|I. Near the close of the nineteenth century, a
movement for the spread and conservation of scriptural holiness in organized
church form developed almost simultaneously in various parts of the United
States. This movement was similar to the Wesleyan revival of the previous
century. The manifestation everywhere of a spontaneous drawing in the unity
of the Spirit towards closer affiliation of those of like precious faith
culminated finally in the organization of the Pentecostal Church of the
The great impulse of this movement has been the emphasis placed by the
Scriptures upon the fact that, in the atonement, Jesus Christ has made
provision, not only to save men from their sins, but also to perfect them in
II. On May 12, 1886, a number of the brethren in Providence, R.I.,
interested in promoting the Wesleyan doctrine and experience of entire
sanctification, organized and held weekly religious services, first in
private homes, but after a few months in a rented store on Oxford Street. On
January 16, 1887, a Sunday school was organized with 95 members. On July 21,
1887, the People's Evangelical Church was organized with 51 members, Rev.
F.A. Hillary acting as pastor. On November 25, 1888, the Mission Church,
Lynn, Mass., was organized with Rev. C. Howard Davis as pastor. On March 13
and 14, 1890, representatives from these churches and other evangelical
holiness organizations in southern New England assembled at Rock, Mass., and
organized the Central Evangelical Holiness Association. Rev. W. C. Rider,
pastor of the Independent Congregational Church of that place,was elected
president. Within the following year the Mission Church, Males, Mass., the
Emmanuel Mission Church, North Attar, Mass., and the Bethany Mission Church,
Keener, N.H., were organized.
In January, 1894, William Howard Hoople, a businessman in New York City,
founded a mission in Brooklyn, which, in the following May, was organized as
an independent church with a membership of 32, and was called the Utica
Avenue Pentecostal Tabernacle. After a church edifice was erected, Mr.
Hoople was called to the pastorate. The following February, in an abandoned
church building, the Bedford Avenue Pentecostal Church was organized, and a
little later the Emmanuel Pentecostal Tabernacle. In December, 1895,
delegates from these three churches adopted a constitution, summary of
doctrines, and bylaws, and formed the Association of Pentecostal Churches of
America. This association was duly incorporated. Associated with Rev.
William Howard Hoople in this work were Rev. H.B. Hosley, Rev. John Norberry,
Rev. Charles BeVier, and Rev. H. F. Reynolds.
On November 12, 1896, a joint committee from these two associations met in
the city of Brooklyn, N.Y., to formulate some plan of union. For the benefit
of their counsel and cooperation, several brethren prominent in the work
were invited to act with the joint committee. Among this number were Rev. C.
Howard Davis, Rev. G. W. Wilson, Rev. John Norberry, Rev. H. F. Reynolds,
Rev. H. B. Hosley, and Rev. Charles H. BeVier. This meeting resulted in the
union of the two bodies. It was agreed that the work should be continued
under the name of the Association of Pentecostal Churches of America.
III. In October, 1895, a number of persons, under the leadership of Rev.
Phineas F. Bresee, D. D., and J. P. Widney, M.D., formed the First Church of
the Nazarene at Los Angeles, Calif., with 135 charter members. They adopted
statements of belief, and agreed to such general rules as seemed proper and
needful for their immediate guidance, leaving to the future the making of
such provisions as the work and its conditions might necessitate. As a
result of this organization a number of churches sprang into existence,
reaching as far east as Chicago.
IV. As the group from the East and the group from the West came to know each
other better, the feeling grew that they should unite. After delegates from
both areas had conferred, the following basis of union was prepared and
adopted unanimously by both bodies:
Basis of Union
It is agreed that the two churches are one in the
doctrines considered essential to salvation, especially the doctrines of
justification by faith and entire sanctification subsequent to
justification, also by faith, and, as a result, the precious experience of
entire sanctification as a normal condition of the churches. Both churches
recognize that the right of church membership rests upon experience and
that persons who have been born of the Spirit are entitled to its
We are agreed on the necessity of a superintendency, which shall foster
and care for churches already established and whose duty it shall be to
organize and encourage the organizing of churches everywhere.
We are agreed that authority given to superintendents shall not interfere
with the independent action of a fully organized church, each church
enjoying the right of selecting its own pastor,subject to such approval as
the General Assembly shall find wise to institute; the election of
delegates to the various assemblies; the management of their own finances;
and of all other things pertaining to their local life and work.
It is agreed that any church of the Association of Pentecostal Churches of
America going into this organization which may feel it imperative with
them to continue to hold their property in like manner as at present,
shall be at liberty to do so.
The first union assembly was held in Chicago in October, 1907. It was agreed
that the name of the united body should be The Pentecostal Church of the
V. In 1894 at Milan, Tenn., the New Testament Church of Christ was organized
with 14 members by Rev. R. L. Harris to conserve and promote scriptural
holiness. The influence of this church soon spread throughout western Texas
and Arkansas. Prominent among the leaders was Mrs. Mary Lee Cagle, formerly
the wife of Rev. R. L. Harris, who continued the work after her husband's
In 1888 the first holiness churches in Texas were organized by Rev. Thomas
Rogers and Rev. Dennis Rogers, who came from California.
In 1901 the first Independent Holiness church was organized at Van Alstyne,
Tex., by Rev. C. B. Jernigan. This denomination grew and prospered until, in
1903, there were 20 church organizations.
The legal representatives of the Independent Holiness church and the New
Testament Church of Christ met at Rising Star, Tex., in November, 1904,
where a joint committee framed a Manual and statement of doctrine and basis
of union. The union was fully consummated at Pilot Point, Tex., in November,
1905, and the united body adopted the name Holiness Church of Christ.
VI. In 1907 several representatives from the Holiness Church of Christ
accepted the invitation of the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene to attend
its General Assembly in Chicago, but were not authorized to take any action
with reference to organic union. After the assembly invited them into
counsel, provisional arrangements were made to incorporate the two churches
into one body, when proper action could be taken. Upon the invitation of the
Holiness Church of Christ, the Second General Assembly convened at Pilot
Point, Tex., at two o'clock, Thursday afternoon, October 8, 1908. On the
following Tuesday morning, R. B. Mitchum moved: "That the union of the two
churches be now consummated," and the motion was seconded by Rev. C. W.
Ruth. Revs. John N. Short, J. B. Creighton, C. B. Jernigan, H. B. Hosley, P.
F. Bresee, and others spoke favorably regarding the motion. On Tuesday,
October 13, 1908, at 10:40 a.m., amid great enthusiasm, the motion to unite
was adopted by a unanimous rising vote.
VII. In 1898 Rev. J. O. McClurkan and a few others called a meeting of the
holiness people of Tennessee and adjacent states to be held in Nashville. At
this convention an association known as the Pentecostal Alliance was formed,
but its name was later changed to the Pentecostal Mission. From the
beginning these people were evangelistic in spirit and had a burning desire
to disseminate the doctrine and experience of sanctification. Thus in
different sections of the South there came together groups of holiness
people, know as bands of the Pentecostal Mission. They were decidedly
missionary in spirit, and soon were sending their representatives to "the
regions beyond." Throughout their career they have been characterized by
this missionary zeal.
At different times the question of the union of the Pentecostal Mission with
the Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene had been discussed. Finally on
February 13, 1915, this union was effected at Nashville, Tenn., thus uniting
both the home and the foreign work of the Pentecostal Mission and the
Pentecostal Church of the Nazarene.
VIII. In November, 1901, the first stage in the present holiness church
movement in the British Isles began, when Rev. George Sharpe, who had been
for 131/2 years a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church, accepted a
call to the Congregational church at Ardrossan, Scotland. In September,
1905, he became minister of Parkhead Congregational Church, Glasgow; but
after a strenuous, successful, and glorious ministry of 13 months, he was
evicted for preaching Bible holiness.
On September 30, 1906, the first services of the first distinctively
holiness church were held in the Great Eastern Roads Hall, glasgow. The
charter members numbered 80. Other churches were organized and became the
Pentecostal Church of Scotland. Visits of Dr. E. F. Walker and Dr. H. F.
Reynolds to Scotland, and a visit of Rev. George Sharpe and Mrs. Sharpe to
the Fourth General Assembly, at Kansas City, Mo., led the way to union with
the Church of the Nazarene, which was consummated in November, 1915.
IX. The General Assembly of 1919, in response to memorials from 35 district
assemblies, changed the name of the organization to "Church of the
X. For many years a holiness movement had began developing in Minnesota, the
Dakotas, and Montana. It was originated by a group of Methodist laymen, and
was formally organized in 1917 at Jamestown, N.D., as the Laymen's Holiness
Association. Rev. J. G. Morrison was immediately elected field evangelist
and, in 1919, president of the organization. With him were associated Rev.
Ira E. Hammer, Rev. S. C. Taylor, Rev. W. G. Bennett, and over 20 other
evangelists and workers engaged in a wide-spread program of holiness
evangelism and camp meeting promotion. In 1922, under the leadership of
these ministers, more than 1,000 people identified with the Laymen's
Holiness Association united with the Church of the Nazarene.
XI. During the quadrennium 1952-56, two holiness groups in Britain merged
with the Church of the Nazarene.
The International Holiness Mission, founded in London, England, in 1907 by
Mr. David Thomas, businessman and lay preacher, consummated union with the
Church of the Nazarene in Leeds, England, October 29, 1952, with General
Superintendent Hardy C. Powers officiating. At the time of union, Mr. John
Place was president of the International Holiness Mission, and Rev. J. B.
Maclagan, who for 22 years had been a minister in the Church of the Nazarene
in the British Isles, was superintendent-minister. The union brought 28
churches, over 1,000 constituents, and 36 missionaries in South Africa into
the Church of the Nazarene.
For about 25 years the Calvary Holiness church of Britain carried on its
ministry of holiness evangelism under the leadership of Rev. Maynard James
and Rev. Jack ford. Union of the Calvary Holiness church with the Church of
the Nazarene was consummated June 11, 1955, at Manchester, England, with
General Superintendent Samuel Young officiating. About 22 churches and over
600 members came into the church as a result of this union.
XII. The Gospel Workers church of Canada united with the Church of the
Nazarene on September 7, 1958. Under the leadership of Rev. Albert Mills,
president, and Rev. C. J. McNichol, secretary, the union took place with Mr.
Samuel Goff, son of the founder, Rev. Frank D. Goff, of the Gospel Workers
church, acting as attorney in the negotiations. The union was completed
under the supervision of General Superintendent Samuel Young and added five
churches and 200 members to the Canada Central District.