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Independence or ownership? A comparison of the struggles and successes of the Bible College principalships of Howard Carter (1921-1948) and Donald Gee (1951-1964) with a special focus on both the risks and benefits of independence and denominational ownership during these eras.The British Assemblies of God Bible College can trace its roots to the Pentecostal Missionary Union’s (PMU) Training Homes which were established in 1909 for men and in 1910 for women. In 1924 the PMU amalgamated into the newly-formed British Assemblies of God (AoG), with a full merger in 1925, and the PMU Training Homes/ Bible Schools continued as an independent enterprise under the leadership of Howard Carter, albeit with strong links to British AoG. In 1951, the independent Bible School at Hampstead and in Bristol were given to Assemblies of God and from this time, through to the present, have been denominationally owned and governed. The College’s first principal under denominational ownership and governance was Donald Gee. Although this dissertation seeks to reconstruct some of the important contextual narrative of the Bible School(s), from its inception in 1909 through to the end of Donald Gee’s principalship in 1964, this research endeavours to be an analysis and comparison of Carter’s 27 years as Principal of an independent, yet denominationallylinked college, with the 13-year tenure of Gee’s, when it was financially owned and governed by the Assemblies of God. There will be a special focus on the risks and benefits of independence/ownership during the respective eras, examined through criteria such as Finance, Curriculum, Personnel issues and the Student body. In addition to historical research, some contemporary analysis on the risks and benefits of independence/ownership in the 21st century will be elucidated in the Conclusion together with other areas of interest that will be assessed at various points of the dissertation, such as early attitudes to Pentecostal education and whether the focus of training had changed in AoG from overseas to the home field. In light of obvious and perceived risks and benefits, the Conclusion will seek to answer the question of whether denominational independence or denominational ownership was more beneficial for the College in the past and for the current Assemblies of God Bible College at Mattersey. In addition, other observations and lessons for Mattersey Hall will be made. This research seeks to recover the lost voice of this Pentecostal Bible College – to learn lessons from the past in order to help it survive and thrive in the future. This research will be predominantly based on information provided by primary sources.
The Pentecostal Missionary Union (PMU), a case study exploring the missiological roots of early British Pentecostalism (1909-1925)The Pentecostal Missionary Union (PMU) commenced in 1909 as a non-sectarian Pentecostal faith mission with many similarities to the China Inland Mission (CIM), influenced by the links of its President, Cecil Polhill, as one of the illustrious Cambridge Seven missionaries. In 1924 it amalgamated into the newly formed British Assemblies of God (AOG), with a full merger in 1925. This thesis reconstructs the historical narrative of the PMU examining its theology and praxis. This thesis is not a descriptive biographical narrative of the PMU’s leaders and missionaries but a historiography exploring the PMU’s development in its original context based on information provided by primary sources. Other than one 1995 Masters dissertation, no research has been conducted specifically on the PMU. This research seeks to recover the lost voice of early British non-sectarian Pentecostal missiology marginalized by Protestant mission historiography and overlooked by Pentecostal historiographers focused on American or later periods of Pentecostalism. Pentecostal historiographies have interpreted the twentieth century global revival movement largely through the ‘latter rain’ motif as an eschatologically providential event, discontinuous with previous ecclesiastical history. Pentecostal mission historiography is still developmental, especially in the employment of an historical roots methodology as opposed to traditional providential approaches. This thesis argues that early British Pentecostalism, before the Great War, originated as a non-sectarian mission movement strongly linked to antecedent faith mission roots, demonstrating the necessity for Pentecostals to engage with broader research methodologies that challenge traditional perceptions of the emergence and development of Pentecostalism. The Great War was interpreted with an apocalyptic lens that increasingly shifted Pentecostal eschatological emphasis away from missional urgency towards speculative application of Biblical prophecy with early twentieth century events. The severing of the PMU from its faith mission roots during the Great War, through CIM policy averse to Pentecostalism, reinforced Pentecostal perceptions of eschatological discontinuity and the need of a distinctive denominational identity in the uncertainty of the inter-war period. The lifespan of the world’s first modern Pentecostal missionary organisation was relatively short but it encompassed three specific periods of British history: prior to the Great War, the Great War years and the inter-War years This thesis utilises these three distinct periods to provide a progressive narrative highlighting the challenges within the PMU’s developmental history from non-sectarian faith mission to denominational mission department. The missiological emphasis of early Pentecostalism, as exemplified by the PMU, provides an understanding of the Pentecostal global phenomena a century later. Early 20th century Pentecostal revivals occurring in various places could have resulted in Pentecostalism remaining a localised sect but its significance grew through its emphasis on missiological urgency with pneumatological empowerment. Contemporary British and global Pentecostalism cannot be explained without historiographical reference to its earliest missiological roots including the PMU.
The Pentecostal-Charismatic movement in Zambia: Oral history of its emergence, evolution, development and ethos (1940s-2010s)Since the late 1880s, Zambia has been engaged in a repeated series of encounters with Christian renewals. The arrival of Pentecostalism will be viewed as the palpable product of this intensely creative process. Zambian Pentecostalism emerged in continuity with the fruit of European Christian missionary enterprise, but its more contemporary version evolved in spontaneous response to the rise and ministry of influential local Zambian leaders such as Joel Chidzakazi Phiri, prophetess Alice Lenshina, evangelist Dr. Nevers Sekwila Mumba, Winston Broomes, and Jack and Winsome Muggleton. The activities of these key figures led to the formation and prominence of three main church streams across Zambia: Prophetic and Pentecostal-type Pentecostalism, Classical Pentecostalism and Neo-Pentecostalism. The brand of Pentecostalism that emerged in Zambia in the 1940s has been influenced by several theological, cultural, political and social influences. One noticeable feature of Zambian PentecostalCharismatic Churches has been their change in character across the decades from holiness and evangelistic traditions of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s to the faith and prosperity ministry of the 2010s. Pentecostal-Charismatic has become engaged in the public sphere by the early 1990s. A further development since the 2000s has been the prominence of the prophetic and apostolic, which is the combination of teaching mainly from the USA and various strands of previous ministries with an emphasis on miracles, deliverance, prosperity and prophecy.