Home         Articles         Study         Library         History         Heresy         Blogs

Agnes Ozman

Agnes Ozman (1870-1937) was a female student at Charles Fox Parham's Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas. Ozman's experience was considered by many as “the first to speak in tongues,” which sparked the modern Pentecostal-Holiness movement in the early 20th century.

Her parents were farmers and since childhood, Agnes and her six siblings attended the Methodist Episcopal Church in Nebraska, Wisconsin. As a young woman, Ozman participated in Bible institutions and eventually attended the Bethel Bible School in Kansas.
Parham taught his students with regard to the Holiness movement of which he introduced the concepts of Divine healing and Sanctification. Parham pondered over what the bible verse "receiving Baptism of the Holy Spirit" meant and whether any evidence could be found. Parham gave his students three days, while he was absent, to ponder over this issue.
By the time he returnes his students jointly agreed that if the Holy Spirit had descended upon an individual, then speaking in other tongues was sufficient proof of that. The students pointed out that this type of event was mentioned four times in Acts of the Apostles.
Therefore on a New Year's Eve Parham and his students planned to pray for the Holy Spirit. So in 1901, after midnight of the first day, Ozman asked her mentor to pray specifically so that she could be filled with the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands on her so that she could speak in another tongue.
According to her fellow students, their prayers were heard in which her colleagues reported that a halo had surrounded both her face and head and that she started speaking in the Chinese language. Not long afterward Parham and thirty four other students also began speaking in unknown languages.
As Quoted [1]: "It is said that Ozman could not speak English for three days and was only able to write in Chinese characters." and "Many that day experienced other gifts of the Spirit, and soon the little group went off from Kansas City to share the good news". [2].
In 1937, Ozman died from a heart failure.

Agnes Ozman herself had known cult leader Frank Sandford. She “…named [A.B.] Simpson as well as his colleague, Steven Merritt…as two of her more esteemed spiritual teachers.” “Merritt is credited in Sublimity of Faith, as the chief mentor and influence in leading Frank Sandford to his understanding and acceptance of the Holy Spirit…” ((Charles W. Nienkirchen; A.B.Simpson and the Pentecostal Movement p.31-2) http://www.fwselijah.com/Parham.htm )

 Like Dominionists, Restorationists and British Israelites of today,  “Sandford was closely drawn to A.B. Simpson’s religious fervor, his vision of global spiritual conquest and his hope that the millenium was within reach. Likewise, since the millenarians were looking for a worldwide catastrophe, they generally did not approve of the notion of American or English manifest destiny which appealed to optimistic millennialists; Sandford would successfully merge the two doctrines by viewing Anglo-America as the "lost tribes of Israel," stiff-necked, rebellious, deserving of God’s punishment, yet still God’s chosen people and rod for the nations." (Hiss p.77 http://www.fwselijah.com/Roots.htm)

 Alexander Dowie influenced Sanford, Parham and Agnes Ozman.  “Renowned faith healer, John Alexander Dowie of the International Divine Healing Association of Chicago, Illinois had since the mid 1890's garnered Mr. Sandford's attention. He was also founder of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion, Illinois in 1896, and eventually it too took on the name of "Shiloh".  Frank Sandford had twice heard Dowie speak during travels in the mid-west, and cited him in a March 1, 1897 issue of Tongues of Fire..." (http://www.fwselijah.com/dowie.htm ; other)

Copyright © 2008 [www.seeking4truth.com]. All rights reserved .Revised: 05/17/2009