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Greg Mundis
AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Assemblies of God is not the only AG celebrating its centennial this year.

More than 22,000 people gathered at a rugby stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Pentecostal missionaries who came to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1914, the same year the U.S. Assemblies of God was founded.

Thousands travelled long distances at great personal sacrifice to attend the event despite extreme persecution by religious extremists. Across the country, more than 200 AG churches have been attacked and vandalized, and some have been burned. A number of pastors have been physically beaten and even martyred.

AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis spoke at the event encouraging pastors to continue to persevere in proclaiming the gospel and establishing more churches. He says, "I was overwhelmed by God's work in Sri Lanka and by the passion believers had to be together to celebrate! They are putting everything - themselves, their families, everything - on the line to spread the gospel. They are modern-day living martyrs. It was humbling."

Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka AG and pastor of Peoples Church, a congregation of more than 8,000 in Colombo, the nation's capital, will be speaking at the centennial celebration of the U.S. Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, on August 9.

Recently Pastor Wickramaratne said, "When persecution has increased, we remember what one of our pastors said, 'If our faith is good enough to live for, it's good enough to die for.'"

To view pictures from the Sri Lanka celebration, see the AG World Missions article.


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This week in AG history -- April 24, 1960

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 - 1:33 PM CST

Charlie Lee (1924-2003), a talented young Navajo artist, won widespread recognition and numerous awards for his paintings and sketches of life on the reservation. Despite his success, Lee felt dissatisfied with his life. In the fall of 1947, an Apache school friend invited him to visit an Assemblies of God church at the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, where he found new life and accepted Christ on New Year's Day, 1948.
 
Feeling called to the ministry, Lee enrolled at Central Bible Institute (now Central Bible College). He graduated in 1951 and traveled extensively as an evangelist among Native Americans. In 1953, Lee and his wife, Coralie, returned to his home state of New Mexico and pioneered Mesa View Assembly of God in Shiprock. He became one of the best-known Native American pastors within the Assemblies of God. His congregation in Shiprock, in 1976, became the first Native American church on a federally recognized reservation to make the transition from being a supported mission to a fully indigenous, self-supporting, General Council affiliated church.
 
Lee's testimony was published in the April 24, 1960, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.
 
Read "Navajo Artist Builds a Church for His People," by Ruth Lyon, on pages 8 and 9 of the April 24, 1960, issue of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Also featured in this issue:

* "Africa As I Saw It," by C. C. Crace

* "Busy Mother Ministers to the Blind," by Maxine Strobridge

* "Has God Forgotten?" by Meyer and Alice Tan-Ditter

And many more!

Click here to read this issue now.
 
Charlie Lee's widow, Coralie, recently published her account of their inspiring lives, "And God Was There: A Biography of Charles and Coralie Lee." Click here to read a review of the book.

Pentecostal Evangel archived editions courtesy of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center. For current editions of the Evangel, click here.

Authors: Darrin Rodgers

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