Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us
Evangelism, Worship, Discipleship & Compassion

News RSS Feed

Audio News Reports

   Additional Headlines & Audio Reports

Search AG News

ELT and EP photo in Hot Springs
Holding a historic picture from the 1914 gathering in Hot Springs, current members of the Assemblies of God Executive Leadership Team and some Executive Presbyters pose in the same place as the original photo.

Approximately 300 people gathered in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on April 10-11, 2014, to celebrate the centennial of the Assemblies of God. Echoes of the statements from the founding general council, where another 300 ministers gathered in the same place exactly 100 years earlier, could be heard throughout the two-day event.

The centennial celebration, sponsored by the AGTrust, featured seven speakers and a night of gospel music and worship. The celebration concluded with a pilgrimage to the site of the former Grand Opera House, where the first general council was held, to re-create the iconic photograph of the founders of the Assemblies of God.

One hundred years ago, Hot Springs had a reputation as a wild town, known for its alcohol, prostitution, gangs and drugs. When the founders of the Assemblies of God met at the Hot Springs Grand Opera House for the first general council, they had to pass by the saloon at the front of the building in order to attend the meetings in the auditorium. The centennial celebration was held in a more sanctified setting — the spacious First Assembly of God, Hot Springs, Arkansas, pastored by Larry Burton.

The centennial celebration drew people from across the United States. Jean and Magalie Rebecca, a husband and wife who pastor Haitian Assembly of God, Dorchester, Massachusetts, were excited to be able to participate: "We grew up in the Assemblies of God in Haiti. The Assemblies of God is a worldwide family, and we wanted to represent Haitians in Hot Springs."

Attendees also included descendants of some of the participants in the first general council, held April 2-12, 1914. Bonnie Olsen, the granddaughter of founding Assemblies of God minister Oliver P. Brann, felt right at home. She commented, "I experienced faith-filled services and the power of God this week. I wish I could experience this every day!"

General Superintendent George O. Wood opened the celebration on Thursday by recounting the five reasons for the formation of the Assemblies of God as enumerated in the century-old "Call to Hot Springs." Each speaker continued in this vein, expounding on why the founding principles of the Assemblies of God remain compelling today. Greg Mundis, executive director of Assemblies of God World Missions, shared about the heritage of missionaries who suffered, sometimes unto death, to bring the gospel around the world. Assistant General Superintendent Alton Garrison preached on the bedrock importance of the Word of God.

Hot Springs prayer
Many men and women came forward for healing during the centennial service held at First Assembly of God in Hot Springs.

True to Pentecostal form, the afternoon service included an extended time at the altar. Hundreds of voices were raised in fervent prayer, and people flooded the altars and aisles in the church. Following a time of prayer for specific areas of ministry, Garrison asked those present in need of healing to come forward for prayer. Vocal spiritual gifts were manifested, and several people later testified of physical healings.

Wilfredo de Jesús, pastor of New Life Covenant Church, Chicago, Illinois, encouraged those who are carrying on the Pentecostal legacy to fight complacency in their spiritual lives. "It is essential to build a bridge," he asserted, "so that the younger generation can learn about the power of the Holy Spirit from the older generation." He illustrated this principle with the biblical example of Elijah, the older prophet, who discipled Elisha, the younger prophet. De Jesús pointedly observed, "Elijah and Elisha were from different generations, but they walked together."

Thursday evening, gospel musicians Johnny Minick and Russ Taff led participants in three hours of rousing worship. The music included songs from each decade of the last 100 years. About 40 people - including Wood and Garrison — even participated in a Jericho March, which is a spirited procession around the church in a single file during the worship service. The practice originated in Kentucky Presbyterian camp meetings during the Second Great Awakening and had been adopted by some early Pentecostals.

On Friday morning, three younger ministers spoke — Rod Loy (First Assembly, North Little Rock, Arkansas), Rob Ketterling (River Valley Church, Apple Valley, Minnesota) and Aaron Cole (Life Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin). They described how Assemblies of God founding ideals are being carried out today and also envisioned the future of the Fellowship.

Following the Footsteps of the AG Founding Members
Attendees of the centennial event make their way up to where the iconic "photo of 300" of the original founders of the Assemblies of God was taken in 1914. Once there, a new centennial photo was taken in the exact same place, re-creating the century-old photo.

The celebration culminated in a pilgrimage to the site where the Hot Springs Grand Opera House once stood. The 300 attendees viewed the new historic marker in honor of the Assemblies of God centennial, which was placed in the sidewalk near Mountain Valley Spring Company, located at 150 Central Avenue. They proceeded to climb the winding trail behind the site of the former Grand Opera House until they reached a small clearing where the iconic photograph from the first general council had been taken.

J. Don George, an Assemblies of God senior statesman and founding pastor of Calvary Church, Irving, Texas, called the centennial event in Hot Springs "a historic occasion that will be long remembered." He noted that the event was relatively small in comparison to the larger centennial celebration slated to be held in Springfield, Missouri, on August 5-10, 2014, in conjunction with the World Assemblies of God Congress. "As a movement we are called to generational, gender, cultural and racial diversity," George stated. When thousands of visitors from across the United States and the world descend on Springfield in August, this diversity will be on full display.

Commemorative Plaque
A historic marker, indicating the historic location of the site of the founding convention of the Assemblies of God, was placed in the sidewalk on Central Avenue in Hot Springs.

The men and women who met in Hot Springs 100 years ago laid a foundation for a cooperative Fellowship that would help Pentecostals to more effectively evangelize the world. One hundred years later, the Assemblies of God has more than 3.1 million adherents in the United States and more than 66 million worldwide.

The centennial gathering offered both a celebration of the past century and a vision for the future. According to George O. Wood, the Assemblies of God, throughout its history, "has been marked by purpose and passion." He explained, "Our purpose is embedded in our doctrine, mission, values and strategies. Our passion comes from the work of the Holy Spirit who continues to empower us to do the greatest work of evangelism the world has ever seen." Wood predicted, "The future for the Assemblies of God is truly as bright as the promises of God."

 

 


Search Assemblies of God News Archives

Resources

 

Mega Sports Camp Beyond The Gold

 

Item # 33TW0300

Price $129.99

 


You Might Also Like


Videos (AGTV)

Audio News Reports Subscribe to the AG Audio News Feed

Download  Use these icons (below) to download audio files.

AG News

Subscribe: RSS Feed RSS feed or Email.

  • A Centennial Pilgrimage to Hot Springs

    Approximately 300 people gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Assemblies of God in Hot Springs, Arkansas, April 10-11. In addition to honoring the past and retracing the steps of the founding members of the Assemblies of God, those present experienced a powerful prayer and worship service, where the gifts of the Spirit were evident.

  • Plans for August AG Centennial Moving Forward

    The Assemblies of God Centennial Celebration will take place August 5-10 in Springfield, Missouri. All services will be live-streamed and a prayer initiative called "Flock: Soar Together" will be offered for the 10 weeks leading up to the centennial event.

  • TV Versions of End Times Don't Line Up with the Biblical View

    Although there are plenty of reality television shows about preparing for the end of the world, none of them seem to understand or line-up with the reality of what the Bible says the end times will bring — spiritual preparation is the only hope!

  • From Fame to Faith: The Anthony Greve Story

    The lead guitar in the hard rock band, Pop Evil, Tony Greve seemingly had the world by the tail, but nothing — the fame, the women, the drugs, the partying — could fill the emptiness inside of him. Then he encountered Christ and hope came alive, but his journey was not without serious challenges!

  • Light for the Lost Brings Hope to Rwanda and Beyond

    Just 20 years ago, the Rwanda Assemblies of God was nearly wiped out. Today, the church is flourishing with more than 40,000 believers and 150 established churches. Light for the Lost is playing a key role in supplying churches and leaders in Rwanda with the resources they need to reach people for Christ.

  • This Week in AG History -- April 15, 1944

    J. W. Welch, an early chairman, described missions as the reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God. At the 1943 General Council of the Assemblies of God unanimously approved becoming a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, as the Assemblies of God desired a sweet spirit of fellowship, rather than condemnation of other Christians "who may not see eye to eye" on everything. Read Stanley Frodsham's article and many others in this historic Pentecostal Evangel.

  • Chaplains Connect Churches with Needs of Foster Children

    AG chaplains Gary and Tammie Webb focus exclusively on connecting churches with kids in foster care group homes, through their nonprofit ministry OCJ Kids (Opportunity, Community and Justice for Kids). The Webbs are working to meet foster-care needs in Arizona, Texas, Oregon and Mississippi.

  • Minute Man Volunteers Keep Church Open

    Volunteer efforts of a Minute Man group, headed by area leader Brad Carlson, an Assemblies of God pastor, help Skokomish Indian Assembly of God repair its church so it could remain open.

  • Does Church Attendance Dip as R-Rated Viewing Increases?

    Study by Baylor University researcher finds viewing R-rated movies causes decreased church attendance and lessens importance of faith among young people. Reseacher explains R-rated movies contain themes contrary to Christian values and is damaging to religious faith.

  • Convoy of Hope Receives Charity Navigator's 4-Star Rating

    Charity Navigator, America's largest independent evaluator of charities, has awarded Convoy of Hope the prestigious 4-star rating for its eleventh consecutive year.

  • Spanish Evangelistic Program to Celebrate 50th Year

    A Message to the Conscience, a Spanish evangelistic radio and television program created by Assemblies of God missionary Paul Finkenbinder (Hermano Pablo) in 1964, will celebrate 50 years of continuous broadcasting on May 4.

  • This Week in AG History -- "The Hot Springs Convention"

    Exactly one hundred years ago this week, the Assemblies of God was formed at Hot Springs, Arkansas. Close to 300 people attended the founding convention, which took place April 2-12, 1914.

  • One Offering -- More Than $850,000 for Missions

    The largest offering Shreveport (Louisiana) Community Church (AG) has ever received at one time was for $130,000. To God, evidently, that previous "record" amount was of little concern.

  • Europe's Children Teams With AG Missionaries to Present Children's Ministry Conference

    Can children make a decison to accept Christ? For many people in European nations, they don't think so! AG World Missions' Europe's Children recently teamed with AG missionaries to not only reveal the truth to children's leaders, but equip them to effectively reach children with the gospel.

     

  • Robert H. Spence Accepts Appointment as Chancellor of Evangel University

    Evangel University has announced President Robert H. Spence's appointment as Chancellor upon his retirement at the end of the school year, April 30, 2014. He will work closely with Evangel's new president, Dr. Carol Taylor.

  • Influence Music Looking for Top FAF Vocal and Songwriting Talent for New Album

    Individuals, groups, bands and teams who qualify as a top three Award of Merit recipient from any U.S. Assemblies of God Fine Arts District Festival are urged to submit their works to be considered for a new Influence Music Fine Arts album to be released next year.

  • Evangel University to Host Second National Faith & Science Conference in June

    Hundreds of people, from students to scientists and laypeople to pastors, are expected to travel to Springfield, Missouri, for a conference on Faith & Science: Genesis and Genetics at Evangel University, June 23-25, 2014.

  • This Week in AG History -- March 31, 2014

    The founding of the Assemblies of God began this week 100 years ago! Read the original Preamble and Resolution of Constitution as well as the account of the first General Council in this historic edition of Word and Witness.

  • AG General Superintendent George O. Wood Applauds World Vision's Reversal on Same-Sex Marriage

    Assemblies of God General Superintendent George O. Wood, on behalf of the General Council of the Assemblies of God, has expressed his strong support of World Vision's recent reversal on its decision that would have allowed World Vision employees in the U.S. to enter into same-sex marriages.

  • Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., Names New National Director

    Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., has announced E. Scott Martin as its new national director. Martin is the seventh national director in Chi Alpha's 60-year history.