Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Infobox Christian denomination
name = Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

imagewidth =
caption =
main_classification = Protestant
orientation = Pentecostal
polity = Episcopal
founder =
founded_date = 1906
founded_place =
separated_from = Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ
parent = PAJC
merger = Pentecostal Ministerial Alliance and the Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ
separations =
associations =
area =
congregations =
members =
footnotes =

The Pentecostal Assemblies of The World, Inc. (PAW) claims to be the oldest Oneness Pentecostal organization in existence, founded in 1906, and formally organized in 1912 as adherents of trinitarian beliefs, and in 1916 re-organized as a Oneness Pentecostal organization. They are one of many groups that trace their origins to the Azusa Street Revival of 1906. The PAW claims it was originally headquartered at Azusa Street in Los Angeles, California, moved to Oregon, and later moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where it remains today. The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World is the second largest Oneness Pentecostal organization in the United States, (behind the United Pentecostal Church)"', according to [|date=January 2008]


The Pentecostal Assemblies Of The World holds that its origin can be traced to the Azusa Street Revival (1906-1909) under the leadership of William J. Seymour. The organization was officially incorporated in 1919.

The late Bishop Morris E. Golder wrote: "The original organization bearing the name of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World came into existence in the year of 1906 in the city of Los Angeles, State of California." The late Bishop G. T. Haywood concurs with this fact, writing in the Voice In The Wilderness in 1921: "It (The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World) was started in 1906 in Los Angeles, California." It should be noted that Bishop Morris Golder who is considered a Pentecostal historian noted that the claim of the beginning date of the PAW is referenced in a 1919 document by Bishop Haywood, but the support of official documentation is lacking. [ The History of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. Morris E. Golder. 1976, ]

This was also the position asserted by Bishop Ross Paddock, the former Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. He declared that after one year of being organized, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World had its first annual business meeting and that, at the same time, it was Trinitarian in its doctrine and liturgy of water baptism.

It was in this context of varying ideas, personal differences, doctrinal and other conflicting elements that not only was the need of organization seen, but the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in its original state (1906) came into existence. However, it was not until 1919 that it became incorporated and took on the identity of being an Apostolic Pentecostal "Oneness" or "Jesus Name" body of ministers and believers.

According to Dr. David Bundy, a Pentecostal historian at the Christian Theological Seminary, as early as 1907, a white Baptist minister in Los Angeles, was preaching water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ. According to Dr. Deborah Sims LeBlanc, William and Maggie Bowdan, the parents of former Assistant Presiding Bishop Frank Bowdan, were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ after the Azusa Street Mission Revival (1906-1909).

As an outgrowth of the Asuza Street movement, a fellowship of "Pentecostal assemblies" met in October 1907 in Los Angeles, and followed-up with similar meetings in subsequent years. This fellowship was known as the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World. J.J. Frazee (the PAW's first General Superintendent) and G.T. Haywood participated in these meetings.

In 1913, during the Assembly Of God General Assembly, a great controversy arose regarding the so-called "new issue" that water baptism was to be administered in "the Name of Jesus Christ" rather than in "the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The majority of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World community accepted both the liturgical change and a "Jesus Name" or Oneness approach to understanding God.

Among those who accepted the Oneness doctrine in the early period was Elder Garfield Thomas Haywood, an African American minister from Indianapolis, who pastored a very successful Pentecostal church on Indianapolis that had, in 1913, between 400-500 members. The racial make up of the congregation was about 50% African-American and 50% White. The name of the church was Christ Temple Apostolic Faith Assembly.

Christ Temple was one of the largest Pentecostal churches and congregations in the world. Bishop Haywood was rebaptized in the name of Jesus Christ in approximately 1913. Subsequently, he rebaptized his entire congregation.

Bishop G.T. Haywood played a tremendous role in the early development of the Pentecostal movement. His association within the establishment of the Assemblies of God and influence on the United Pentecostal Church are noteworthy.

Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood was born in 1880 Greencastle, Indiana, and when he was three years old, his parents moved to Indianapolis. He would spend the rest of his life living in Indianapolis. He began pastoring in 1908, multi-gifted, a professional cartoonist-artist, Gospel song writer, poet, author of several books, teacher, and preacher. He was speaker at many of camp meetings. He traveled extensively throughout the country. He also traveled to the Middle East, Palestine, the British West Indies, and Canada. Prior to becoming the Presiding Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of World, he held the office of General Secretary. He was by far the most sought after speaker, teacher and preacher in the Pentecostal and Oneness movement during his lifetime as a minister.

In 1913, hundreds of preachers attended a camp meeting in Arroyo Seco, California. The truth of the Oneness of God was given, accompanied by the new revelation of baptism in the name of Jesus. Evangelist R.E. McAlister was selected to preach on the subject of water baptism. He began with the accepted baptismal message and spoke on the different modes of baptism, mentioning triune immersion by which the candidate was immersed three times face forward. He summed it up by “they justify their method, by saying that baptism is in the likeness of Christ's death, and make a point from scripture that Christ bowed his head when he died.” that to them, it was necessary to baptize once for each person in the Godhead (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). He concluded his message abruptly by saying that the scriptural answer to this was that the Apostles invariably baptized all their converts once in the name of Jesus Christ. He ended by stating the words Father, Son, and Holy Ghost were never used by the early church in Christian baptism. McAlister was taken aside at the time and told not to preach this new theory about the “baptismal formula.”

However, many hearing McAlister speak received the new revelation of the name Jesus. Three important men attended and were influenced by this new revelation, these were Frank Ewart, G.T. Haywood, and Glenn Cook.

By the spring of 1914, Ewart accepted the apostles doctrine and became one of its leading advocates. Ewart reached the conclusion that the singular "name" in bibleref|Matthew|28:19 was Jesus Christ. He came to believe that the one true God who had revealed himself as Father in creation, as the Son for redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in the church was none other than Jesus. To support this view, he pointed to Colossians 2:9, which states that in Jesus "dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily."

Ewart explained his discovery to other Pentecostal ministers, some of whom rejected his teaching, but others enthusiastically embraced it. On April 15, 1914, Ewart rebaptized Glenn A. Cook, his assistant and a veteran evangelist of the Azusa Street Mission, in the name of Jesus Christ, and Cook rebaptized Ewart. This would set in motion an issue that would divide the Pentecostal movement between the Trinitarians and the Jesus Name, or Oneness believers. After Ewart and Cook were rebaptized, they began to rebaptize thousands of Pentecostals with the shorter formula “in Jesus name,” claiming baptisms under were not valid. Those wanting to be baptized or were previously baptized under the threefold titles of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” were admonished to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ according to Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48.

From 1913 to 1916, the debate raged within the Assemblies of God regarding the Godhead and the correct formula for baptism." Consequently, in 1914, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World experienced its first split. Essentially, there were two questions around which the debate was centered: (1) "Is there one God, or are there three distinct persons in the Godhead? and (2) How then, should an individual be baptized? Should one be baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, or should one be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins "

In 1916, after intense and bitter debate throughout the Association, those leaders and individuals who embraced the Trinitarian concept (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) remained in the Assemblies of God.

In 1916, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World was reorganized in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the Christ Temple Assembly of the Apostolic Faith, where Bishop G. T. Haywood was the pastor. Bishop Haywood became the organization's first Presiding Bishop at that meeting. During that meeting, the organization's headquarters were established in Portland, Oregon.

In 1918, a merger between the PAW and the General Assembly of Apostolic Assemblies (founded January 2, 1917) under the chairmanship of J.J. Frazee occurred in St. Louis, MO. This merger retained the name "Pentecostal Assemblies of the World". Later that year, E.W. Doak became Chairman and W.E. Booth-Clibborn (son of Kate Booth-Clibborn and grandson of the Booths who founded the Salvation Army in London) became Secretary. This interracial organization kept the name of "The Pentecostal Assemblies of the World." At this time, the PAW was the largest (and almost only) Oneness Pentecostal organization.

In 1924, white leaders of the organization separated from the PAW. Their separation was the result of "JIM CROW", the enforcement of racial separation policies in the United States at the dawn of the twentieth century. Also there were many African-Americans in leadership positions in the early PAW, in particular G.T. Haywood who served as General Secretary and a duty of this office is to sign all credentials for ministers.Fact|date=April 2008 The white leaders formed their own organization which subsequently became the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI). The UPCI maintained a limited interracial climate, although African-American leadership was nonexistent. For many years African-American ministers were listed in the UPCI manual as the colored branch. In recent decades, the UPCI has developed a Black Evangelism ministry which serves under the umbrella of the Home Missions Division but also has many African-American pastors, presbyters, and even District Superintendents in their leadership.

Another organization was established as the Pentecostal Church, Inc, led by white leaders only.Fact|date=January 2008

On January 25, 1919, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World headquarters moved from Portland to Indianapolis, and formally incorporated in the state of Indiana. The incorporators were E. W. Doak, G.T. Haywood, and D.C.O. Opperman.

The title of "Bishop" was first used by the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World in 1925, when it established a Board of Bishops of five members. Of the five members, one of them, G. T. Haywood, was elected as the Presiding Bishop. Haywood was a real stabilizer for the organization. In the days of the separation of the Trinitarian from the Oneness brethren, Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood was a pioneer of the Oneness Pentecostal message.

In 1932, the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World was reorganized and elected Elder Samuel Grimes of New York, as Bishop. They then elevated Bishop Grimes to the office of Presiding Bishop. Bishop Grimes was born in Barbados, British West Indies. He was saved under the ministry of Elder W. W. Rue. He was also greatly influenced by Bishop G. T. Haywood. Bishop Grimes served as a missionary to Liberia, ppWest Africa] , along with his wife Kathleen . At this time, he was elevated to the office of District Elder. He also founded and established the Eastern District Conferences, which consists of 13 Conferences (Councils). Grimes also became the second editor of The Christian Outlook, which is the official magazine of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World.

Bishop Grimes served in the office Presiding Bishop for 35 years (1932-1967) which is longer than any individual to date. It was during the time that he was serving that the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World's procedures regarding the filling of pastoral vacancies was established.

PAW Leadership

Though the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, Inc., has general ties to William Joseph Seymour since it is a denomination in the Classical Pentecostal Tradition, Seymour was not the founder of PAW. To the contrary, after its initial organization in 1906, the initial re-organizers were, D.C.O. Opperman, E.W. Doak, and Garfield Thomas Haywood who served as the initial incorporators. J. J. Frazee (occasionally incorrectly reported as 'Frazier') was elected the first general superintendent. The head of the organization held the title of General Elder or General Overseer until 1925, when it was changed to Presiding Bishop. At the same time they established an executive board consisting of five members (Bishops). G. T. Haywood, one of the five members, was elected as the Presiding Bishop. This is in slight contrast to the current Board of Bishops consisting of 12 formal members, and also includes Lay-Directors from various regions of the United States, and Emeritus Bishops who once served, but are either semi or fully retired.

The following is a listing of the Bishops which have served as head of the organization and includes their race (countering those who have attempted to state that the PAW has continued to be a "black-only" organization since the split of 1924):
*Garfield Thomas Haywood-black (1925-1931)
*Samuel Joshua Grimes-black (1932-1967)
*Ross Perry Paddock-white (1967-1974)
*Francis L. Smith-black (1974-1980)
*Lawrence E. Brisbin-white (1980-1986)
*James Archie Johnson-black (1986-1992)
*Paul A. Bowers-black (1992-1998)
*Norman L. Wagner-black (1998-2004)
*Horace E. Smith, M.D.-black (2004-Present)

Organizational Structure is currently divided by state or country, called a council that is headed by a Diocesan Bishop, who is appointed by the Bishop's Board. A Diocesan Bishop can have as many as three assistants, called Suffragan Bishops. These Suffragan Bishops hold only the authority given them by the Diocesan Bishop. Typically they will have authority over a region or part of a state. Reporting under the Suffragan Bishop is the office of District Elder, who oversees and assists the Elders (Pastors and their churches) in his district. This could be as few as three churches and with no limit on maximum number, but typically less than 25.

Official Periodicals & Publications

*The Christian Outlook (monthly by subscription only)
*Minute Book (Annually published Bishop Board meeting minutes available to members only)

Additional reading

* [ Phenomenon of Pentecost by Frank J. Ewart]
* [ A Man Ahead of His Times (The Life and Times of Bishop Garfield Thomas Haywood) by Gary Garrett]
* [ The Early Pentecostal Revival by James Tyson]
* [ The Life and Ministry of William J. Seymour by Dr. Larry E. Martin]
* [ Azusa Street by Frank Bartleman


External links

* [ PAW official Website]
* [ Youth Department]
* [ Presiding Bishop's Church]
* [ Former Presiding Bishop Norman L. Wagner's Church]
* [ Former Presiding Bishop Paul A. Bowers' Church]
* [ Former Presiding Bishop James A. Johnson's Church]
* [ International Circle of Faith - ICOF]
* [ UPCI official Website]
* [ Apostolic Assembly] The Apostolic Assembly of the Faith in Christ Jesus is a Spanish-speaking Christian denomination that grew out of early PAW missionary work in California.
* [] Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ.
* [] International Circle of Faith

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