuing education for ministers. Ministry is recognized in its fivefold nature (according to Eph. 4:11) of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. Ministers who feel called by God to the ministry, and who have prepared themselves for their careers and showed themselves to be faithful, may be certified in one of three categories: certified lay minister, licensed minister, or ordained minister. Approval is based on demonstrated character, calling, salvation experience, and preparation, apart from strict doctrinal scrutiny.

Registered ministries are those congregations/ministries affiliated primarily with Called to All Nations Ministries, from which they receive affiliation, networking, accountability, and fellowship. Training for ministry is offered through the World Ministry Training Institute. Popham has authored a variety of training materials and tapes for curriculum use.

New Day is the All Nations’ sponsored international radio ministry program headquartered in Aiken, South Carolina. The broadcast is produced by CTAN Media Network and reaches more than 80 nations through satellite and short-wave radios. New Day’s mission is to “cover the globe with the gospel.”

Membership

Not reported for 2008. In 2001 there were 23 congregations associated with Called to All Nations. They are located in the United States (14), India (2), and Jamaica (4), with one each in Korea, Pakistan, and Mexico.

Educational Facilities

World Ministry Training Institute, Aiken, South Carolina.

Periodicals

Current Epistle. • News of All Nations.

Sources

Called to All Nations Ministries. www.ctan.us.

Christian International Ministries Network

177 Apostles Way, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459

The Christian International Network of Prophetic Ministries, founded in 1988 by Dr. Bill Hamon (b. 1934), is an outgrowth of the Latter Rain Revival that swept through Pentecostalism in the late 1940s. That revival began in western Canada in 1948 and within a few years found a response among Pentecostal leaders across the continent. The revival emphasized such concepts as the laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit, organization around a biblical fivefold ministry, and the role of prophecy. Prophecy, as understood within Pentecostalism, is believed to be a present word from God that is spoken by a person called by God and given the gift of prophecy. Prophecy, which goes beyond Scripture and often offers very specific direction to groups and individuals, should, however, never contradict Scripture.

Hamon was converted to Christianity on his 16th birthday at a revival meeting in rural Oklahoma and several days later was baptized with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. He began attending a Latter Rain or Restoration church. In 1953, while struggling with a call to the ministry, he was given a word of personal prophecy indicating that he would soon emerge as a prophet himself. Hamon moved to Portland, Oregon, and began to attend a Latter Rain bible college. In 1954, after graduation, he became a pastor. He left the pastorate in 1960 and served as an evangelist for three years. He served on the faculty of a bible college in San Antonio, Texas, from 1964 to 1969.

In 1967, prior to his leaving college teaching, he incorporated Christian International Correspondence Bible College to provide an education for ministers who could not leave their work to attend school. The development of the college consumed his time for the next few years. In 1970 he developed the extension program to assist local churches in founding a bible college in their facilities. The college headquarters moved to Arizona in 1981 and then to Florida in 1984. It has since matured into the Christian International School of Theology. Through the years, Hamon has been responsible for training many Pentecostal ministers and introducing them to the prophetic ministry. In 1988 a number of the ministers he had trained and the churches they served banded together in a loose association, the Christian International Network of Prophetic Ministries. He was consecrated bishop of the network in 1989.

In his role as leader of the network, Hamon has authored three important books expounding on the concept and work of a prophet: Prophets and Personal Prophecy, Prophets and the Prophetic Movement, and Biblical Principles to Practice and Personal Pitfalls to Avoid. The network sponsors an annual National Prophetic Conference.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Christian International. www.christianinternational.org/.

Hamon, Bill. The Eternal Church. Point Washington, FL: Christian International Publishers, 1981.

———. Prophets and Personal Prophecy. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 1987.

———. Prophets and the Prophetic Movement. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, 1990.

Covenant Connections International

916 W Hwy. 190, Copperas Cove, TX 76522

Covenant Connections International (CCI), a charismatic association of ministers and churches, traces its history to 1981, when Nathaniel Holcomb established the Christian House of Prayer and the associated It’s All About Him Ministries (formerly known as Speak the Word Ministries) to serve Central Texas. CCI was born as a result of Holcomb’s election as bishop in 1987. Through Holcomb’s ministry, a national network of churches has developed. Covenant Connection operates out of a traditional Pentecostal perspective. It also operates out of what is generally referred to as the faith message: the perspective adopted by many Pentecostals that affirms a law of confession, the idea that believers can have anything they declare a desire for as long as they have faith in their heart and confess it with their mouth. This belief has often be characterized as “name it, claim it.” It is based in part on Mark 11:23, which admonishes a disciple that if he “shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

The mother church of Covenant Connections has a broad-based outreach ministry in Copperas, Texas, that includes special programs for youth, women, and families. There is also a special ministry to the incarcerated.

The leadership of covenant connections maintains close contact with other “faith message” networks such as Freedom Worldwide Covenant Ministries (Gilbert Coleman) and Ever Increasing Faith Ministries (Fred Price).

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 Covenant Connections had 37 congregations in the United States, 9 in Germany, 7 in the Netherlands, and 1 in the United States Virgin Islands.

Sources

Covenant Connections International. www.chop.org/cci/index.html.

DOVE Christian Fellowship International (DFCI)

11 Toll Gate Rd., Lititz, PA 17543

DOVE Christian Fellowship International (DCFI), an association of churches that has pioneered a new form of church life built around what are termed cell groups, began in 1971 as a ministry to youth. The ministry, based in south-central Pennsylvania, was launched as the popular Jesus People revival was burgeoning on the West Coast. Included as part of the ministry called “The Lost But Found” was the “Rhema Youth Ministries,” a popular Bible study program directed by Larry Kreider that was nurturing many of the youthful converts. It was also discovered that many of the new converts had a tough time trying to fit into the older church communities.

Increasingly, the leadership came to believe in organizing a flexible New Testament-style church (referred to as “new wineskin”) that could serve the new believers (referred to as the “new wine”). In 1978 Kreider felt God calling him to be part of an “underground church.” In this underground church, believers would be nourished in cell groups that focused on prayer, evangelism, and building intimate relationships. When the underground church was healthy, the whole church grew strong.

DOVE (an acronym for Declaring Our Victory Emmanuel) Christian Fellowship officially began in 1980. At the time the fellowship consisted of some 25 people meeting on Sunday mornings who divided into three cell groups that met during the week. By 1992 some 2,300 believers met in approximately 125 cell groups in south-central Pennsylvania. In the mid-1990s the fellowship went through a complete reorganization that went into effect January 1, 1996. Eight individual congregations emerged, each headed by an eldership team. An Apostolic Council gave spiritual oversight to the whole fellowship, and Kreider became the international director. All of the eight churches committed themselves to working together to plant churches around the world. In addition, DCFU moved to “adopt” churches that had developed a cell church organization but were not growing.

DCFI sees itself as an apostolic movement, defined as a family of churches with a common focus—in this case, a mandate to plant churches throughout the world. Its belief is that each “denomination” has a special purpose in God’s kingdom and each should honor and learn from the other. DCFI’s leadership encourages members to network with other churches and ministries outside of the DCFI family. DCFI maintains two DOVE Mission International sending centers, one in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the other in Nairobi, Kenya.

Kreider has authored a popular book for cell-based churches, House Church Networks: A Church for a New Generation.

Membership

In 2008 DCFI reported 47 churches in the United States and 148 cell-based congregations in the United States and Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Curacao, Guatemala, Haiti, Kenya, New Zealand, Peru, Rwanda, Scotland, Suriname and Uganda.

Sources

DOVE Christian Fellowship International. www.dcfi.org/.

Bunton, Paul. Cell Groups and House Churches: What History Teaches Us. Ephrata, PA: House to House Publications, 2001.

Kreider, Larry. House Church Networks: A Church for a New Generation. Ephrata, PA: House to House Publications, 2001.

———. House to House: Spiritual Insights for the 21st Century Church. 2nd ed. Ephrata, PA: House to House Publications, 2000.

Endtime Body-Christian Ministries, Inc.

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The Endtime Body-Christian Ministries Inc. (a.k.a. the Body of Christ Movement and Maranatha Christian Ministries) was founded in the early 1960s by Sam Fife (1926–1979). A former Baptist minister, Fife became Pentecostal after his involvement in the Latter Rain Movement, a Pentecostal revival movement that began in Canada in the late 1940s. Fife founded his organization in New Orleans, Louisiana, but soon moved to Miami, Florida, where he had formerly worked as a contractor and singer. Fife’s messages emphasized what he believed was the approaching end of the world. One sign of the end was the emergence of visions among Christians. In one vision, he was told that he would father a child who would become a great prophet. The woman designated as the mother was not his wife, however. With the consent of his wife and the church, he lived with the woman who appeared in the dream for a year, until he became convinced of the error of the vision.

Fife also called his members to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ by separating themselves from the world and preparing a perfected bride (i.e., church body) for Christ to find upon his return to earth. To accomplish this task, he organized a series of communal farms in the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Many of the church members have sold their possessions and moved into these rural communities. The group also established a set of parochial schools for its children. This process of separation from the world led to the disruption of many families, especially where only one spouse was a strong member of the group. The presence of impressionable, single young adults in the group, often living at rather primitive levels (by middle-class standards), also led to the group as being a focus of attention by segments of the anticult movement in the 1970s.

Sam Fife died in 1979 in a plane crash at the age of 53. He was succeeded by C. E. “Buddy” Cobb, pastor of the Word Mission in Hollywood, Florida.

Membership

Not reported. There were reported to be between 6,000 and 10,000 members at the time of Fife’s death. Approximately 25 communal farms had been established.

Every Nation

PO Box 1787, Brentwood, TN 37024

Every Nation is a worldwide community of ministries and churches established in 1994. The organization was formerly known as Morning Star International; the name was changed in 2004 to reflect a desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “every nation in our generation.” Every Nation, which embodies Every Nation Ministries, Every Nation Churches, Every Nation Campus Ministries, and Every Nation Leadership Institute, maintains world missions, engages in church plantings in the United States and globally, and conducts outreach to young people on college campuses. The organization’s stated goal is to forge a multiethnic, multi-generational church, with an emphasis on discipleship and leadership training.

Morning Star International (MSI) can be traced back to 1981 and the related careers and friendship of Rice Broocks and Phil Bonasso, two campus ministers at the University of Southern California who were attempting to build a campus out-reach program. At this time, they were working with Maranatha Ministries, a controversial campus ministry founded by Bob Weiner and his wife, Rose Weiner, in 1973. After expanding through the late 1980s, Maranatha disbanded in 1989, allowing for a decentralization and diversification of ministry through the many local churches. In 1984 Broocks traveled to the Philippines to build a campus out-reach program that brought him into contact with Steven Murrell, a campus minister from Starkville, Mississippi. In both Los Angeles and the Philippines, they established apostolic centers for the training of people for campus ministry. Both centers grew into leadership training centers whose vision for ministry reached out to the larger world.

Broocks served as a pastor and apostle to the other two men. In 1994 they met to consider their role in world evangelism, and decided to merge their ministries into what was named Morning Star International (MSI). Their goal was to fulfill the great commission of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ through church planting, campus ministry, and world missions.

MSI adopted a statement of faith identical to that of the National Association of Evangelicals. It includes belief in the Bible as the infallible Word of God, the Trinity, and the saving work of Jesus Christ, and the present ministry of the Holy Spirit in saving lost humanity. MSI was a Pentecostal Charismatic fellowship that believed in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Leadership was placed in the hands of an apostolic team that included the three founders and six other ministers who joined their work.

In 1997 MSI aligned itself with His People Ministries, started in the early 1990s by Paul Daniel as a predominantly campus-based church for the university students in Cape Town, South Africa.

Educational Facilities

School of Campus Ministry. Nashville, Tennessee.

School of Campus Ministry, Cape Town, South Africa.

School of World Missions. Manila, the Philippines.

Membership

In 2008, Every Nation reported 49 congregation in the united States and four in Canada. In addition there were affiliated congregations in 41 nations worldwide.

Sources

Every Nation. www.everynation.org/en/home.html.

Broocks, Rice. Change the Campus Change the World! Gainesville, FL: Maranatha Publications, 1985.

Faith Christian Fellowship International

PO Box 35443, Tulsa, OK 74153-0443

Faith Christian Fellowship International (FCFI) began in 1977 when Doyle “Buddy” Harrison and Pat Harrison responded to what they felt was a call from the Lord to return to their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and start a family church and charismatic teaching center, and to reach the world for Jesus. Buddy Harrison (1939–1998) had previously worked for ten years for Kenneth Hagin Ministries and was the founder and first president of the International Convention of Faith Ministries. In 1975 he started Harrison House, a major publisher of charismatic literature.

FCFI is a Pentecostal church that affirms belief in the Bible as the infallible Word of God, the trinity, and salvation through Christ. It also affirms “the present supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit who bestows the spiritual gifts of: The word of wisdom, The word of knowledge, Faith, Gifts of healings, Working of miracles, Prophecy, Discerning of spirits, Various kinds of tongues, Interpretation of tongues, in and among believers on the earth since the day of Pentecost and continuing until our Lord’s return.”

Congregations may join FCFI as either an associate (a congregation with a separate incorporation) or an affiliate (an unincorporated congregation). FCFI trains, equips, and prepares people for ministry as an exhorter, licensed, or ordained minister.

A group with the same name exists in Indiana but is unrelated.

Membership

In 2002, the FCFI reported 173 affiliate and associate churches, 125 churches pastored by FCFI-credentialed ministers, 19 affiliate and associate traveling ministries, and 879 credentialed ministers in the United States. FCFI supports missionary families in 16 nations. There are FCFI churches in 39 countries.

Periodicals

Triumphant Always. • The Mentor.

Sources

Faith Christian Fellowship International. www.fcf.org/.

Federation of Ministers and Churches International

PO Box 40042, Grand Junction, CO 81504

The Federation of Ministers and Churches (FMC) is a fellowship of Pentecostal/charismatic churches and ministers that originated in a meeting of six pastors at the Church of the King in Dallas, Texas. Jim Hodges, at the time the pastor of the Church of the King, took the leadership, as he had previously been involved in planting new churches. The original gathering led to what became the first annual ministers’ conference, held in Midlothian, Texas, the next year. More than 180 ministers and other church leaders attended this first conference.

Subsequently, at a smaller meeting in Arkansas, an organizational outline for the FMC was drawn up. Finally, in 1994, the organization was formalized, its name was chosen, and a statement of faith was written and approved. Already in 1990, as the steps to formal organization were being taken, Hodges had left the pastorate of the Church of the King and assumed fulltime apostolic team leadership of the emerging Federation. Hodges opened offices in Duncanville, Texas. The FMC has become an association of local churches and ministries, which find fellowship in a common bond of unity and receive guidance from and are accountable to the apostolic team of mature ministers led by Hodges.

The federation has assumed a conservative doctrine that accepts the inerrancy of the Bible. It is trinitarian in its doctrine of God. Among its doctrinal distinctives is an approach to biblical interpretation that centers on God’s covenants with his people, as opposed to dispensationalism. The federation affirms the validity of charismatic gifts in the present age, and organizes around the gift ministries of Ephesians 4:11 (five-fold ministry). The kingdom of God is seen as both present and coming. The federation believes that the Kingdom of God has come in the Christ-Event (his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension), but that it is also coming progressively in history and will arrive consumatively when Christ returns.

The federation supports an annual leadership conference, an annual worship conference, and various regional conferences. In 2003 its name was changed to Federation of Ministers and Churches International, in response to a prophetic word given by Cindy Jacobs.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 the FMC had 62 affiliated congregations and translocal ministries in the United States and elsewhere.

Periodicals

The Federation Journal.

Sources

Federation of Ministers and Churches. www.fmci.org.

Fellowship of Christians

1680 Sparksford Dr., Russellville, AR 72802

Alternate Address

Pioneer, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU9 8EP, United Kingdom.

The Fellowship of Christians is one of two Pentecostal congregations in the United States affiliated with the Pioneer movement, a Christian church that developed in England during the 1970s. The Pioneer movement was founded by Gerald Coates, a former member of the Plymouth Brethren. In the 1960s, Coates attended the Brethren’s Gospel Hall in Cobham, Surrey, England, but in 1967 this congregation split. Coates subsequently left the movement, and in 1969 formed a house church with five members. That small gathering developed into the Pioneer People, a congregation that itself became the first of some 80 associated congregations across the United Kingdom.

From the original congregation, others were started and throughout the 1980s a network of charismatic evangelical churches emerged. This network became well known for its developments in music and worship, as well as for its social action with the poor and powerless. With Dr. Patrick Dixon, Coates started a ministry to people with AIDS that developed into the AIDS Care Education Training (ACET), now the largest provider of home care assistance for AIDS sufferers in the United Kingdom. Headquarters for the movement is now at a training center, Waverley Abbey House, located in Surrey.

Meanwhile, Coates has become a controversial figure within the larger British Evangelical movement for his identification with the Toronto Blessing, the revival movement that started at the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship and has subsequently spread worldwide. This movement has supported a new set of religious manifestations, including holy laughter, and claims that peoples’teeth have been miraculously filled with gold.

The Fellowship of Christians emerged from the charismatic segment of the Jesus People Movement of the 1970s. A band of new charismatics on the Arkansas Tech University campus formed a group for teaching and daily devotionals. Evangelism was an important mandate from this group’s beginning. A congregation evolved and as the Toronto Blessing spread, it identified with the Pioneer movement.

Internationally, Pioneer is led by Coates, who in turn guides the Pioneer team, which assumes leadership for the care of congregations, planting new churches, and training leaders and evangelists. Pioneer has appointed an International Working Group to oversee its international outreach. The group concentrates on enabling pioneer churches to fulfill the great commission and on consolidating a select number of what are considered key international apostolic relationships.

Membership

Not reported. There are two congregations in the United States (in Arkansas and Eureka, California) that have affiliated with Pioneer. There are some 80 congregations in the United Kingdom and more than a thousand worldwide.

Periodicals

Compass • Pioneer Update

Sources

Fellowship of Christians. www.foconline.org/.

Pioneer. www.pioneer.org.uk/.

Coates, Gerald. An Intelligent Fire. Eastbourne, U.K.: Kingsway, 1991.

———. Kingdom Now! Eastbourne, U.K.: Kingsway, 1993.

———. The Vision: An Antidote to Post Charismatic Depression. Eastbourne, U.K.: Kingsway, 1995.

Fellowship of Vineyard Harvester Churches in the United States

c/o Cedar Lake Christian Center, 1890 Rome Hwy., Cedartown, GA 30125

Alternative Address

c/o Living Word Christian Center, 1401 Government St., Mobile, AL 36604.

The Fellowship of Vineyard Harvester Churches in the United States has emerged around the ministry of Bp. David Huskins, who also serves as the senior pastor of Cedar Lake Christian Center in Cedartown, Georgia. Huskins’s present life began in 1981 after he became ill with spinal meningitis, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, and then subsequently experienced a miraculous healing. In 1986 he founded Cedar Lake Christian Center and developed an expansive array of ministries in the community, including a weekly radio broadcast ministry. Huskins became associated with Abp. Earl Paulk and the associated bishops of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC) and in 1989 was ordained as a bishop. Following his consecration, the Fellowship of Vineyard Harvester Churches emerged as other charismatic pastors sought to affiliate with Huskins.

The fellowship is a charismatic church that follows a mainline Pentecostal theology, including an emphasis on divine healing. Huskins continues his relationship with the ICCC, and serves on its College of Bishops.

Membership

Not reported. There are 41 congregations affiliated with the fellowship in the United States and additional congregations in Trinidad, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, India, and Peru. There is one congregation in Canada.

Educational Facilities

Vineyard Harvester Bible College, Cedartown, Georgia.

Sources

Fellowship of Vineyard Harvester Churches. www.fvhc.net.

Cedar Lake Christian Center. www.clccnet.org/.

Huskins, David. The Power of a Covenant Heart. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2001.

Foundations of the Apostles and Prophets: School of Ministry and Local Assemblies International

PO Box 8073, The Woodlands, TX 77387

Foundations of the Apostles and Prophets School of Ministry and Local Assemblies International (FAP) was founded by Tim Early and his wife Theresa Early, an African-American couple who moved to the Houston, Texas, area in 1989. The couple first established Lord of the Harvest Ministries, which in 1998 was superseded by the Feast of Tabernacles Restoration Fellowship International, a local assembly serving The Woodlands, Tamina, and Humble (all in Texas). Central to the Feast of Tabernacles is an understanding that this ministry seeks “to abide and to flow from within the Secret Place of the Most High.”

During the 1990s, the Earlys’ministry found them working with and ordaining new elders throughout Texas and beyond. Most recently, that work evolved into Foundations of the Apostles and Prophets School of Ministry and Local Assemblies International, now a fathering ministry to many across the globe.

FAP ordains and confirms those previously ordained in a pattern derived from the biblical book of Acts. It does not license ministers. Integral to ordination is the development of strong relationships between the Earlys and the minister seeking their ordination. The ministry also brings local churches into relationship, not to build congregations identical to each other but to encourage each to develop its ministry to the fullest.

FAP teaches a Pentecostal message. It believes that ministry is best established through covenant relationships; hence, it is a fathering ministry not only to assemblies and ministries, but also to businesses. It believes that there is a need for an advancement of religious purpose in the business world, and looks to a restoration of the Elijah ministry of Malachi 4:4–6.

Membership

Not reported.

Fresh Fire Ministries

PO Box 2525, Abbotsford, BC

Fresh Fire Ministries (FFM) is a revival and renewal ministry in the Pentecostal tradition founded in 1998 by evangelist Todd Bentley. Born in Sechelt, British Columbia, in 1976, he experienced a dramatic conversion in 1994 after a period in which he took drugs and was involved in satanism. His itinerary takes him all over the world, including to FFM’s Uganda Jesus Village for children. The FFM statement of faith follows a standard evangelical and charismatic model. On April 2, 2008, Bentley began a five-day conference at the Ignited Church in Lakeland, Florida, pastored by Stephen Strader. The meetings were continued, and reports quickly spread around the world of angelic visitations, miraculous healings, and raisings from the dead. The revival became known as the Florida Outpouring, and by mid-April the nightly meetings were being broadcast on God TV.

Fresh Fire Ministries affirms belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, the triune God, salvation in Christ, and the present work of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit is an immediate experience available to all believers. The church is led by the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4:11. It places an emphasis on divine healing. It believes in the possibility of further revelation, though noting that such revelation is always to be tested by the Bible.

Bentley has been the target of criticism because of his unorthodox worship style and his claims about the supernatural. He reports in detail on numerous encounters with angels, including one named Emma and another named Winds of Change. Bentley also claims to have been caught up in a pillar of fire to heaven where angels operated on him. He says he has met Abraham and Paul in the heavenly realm.

Educational Facilities

Supernatural Training Centre, Abbotsford, British Columbia.

ESL School, Abbotsford, British Columbia.

Membership

In 2008 the FFM reported approximately 1,000 members and three congregations connected to FFM, one in Bellingham, Washington, and two in British Columbia.

Sources

Fresh Fire Ministries. www.freshfire.ca.

Beverley, James A. “World Watches Florida Revival.” Faith Today (July–August 2008).

General Assembly Churches

c/o Church of Berkeley, 1521 Derby St., Berkeley, CA 94703

The General Assembly Churches was founded in 1974 in Berkeley, California, under the leadership of Bro. Lacy Hawkins, who serves as its overseer, and his wife, the late Sr. Etta Hawkins. They church is Pentecostal and sees itself in the tradition of the Latter Rain Movement. That movement has viewed the church as having been corrupted in the post-Apostolic era and largely lost for many centuries; in the modern era, the worldly church has faced setbacks as God has moved to restore many biblical truths in preparation for Christ’s Second Coming. Decisive in Christian history was the disestablishment of the churches by the regime of Napoleon I.

Over the last few centuries, the restoration proceeded by the recovery of baptism by full immersion (the Baptist Movement); the truths regarding holiness and living a moral life before God (the Holiness Movement); and the reception of the Holy Ghost as an in-dwelling spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues (the Pentecostal Movement). The Pentecostal Movement holds that the Body of Christ is an organism rather than an organization; that the devil exists and that sin can be overcome; and that there are truths concerning divine order and restoration (fivefold church leadership), as well as truths of unification and divine love. The General Assembly accepts all these truths.

Worship in the General Assembly congregations is seen as spirit-led, and each service includes prayer, singing, testimonies from the believers, and the preaching of the Word. Members are invited to take up a number of volunteer position in the churches.

Membership

In 2008 the church reported seven congregations, located in California, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Texas.

Sources

General Assembly Churches. www.generalassemblychurches.com/.

Global Cause Network

27 W Hallandale Beach Blvd., Hallandale, FL 33009

Alternate Address

Apostle Rudy Langenberg, PO Box 553, 3800 AN Amersfoort, Netherlands.

Global Cause Network is an association of Pentecostal/charismatic churches united by their mutual recognition of the importance and restoration of the apostolic ministry. Its name comes from reflection upon an incident in the life of the future king David. At one point David challenged the fear-paralyzed army of Israel as they faced the Philistines with the question, “Is there not a cause?” (1 Samuel 17:29). The founders of the network have noted that there are many who feel discontented, distressed, and/or in search of identity. These people, as the network founders see it, have the cause, a desire to let God’s power be strong in them and see the impact of God’s power on the world. The network provides a place where people who carry an apostolic anointing, but have had little or no platform to release God’s governing voice, may exercise their ministry. To these anointed ones, the network gives an identity through the Global Cause Network and the proven direction and guidance of t seasoned ministers.

Overall leadership in the Global Cause Network is provided by Apostle Jonas Clark in the United States and Apostle Rudy Langenberg in the Netherlands. Clark founded Spirit of Life Ministries and the Internet-based Ambassador Journal in 1997.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Ambassador Journal.

Sources

Global Cause Network. www.globalcausenetwork.com/.

Global Ministry Resource Network

5663 Balboa Ave. #416, San Diego, CA 92111

Global Ministry Resource Network (GMRN) is an association of Pentecostal/charismatic churches and ministers. The apostolic leadership team is physically based in Tijuana, Mexico, though contact is made through a post office box in San Diego, California. It has related branches internationally as a result of those with whom it has worked being ordained to the ministry. Founding apostle Les D. Crause and the leadership team have accepted a mandate to train and raise up apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to help raise up the Mighty Warrior (the Church of God), which is believed to have currently, as a result of tradition and worldly influence, lost its true power and fallen into a slumber.

Crause, a South African, was raised in a Pentecostal home. After his call to the ministry at the age of 28, he left the denomination of his childhood and became an independent evangelist. His call to apostolic leadership was given in a vision of Jesus. He and his wife, following their move to Mexico, were instructed to initiate their ministry on the Internet. Assisting Crause are Apostle Colette Toach, president of GMRN; Wesley Snider, founder and president of GMR Publishing; Desiree Snider, principal of GMR Fivefold Ministry School; Craig Toach, president of the Pastoral Network; and Daphne Crause, president of the (Prophetic) Network.

The network was founded to provide: (1) a home for any not currently part of any other church fellowship; (2) personal counsel and ministry to those otherwise unable to obtain such ministry in their local church; (3) training and certification for ministers not otherwise able to attend a full-time training institution; (4) training and certification for those unable to obtain it otherwise; and (5) an international fellowship of ministries. Much of this work is provided through the Internet and email. An emphasis is placed on developing the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11. The network’s own ministry is carried out through its publications, sponsoring conferences, and the operation of a non-residential training school.

The GMRN generally falls into the mainline of Pentecostal belief. It is supportive of a movement that became very visible in the 1990s which sought to use charismatic apostolic leadership and an orientation around the five-fold ministry to restore the church to its first-century purity. However, the leadership is quick to note that they will work with Christians of a wide variety of denominational backgrounds.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Fivefold Ministry Training Center, Tijuana, Mexico.

Sources

Global Ministry Resource Network. www.gmrn.org/.

Go Tell It Ministry Worldwide Network of Churches (GTIMWNC)

1745 E Grand Blvd., Detroit, MI 48211

Go Tell It Ministry Worldwide Network of Churches (GTIMWNC) was founded by Dr. Corletta J. Vaughn, who serves as its overseer. Vaughn was called to preach in 1974 and was ordained (despite being a woman) in the Baptist Church in 1980. She later attended Oral Roberts University, where she earned a D.Ed. and D.Miv. Along the way she became associated with the charismatic renewal and founded a church.

GTIMWNC exists as a communion of like-minded churches and ministries, many of which were established since the 1980s through fervent evangelistic efforts. Some of the young leaders who created new congregations and ministries found themselves in need of support, resources, and mentoring relationships with older, more experienced workers. GTIMWNC exists to provide apostolic leadership and direction to those who aim to win souls and shepherd the flock of God according to biblical patterns. The GTIMWNC is supported by the tithes of its affiliated churches and ministries.

Bishop Vaughn serves as senior pastor of Holy Ghost Cathedral in Detroit, and also founded the adjacent Kingdom Faith Bible College. Vaughn was consecrated as a bishop in 1995 in Benin City, Nigeria by, Abp. Benson Idahosa (d. 1998), and was inducted to the Sacred College of Bishops of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches in May 1996. Working with Vaughn are Apostle Turnel Nelson and Bps. Carrie Smith, Harry Westcott (Australia), C. L. Long, and Paul Lanier.

Membership

Not reported. In 2008 the ministry reported 60 churches and para-church ministries in North America and many more internationally.

Educational Facilities

Kingdom and Faith Bible College and School of Ministry, Detroit, Michigan

Sources

Go Tell It Ministry Worldwide Network of Churches. www.gtimw.org/start.html.

International Ministries of Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Together (IMPACT)

19720 Governors Hwy., Ste. 1, Flossmoor, IL 60422

The International Ministries of Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Together (IMPACT) is an associated network of Pentecostal and charismatic churches and ministers that have come together under the apostolic leadership of John Eckhardt, IMPACT’s founder, who announced a divine mandate to advance apostolic reformation and God’s end-time kingdom on earth. IMPACT is noted for its work in identifying emerging apostles and prophets amid the array of ministers, for teaching contemporary present-truth revelation in conferences and seminars, for establishing a prophetic presbytery (leadership), and for imparting the Spirit’s power through the laying on of hands.

IMPACT was founded in 1995. It grew directly out of the network of pastors and other ministers who had become associated with Eckhardt at Crusaders Church in Chicago. The church was an early center for training believers in intercessory prayer, spiritual warfare, deliverance (from demonic influence), healing, prophecy, church planting, and evangelizing the nations. Through the early 1990s Eckhardt developed an apostolic leadership relationship with ministers overseas, where he also began to identify emerging prophets.

Within mainline Christian belief, IMPACT sees itself as a ministry of spiritual warfare, designed to confront principalities and powers. Such powers are thought to include religious systems and spirits that oppress a particular place or territory, as well as people who attempt to hold back the revival, reformation, and restoration of what God has ordained for the church.

IMPACT operates from Crusaders Ministries, located in inner-city Chicago, Illinois. Crusaders is both its headquarters church and its international apostolic base. Eckhardt is assisted in his apostolic leadership by Apostle Axel Sippach, IMPACT’s executive director, who resides in Seattle, Washington.

Eckhardt has authored more than 20 books. He produces a daily radio broadcast and a weekly television show, Perfecting The Saints, that is aired nationally.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 IMPACT reported more than 400 churches and ministries in 25 nations associated with the network.

Educational Facilities

Apostolic Institute of Ministry, Chicago, Illinois.

Sources

IMPACT (International Ministries of Prophetic and Apostolic Churches Together). www.impactnetwork.net.

Eckhardt, John. Deliverance and Spiritual Warfare Manual. Chicago: Crusader Ministries, 1993.

———. The Ministry Anointing of the Apostle. Chicago: Crusader Ministries, 1993.

———. Moving in the Apostolic. Ventura, CA: Gospel Light Publications, 1999.

———. Releasing God’s Power Through Laying on Hands. Chicago: Crusader Ministries, 1992.

Independent Churches of the Latter-Rain Revival

Bethesda Christian Church, 14000 Metropolitan Pkwy., Sterling Heights, MI 48312

Alternate Addresses

Faith Temple, 672 N Trezevant, Memphis, TN 38112. Glad Tidings Temple, 3456 Fraser St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5V 4C4. House of Prayer Church, Box 707, Springfield, MO 65801. Praise Tabernacle, Box 785, Richlands, NC 28574.

HISTORY

The Latter-Rain Movement emerged after World War II among Pentecostals who had come to believe that the Pentecostal Movement that had grown from the revival at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, earlier in the twentieth century had reached a low ebb. The movement had divided into a number of warring factions, and worship had become dry and formalized. In February 1948 a spiritual revival emerged at the Sharon Bible College, an independent Pentecostal school at North Battleford, Saskatchewan, Canada, headed by George Hawtin (1909–1994), a former minister with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. The revival was characterized by the development of a number of doctrinal innovations and new practices, including the laying on of hands to encourage reception of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, use of the five-fold ministry, recognition of the importance of the Jewish feasts of Pentecost and Tabernacles, and belief in the concept of the “manifested sons of God.” It was marked by a distrust of denominations and denominationalism, and placed a renewed emphasis on the gifts of prophecy and healing, in contrast to the older Pentecostal churches in which such emphasis had largely disappeared.

As the revival spread, ministers and leaders from the older churches came to Battleford to see what was occurring. Their reports about the doctrinal emphases and variant practices they saw led to a break between the revival’s leaders and promoters and the two largest North American Pentecostal bodies, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada and its U.S. equivalent, the Assemblies of God. Pastors and denominational officials who continued to participate in the revival and spread its doctrines were expelled from the Assemblies. Their break with the older Pentecostal bodies merely served to increase their dislike of denominational powers. Many of them became itinerate evangelists, while others established independent congregations. These congregations rejected any formal denominational life. Many remained as simple, small independent churches (frequently led by a pastor who also had a secular job).

Many of these new independent congregations, over subsequent decades, became part of a fellowship of associated congregations, and hence became, in effect, a new denomination. Included in this category are the Body of Christ Movement, the Endtime Body-Christian Ministries, Inc., the Independent Assemblies of God, and the Church of the Living God. At the same time, many congregations have remained free and independent through the last four decades. Together, they form a distinct group of Pentecostal churches and will be the possible seedbed for new circles of fellowship. These congregations have developed an informal relationship through the sharing of publications, speakers, and various special events. Thus, each church remains completely autonomous, keeping is own name and issuing its own literature, while relating to other congregations that grew out of the revival through support of locally promoted national conventions, camp meetings, shared publications, and missionary tours by prominent elders. Several hundred such independent congregations exist in North America, and form a circle of interlocking fellowship. A very few of the prominent centers are discussed below.

BELIEFS

The Latter-Rain Movement accepted the basic beliefs of Pentecostalism. It did not so much reject any of the doctrines of the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada as it added to them and added in such a way as to create a new way of understanding the faith. Decisive for the movement was its understanding of history and of the present time being the final climax to history,—that is, the “latter days.” Members of the movement view Christian history as a movement of disintegration and restoration. Following the apostolic era, the church began to fall away from the pristine nature of the original generations. That process gained ascendancy through the Roman Catholic Church. However, beginning with Luther, God began a process of restoring the church. That process continued through John Wesley and the Methodists and more recently the Pentecostals. The Latter-Rain continues the Restoration process. The unique teachings and practices of the movement restore at least a remnant of the church to its destined state, the purity and holiness necessary for it to be the bride of Christ.

Most of the new ideas emerged during the original revival in North Battleford. Undergirding these new ideas as a whole was an interpretation of Isaiah 43:18–19, which equated the “new things” mentioned in the verses with revelation yet to come. The “new move of God” included the following:

The practice of laying hands on people so that they could receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and initiate the exercise of various gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4–11). This practice contrasted sharply with the common practice in Pentecostalism of advising those seeking the baptism to wait until it was given by God.”

The acceptance of the local church (as opposed to denominational structures) as the basic unit of church life. Based on Ephesians 4:11–12, the revival saw a divinely appointed church order in the five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, missionaries (or evangelists), pastors, and teachers. What was controversial for traditional Pentecostals was their addition of the offices of apostle and prophet. The apostles were people who operated in a trans-local church context as divinely appointed leaders, as opposed to denominational executives. Prophets brought immediate, inspired words of revelation to the congregation of believers. Almost from the beginning of the revival, the prophets spoke “directive prophecies,” i.e., words understood as direct messages from God that offered particular advice and/or admonition to people and groups.

The restoration of all nine gifts of the Spirit of I Corinthians 12. Through the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the gift of healing had been restored, and through the Pentecostal Movement, the gift of tongues. However, as the revival proceeded, all of the gifts, especially the gift of prophecy, began to operate.

The modern fulfillment of the Jewish “feast of tabernacles.” This teaching, ascribed to George Warnock, saw the three great feasts of Israel being fulfilled in the Church, the New Israel. The feast of Passover was fulfilled in Christ’s death and resurrection. The feast of Pentecost was fulfilled in the creation of the Church and the giving of the Spirit. Yet to be fulfilled was the prayer of Jesus recorded in John 17:21 concerning the bringing together of the body of Christ free of spots and wrinkles.

The idea of the manifested sons of God. Members of the movement believed that God would in the near future glorify individual people who would in turn be invested with authority to set creation free from its present state of bondage and decay. Those so prepared would be fit vessels to serve as the bride of Christ.

PROMINENT MINISTRIES

As is to be expected, the Latter-Rain Movement spread first throughout Western Canada. Reg Layzell (1904–1984), pastor of Glad Tidings Temple in Vancouver, British Columbia, attended meetings at North Battleford in the summer of 1948, and in November invited Hawtin and others from Sharon to bring their message to his church. As a result, Glad Tiding Temple accepted the new truths and became a major center for disseminating the message throughout the continent. Layzell authored several important books and developed a particular emphasis within the movement as a whole upon the praise of God as a special activity for believers. He was succeeded as senior pastor by B. Maureen Gaglardi.

The Bethesda Missionary Temple (now the Bethesda Christian Church) in Detroit (now Sterling Heights), Michigan, was among the first congregations in the United States to join in the revival. When in November 1948 Hawtin and others from the school carried the Latter-Rain message to Glad Tidings Temple, in Vancouver, Myrtle D. Beall, a pastor of the Assemblies of God, was present and became an enthusiastic supporter of the revival. After she returned to Detroit, a revival broke out in her church that attracted many future converts and leaders of the movement, including Ivan Q. Spencer (1888–1970), head of the Elim Missionary Assemblies, and Stanley Frodsham (1882–1969), prominent leader in the Assemblies of God. In 1949 Beall led in the construction of a larger church building that could seat 3,000 people. Completion of the new building coincided with the first major attacks on the Latter-Rain Movement by the Assemblies of God and the church soon became independent. In 1951 Beall began the Latter Rain Evangel, which helped spread the Latter-Rain across the United States.

Today, the Bethesda Missionary Temple is pastored by Analee Dunn, who succeeded James Lee Beall, Myrtle’s son, as pastor. The church operates the Bethesda Christian Schools, which provide education from first grade through high school. The church sponsors two annual festivals each spring and fall that bring many prominent Pentecostal ministers to Detroit each year.

Among the oldest of Latter-Rain churches is Faith Temple in Memphis, Tennessee. The Rev. Paul N. Grubb and his wife, the Rev. Lula J. Grubb, were dropped from the ministerial list of the Assemblies of God in December 1949 (at the same time that Myrtle Beall was dropped). They were possibly the first spokespersons for the revival in the South and continue to head the church Paul Grubb founded. Grubb also established a bible school and sponsors an annual national convention each summer. He wrote two influential books, The End-Time Revival and Manifested Sonship.

Restoration Temple (now the Life Church–Mission Bay) in San Diego, California, was pastored by Graham Truscott and his wife, Pamela Truscott, until 1991. Graham Truscott is from New Zealand, where he was raised a Methodist. He became a lay minister, but while in college heard about and then accepted the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He became a missionary to India in 1960. After moving to the United States he began Restoration Temple. Truscott is best known in Latter-Rain circles as the author of The Power of His Presence, a lengthy treatment on the feast of tabernacles. The church distributes this book and others he has authored, as well as numerous cassette tapes on Latter-Rain or Restoration themes. Since he left Restoration Temple, it has affiliated denominationally with the Missionary Church.

The House of Prayer Church was started in Springfield, Missouri, in the early 1960s by Bill Britton (1918–1986), a former Assemblies of God minister. Following several years as a marine in World War II, Britton attended Central Bible College and in 1949 was ordained by the Assemblies. However, having become involved in the Latter-Rain revival, he left the Assemblies and denominationalism the following year. For the next decade he worked as an evangelist, during which time he spent one important semester as an instructor at the bible school operated by Faith Temple in Memphis. (Faith Temple was also an important early Latter-Rain congregation, led for many years by Paul Grubb.) While in Memphis, Britton developed his understanding of the “overcomers.” He came to feel that the church would have to go through the times of tribulation in the last days, as opposed to many of his colleagues who believe that the church will be raptured out of the world before this last terrible time for the earth. Shortly after leaving the school, he also developed the idea of a plurality of leadership in the local church. He felt that the church should be headed by a group of elders who mutually submit to each other rather than by a single autocratic pastor. This idea was later instituted in his congregation.

Britton became a popular speaker and writer in Latter-Rain circles. Voice of the Overcomer, the literature ministry established even prior to the congregation, regularly distributes numerous tapes, books, and tracts. Britton also initiated a correspondence course and the Park Avenue Christian School, a Bible school for kindergarten through high school. Semiannual national conventions are held in March and October. The church supports missionaries in 10 countries. Since Britton’s death, the family, particularly Britton’s son Philip Britton, and the Voice of the Overcomer staff continued the evangelistic and pastoral work.

Praise Tabernacle in Richlands, North Carolina, was founded in 1978 by Kelley H. Varner (b. 1949), a close associate of the late Bill Britton. Varner is one of the best-educated leaders in the Latter Rain Movement, having several graduate degrees and having been for seven years a Bible school teacher. It was during his years as a teacher that he accepted the truth of the Restoration message, after which he left his teaching position to become pastor of a congregation. Varner has become one of the major advocates of the Latter Rain emphases through his radio ministry and the broad distribution of numerous tapes (many of his radio show) and writings across the United States. He publishes an extensive catalog of tapes and books biannually.

Membership

There are several hundred congregations that have developed out of the Latter-Rain Movement in the United States and Canada, but no census of the membership has been attempted.

Educational Facilities

Overcomer Training Center, Springfield, Missouri.

Periodicals

Good News.

Remarks

The Latter-Rain Movement was opposed almost from the beginning by the Assemblies of God and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. In the 1980s it joined the list of groups attacked by the Christian counter-cult spokespersons and organizations. Of particular concern has been the doctrine of the manifested sons of God. Critics of the Latter-Rain have accused them of teaching that humans who enter into the sonship experience are considered essentially divine themselves, thus obscuring the distinction between creature and Creator, a vital part of orthodox Christian thought. Latter-Rain spokespersons deny any such attempt to assume the role of God, but state that sonship is an actual gaining of the image and likeness of Christ by members of the His church as stated in I Corinthians 15:45–47.

Sources

Bethesda Christian Church. www.bethesdachristian.org/.

Beall, Myrtle. The Plumb Line. Detroit, MI: Latter Rain Evangel, 1951.

Britton Volz, Becky. Prophet on Wheels. 10 vols. Springfield, MO: Bill Britton, n.d.

Gaglardi, B. Maureen. The Path of the Just: The Garments of the High Priest. Kendall/Hunt Publishing, 1989.

Graham, David. The Doctrine of Sonship: A Theological Investigation. Springfield, MO: Bill Britton, n.d.

Grubb, Paul N. The End-Time Revival. Memphis, TN: Voice of Faith Publishing House, n.d.

Hawtin, George R. Pearls of Great Price. Battleford, SK, Canada: Author, n.d.

Hoekstra, Raymond G. The Latter Rain. Portland, OR: Wings of Healing, [1950].

Riss, Richard Michael. A Survey of the Twentieth-Century Revival Movements in North America. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1988.

Truscott, Graham. The Power of His Presence. San Diego, CA: Restoration Temple, 1969.

Varner, K. H. Prevail. Little Rock, AR: Revival Press, 1982.

Warnock, George H. The Feast of Tabernacles. Springfield, MO: Bill Britton, n.d.

International Apostolic Ministries (IAM)

225 N Dover Rd., Dover, FL 33527

International Apostolic Ministries (IAM) is a relational network of churches and ministries who share a common purpose and vision of bringing healing, revival, and reformation to the church and the world. The larger fellowship is anchored in the Revival Outreach Center in Tampa, Florida, and is led by a group primarily led by Apostle Wayne C. Anderson. The organization is administered by a board of directors that includes Kevin Ford, Rich Carey, James Berkley, and Rick Wilson (senior pastor of the Tampa congregation). IAM traces its heritage to the healing ministry of John D. Lake (1870–1935).

IAM affirms that the Bible as God’s Word is verbally inspired by God as written in the original languages, and is the inerrant revelation of God to man. They believe in the Trinity, salvation in Christ, and the empowering of believers by the Holy Spirit. Emphasis is placed on the church as the body of Christ. It is composed of all believers and is responsible for evangelizing the world, and for existing as a corporate body where believers may worship and glorify God. Believers must not forsake assembling together.

IAM sees itself as not another denomination under hierarchical control, but as an extended family empowering local congregations through the “anointing and divinely orchestrated relationships and unified purpose.” It seeks to nurture “spiritual fathers” who will in turn release the people of God to fulfill their destiny. Members believe that the church is founded upon apostles and prophets, and that there is spiritual insight, discipline, and protection when believers relate to the apostles and prophets who are their contemporaries.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 there were 10 congregations and affiliated ministries in the United States.

Sources

International Apostolic Ministries. www.iamtheway.org/.

International Coalition of Apostles

PO Box 63060, Colorado Springs, CO 80962

By the end of the twentieth century, Independent Pentecostal/charismatic ministries that operated out of the five-fold ministry leadership format advocated by the Latter Rain Movement of the 1950s multiplied dramatically. That movement proposed the idea of autonomous local churches that were tied together by the ministry of apostles. Individual apostles and apostolic teams who developed a ministry of founding new congregations and providing mature guidance and leadership for previously organized congregations emerged around the globe.

During the 1990s Peter Wagner (b. 1930), for many years a professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, became aware of the emergence of new apostles and prophets and came to believe them to be the foundation of the church (Eph. 2:20). He also came to feel that God had given him the gift of apostleship, a realization in which others concurred. In 1991 Wagner, his wife Doris Wagner, and Luis Bush had founded Global Harvest Ministries in 1991 to work on the AD2000 movement, a cooperative movement among Evangelicals to emphasize world evangelism in the last decade of the twentieth century. As Wagner’s own role as an apostle came to the fore, Global Harvest Ministries began to emphasize the further development of apostolic leadership.

As the new century began, the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA) was created to provide a structure through which apostles, then working in a number of different independent networks of churches over which they had some oversight, could relate to each other. As the organization coalesced, several purposes for its existence developed, the most important being the sharing of information and insights from one apostolic network to another and the maintaining of high personal character among the apostles and a level of integrity in the operating methods employed in the apostolic networks. Wagner was named as the Presiding Apostles of ICA, and he named John Kelly, Chuck Pierce, and Doris Wagner as his leadership team. ICA meets annually in December.

ICA sees itself as within the mainstream of Protestant Evangelicalism. It affirms the Apostles’Creed (including the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, and the necessity of a saving faith in Jesus Christ) and primary Protestant emphases of the authority of the Scripture, justification by faith alone, and the priesthood of all believers. It is Pentecostal and charismatic regarding the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the manifestation of the gifts of the spirit. It continues the primary focus on world evangelism as articulated through the AD2000 program.

The existence of ICA also led to the foundation of a set of related organizations. Wagner annually convenes the New Apostolic Roundtable as an accountability group for the members of the ICA. A select group of fewer than 25 apostles sits on the Roundtable. Also annually, those apostles who feel the need to build personal relationships with other apostles convene as the Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders. The Apostolic Council for Educational Accountability serves as an accrediting agency for schools that serve the apostolic churches. Finally, the Apostolic Roundtable for Deliverance Ministers (ARDM) provides a meeting ground specifically for those ministers who operate a ministry of deliverance from what is believed to be demon possession and obsession.

Membership in the ICA is limited to apostles, that is to those Christian leaders deemed “gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.” Membership is by invitation following nomination submitted to the ICA office.

Membership

In 2007 the ICA reported 368 apostle members in the United States.

Sources

International Coalition of Apostles. www.apostlesnet.net.

Cannistraci, David, and Peter Wagner. Apostles and the Emerging Apostolic Movement. Ventura, CA: Gospel Light Publications, 1998.

Pierce, Chuck D., and Rebecca Wagner Systema. Receiving the Word of the Lord: Bringing Life to Your Prophetic Word. Colorado Springs, CO: Wagner Publications, 1999.

Wagner, Peter. Apostles and Prophets: The Foundation of the Church. Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 2000.

———. Apostles of the City: How to Mobilize Territorial Apostles for City Transformation. Colorado Springs, CO: Wagner Publications, 2000.

International Evangelical Church (IEC)

13901 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

The International Evangelical Church (IEC) is a fellowship of Pentecostal churches formed in 1964 as the International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association. As originally constituted, the association was a corporation designed to legalize the Italian mission of John McTernan (d. 1974). Very early, McTernan became associated with John Levin Meares (b. 1920), the pastor of an independent Pentecostal church in Washington, D.C. Though still largely a foreign movement, the U.S. branch of the church has become an important structure within the African-American Pentecostal community. The origin of the church in the United States can be traced directly to Meares’s decision in the mid-1950s to establish a ministry within the black community of Washington, D.C. Meares was a promising young minister in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee) and the nephew of the general overseer. He was in the midst of a successful pastorate in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1955, when he decided to resign and go to Washington, D.C., to assist independent evangelist Jack Coe (1918–1956) in a series of revival meetings. He liked the city and decided to stay and build a church, the Revival Center. He also started the Miracle Time radio show. From the beginning, the major response to his ministry was from African Americans. He thus found himself as the white minister of an integrated congregation—in which the majority of members were black—that was affiliated with a white-controlled denomination with prejudicial attitudes about race. He was forced to choose between his ministry and his denomination, resulting in his leaving the Church of God. The congregation grew and, in 1957, settled in an abandoned theater as the National Evangelistic Center.

The center faced a series of problems, which were increased by the tumultuous social changes going on around it. Meares changed the emphasis of his ministry from one of miracles to one of teachings. Several evangelists raided the membership. All of the problems climaxed in the riots following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (1929–1968) in 1968. Almost all of the remaining white members left at this time. While the changes were going on around him, Meares became the vice president of the International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association.

Eventually, in the early 1970s, 300 of the remaining members would regroup and build a $3 million facility. The renewed congregation opened the Evangel Temple in 1975. As the building was being completed, McTernan died and Meares inherited the corporation, which at some point simply became the International Evangelical Church. Since then, the story of the IEC has been the story of its international development and its expansion within the African-American community. Internationally, the IEC began with some Italian churches and then reached out to include a group of Brazilian churches under Bp. Robert McAleister, and churches in Nigeria led by Bp. Benson Idahosa (1938–1998). As of 2008, more than half the congregations associated with the church are in Africa. In 1972 the church joined the World Council of Churches.

In 1982 the church was instrumental in founding a new Pentecostal ecumenical organization: the International Communion of Charismatic Churches. It includes the various branches of the IEC and several other church groups such as the Gospel Harvesters Church, founded by Earl Paulk (b. 1927) in Atlanta, Georgia. That same year, the bishops of the communion, McAleister, Paulk, and Idahosa, consecrated Meares as a bishop.

In the United States, Evangel Temple expanded and a ministry of people ordained by Meares emerged. Other independent Pentecostal congregations affiliated with the church. Through the 1980s, Meares emerged as a leader in a mediating position between the black and white Pentecostal communities, which, for several generations, had gone their separate ways. In 1984 he began the annual Inner-city Pastors’ Conference, which draws together the (primarily African-American) pastors from various churches of the association. Meares has also urged the white Pentecostal church to play a more significant role in the African-American community.

Membership

The IEC has approximately 500 congregations worldwide, more than 400 of which are in Africa. There are approximately 50 in South America, 20 in Italy, 20 in the United States, and one in Jamaica.

Sources

Burgess, Stanley M., and Gary B. McGee, eds. Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements. Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference, 1988.

Evangel Temple’s 30th Anniversary Historical Journal. Washington, DC: Evangel Temple, 1985.

Meares, John L. Bind Us Together. Old Tappan, NJ: Chosen Books, 1987.

———. The Inheritance of Christ in the Saints. Washington, DC: Evangel Temple, 1984.

c/o Bishop Donald Meares, Evangel Cathedral, 13901 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

The International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association is a charismatic fellowship of churches formed in the early 1980s under the leadership of John Levin Meares, pastor of Evangel Temple in Washington, D.C. (now retired). Meares was raised in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the nephew of the general overseer. After serving several Church of God congregations, Meares went to Washington, D.C., in 1955 to begin the Revival Center (soon renamed the National Evangelistic Center), a new Church of God outreach for the city. However, he soon encountered controversy within the Church of God because he had started an unlicensed ministry. This led to the cancellation of his fellowship in May 1956. He continued his independent ministry, however, which emerged in new quarters as Evangel Temple in 1957. Membership of the integrated congregation was approximately two-thirds black.

In the early 1960s Meares became aware of Bethesda Missionary Temple, one of the principle congregations of the Latter Rain movement. From his observation of the life of the temple, he picked up a new emphasis on praise and the gift of prophecy, which he introduced to Evangel Temple. This coincided with the heightened tensions of the civil rights movement, climaxing in the rioting that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King. Most of the temple’s white members withdrew, and Meares emerged in the early 1970s as the white pastor of a largely black church. Membership dropped to several hundred. The church slowly rebuilt, however, and in 1975 moved into new $3 million facilities. In 1991 Evangel Temple relocated to suburban Maryland. Their new facilities house a 2,000-seat sanctuary and their Bible school.

During Meares’s years in Washington, many independent Pentecostal pastors had begun to look to him for leadership and guidance. The International Evangelical Churches and Missionary Association emerged out of that relationship. In 1982 Bps. Benson Idahosa of Nigeria, Robert McAleister of Brazil, and Earl P. Paulk, Jr., of Atlanta, Georgia, all members of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, consecrated Meares a bishop.

Over the years, Meares and Evangel Temple became major voices in the Pentecostal community speaking to the issues of racism. Beginning in 1984, Evangel Temple became the site of an annual national Inner City Pastors’ Conferences, attended primarily, but by no means exclusively, by black Pentecostal pastors from around the United States and Canada. More than 1,000 pastors attended the 1987 conference.

John Meares was succeeded in leadership of the association by his son, Bishop Donald Meares.

Membership

In 2005 Evangel Temple reported 3,000 members.

Educational Facilities

Central Bible School, Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Sources

World Council of Churches: International Evangelical Church. www.oikoumene.org/?id=5372.

Evangel Temple’s Thirtieth Anniversary. Washington, DC: Evangel Temple, 1985.

Haggerty, Steve. “A Spiritual Powerhouse.” Charisma 10, no. 10 (May 1985).

Meares, John. Bind Us Together. Old Tappan, NJ: Chosen Books, 1987.

Meares, John L. The Inheritance of Christ in the Saints. Washington, DC: Evangel Temple, 1984.

International Fellowship of Ministries

18706 North Creek Pky., Ste. 104, Bothell, WA 98011

The International Fellowship of Ministries was founded in the early years of the twentieth century by people associated with the independent Pentecostal evangelist John G. Lake (1870–1935). Originally known as the Ministerial Fellowship of the USA and then the Apostolic Congress, its headquarters were established in Spokane, Washington. Around 1915 it existed as an informal covenant relationship between Lake and several men including Cyrus B. Fockler, Charles W. Westwood, and Archibald Fairley. Lake moved to establish a number of “Apostolic” churches along the West Coast of the United States and in Canada in the first decade after the Pentecostal revival (1906–1908) that had spread from the Azusa Street Mission and before the term Apostolic became associated with the nontrinitarian “Jesus Only” churches. After Lake’s death, the fellowship became a legal entity in 1947 and Lake’s ministry was continued by some of his associates, including Maury Moser (d. 1961) of Spokane, Washington; Olaf I. Borseth (d. 1967) of Chehalis, Washington; Wilford H. Reidt, Lake’s son-in-law; Paul Gering of Spokane, Washington; and Edward H. Curtis of Entiat, Washington.

For Lake, apostolic ministry was equated with “Jesus Christ manifesting and abiding in His church doing the same works through His church that He did while living on the earth in human form.” Apostolic ministry fulfilled the call of John 14:12, and entailed perfecting the church as the bride of Christ for the return of the bridegroom. According to Lake, the church lost its apostolic nature in stages during its first millennium after the apostolic age. The restoration of apostolic ministry began with Martin Luther and the Reformation in the sixteenth century and matured over the centuries; now a full restoration can be expected. The nature of that restored ministry can be seen in the lives of saintly people such as Lake himself, who purportedly was able to heal the sick and cast out demons, lead people to salvation, and manifest “the very nature and character of Christ.” The restoration of the apostolic church also means the arrival of apostolic and prophetic ministries that work to found and nurture New Testament churches as centers for equipping and releasing ministries. Ideally, these churches will be the sight for making disciples and establishing indigenous leadership. The teams will oversee the new congregations until they able to operate autonomously, but a long-term “fatherly” relationship between congregation and apostolic leadership will continue.

The statement of faith places the fellowship in the mainline trinitarian Evangelical tradition, with few “sectarian” particulars emphasized. The authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God is affirmed, as is the necessity of baptism for believers. However, the fellowship’s nature as an Apostolic Pentecostal Restorationist association is not specifically mentioned. The fellowship licenses and ordains ministers (according to the fivefold pattern mentioned in Eph. 4:11) and attempts to accredit independent ministers. It also attempts to impart spiritual gifts and acknowledge the ministries of individuals through the laying on of hands by the fellowship’s presbyters (elders).

The fellowship is led by a board of trustees that includes its current (2008) president, Joe McIntyre. The presidency had been previously held by Moser, Olaf Borseth, Wilford H. Reidt (d. 1987), Clifford Rice, Richard O. Tedeschi, and Wayne C. Anderson. McIntyre was elected in 1998. McIntyre is the founder of Word of His Grace Fellowship in Kirkland, Washington. He was personally inspired by the ministry of E. W. Kenyon (1867–1948), and in 2008 was also the president of the Gospel Publishing Society in Lynnwood, Washington, which keeps Kenyon’s writings in publication.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

International Fellowship of Ministries. www.ifm7.org/.

Lake, John G. The John G. Lake Sermons on Dominion over Demons, Disease and Death. Ed. Gordon Lindsey. Dallas: Christ for the Nations,1949.

McIntyre, Joe. E. W. Kenyon and His Message of Faith, the True Story. Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, 1997.

Life Links International Fellowship of Churches

c/o Antioch Foundation, 287 Prestwick Landing SE, Calgary, AB, Canada T2Z 3W2

Alternate Address

c/o New Life Christian Church, 20394 San Miguel Ave., Castro Valley, CA 94546.

Life Links International Fellowship of Churches is a Pentecostal charismatic association of churches and ministries founded in 1978 at Medicine Hat, Alberta, in response to a need for an organization to assist independent congregations and encourage them in their work. Representatives of three different Christian movements gathered for a conference that had as its goal the forming of an alliance to support their continued operations. Conference participants had roots in the restoration movement that had grown out of the Latter Rain movement in the American and Canadian West; the New Testament movement in Waco, Texas; and the Jesus People movement in western Canada and the northwestern United States. These groups had ties to Keith Hazell, who had offered his leadership and insights to all three groups and was recognized for his apostolic leadership. He is recognized as the founder and senior presbyter of the Life Links Fellowship, which sees itself as a family of believers who developed a strong personal relationship and commitment to one another.

The conference at which the fellowship was first constituted became an annual leadership gathering of the Life Links Family. In addition, there is an annual (in August) family camp in Hungry Horse, Montana, and an annual mission conference. A geographically extended fellowship was created as the primary leaders in the fellowship traveled extensively across and outside of North America.

The fellowship is a trinitarian Pentecostal church. It affirms the Bible as the infallible Word of God, salvation in Christ, the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the biblical evidence of speaking inr tongues and other gifts of the spirit, divine healing, and the obligation of evangelism for all Christians. The church practices the laying on of hands and believes that when it is accompanied by appropriate prayer and prophecy by the presbytery, spiritual gifts and ministries are imparted or confirmed in believers. Church members also expect guidance and continued revelation from their participation in the life of the spirit.

The church’s organization is based the fivefold ministry of Eph. 6:11 and includes apostles, evangelists, prophets, teachers, and pastors. Apostles have the main task of overseeing the church at a transcongregational level. Further, the fellowship has developed a five-member presbytery. As a basis of leadership, Life Links has what is described as a presbytery to provide guidance to the congregations in the church family. This presbytery includes Keith Hazell, the senior presbyter, whose ministry takes him to Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and other nations; David Wells, who gives apostolic oversight to many in the prairie region of Canada and in Ireland, Central America, and the Philippines; Hugh Laybourn, who provides apostolic leadership in the borderlands area of the northwest United States; and Dennis McNally, who provides guidance for affiliates ministries in Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Mexico.

Membership

There are 24 affiliated churches in the United States, 20 in Canada, and four in Mexico.

Educational Facilities

Antioch Foundation, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Sources

Life Links International Fellowship of Churches. www.lifelinks.org/.

The Living Word Fellowship

PO Box 3429, Iowa City, IA 52247-3429

Previously known as Church of the Living Word, the Living Word Fellowship represents an association of independently incorporated and operated churches that follow a New Testament Church pattern and that seek the common leading of an authoritative word from God for this day.

The fellowship traces its origins to the ministry of John Robert Stevens (1919–1983). Born in Nevada, Iowa, in 1919, he started his first church at age 14. He spent several years traveling cross-country as a boy evangelist and held tent meetings throughout the Midwest. Ordained at age 18 by Dr. A. W. Courtcamp (pastor of the Moline Gospel Temple in Moline, Iowa), Stevens developed at a young age a sensitivity to what God was doing in the various denominational churches and freelance movements. With roots in the Pentecostal and Foursquare Gospel movements, he was influenced by the teachings of ministers such as Billy Sunday, Ruth Paxton, Paul Rader, Smith Wigglesworth, and Aimee Semple McPherson.

In 1949, while pastor of the Lynwood Assemblies of God in Lynwood, California, Stevens began to receive an unfolding revelation of a new step into an age of spirit. As a result of his interest and involvement with the new Latter Rain Revival, he was defrocked in March 1951.

The beliefs of the Latter Rain movement are similar to those of traditional Pentecostals, as represented by the Assemblies of God, differing more in emphasis than in doctrine. Those who became a part of the movement firmly believed that they were living at the end of time, when God was giving new knowledge and gifts to restore the church to what it should be in the last days. Among the first things to be restored was the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4:11; the church is headed by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Stephens is considered to be an apostle and a prophet. Especially coming to the fore during the last days was the gift of prophecy (Acts 2). The Latter Rain and the Church of the Living Word have emphasized this role to bring forth the word of God in particular situations.

Members believe God is rejecting Babylon and denominational Christianity, and restoring the Divine Order among his chosen last-day remnant. Leadership will be exercised by his instruments. It is the duty of Christians to submit to that order. As the Church of the Living Word moved into the New Divine Order, it developed a variety of ideas that have separated it from other Pentecostal groups. One such idea is termed “aggressive appropriation.” Prayer, according to the church, is part of God’s system of self-imposed limitation. God works through human beings who are consecrated to him, and who actively and aggressively appropriate God’s promises and blessings. This appropriation will lead them above and beyond the Apostles and the Bible into “greater works” mentioned in John 14:12.

Stevens’s congregation reassembled, and by June of 1951 had formed the basis of Grace Chapel of Southgate, California; it eventually grew into an entire fellowship of like-minded ministries and churches. In 1953 Stevens established the Grace Chapel of Honolulu; in 1965, the Church of the Living Word in Sepulveda, California; in 1973, the Church of His Holy Presence in Anaheim, California; and in 1974 work began on Shiloh, a retreat center near Kalona, Iowa.

Stevens resisted the pressure to label the growing movement; however, because he taught that it was God’s will for each Christian to have a personal knowledge of the Lord and a walk with God, the fellowship of churches was informally referred to as “This Walk” or “The Walk.” It later became known as the Living Word Fellowship, which consists of churches that are affiliated only by their spiritual connection to and their recognition of the apostolic authority of John Robert Stevens and the ministering authority of others. Besides the emphasis on the Word and church order, the fellowship also strongly emphasizes deep worship, the development and maintenance of family relationships leading to a strong sense of church community, and a devotional lifestyle of prayer and waiting on God.

Prior to his death in 1983, Stevens passed the mantle of this ministry to his wife, Marilyn, and to Gary Hargrave, who had been the primary overseer of the Southern California churches and the church-wide communities in the years preceding Stevens’s death.

The Living Word publishes recordings of messages by Gary Hargrave and others in the fellowship, and maintains a library of more than 7,000 sermons by John Robert Stevens.

Membership

In 2008 the fellowship reported 8 congregations in the United States, plus one each in Brazil, Canada, and Mexico.

Periodicals

This Week. The Living Word, PO Box 958, North Hollywood, CA 91603.

Remarks

As the Church of the Living Word developed under the ministry of prophecy, many critics have complained that it has strayed into occultic practices and doctrines that have denied basic Christian affirmations.

Sources

The Living Word Fellowship. www.thelivingword.org.

It Shall Be Called Shiloh. North Hollywood, CA: Living Word Publications, 1975. Stevens, John Robert. Baptized in Fire. North Hollywood, CA: Living Word Publications, 1977.

———. Living Prophecies. North Hollywood, CA: Living Word Publications, 1974.

———. The Lordship of Jesus Christ. North Hollywood, CA: Living Word Publications, 1969.

———. Present Priorities. North Hollywood, CA: Living Word Publications, 1968.

Ministers Fellowship International (MFI)

9200 NE Fremont, Portland, OR 97220

Ministers Fellowship International (MFI) was created in 1987 as an association of independent ministers and churches who have their roots in the Latter Rain revival that swept through the larger Pentecostal movement beginning in 1948. Among the most important churches of that revival was the Bible Temple (now City Bible Church) of Portland, Oregon, pastored by Dick Iverson. Iverson took the lead in forming MFI.

MFI emphasizes its role as a fellowship of otherwise independent and autonomous churches. It reserves to the local churches the rights of providing credentials for ministers and ministries, owning church properties, operating Bible schools, and building a mission program. MFI has established a context within which ministers who share a similar perspective may come together; minister to each other; and find accountability, relationship, and resources; and it provides a structure through which localized congregations can find a national and international identity. MFI asserts no official or legal control over any pastor or church.

The fellowship also provides apostolic assistance, that is, the guidance and leadership of mature leaders who have assumed responsibility for building and developing churches other than their own worship communities. This apostolic leadership (which replaces the structures provided by other denominations) is an outgrowth of the attempt to reestablish the fivefold ministry of Eph. 4:11.

From the Latter Rain movement, the MFI inherited a number of beliefs that distinguish it from other Pentecostal bodies. It believes that the pattern for worship should be derived from the Davidic order described in the Psalms, which is characterized by clapping, shouting, singing, dancing, lifting one’s hands, bowing, and kneeling. It believes in the exercise of prophetic gifts with the guidance of the church. Members believe that the church experienced significant decline in the Middle Ages and is in the process of being restored to its former power and glory (the churches of the MFI are sometimes referred to as “restoration churches”).

MFI is directed by an Apostolic Leadership Team consisting of its officers, the regional directors, and other apostolic and prophetic ministries. The team is responsible for establishing the fellowship’s vision and for giving it direction, maintaining its doctrinal purity, and selecting and appointing regional directors, both nationally and internationally. The Apostolic Leadership Team has appointed an International Strategy Team to oversee international development.

Dick Iverson is the founder and chairman of Ministers Fellowship International. In 1995 he retired as pastor of City Bible Church to devote himself full-time to MFI. Frank Damazio, who succeeded Iverson as pastor of City Bible Church, is the vice president of MFI. In 2008 10 regions had been designated across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Membership

Not reported. MFI affiliates have been formally established in Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and Uganda.

Periodicals

Perspectives.

Sources

Ministers Fellowship International. www.mfi-online.org/.

Miracles Ministries Fellowship (MMF)

c/o Don Walker Outreach Ministries, PO Box 21, Griffin, GA 30224

Miracles Ministries Fellowship (MMF), founded in 1973, is an outgrowth of Don Walker Outreach Ministries. The latter is the vehicle of independent Pentecostal evangelist Don Walker. Walker travels the United States holding crusades and revival meetings with an emphasis upon the Pentecostal perspective and miracles of healing. His Internet site presents testimonies of healings and other miraculous happenings that have occurred during his ministry. While conducting his ministry, Walker encountered ministers and churches that wished to join in fellowship (and to have corporate status with the government) but did not want to affiliate with one of the older Pentecostal denominations. In some cases, ministers lack the minimal educational requirements to become denominational pastors.

Therefore, in 1973 Walker incorporated MMF. The fellowship offers charters from Pentecostal churches and ministries, and ordination and licensing for ministers. Walker does not conceive of the MMF as a denomination; instead, it provides its members many of the rights and privileges of denominational churches, while granting them the freedom to function as independent entities. MMF is an inclusive fellowship that recognizes all people in the spirit of Gal. 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Walker offers supporters of his ministry a Bible study correspondence course.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Miracles Ministries Fellowship. www.miraclestoday.org/mmf.htm.

MorningStar Ministries

375 Star Light Dr., Fort Mill, SC 29715

MorningStar Ministries is an international Charismatic work started in 1985 by Rick Joyner and his wife, Julie. MorningStar involves many facets of Christian ministry, including running major conferences, a school of ministry, and a fellowship of churches. It serves as a base for apostolic and prophetic councils, bringing together some of the major leaders in the Charismatic Christian world. MorningStar also publishes books and a journal and runs the Zao Life Project, a relief effort in Africa to establish safe water supplies and teach basic hygiene. In 2004 MorningStar purchased the former Heritage USA site, once home to the PTL Club run by Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Rick Joyner converted to Christianity in the 1970s. He is the author of The Harvest and The Final Quest, describing his alleged visitations to heaven. Since 1991 Joyner has released prophetic bulletins as part of what he regards as a prophetic calling in his life. The bulletins deal with issues particular to the Christian tradition and also to general trends in both the United States and the world.

In 2004 Joyner, along with Charismatic leaders Mike Bickle and Jack Deere, announced the public discipline of Charismatic prophet Paul Cain because of alcoholism and homosexual practices. Cain had become the most famous of the prophets connected with Mike Bickle’s Kansas City Fellowship and John Wimber’s Association of Vineyard Ministries.

In 2008 Joyner announced his approval of the Florida Outpouring, a controversial revival based in Lakeland and connected with Canadian evangelist Todd Bentley.

Membership

In 2008 MorningStar Ministries reported five congregations in South Carolina.

Periodicals

MorningStar Journal.

Sources

MorningStar Ministries. www.morningstarministries.org/.

Joyner, Rick. The Apostolic Ministry. Fort Mill, SC: MorningStar Fellowship Church, 2006.

———. The Final Quest. Fort Mill, SC: Morningstar Publications, 2006.

———. The Harvest. Forth Mill, SC: Morningstar Publications, 1989.

Network of Kingdom Churches

4650 Flat Shoals Rd., Decatur, GA 30034-5095

The Network of Kingdom Churches was founded in 1961 as the Gospel Harvesters Evangelistic Association in Atlanta, Georgia, by Earl P. Paulk Jr. (b. 1927) and Harry A. Mushegan, both former ministers in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee). Mushegan is a cousin of Demos Shakarian (1913–1993), founder of the Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International, while Paulk’s father had been the general overseer of the Church of God. Each man began a congregation in Atlanta. The Gospel Harvester Tabernacle, founded by Paulk, moved to Decatur, an Atlanta suburb, and became known as Chapel Hill Harvester Church. The Gospel Harvester Chapel, begun by Mushegan, became known as Gospel Harvester Church; at the time of the church’s move to Marietta, Georgia, in 1984, the name changed again to Gospel Harvester Church World Outreach Center. To traditional Pentecostal themes, inherited from the Church of God, the Gospel Harvesters have added an emphasis upon the message of the end-time kingdom of God. According to Paulk, creation has been aiming at a time when God will raise up a spiritually mature generation who will be led by the Spirit of God speaking through his prophets. Given a clear direction from God, that generation, represented by the members of the Network of Kingdom Churches and others of like spirit, will overcome many structures in society opposed to God’s will.

The congregations in the network developed a variety of structures to make the kingdom visible. The churches have supported Alpha, a youth ministry; House of New Life, for unwed mothers (an alternative to abortion); a drug ministry; a ministry to the gay and lesbian community; and the K-Center, a communications center.

The government of the network is presbyterial, though the two senior founders have been designated bishops. They are members of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, formerly the World Communion of Pentecostal Churches, that includes congregations in Brazil, Nigeria, and Jamaica. Bp. John Levin Meares (b. 1920), pastor of the Evangel Temple in Washington, D.C., and head of the International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association, is also part of the communion.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

The Fire • Harvest Time

Remarks

In 1985 Bishop Paulk became the object of attack by popular (non-Pentecostal) evangelical writer, Dave Hunt. Hunt labeled Paulk as one of a number of “seductive forces within the contemporary church.” Paulk was included along with a number of popular pentecostal leaders including Oral Roberts (b. 1918), Kenneth Hagin (1917–2003), Kenneth Copeland (b. 1936), and Fred Price (b. 1932). Hunt, one of several who have attacked Paulk’s kingdom message, was quickly answered by Pentecostal leaders, who came to Paulk’s defense.

Sources

Mushegan, Harry A. Water Baptism. Atlanta: Gospel Harvester Church and World Outreach Center, n.d.

Paulk, Earl. Satan Unmasked. Atlanta, GA: K-Dimension Publications, 1984.

———. Ultimate Kingdom. Atlanta: K-Dimension Publications, 1984.

New Covenant Churches of Maryland

804 Windsor Rd., Arnold, MD 21012

The New Covenant Churches of Maryland is a fellowship of churches that emerged in the mid-1970s. The fellowship was originally centered upon the New Life Christian Center in Arnold, Maryland. The best known of the leaders of New Life Christian Center was Robert Wright, a retired naval officer and director of the center. He was instrumental in building the early association which, by 1977, included five congregations. He assumed the office of apostle (senior presbyter) for the affiliated churches and engaged in a ministry of founding new churches and strengthening local churches who have joined the fellowship.

The New Covenant Church accepts the basic Pentecostal perspective, including the contemporary operation of the charismatic gifts (1 Cor. 12). Further, although they accept the main body of doctrine agreed upon by other Trinitarian Pentecostal churches, the New Covenant Churches are among those groups that believe in restoring the fivefold ministry of apostle, prophet, pastor, evangelist, and teacher according to Eph. 4:11 this emphasis that grew out of the Latter Rain Revival in the late 1940s.

The New Covenant Churches were active in the development of Christian parochial schools. In 1983 their schools were removed from the Maryland branch of the American Association of Christian Schools, an organization representing conservative evangelical church schools headed by fundamentalist leaders, as a rejection of the Pentecostal doctrine of the supporting churches. This ruling was later accepted by the national organization. In reaction, Wright led in the formation of a National Federation of Church Schools.

In 2008 the Church in Arnold, Maryland, existed as an independent congregation that supports the Arnold Christian Academy, the original school founded by the former New Covenant Churches of Maryland. The National Federation of Church Schools had been assumed by the Association of Christian Schools International, based in Colorado City, Colorado.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Koinonia.

Sources

New Covenant Churches of Maryland. www.newcovenantch.org.

Arnold Christian Academy. www.arnoldchristianacademy.org/links.htm.

Wright, Robert. “Key Questions Concerning Apostles.” People of Destiny Magazine 2, no. 1 (January/February 1984).

New Covenant Ministries International

1920 Brea Canyon Cutoff Rd., Walnut, CA 91789

New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI) is a trans-local ministry team consisting of people who have demonstrated an ability to found and nurture local congregations and to mobilize believers to work for the building of the kingdom of God. Over the years a number of local congregations have become associated with NVMI, which now exists as an international network of autonomous churches that voluntarily cooperate with the work. These churches agree that the apostolic team is an expression of Christian activity with which they wish to be associated.

NCMI began in South Africa in the early 1980s with small informal gatherings headed by Dudley Daniel and other local pastors. They began to share their ministries with each other, and word of their successful cooperative work spread. Other churches across South Africa invited them to share their vision for the building of the Kingdom by training leadership, by encouraging and training individuals for church planting, and by providing opportunities to participate in short- or long-term church planting projects. This vision of growth was built on a base of strong and healthy, eldership-led local churches.

In January 1990, with 70 church pastors having related positively to the vision, Daniel and his wife, Ann, moved to Adelaide, Australia, where a church growth resource center was established. During the 1990s the work grew steadily on an international level. By 2001 the network included ministers, churches, and individuals from more than 80 countries. The Daniels moved to Los Angeles, California, to contribute to equipping churches in the United States; they then returned to Australia. In 2004 Tyrone Daniel, who is based in Adelaide, took over leadership of NCMI.

To facilitate the work, an International Theological Correspondence Course was created. In addition, NCMI holds at least one Church Planters Training course annually.

NCMI is committed to the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11. Daniel as apostolic leader is supported by a team of leaders (scattered around the world) who have demonstrated various gifts as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and who constitute the NCMI team. Most team members are pastors of a local church that releases them periodically for ministry in some other part of the world. A few, like Daniel, function full-time in the trans-local ministry.

Although NCMI does not impose a creed on the people with whom it networks, it generally works out of a mainline Pentecostal perspective that includes an affirmation of the authority of the Bible, the Trinity, the Lordship of Christ, the necessity of salvation, and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit empowers the church and is manifest in the gifts of the Spirit that operate in the church. Christians are called to a life of holiness. There is a particular recognition of the various ministries or ministers Christ left to the church to bring believers to maturity in the truth and the performance of ministry (Ephesians 4:11; Romans 12:4–8 and 1 Corinthians 12:10 ff.). The church believes in the healing of the sick that occurs in the name of Jesus Christ.

Membership

Not a membership organization. In 2008 NCMI reported offices in Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Sources

New Covenant Ministries International. www.ncmi.net/.

Newfrontiers

c/o John Lanferman, Newfrontiers USA, St. Louis, MO

Alternate Address

Newfrontiers, 21 Clarendon Villas, Howe, East Sussex BN3 3RE, U.K.

Newfrontiers is a five-fold ministry Evangelical fellowship that began in Sussex, England, in the late 1970s. Crucial to its development has been Terry Virgo of Church of Christ the King, Brighton, Sussex, England. In 1978, Terry and a small group of believers joined with others who had been affected by the charismatic revival of the decade in forming what they saw as a radical New Testament church, which they called the Brighton and Hove Christian Fellowship. They were soon joined by Dave Holden and Dave Fellingham. They were inspired by prophecies they received that the small work would grow into a large tree with many branches. Virgo emerged as a popular Bible teacher, who began to travel widely in the United Kingdom and then overseas. The group began an annual Bible conference held at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, England—the Stoneleigh International Bible Week—and presently puts on the international leadership training events Together on a Mission and Mobilise.

Newfrontiers is a conservative, reformed Bible-oriented Evangelical fellowship that includes an emphasis on the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11 that stresses the leadership provided by apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Newfrontiers has a vision to be strong in both Word and Spirit and to plant churches where each member participates, the gifts of the Spirit are worked out, where there is joy in caring one for the other, and where there is a desire to make a difference in society and to reach those in need. Newfrontiers aims to achieve this by restoring the church, making disciples, training leaders, starting churches, and reaching the nations. These goals have been manifest in its holding of Bible and leadership conferences, publication of study materials, and sending out of teams to develop new congregations.

Local congregations are autonomous, being led by the local eldership, but receive guidance and direction from a team that includes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. The guidance of this team is never to be imposed on a local church; rather, it should be readily embraced as a relationship develops. The goal is to develop a team of leaders for every nation, and as of 2008 there are teams operating in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The leaders of these regions meet quarterly in the United Kingdom for prayer, training, and discussion.

Membership

Newfrontiers reports nearly 600 congregations in more than 40 nations around the world.

Sources

Newfrontiers. www.newfrontiers.xtn.org/.

Kendall, R. T., and Terry Virgo. God’s Grace. London: SPCK, 2000.

Virgo, Terry. Restoration of the Church. Lottbridge Drove, Eastbourne, U.K.: Kingsway Communications, 1985.

———. Explaining Reigning in Life. Ellel, Lancaster, U.K.: Sovereign World, 2000.

———. Enjoying God’s Grace. Saint Louis, MO: Newfrontiers USA Publications, 2008.

———. No Well-Worn Paths. Saint Louis, MO: Newfrontiers USA Publications, 2008.

Pentecostal Faith Assemblies

PO Box 6054, Moore, OK 73153

Pentecostal Faith Assemblies was founded in 2001 when independent ministers and churches came together to form an association that would serve as a vehicle for mutual recognition, mutual accountability, and mutual support. The new fellowship would also become an agency to facilitate evangelism worldwide. Though it emerged as a viable organization only in 2001, the Assemblies had its origin in a prophetic vision shared by two Pentecostal ministers in 1989. As recorded from a pastor’s meeting in Red Rock, Oklahoma, a woman described as an anointed prophet told her colleague, “I don’t know why God is having me share this with you, but I had a vision and in this vision I could see the United States from coast to coast. The whole land lay in darkness. Suddenly, a lighthouse began to emerge from the gloom in Oklahoma. Wherever the light from this lighthouse was shed abroad, other lighthouses began to spring up. And then where they shed their light, still others popped up and they began to spread north, south, east, and west until the whole land was covered in light from sea to sea.”

From this vision, a formal corporation was formed for the Pentecostal Faith Assemblies in 1993, and the corporation was in place when the ministers finally organized in 2001.

The Pentecostal Faith Assemblies have a doctrinal position very similar to that of the Assemblies of God. It accepts the scriptures as the infallible Word of God. Believers are taught to ardently expect and earnestly seek the baptism in the Holy Spirit that comes with empowerment for the work of ministry and is witnessed by the sign of speaking in tongues. The gifts of the spirit (1 Cor.) are seen as a normal part of the Christian life.

The Pentecostal Faith Assemblies is led by its bishop, Rev. Jack Howell, who also serves as the director of Revealed Truth Ministries in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the Assemblies’ state presbyter for Oklahoma (the only state with a state presbyter). He is assisted by an advisory council. The organization has sought alignment with other independent Pentecostal ministers and churches.

Membership

Not reported. Affiliated ministers are founded in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Georgia, and North Carolina.

Sources

Pentecostal Faith Assemblies. sjackson4.homestead.com.

Reformers Ministries International (RMI)

c/o Ecclesia Word Ministries International, PO Box 743, Bronx, NY 10462

Alternate Address

Ecclesia Church International, 1638 Bronxdale Ave., Bronx, NY 10462.

Reformers Ministries International is a fellowship of Pentecostal/charismatic churches that exists as an apostolic network of churches, ministries, and ministers around the world. Within the Reformers Ministries International are two distinct groups, Reformers Ministries International Network and Reformers Ministries International Church Fellowship. The RMI Network includes those participants who share two or more denominational affiliations and is primarily fraternal in nature.

The RMI Church Fellowship consists of those independent churches under the apostolic and ecclesiastical leadership of Reformers Ministries International that hold no other denominational affiliation. The church fellowship includes an oversight structure with regional apostolic overseers who are appointed by the governing apostolic teams in their respective geographical regions. Both the network and the church fellowship provide some level of accountability and apostolic covering to churches and their leaders and ministries.

Leading Reformer Ministries International is an apostolic team whose task is seen as establishing the vision of and giving guidance to the organization’s ministers; maintaining doctrinal purity; raising up additional ministers; setting membership standards; and approving national and regional leadership. The apostolic team is led by Apostle (Dr.) John Tetsola, pastor of Ecclesia Church International in the Bronx, New York. Tetsola was born in Warri, Nigeria, and now serves as the president of the International Bible Training Center and chairman/founder of Reformers Ministries International.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

International Bible Training Center.

Periodicals

The Reformer.

Sources

Reformers Ministries International. www.reformersministries.org/.

Tetsola, John. Developing Spiritual Accuracy and Pinpointing. Bronx, NY: End Time Wave Publications, n.d.

———. Schooling for Ruling. Bronx, NY: End Time Wave Publications, 1998.

Resurrection Church and Ministries (RCM)

Current address not obtained for this edition.

Resurrection Church and Ministries (RCM) grew out of the ministry of John Kelly, a charismatic evangelist. In the early 1980s he came to question the scriptural nature of his own successful work. One day while in a period of quiet prayer, he is said to have received a message from the Holy Spirit, which, he believed, directed him to “go and wash the feet of the young men who will become the patriarchs of the end-time move of my spirit.” Based upon this new calling, he reoriented his ministry to developing a nurturing network of ministers and ministries according to the New Testament pattern of local churches with a global vision. Kelly saw God’s provision of the vision as the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. Kelly now functions as an apostle of the local churches that make up the RCM fellowship.

When the RCM was formally established, it united churches in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Michigan. In the next decade churches in Delaware, South Carolina, Florida, and Illinois were added. Foreign congregations exist in Haiti, Belize, England, and Russia. The headquarters in South Carolina was established in 1987. RCM sponsors Team World Outreach, which allows local congregations to send short-term missions in various foreign and domestic mission fields. RCM’s apostolic teams are composed of church leaders who move into a given country to strengthen local congregations.

Membership

Not reported.

Periodicals

Covenant Communique.

Sources

Resurrected Church Ministries. resurrectedchurchministries.net

Revival Fellowship International

PO Box 1007, Beaufort, SC 29901

The Revival Fellowship International was founded in 1995 by John Polis. A few years before, the Light of Life Network of Churches, a Pentecostal/charismatic fellowship, had grown out of the apostolic ministry of Polis and his wife Rebecca Polis, who were based in the Light of Life Outreach Center located in Fairmont, West Virginia. In 1980 the Polises were pastors of a church in Fairmont, and three years later, the church became the World Outreach Center and subsequently developed an expansive evangelism program that included a broadcast ministry and efforts at church planting. The emergence of other churches in the state led to the founding of the Light of Life network.

More recently, a congregation was formed in Asheville, North Carolina, where the Polis family lives. To further the church-planting endeavor, leaders from other established ministries have come together on the fellowship’s board of trustees.

The network adheres to a basic Pentecostal doctrine, and follows the basic fivefold ministry ideal set out in Eph. 4:11.

The missionary outreach of the network includes the establishment of a Bible college in Eldoret, Kenya.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

Revival Fellowship International. www.rfiusa.org.

SHEM Ministries International

25016 Maple Valley Hwy., Maple Valley, WA 98038

SHEM Ministries (Servant House Evangelistic Ministries), an outgrowth of Servant House Fellowship, was founded in 1996 by Glenn Smith, a Pentecostal minister. Smith attended Portland Bible College, Sterling Academy, and received his Doctorate of Theology from St. John’s University in Acre, Israel. He worked closely with the ministry of Vickie Walber at Ministries of the Living Stones in Anchorage, Alaska. SHEM Ministries International, a prophetic and apostolic ministry, began in Anchorage in 1990. In March 1993 Smith moved to Renton, Washington, and established a new congregation and an associated television ministry. His ministry attracted the attention of a variety of independent ministers who came to appreciate his work and his call for unity in the church. He produced and distributed a variety of books, tapes, and videos.

His ministry also brought him in contact with a number of people who were doing the work of a minister but had never asked for nor been offered ordination. After several ministers requested ordination, an ordination council for SHEM Ministries International was formed and the first ordinations occurred. The council grew into SHEM Ministerial Fellowship out of the additional desire that the ministers associated with SHEM be able to draw on the strengths of their colleagues and share their talents and experience where needed.

Membership

Not reported.

Sources

SHEM Ministries International. www.shem.net.

Sovereign Grace Ministries

7505 Muncaster Mill Rd., Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Sovereign Grace Ministries, formerly known as People of Destiny International (PDI), is a fellowship under the direction of an apostolic team given to the planting and rebuilding of local churches and the proclamation of Christian teachings through churches, conferences, leadership training, worship and teaching tapes, books, and a magazine.

HISTORY

Larry Tomczak committed his life to Christ and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the early 1970s. Initially, he was active within the Roman Catholic phase of the Charismatic Movement as an evangelist and author. Tomczak and C. J. Mahaney, who later led the PDI apostolic team, led a weekly teaching ministry called TAG (Take and Give) in Washington, D.C. in the late 1970s. As they studied the book of Acts, Tomczak and Mahaney began to see that members of the Church universal (those people who have become genuine followers of Christ and have personally appropriated the Gospel) are called to be a vital and committed part of a local church. In this context they are called to live out the New Covenant as the people of God and demonstrate the reality of the kingdom of God. They further came to believe that the ascended Christ had given gift ministries to the church (Ephesians 4:11—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) for the equipping of Christ’s body that it might mature and grow. Through the gift ministries, all members of the Church are to be nurtured and equipped for the work of ministry. In the context of the local church, God’s people receive pastoral care and leadership and the opportunity to employ their God-given gifts in his service, in relation to one another and to the world.

Tomczak and Mahaney were influenced by British apostles Arthur Wallis, author of The Radical Christian (1981), Bryn Jones, and Terry Virgo. Jones and Virgo led apostolic teams in Great Britain that provided oversight to churches in Wales, South Africa, and other countries.

In 1978 Tomczak and Mahaney established what is now called Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. In 1981 they sent out their first church-planting team and organized a team to function as apostles to help lay foundations in the church (Ephesians 2:20). In the mid-1980s Tomczak and Mahaney founded People of Destiny International to provide resources and training for church growth and care. Each apostle was a man of proven character and ministry commissioned by his local church for the work of an apostle, establishing churches and offering oversight to them through leadership training. New churches were usually founded by church-planting teams sent out from established churches. (In some rare cases PDI “adopted” an already established church with a history of relationship to one of the apostles and that sought to become a People of Destiny team-related church.) Apostles were seen as builders and servants, giving general care and oversight to the various churches. Prophets were people with a special gift from God to speak his word creatively and immediately to the church, consistent with the written Word of God. In PDI, the apostolic and prophetic offices were exercised with an emphasis on relationship rather than organization. The senior pastor of each church was personally overseen by one of the four apostles of the apostolic team. Pastors were cared for and trained as friends and fellow servants in the Lord.

Citing a disagreement over the theological shift toward Calvinism, Tomczak left PDI in 1998. Several years later, PDI openly recognized the doctrinal developments by changing its name to Sovereign Grace Ministries, and Mahaney emerged as the group’s primary leader.

Membership

In 2008 the Ministries reported 67 affiliated congregations in the United States, two congregations in Canada, and additional affiliated congregation in England, Germany, Ethiopia

Educational Facilities

Pastors College

Sources

Sovereign Grace Ministries. www.sovereigngraceministries.org/.

Tomczak, Larry. Clap Your Hands. Plainfield, NJ: Logos International, 1973.

——. Divine Appointments. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1986.

United Gospel Fellowship Covenant Ministries

2400 Murchison Rd., Fayetteville, NC 28302

United Gospel Fellowship Covenant Ministries grew out of the early ministry of Bishop J. Venturnio Porter and his wife, Elder Nora Yarbrough Porter. In the 1970s, Bishop Porter had founded and pastored the United Gospel Fellowship in Frankfurt, Germany, a congregation that ministered primarily to Americans in the armed services. In 1980 he returned to the United States and founded Christ Cathedral in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Among the first members were some former members of the German congregation, now stationed at nearby Fort Bragg. The first services of the Cathedral were, in fact, held at Hammond Hills Chapel at Fort Bragg.

After facilities were secured in Fayetteville, Porter developed a ministry expressed in his building a distinctly different church in multiple locations in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He wanted to create a ministry known for its excellence so that it would inspire excellence in others, and one that would share the “Word of Faith” and the associated principles of abundance. He also wanted to utilize the opportunities provide by television and other mass media to share the gospel.

The fellowship is a pentecostal in faith and professes belief in the authority of the bible as the inerrant and infallible word of God and faith in the triune deity. It believes in the baptism of the Holy Spirit evidenced in speaking in tongues and the associated gifts and fruits of the Spirit. The church also teaches the Word of Faith perspective, which holds that God will honor the prayer of faith out of his abundance.

Over the years additional churches have been founded in neighboring states. They serve primarily African Americans. The fellowship sponsors Christ Village Resort and Conference Center, which it makes available as a tobacco-free, alcohol-free site for various Christian-oriented events.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 there were eight churches in the fellowship located in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Sources

United Gospel Fellowship Covenant Ministries. www.christcathedralchurch.org/UGFCM.html.

Vision International Ministerial Association

PO Box 744, Jupiter, FL 33468

Vision International Ministerial Association is a fellowship of Pentecostal-charismatic ministers headed by Steven Lambert (b. 1948), who was himself ordained as a minister in 1977. Lambert has founded and served as a pastor in several churches in Florida. He now leads the association’s governing apostolic presbytery, which also includes Stan DeKoven, the president of Vision International University in Ramona, California; George Runyan, the director of the San Diego Church Network in California; and John Delgado, the president of Joint Heirs Ministries Inc. in Irving, Texas.

Vision International holds to mainline Pentecostal beliefs in the authority of the Bible as the infallible Word of God, the Trinity, and salvation in Jesus Christ. It also affirms the availability of the baptism in the Holy Spirit, initially evidenced by supernatural “unknown tongues,” to all believers who ask for it.

The organization aims to cultivate close personal and professional relationships among the minister members, while providing for a form of accountability, with respect to conduct, that avoids any form of ascendancy and subjugation. It also supplies independent ministers with a means of identifying members’talents and abilities and matching them to possible openings for their use.

Through the association, otherwise qualified ministers may receive ordination and licensing for qualified fivefold ministers and relate to an apostolic-prophetic presbytery for ministers and ministries. The association also sponsors national and regional conferences and seminars, as well as some local fellowship gatherings.

The association sponsors several schools that offer nontraditional and nonresident courses and degree programs via distance learning apart from residential requirements or the attendance of live lecture classes.

Membership

Not reported.

Educational Facilities

Vision International University, Ramona, California

South Florida Theological Seminary, Jupiter, Florida.

Vision of Hope Christian Fellowship

PO Box 365, Lathrop, CA 95330

Vision of Hope Christian Fellowship is a Pentecostal-charismatic association of churches and ministers founded in the 1990s with a focus upon evangelism, healing, the gifts of the Spirit, worship, and reconciliation. It sees itself as part of the global movement within Pentecostalism to restructure the movement around a core leadership of apostles and prophets who direct networks of independent congregations, supplying local churches with an association for fellowship and accountability.

The fellowship affirms the Nicene Creed, common to most Christian bodies, and emphasizes belief in the Trinity and salvation through faith in Christ alone. A mission of the fellowship is directed toward establishing new churches and ministries in various urban centers. New communities are pioneered by locating a core group of persons interested in establishing an apostolic-prophetic church or ministry in their hometown. Subsequently, a Vision of Hope team will be sent to an area for a period of nurturing leadership.

The fellowship supports two centers for apostolic and prophetic studies, which offer nonresidential courses via the Internet that are supplemented with on-site intensive and personal mentoring.

Membership

The fellowship is built around six congregations in California.

Educational Facilities

Center for Apostolic and Prophetic Studies, San Francisco, California; Fresno, California.

Sources

Vision of Hope Christian Fellowship. www.citytakers.com/

Word of Faith International Christian Centers

20000 W 9 Mile Rd., Southfield, MI 48075

The first Word of Faith International Christian Center was founded in 1979 in a storefront building in Detroit, Michigan. It has more recently moved to a 110-acre site Southfield (suburban Detroit). The original center, under the leadership of its pastor, Keith Butler, has become a megachurch with a membership of more than 18,000. Bishop and Mrs. Keith A. Butler, Sr., began the Word of Faith ministry with some 60 supporters in the late 1970s.

The church is a trinitarian pentecostal body similar in belief and practice to the International Convention of Faith Ministries. Many of its leaders have attended Rhema Bible College, founded by televangelist Kenneth Hagin, known for his “faith confession” doctrine that holds that a person of faith can publicly confess or claim something from God and be assured of getting it.

As Butler’s ministry grew in Detroit, he began to travel the country. A number of churches resulted from his evangelistic endeavors. They are now considered satellite congregations. Such congregations have not been limited to the United States, and currently Word of Faith churches may be found in Africa, Pakistan, Europe, and the Caribbean. He has concentrated upon planting churches in large urban areas.

The different congregations associated with Word of Faith have developed a host of outreach ministries to different groups of people—singles, married couples, the campus, youth—the Kingdom Business Association (to assist people with practical problems of living), and a broadcast ministry, The Living Word. Butler has written some 14 books; his son, Keith A. Butler II has authored three; and his daughters Michelle and Deborah Butler, both also ministers, have each written one.

Membership

Not reported. In 2002 there were 12 satellite congregations in the United States and one in the United States Virgin Islands. Word of Faith International Ministries has 65 churches in Africa, 15 churches in Pakistan, and 2 in Europe (Bulgaria, Hungary).

Educational Facilities

Word of Faith Bible Training Center, Southfield, Michigan.

Periodicals

Vision.

Sources

Word of Faith International Christian Center. www.woficc.com.

Butler, Keith. God’s Plan for You: Finding the Purpose of Your Life. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2000.

———. Grace of God: Faith to Receive God’s Unlimited Promises. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2001.

———. A Seed Will Meet Any Need. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2002.

World Breakthrough Network

Current address not obtained for this edition.

The World Breakthrough Network is a Pentecostal-charismatic association of churches, ministries, and ministers founded by Noel Woodroffe, who serves as its lead apostle. Assisting him is an apostolic team consisting of Robert Munien (with special responsibility for South Africa, East Asia, and Oceania), John Singleton (with special responsibility for pastoral and relational issues), and Anderson Williams (with special responsibility for Europe and South America). Williams is also head of an apostolic network in the United Kingdom: LifeLine Network International. The apostolic team, in turn, is assisted by the Apostolic-Prophetic Leadership Team (ALT), an apostolic support team, and a host of World Breakthrough Network development coordinators, representatives, and facilitators. Particular responsibility for the United States has been assigned to Scott Webster, Steve Schultz, and David Copp Sr.

The network is a conservative body theologically that affirms the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, the Trinity, and the saving work of Jesus Christ. It also believes in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues, divine healing, the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, and the anointed ministries of the Holy Spirit. Organizationally, the network follows the fivefold ministry of Ephesians 4, which includes apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. It acknowledges that the ministries of apostles and prophets, especially, have been restored in modern times as foundational and revelatory ministries in anticipation of the imminent return of Jesus. Autonomous local churches freely affiliate under the authority of the acknowledged apostle.

Operating largely within the African-American community in the Caribbean, a significant part of the network’s task is to support any new kingdom organizations and business entities that have a prophetic purpose and apostolic mentality for the advancement of the kingdom and providing financial resources for the purposes of God.

The Elijah Centre in Trinidad, West Indies, has been designated the core church of the World Breakthrough Network. As such, the network defines part of its uniqueness by creating an epicenter from which correct godly authority, revelation strength, and production of apostolic patterns may spiral outward to the entire structure.

Membership

Not reported. Work is strong in western African nations from South Africa to Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia. There is also work in Germany, Belgium, and France, and the Middle East.

Sources

Elijah Centre: A Global, Borderless, Kingdom Community. www.elijahcentre.org/

World Changers Church International

2500 Burdett Rd., College Park, GA 30349

World Changers Church International is the home base for the ministry of televangelist Dr. Creflo A. Dollar (b. 1962). It originated in a Bible study group begun by Dollar when he was a student at West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia, in the mid 1980s. Through these Bible studies Dollar met his future wife, Taffi Bolton, who would later become the co-pastor of the church he founded. Following graduation, Dollar founded a local church, World Changers Ministries, in 1986. Beginning with eight people, the church grew steadily and in 1988 the congregation purchased the former Atlanta Christian Center Church in College Park, Georgia. In 1995, the congregation moved into the 8,500-seat World Dome.

The church and its pastors developed a global perspective early in their association. Integral to their ministry was a broadcast ministry that is now heard around the world. The church’s outreach is primarily funneled through an associated organization: Creflo Dollar Ministries (CDM). CDM operates from offices in the United States, Australia, the Republic of South Africa, Nigeria, and the United Kingdom.

The World Changers Church is a Trinitarian Pentecostal body with a strong emphasis on acting on one’s faith. Pastor Dollar has been closely associated with the Faith Movement that grew from the ministry of the last Kenneth Hagin (1917–2003) and emphasized God’s willingness to share his abundance with Christians. The prayer of faith is the primary means of receiving from God.

The World Changers Church has its primary center in College Park, Georgia, and a second satellite church in New York City, but its influence is largely achieved through the television broadcast ministry and the several books written by Pastor Dollar.

Membership

In 2007 the church reported in excess of 25,000 members, some 5,000 of whom are affiliated with the New York City congregation.

Remarks

On November 6, 2007, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, speaking for the United States Senate Committee on Finance, announced that Dollar and his ministry would be included in an investigation into several prominent televangelists (others of whom included Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Eddie Long, Joyce Meyer, and Paula White). Relatively quickly, Dollar agreed to cooperate with the investigation, though he suggested that the Internal Revenue Service—and not the committee—would be the proper instrument for reviewing the church’s finances. The ongoing investigation raises a variety of questions about government interference in the life of religious groups. At the same time, it is clear that it is the relatively opulent lifestyle enjoyed by Dollar and other televangelists that is the major cause of their ministries being questioned. Dollar and the others have denied any wrongdoing or improprieties.

Sources

World Changers Church International. www.worldchangers.org/.

Dollar, Creflo A. 8 Steps to Create the Life You Want: The Anatomy of a Successful Life. New York: FaithWords, 2008.

———. In the Presence of God: Find Answers to the Challenges of Life. New York: FaithWords, 2006.

———. Love, Live, and Enjoy Life: Uncover the Transforming Power of God’s Love. New York: FaithWords, 2006.

Dollar, Taffi L. Your Spiritual Makeover: Experience the Beauty of a Balanced Life. Tulsa, OK: Harrison House, 2007.

Luo, Michael. “Preaching a Gospel of Wealth in a Glittery Market, New York.” New York Times (January 15, 2006). Posted at www.nytimes.com/2006/01/15/nyregion/15prosperity.html?ex=1294981200&e n=9d7efd8b8715771f&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss.

World Ministry Fellowship

6000 Custer Rd., Bldg. 3, Plano, TX 75023-5100

World Ministry Fellowship is a fellowship of Pentecostal ministers founded in Shreveport, Louisiana, in the summer of 1963. It emerged from a 1961 vision experienced by founder William B. Brown, Sr. It was created for ministers who did not want to be otherwise limited by the boundaries of a specific denomination. They believed that only God could supply the anointing, grace, gifts, and finances to fulfill their ministerial calling. The fellowship was designed to encourage, strengthen, and edify ministers as they pursued God’s work. Those with credentials from the fellowship gather each July for an international convocation.

The fellowship has adopted a brief statement of faith that places them within the Latter-Rain movement that emerged in the larger Pentecostal community in the 1940s. It affirms belief in God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the bible as the infallible world of God; baptism by immersion, the baptism of the Holy Spirit (with the accompanying sign of speaking in tongues and resulting manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit); divine healing and deliverance from spirit possession ministry; and the Second Coming of Jesus. Ministry is built around the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11 in apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.

The fellowship is led by a 21-person advisory board and a board of directors, the legislative body of the fellowship. Directors serve for life. An ordination council is responsible for licensing and ordaining ministers and a missions board oversees international work.

Among the most well-known of fellowship ministers is televangelist Kenneth Copeland.

Membership

In 2008 the fellowship reported 91 ministers in the fellowship, including 17 husband-wife teams. Members include licensed lay workers and ministers, ordained ministers, and churches served by fellowship ministers. Members are scattered across America, and state directors have been named in 24 states. The fellowship has foreign affiliates in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Singapore, India, Japan, Bulgaria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and El Salvador.

Periodicals

Point of Contact.

Sources

World Ministry Fellowship. www.worldministry.com.

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